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Building Permits


 Rio Blanco County Community Development Department Building Division


Monday through Friday

7 a. m. to 5:30 p. m.                                                                       

(970) 878-9450 Office

(970) 878-9451 Fax


 Definition: A Building Permit is a type of authorization that must be granted by the Building Division before the construction of a new building, or to enlarge, alter or repair an existing building.


           Required Building Permits

    (The following links will take you to listed application) 


Why does Rio Blanco County issue building permits and how do I benefit by getting one?

Permits are for your safety and protection.

The County issues permits to monitor all construction projects for safety and to ensure that all buildings meet minimum standards. These minimum standards protect present and future occupants..  Building Codes  protect future owners who deserve reasonable assurance that the home or place of business they buy will be safe.

A building permit is legal “permission” to begin construction in accordance with  the approved 2006 Building Codes.  All plans and specifications are reviewed for compliance with the Building Codes adopted by Rio Blanco County before a permit is issued.  The process works best if you set up an appointment to discuss your project with the Building Official before finalizing your plans. He will provide you with ideas, guidance, and instructions for your project.  

Also, work done without a permit is illegal and can pose serious complications for your fire and Homeowner’s insurance or for you when you sell your home. By obtaining a Building Permit, you avoid legal and financial liabilities.

When do I need a building permit?

Typically, ALL new home construction, remodeling, alterations, storage and shop buildings, and room additions need building permits.You must also obtain electrical (State Electrical Permit), plumbing, and mechanical permits when installing, altering, gas and water lines, drains, fixtures, water heaters, boilers and furnaces. If you are unsure if your project requires a permit please call the Building Division at (970)878-9450.

Some common outdoor improvements that also need building permits are:

Retaining walls over 4’ in height
Window replacement
Siding replacement
Patio covers
Swimming pools and spas
Storage buildings over 200 sq ft (Residential) 120 sq ft (Commercial)
Garages and carports
Fireplaces and wood stoves
Some fences over six feet in height (check with Building Division before construction)

How does the permit process work?

You or your authorized agent (contractor or other) will submit your complete application and drawings to the Building Division staff for the plan review process.

For simple construction installation such as wood stoves, gas lines, new heating and cooling units, and most plumbing, the Building Division reviews and approves permit applications with no or very little plan requirements.

For more complicated projects such as new buildings and room additions, the review process requires two complete sets of construction plans.

After the application and plans are received, they will be reviewed by both divisions of the Community Development Department and you will be notified of any problems or additional information required to complete the application. After the application and plans have been approved you will be notified that the permit is ready to issue and what the required fee amount will be. (All fees must be paid before the permit can be issued)

The Building Division staff reviews applications for completeness, reviews plans and issues the Building Permits and inspects each phase of construction for safety and conformance to the RBC building, plumbing, and mechanical codes.

The Planning Division looks at the placement of new structures on property to verify zoning requirements such as lot size and coverage, density, building setbacks, and height limits. Some Zoning restrictions may require a use permit or variance.

What types of plans do I need? The following links will lead to what information is required on the plans.

Please contact us to schedule a time to discuss your project, and we can help you understand what your plans must show for your specific project.

 Residential Plan Checklist

Commercial Plan Checklist

Building Codes Criteria Packet  

Building Code Ammendment 2011-35

Building Code Ammendment 2008-5

Why do I need plans?

Good drawings are one of the most important steps of your project. They will be used to estimate the cost of the job, get estimates from subcontractors, show compliance with building codes, obtain the necessary building permits,  provide information on how the project will be constructed, and with what materials. They will also give you and Inspectors a much clearer idea of how ◊will look once you are finished.

If you are doing a simple project, you may be able to do all the drawings yourself. A project that involves no new construction may only need floor plans depicting the before and after look of your project.

(Not all projects require a full set of plans. Be sure to check with the Building Division to see what is required.)

The County does not provide plan drawing or designing services, but can provide information to assist you with your project.


Building Permit Application Package

Residential Building Permit Workflow

Commercial Building Permit Workflow

1. COMPLETE THE BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATION PACKAGE - Completely fill out the building permit application and sign the application. All information that applies to  your project must be completed, this includes contractor information.                                                 

2. HEALTH DEPARTMENT APPROVAL Applications for buildings with proposed ISDS (septic) uses requires  Rio Blanco County Health Department approval and must provide the Health Department with a  SEPTIC APPLICATION before a building permit will be approved. (If you have  any questions contact Jeremy Simmons at 970-878-9526)

3. SUBMIT TWO SETS OF PLANS, SITE PLAN, AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS (contact Building Division for any questions at 970-878-9450).



a.  Submissions are reviewed on a first come first served basis, regardless of complexity.
b.  Plans will be distributed to the Building and Planning division for review and approval.
c.  You will be notified by phone if the plans are incomplete and need corrections or more information.
d.  Corrected plans are approved.
e.  Applicant is notified by phone that their Building Permit is ready.
f.  Building Permit will be issued once all required fees have been settled.


Agricultural Exempt Application/

Agricultural Exempt Workflow



Completely fill out the AGRICULTURAL EXEMPT BUILDING APPLICATION PACKAGE and sign the application (both pages must be completed and signed) if the application is to be signed by the owners authorized agent, documentation by the owner must be received approving the person to act for the owner.

After a complete application has been received, it will be reviewed to determine if all of the requirements of the RBC Land Use Resolution for this type of work has been satisfied. Examples of requirements would be: Setbacks, size, height, floodplain, Access permits etc.
If the application is approved you will receive a letter verifying compliance with RBC requirements. If the application is not approved you will be notified by letter that the proposed construction does not comply with Rio Blanco County requirements, the letter will state the reasons why, and may request additional information to be submitted.


Demolition Permit Application

1. COMPLETE DEMOLITION PERMIT PACKAGE:  Completely fill out DEMOLITION PERMIT APPLICATION and sign the application (first and third page completed and signed).

2. Completely fill out the STATE DEMOLITION APPLICATION (You can mail or submit the STATE DEMOLITION APPLICATION at                                                            

3. Location of landfill receiving debris.

4. A restoration or use plan.  

5. A signed owner/agent asbestos statement included in the application

An Asbestos Building Inspection is required prior to receiving a demolition permit. After the demolition permit has been approved, fees paid, and permit issued. A Building Division Inspector must be requested to inspect the structure prior to commencing demolition. What is ASBESTOS?

Following an inspection by the Rio Blanco County Community Development Department Building Division inspector, an approval to demolish may be issued.  Note any existing septic systems must be removed or filled in to meet the Rio Blanco County Land Use Resolution requirements. An inspection and approval by the Rio Blanco County Environmental Health Officer may be required.

The permit applicant is responsible for ensuring that all required inspections are completed prior to commencing or proceeding with work. 


Floodplain Development

Floodplain Regulations LUR Section 245

Floodplain Development Permits are ONLY required for developments in areas designated as “Special Flood Hazard Areas” of FEMA-issued flood maps.  Flood maps showing special flood hazard areas can be reviewed at the Rio Blanco County Development Department or online at the FEMA website

A Floodplain Development Permit is a permit to complete the proposed development in a Special Flood Hazard Area. It is not a permit to construct a house, install a septic system, install a pipeline etc. Other Local, State or Federal permits may be required.

The Floodplain Administrator reviews the submission and determines whether or not additional information is needed.  If additional information is needed the Floodplain Administrator will request the additional information from the Applicant.  Once all required materials have been submitted, the Flood Plain Administrator will make a permitting decision and either issue or deny the requested Floodplain Development Permit.  (Denied permits may be appealed per the provisions of the Rio Blanco County Floodplain Regulations).


Floodplain Development Application

Complete sections 1 and 2 of the FLOODPLAIN DEVELOPMENT PERMIT APPLICATION and submit, along with a SITE PLAN or aerial photo showing the location of the proposed development, on the property, for review.  Once the review has been completed you will be contacted and informed of whether a Floodplain Development Permit will be required, or not, and if any additional information will be required.




The owner or authorized agent must read, sign and date (please ask questions if there is anything you do not understand on this application or about the Floodplain requirements).



Box 1:  Print the Applicants Name, Mailing Address,  Zip Code, and Phone #. (Note: If applicant is other than the owner the owner must provide a letter designating the applicant as the owners authorized agent)

Box 2: Print the Contractor or Person doing the work. ( Name, Mailing Address, Zip Code, and Phone #).

Box 3: Print the property address, tax ID #, or other method to help us locate the property.

Because of the size of some properties in Rio Blanco County, a SITE PLAN or aerial photo showing the location of the proposed development must be submitted with this application, so the Floodplain Administrator can determine if the development is within a Special Flood Hazard Area.

Box 4: Mark all type(s) of Development proposed and Structure type.

SECTION 3: FLOODPLAIN DETERMINATION: This section is to be completed by the local Floodplain Administrator.

If the proposed development is determined to NOT be in a Special Flood Hazard Area, no floodplain development permit will be required and the work may be approved to go forward, or the associated Building Permit issued.   If the Floodplain Administrator determines the proposed development is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, additional information will be required to be submitted.  See Section 4 for additional instructions.

SECTION 4: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUIRED: This section is a request for additional information required for review.  The information provided must be reviewed and approved before a permit may be issued. The applicant must submit complete information for review for all items of the list that are marked.  Note: Incomplete information will be rejected and will cause the Permit Issuance to be delayed.

SECTION 5: PERMIT DETERMINATION: The Floodplain Administrator will indicate whether or not the proposed development conforms to the requirements of the local Floodplain development requirements, (Rio Blanco County Land Use Resolution,Section 245) and whether or not the requested permit may be issued. If the decision is to NOT issue the permit the Floodplain Administrator will provide written explanation of the perceived deficiencies to the Applicant.

 This section also allows for documentation of decisions and conditions made by the Board of Appeals, if the Applicant has decided to appeal the decision of the Floodplain Administrator.

SECTION 6: CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE: The Flood Plain Administrator will indicate the “As-Built” lowest floor elevation for any structural developments, list any inspections that have been performed, and issue the Certificate of Compliance to the Applicant when all Floodplain Development Permit requirements have been satisfied.


Building Inspections

How to Request an Inspection

A 24-hour notice is required for all inspections. Call (970) 878-9450 to request an inspection or to leave a voice message with the following information: 

Permit number(s)
InspectionRequest preferred date and time
Type of inspection   


You will be notified of the scheduled date and time.

Your inspection will be scheduled the same day if possible or the following work day.

Inspections will not be performed without required permits.

Plans must be on the job site for all inspections.


Required Inspection Information


        • All footings, including pads and piers shall be inspected prior to the placement of concrete.
        • Inspections will only be done after forms have been placed and steel reinforcement has been installed and tied. (any property lines within 50' should be marked for verification of setbacks)



        • After forms are in place, reinforcement steel is fastened securely, and before concrete is placed


Framing/Plumbing/Mechanical (3 way inspection):  

        • After roof , framing, fire blocking, exterior sheeting, and bracing are in place
        • After chimneys and vents are complete, but still visible
        • After all windows and doors are installed.
          After rough plumbing and mechanical have been installed and the State of Colorado Electrical Inspection accepted.
        • Any installed gas lines complete, and under pressure
          Before any roof or exterior coverings are installed


Pre- Brick, Rock, Siding, and Stucco Inspections

        • Flashings, weather resistant barriers, wall protection, or wire must be inspected before any walls are covered


Fireplace, Wood, Gas and pellet stoves

        • Masonry fireplaces shall be inspected at adequate stages to determine compliance with the approved plans
        • Manufactured stoves and fireplaces must be installed and inspected meeting the requirements of the manufactures instructions



        • All required insulation must be inspected before being covered.
        • Attic insulation may be inspected on final inspection


ISDS (Septic System)

        • Must be designed by a Colorado Licensed Engineer
        • Drain Piping must be inspected before covering
        • If you have any questions please contact Jeremy Simmons at 970-878-9526


Final Inspection                                                          

        •  All exterior finishes are complete
        • Final electrical Inspection is complete (State)
        • Final grade, gutters driveways, landings and parking areas are complete
        • Permanent steps, landings and rails are in place
        • Crawlspace ventilation, insulation, permanent ladder and vapor retarder installed and complete
        • Fireplaces, woodstoves, chimneys complete
        • Plumbing complete and working
        • Mechanical equipment complete and working
        • Attic Access and Insulation complete
        • Address posted on building and at driveway entrance is building address is not visible from the road  


 Use Tax settlement must be final before Certificate Of Occupancy will be issued.


Building Guides

Residential Basement Finish

Residential One Story Detached Garage

Residential Uncovered Decks and Porches

Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide

Residential Re-Roofing

Residential Patio Covers & Carports

Residential Enclosing Existing Patio Covers

Pole Barn Construction

Residential  Stairs, Guardrail, and Handrail Requirements (Straight Flight Only) 

Commercial Stairs, Railings, and Guards