Building Safety FAQ

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Building Code R105.1 Required. States: “Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.”

Effective 11/28/2023, Benton County will no longer require building permits for Group U structures in unincorporated areas. This includes detached shop buildings with no living space, carports, storage buildings, decks, and fences. However, permits will still be required for any structure attached to a residence. Also, we will still require a permit for new plumbing, electrical, or HVAC work. Please note that we may require a copy of the approved septic permit or verification for plumbing permits. If no permit is required for your project, you will still need to contact our Planning Office so they can review your site plan.

The fees for building permits for new construction shall be determined by the total cost of construction. The total cost of construction shall be determined by utilization of the ICC Building Valuation table. https://bentoncountyar.gov/building-safety/fees/

Permits are valid for 6 months, as long as the project is active and inspections are being conducted. Extensions can be requested in writing. If a permit has expired, it can be re-opened for a $50 fee.

As the property owner, you are allowed to perform the work yourself. However, if you choose to use contractors, they will need to have a current contractor’s license. A copy of their license will need to be submitted with your permit application.

If you are creating a new driveway connection to a county-maintained road, a driveway permit will need to be submitted for approval. Please contact the Road Department at 479-271-1057 to obtain this permit. https://bentoncountyar.gov/road-department/

Effective 11/28/2023, Benton County will no longer require building permits for Group U structures in unincorporated areas. This includes detached shop buildings with no living space, carports, storage buildings, decks, and fences. However, permits will still be required for any structure attached to a residence. Also, we will still require a permit for new plumbing, electrical, or HVAC work.

A floorplan needs to show dimensions, room designation labels, window and door locations with sizes, plumbing fixtures, heated/cooled square footage, garage/utility square footage, unfinished basement square footage, and smoke detector locations. Also, please provide exterior elevations of all sides of the structure. We prefer computer-generated plans but will accept hand-drawn plans as long as they are drawn to scale and legible. For remodels, we require plans showing the current floorplan and proposed plan as well as a detailed scope of work. No documents larger than 11×17 will be accepted.

No, you call the inspector for any code or project related questions but scheduling needs to be done by one of the following:
Text – (475)-522-1003
Call – (479)-271-1003 (option 1)
Email – Permits@bentoncountyar.gov
Portal – https://bentoncountyar.portal.iworq.net/portalhome/bentoncountyar

Yes, you will receive an email containing all notes and items needing corrections that the inspector has documented during the inspection.

No, as long as the property and/or building is accessible and does not contain personal belongings then your presence is optional.

While each inspector will gladly go over any deficiencies with you, it is best to check with the individual inspector as some would prefer minimal distractions on the initial walk-through.

The inspectors try to have the reports sent out by the end of the day or by the following morning at the latest. You can also view your inspection status through our portal https://bentoncountyar.portal.iworq.net/portalhome/bentoncountyar

Yes, but any inspections outside of the normal inspection covered by your permit may cost you an additional $50 special inspection fee.

Yes, we will provide you with a guidebook, access to our inspection policies, and access to the codes that we enforce.

Text – (475)-522-1003
Call – (479)-271-1003 (option 1)
Email – Permits@bentoncountyar.gov
Portal – https://bentoncountyar.portal.iworq.net/portalhome/bentoncountyar

You will be informed of which inspector is assigned to your project. Their contact information can also be found in your guide book.

This depends on the type of permit but for New Dwellings, the footing inspection is typically the first inspection. This can also be found in your guide book.

This depends on the type of permit but for residential homes, we generally look at the footing before concrete, under-slab plumbing, slab before concrete, framing, rough-in electric, rough-in plumbing, rough-in mechanical, insulation, yard lines, and final inspection(s).

If you own the property, you can do you own work without having a license however if you hire someone else to do the work, they must have the appropriate license.

We enforce the 2021 Arkansas Fire Prevention Code (Vol I, II, & III), 2021 International Mechanical Code, 2018 Arkansas Plumbing Code, 2018 Arkansas Fuel/Gas Code, 2020 National Electric Code (NFPA 70), and the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code with 2014 Arkansas amendments.

We require 24-hour notice to schedule an inspection. Generally, if you called today before the end of business, your inspection would be the following day.

We will assist you in any way we can but we are not design professionals and try to minimize our opinions regarding design-related issues, it is always best to consult with a design professional when in doubt.

We can always provide you with links to State rosters to help you find a licensed professional but we are not in the referral business.

Depending on the nature, a stop work order would be issued, legal action could be taken, a certificate of occupancy could be denied, etc. It is best to work with your inspector to remedy a deficiency documented on your project.

Generally, the reinspection fee is $50 but this could be charged to each trade with documented deficiencies.

Most issues between contractors and owners or contractors and sub-contractors are civil matters that require legal consultation but you can always reach out to the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board to file a formal complaint. https://www.aclb.arkansas.gov/

Your permit is valid for 6 months. Permits can be reopened for $50 depending on how long they have expired however, in some cases, a new application and separate fees will be required. It is best to request an extension prior to the permit expiration.

You can email permits@bentoncountyar.gov to request an extension. You must include your permit number and the address of the project.  We will generally approve a maximum of three permit extensions.

We will not visit the site prior to permit issuance.

While both of these professions inspect buildings, their responsibilities are different. Building inspectors are often government employees. Their job is to sign off on construction projects and ensure that buildings are up to code. Home inspectors examine the property to find any issues or areas of concern.

For code-related issues, we ask that you try to work out the findings with your inspector if you are unable to come to a solution you would need to contact the State Inspector. https://bentoncountyar.gov/building-safety/wp-content/documents/sites/36/2024/03/BS-Code-Dispute-Card-back_.pdf

For ethical-related issues, you would need to reach the Director of Building Safety (Gary Yarno). https://bentoncountyar.gov/building-safety/wp-content/documents/sites/36/2024/03/BS-Code-Dispute-Card-Front.pdf

You can hire a 3rd party inspector/inspection agency at your own expense however, they cannot supersede the Benton County inspector’s findings.

Yes. But first, you will need to submit a separate application along with your state contractor’s license and request to be the new contractor moving forward.

Whoever calls in for the inspection must provide access to all areas needing inspection.

You will need to submit updated plans to the building safety department and the plans will need to go back through plan review before you continue work.

  • Director

    Gary Yarno

    Contact

    Administration Building

    215 E Central Ave.
    Bentonville, AR 72712
    (Location open as of October 2, 2023)

    8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Open through lunch

    Phone

    479-271-1003

    Text

    475-522-1003

  • The Benton Building Safety Office has moved to 215 E Central Ave. Bentonville, AR 72712

    Important information about department moves.