Click on a category to the left to filter the list of FAQs below.

Can I make changes to my engineered plans?

State law prohibits changing, copying, or otherwise altering plans sealed by an Arizona registrant.   Any changes to plans reviewed and sealed by a registrant must be done by the registrant

Can I purchase a set of plans online and submit them as is?

Yes, however, these plans are typically lacking what Yavapai County requires for plan submittal.   Missing foundation plans, too many options, no roof framing plan, and not being able to legally alter plans are just a few of the issues which arise from some of the plans submitted that are obtained from online plan shops.

Can I submit my plans for review in either the Cottonwood or Prescott office?

Yes, regardless of where your project is located, you may submit plans at either plan review office.

Do I need a grading permit, and if so, what is required to get one?

A grading permit may be required if you are moving more than 50 cubic yards of earth (30’x12’x2′ area for example).  A grading permit may also be required by the flood department.  All grading permits require a site plan showing existing and proposed contour lines at 2ft increments as well as cut and fill amounts and finished floor or pad elevations.  Where required by the flood department or when moving over 2000 cubic yards of earth, a grading permit prepared and sealed by a civil engineer registered in Arizona is required.  Please refer to the Yavapai County Grading Ordinance 2014-9.

How deep do my footings need to be and what is my snow load?

Yavapai County has adopted a frost line of 6 inches for elevations up to 4500 ft and a frost line of 12 inches for elevations above 4500 ft.  This requires the bottom of the footing to be at 12 or 18 inches below grade respectively.  Snow loads are based on area and elevation, and can be obtained from PB-13 Residential Design Criteria.

I called in my inspection on my cell phone and the inspector never showed up. Why?

Cell phones may temporarily disconnect from the IVR system due to reception.   IVR users are encouraged to use a land line when calling or recall the IVR system to verify the inspection was scheduled

I want to schedule an inspection for next week. Can I do this on the IVR system?

Currently, there is no way to schedule an inspection for other than the next business day.   However, we are constantly improving the system and this may become a feature in the future.

Is a fire sprinkler system required for my home?

Fire sprinkler requirements are under the jurisdiction of your local fire district or the State Fire Marshall.  Generally, fire sprinklers are not required, however, certain subdivisions and most fire districts do have requirements and any questions regarding your specific site and project should be directed to your fire district.

None of the codes listed match the inspection I need. What do I press?

Select the inspection that most closely matches the inspection you need.  If in doubt, choose 3645 (Site Investigation) or press 0 to speak to the receptionist.

What codes do you use and where can I get them?

Yavapai County has adopted the 2012 I-Codes as amended by our ordinances.  You can purchase the 2012 IRC at Yavapai College or order them online at  You may also review the 2012 IRC at your local library in the reference section.

What construction projects need building permits?

Building permits are typically required for new buildings, additions, renovations, demolitions, prefabricated structures, temporary buildings, manufactured homes, electrical systems, plumbing systems, HVAC systems, fireplaces, pools, decks, fences, etc.  Commercially, in addition to all the previous types, any changes of occupancy, parking, health issues, food handling, etc. may also require a permit.

What does the inspector want to see for my footing inspection?

You can view a partial list of what the inspector requires at each phase of construction on our Residential Inspection Checklist page.   You are also welcome to call the inspector Monday- Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. or  3:00 p.m and 3:30 p.m. for questions concerning your project.

What four-digit inspection code do I use for my manufactured home-electric permit?

This inspection would use 1305 – Grounding Electrode, 1387– Mobile Electric and 4001 – Building Final.

What is the difference between a retaining wall and a restraining wall?

A restraining wall can be built without an engineered design and has lateral support at the top (floor or roof system for example).  A retaining wall must be designed by an engineer and does not have lateral support at the top

What time will the inspector arrive?

Due to scheduling and unforeseen events, it is not possible to determine the inspectors time of arrival for any given inspection. Calls received 24hrs before inspection date will be done the following day

When is engineering for my home required, and are my plans required to be stamped by an architect?

Our adopted code permits conventional balloon and platform design and construction without an engineered design, provided it complies with the prescriptive codes therein.  Any portion of your project which does not meet the prescriptive codes will require a design sealed and stamped by an Arizona registrant.

Who do I speak with if I have a question concerning a commercial project?

Commercial projects are usually handled by the Senior Plans Examiner and are generally too complex to resolve without specific information concerning the project.  For code requirements or questions about an existing or proposed commercial building please contact the Senior Plans Examiner.

Why can’t I use my plot plan for my site plan?

The site plan travels with your set of plans and must be on minimum 18×24 inch paper while the plot plan remains with the record technician.   The site plan also contains contour lines (proposed and existing) at 2ft increments, building and lot dimensions, utility line locations, pad elevations at all corners and drainage flow directions.  Enlarged plot plans are not acceptable to use as a site plan.

Why can’t you tell me what size beam I can use?

County policy does not allow us to design any portion of the structure for any applicant.   Building Safety staff review plans for code compliance and safety.   If you require assistance with code interpretations feel free to speak to a plans examiner.  If you require assistance designing your project please seek the help of a design professional.

Why did my building inspector red-tag my project when I built it according to my plans?

Building Safety staff reviews plans for code compliance and safety.  While we strive to ensure all aspects of construction meet these requirements, there will be times when items are missed.  Responsibility for code compliance is on the person doing the work.  Inspectors may require changes to reviewed plans if construction does not meet our adopted codes

Why did my redline plans indicate four bedrooms for my three bedroom home?

Building Safety policy defines a bedroom as any room with a closet and area framed for a door to provide a level of privacy.  Other departments (environmental, for example) are governed by different codes and state laws and may have different definitions and requirements.
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