1. WATER HEATERS IN
THE GARAGE: If I have an existing electric or gas water heater in or
accessible from the garage, must I raise it 18 inches above the floor
level when it is replaced?
At one time Arlington allowed electric water heaters to be installed
on the floor of a garage, however codes have been changed to prevent
accidents. The water heater thermostat energizes the heating element
when the water temperature within the tank falls below a certain
selected level. At the instant the thermostat activates, a spark
results. This spark is a source of ignition for flammable or
combustible vapors, (i.e., gasoline) that may have accumulated along
the garage floor. The 18-inch elevation is intended to keep ignition
sources above these vapors that are heavier than air and settle to
the garage floor.
2. FENCES ACROSS
THE PROPERTY LINE: Can the City of Arlington help me when I suspect my
neighbor has installed a fence over on my property?
& NO… Fences erected in Arlington are required to
be permitted through Building Inspections. At the time a request for
permit is submitted a site plan must also be submitted showing the
proposed location of the fence. As long as the fence does not
conflict with any city ordinances the permit application is
approved. If the fence gets installed on a neighbor’s property the
location becomes a civil issue between the two neighbors. Neighbors
can often resolve the issue by establishing where the property lines
are. If the situation can not be resolved it may be necessary to
have the property line documented by a surveyor and take the
appropriate actions in small claims court.
CONSTRUCTION HOURS: The contractor(s) working in our neighborhood are
working at all hours of the day and night. Can the City of Arlington
help control the noise problem these workers create?
created by outdoor construction activities supervised by building
permits is prohibited, if located within 300 feet of property used
for residential purposes, during the following times:
- During the hours of 6 PM to 7 AM Central Standard Time,
- During the hours of 8 PM to 7 AM Central Daylight Savings Time
There is an exception for homeowners performing work when acting
as their own contractor. The Building Official may grant exceptions
for special conditions. When an exception has been granted, affected
homeowners will be notified. For assistance with noise being created
during the hours of prohibition, contact the Police Department at
4. Why does the City
of Arlington require building permits?
The City of
Arlington and all other cities across the country use the building
permit process to verify that construction or development will
comply with building codes and zoning ordinances. The building codes
and zoning ordinances are adopted by the city council and become the
law of the city. The development projects are also inspected to
insure that compliance.
5. What is the
difference between a building code and zoning?
regulate the trades of building, plumbing, electrical and mechanical
work specifically. Zoning is a local control tool that regulates
open space, building setbacks and heights and how the land can be
What are some of the more common permits that homeowners should be
like fences, portable buildings, water heater replacement, garage
conversions and carports are the most common projects that will
affect homeowners. Permits and inspections are required for these
types of projects.
7. Is there anything
that does not require a permit?
YES… Any type of minor repair work such as painting, wall papering,
tiling, counter tops, cabinets, replacing roofing, sidewalks not in
city ROW, decorative fences less than 24 inches tall, retaining
walls not over 4 feet tall – any type of maintenance work that
does not involve relocating or replacing walls, doors and windows.
How does one get a permit?
One must submit
plans describing the work with an application. Applications are
available at city hall at 101 W. Abram Street on the second floor.
Applications are also available on line and can be downloaded. Staff
is available for help when applying.
9. What if the
contractor does not get a permit?
When a contractor
is discovered working without a permit, a building inspector will
issue a stop work order. In these cases, some work may have to be
uncovered for inspection and redone. The property owner is
ultimately responsible for the work performed on his property.
10. Can I do the work
myself or must I hire a contractor?
Homeowners may do
all the work themselves if they so wish. A homeowner will be
required to sign a homeowner’s affidavit and must still comply
with the City of Arlington’s codes. Homeowner’s should carefully
consider the complexity of a project when considering whether or not
to hire a contractor.
11. What about
The City of
Arlington requires that a contractor be registered as a business in
order to obtain permits. The registration does not necessarily mean
that a contractor is a reputable businessperson. Homeowner’s
should always check references before hiring a contractor. Homeowner’s
should always require their contractors to obtain the proper permits
and inspections. Homeowners may choose to pay a contractor based
upon approval of city inspections.
12. What about
inspections, when are they required?
inspections are required before any part of the construction may be
covered up and at the completion of the project. Work such as
plumbing, electrical, mechanical work and framing and insulation
must be inspected before concealing
13. You mentioned
inspecting insulation. Is that a new requirement?
YES… Last year the governor signed a bill that requires all cities in the
State of Texas to adopt the energy code.
14. What is the
energy code and how will it affect the homeowner?
The energy code
applies to all new construction and remodel work. The energy code
tells us how to seal up buildings to prevent air leakage and how
much insulation to use. It also sets new minimum requirements for
doors and windows, air conditioning ducts and equipment and water
15. Will energy costs
make the cost of construction increase?
In some cases it
may. Some builders and remodeling contractors have always done most
of the items that the energy code requires. For some builders the
added cost may only be the cost of more efficient windows.
16. Will the energy
code save money?
YES… Houses and buildings built in accordance with the new energy code
requirements will cost the homeowner less to heat and cool than
buildings built prior to the adoption of the energy code.
17. How can I find
out more about the energy code?
homeowners can log on to the Building Inspection web page and follow
the links for energy information. The Building Inspection web page
also contains links to other web sites for additional information.
Citizens are welcome to visit the department staff and we’ll be
happy to answer your questions.
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