Monday, April 27, 2009
On April 22,2009, The city of Pickerington imposed a fee that you need to be aware of. Starting at the end of May, Pickerington homeowners will pay an across-the-board $25 fee for city inspections of water heaters, furnaces, windows and similar home improvements. Inspections are free now. The city will notify residential property owners about the fee in utility bills being mailed this month. The new inspections bring the city in line with a statewide residential building code that took effect three years ago. Big alterations -- such as room additions, decks and refinished basements -- already required a city building-code permit, which costs $85 in Pickerington.The city building department began the new inspections Feb. 1 and was prepared to charge $85, but some City Council members said that was too high. Pickerington is broadening the list of what home modifications require an inspection permit because it wants to conform to the state residential building code that took effect in 2006.Before, Ohio didn't have a statewide, standardized residential building code. Now, inspectors in communities across Ohio will check for the same things in new and remodeled homes. The new code establishes minimum standards for the construction and installation of major components. Any local government that wants to enforce building standards must use the state's code, which requires inspections for certain home improvements that didn't require them before. Columbus and Groveport are among the central Ohio communities that have already added to the list of what must be inspected, said Don Phillips, who became Pickerington's chief building official last year and began reshaping the city building code to fit the state code. Inspections for minor modifications in Columbus cost $75; the fee is higher for more-complicated jobs.