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Building Code
Uniform Construction Code

       The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has enacted legislation to provide for a state-wide building code a/k/a Uniform Construction Code (UCC).
       The UCC Administration and Enforcement Regulation has been approved by the Attorney General. This regulation is available at the PA Bulletin website (www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol34/34-2/81.html) which was published on January 9, 2004.
       The Department of Labor and Industry (L & I) has placed a lot of information on their website. This link link takes you the the L & I Building Code page has a lot of related links.

Revised UCC Regulations
Click on the following links to access unofficial copies of the three sections of the revised UCC Regulation that took effect on 12/31/06. Note: These links take you directly to the Department of Labor and Industry's website documents in .pdf format.

Chapter 401

Chapter 403

Chapter 405

Sprinkler Systems - New single-family and two-family dwellings are generally not required to have sprinkler systems. I-Joist floor joist systems must be protected from fire damage either with a sprinklered area or enclosed with drywall meeting Code specifications. Manufactured homes constructed on a basement, as opposed to piers or a slab, - the basement must be sprinklered or otherwise protected against fire damage. Contact the Township Office for details.

NOTICE: The Workers Compensation Laws state that EVERY PERSON working on the job site must be either covered by Workers Compensation Insurance, with a Certificate of Insurance issued by the Insurance Company on file at the Township office, or have filed an affidavit with the Township swearing under oath that the worker is 1) a property owner doing his/her own work, 2) is a contractor with no employees, 3) a contractor using subcontractors (subcontractors are required to meet these same standards for Workers' Compensation), or 4) claiming a Religious Exemption. Anyone working on the job site without Workers Compensation insurance or a filed affidavit will be cause to shut down the job site and invoke legal action. Because the Commonwealth holds the Township responsible, paperwork and reports must be generated and filed. To offset the cost of this, the Township charges a $25.00 processing fee for every job where the Workers' Compensation Act applies. Additional fees apply for violations and complaints.

NOTICE: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requires that any project involving earth disturbance is reviewed for compliance with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. Because the Commonwealth holds the Township responsible, paperwork and reports must be generated and filed. To offset the cost of this, the Township charges a $50.00 processing fee for every job where the NPDES regulations (Earth Distrbance) apply. Additional fees apply for violations and complaints.

Ground Snow Load: 50 psf
Basic Wind Speed: 90 mph
Seismic Design: B
Weathering Probability: Severe
Frost Depth: 42 inches
Termite Infestation: Moderate to Heavy
Winter Design Temp: -5 F
Ice Barrier Underlayment Required: Yes
Flood Hazard: Site specific
Air Freezing Index: 2000
Mean Annual temp: 40 degrees


If you have any questions about the building code PLEASE contact the Township Office. The UCC Regulations are complicated and changes may not be reflected in the information presented on this website.


Emergency Repairs - An emergency repair or replacement of equipment may be made without first applying for a permit if a permit application is submitted to the building code official within 3 business days of the repair or replacement. An emergency repair does not include forgetting to obtain a permit, but is just that, an emergency that would prevent a residence to be occupied until the repair is made.

Exclusions - Residential:

    The following structures if the structure has a building area less than 1000 square feet and is accessory to a detached one-family dwelling:
        o Carports
        o Detached private garages
        o Greenhouses
        o Sheds
    Agricultural buildings defined under section 103 of 35 P.S. 7201.103
    Manufactured or industrialized housing shipped from the factory under section 901(a) of the act (35 P.S. 7210.901(a)) as provided in 403.25 (relating to manufactured and industrialized housing). Note: Footings, foundations, additional plumbing and plumbing connections to the manufactured unit, additional mechanical items and electrical service connections, and any additional building, structure, electrical, mechanical and plumbing work are not excluded and must be inspected.
    New buildings or renovations to existing buildings for which an application for a building permit has been made to the municipality prior to the effective date of the regulations promulgated under this act (April 9, 2004);
    New buildings or renovations to existing buildings on which a contract for design or construction has been signed prior to the effective date of the regulations promulgated under this act on projects requiring department approval (April 9, 2004);
    Installation of tubing, piping, propane gas burning appliances, equipment or fixtures related to liquefied petroleum gas under the Propane and Liquefied and Petroleum Gas Act (35 P.S. 1329.1 - 1329.19). Installers must be certified to make the installation or repair.
    Construction of individual sewage disposal systems under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 73 (relating to onlot sewage treatment facilities). Sewage disposal facilities and connections must have a valid permit issued by the Township Sewage Enforcement Officer, and be inspected by the Township Sewage Enforcement Officer - this is not included under the UCC.
    A permit issued under construction regulations before April 9, 2004, remains valid and the construction of the building or structure may be completed in accordance with the approved permit. The permit is invalid unless the construction commenced within 18 months of permit issuance by Damascus Township. The permit holder shall acquire a new permit under section 104(c) of the act (35 P. S. 7210.104(c)) if the permit was not actively prosecuted during this time period.
    Construction may be completed without a permit under section 104(c)(2) of the act where construction of a building or structure commenced before April 9, 2004, and a permit was not required at that time.
    The legal occupancy of a structure existing on April 9, 2004, may continue without change except where the Uniform Construction Code provides otherwise.
    An electrical provision of the Uniform Construction Code does not apply to a dwelling unit utilized by a member of a recognized religious sect if a code administrator grants an exemption under section 901(b) of the act (35 P. S. 7210.901(b)) as follows:
        o The permit applicant shall file an application with the code administrator stating the manner in which an electrical provision of the Uniform Construction Code conflicts with the applicant's religious beliefs. The application shall also contain an affidavit by the applicant stating:
          --- The permit applicant is a member of a religious sect.
          --- The religious sect has established tenets or teachings which conflict with an electrical provision of the Uniform Construction Code.
          --- The permit applicant adheres to the established tenets or teachings of the sect.
          --- The dwelling unit will be used solely as a residence for the permit applicant and the applicant's household.
        oThe code administrator shall grant the application for the exemption if made in accordance with paragraph (1).
        oIf the permit applicant receives an exemption for a dwelling unit under section 901(b) of the act and the applicant subsequently sells or leases the dwelling unit, the applicant shall bring the dwelling unit into compliance with the provision of the Uniform Construction Code from which it was exempted prior to the dwelling unit being sold or leased unless the prospective subsequent owner or lessee files an affidavit in compliance with paragraph (1).

    Fences that are not more than 6 feet high.
    Retaining walls that are not more than 4 feet in height measured from the lowest level of grade to the top of the wall, unless the wall supports a surcharge.
    Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
    Sidewalks and driveways that are 30 inches or less above adjacent grade and not placed over a basement or story below it.
    Exterior or interior painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, flooring, cabinets, counter tops and similar finishing work.
    Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches deep, including inflatable pools,
    Swings and other playground equipment accessory to a one- or two-family dwelling.
    Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
    Replacement glass in any window or door. The replacement glass shall comply with the minimum requirements of the International Residential Code.
    Installation and replacement of a window, door, garage door, storm door in the same opening if the dimensions or framing of the original opening are not altered. The installation of means of egress and emergency escape windows may be in the same opening, without altering the dimensions or framing of the original opening if the required height, width or net clear opening of the previous window or door assembly is not reduced.
    Replacement of existing roof material that does not require repair or replacement of sheathing or structural material.
    Replacement of existing siding.
    Repair or replacement of any part of a porch or stoop which does not structurally support a roof located above the porch or stoop.
    Installation of additional roll or batt insulation.
    Replacement of exterior rain water gutters and leaders.
    Installation of an uncovered deck where the floor of the deck is not more than 30 inches high.
    Utility and miscellaneous use structures that are accessory to detached one-family dwellings and are less than 1000 square feet
    Any agricultural building
    Alterations to residential buildings which do not make structural changes or changes to means of egress. For purposes of this paragraph, a structural change does not include a minor framing change needed to replace existing windows or doors
    Repairs to residential buildings
    Any recreational cabin if:
         o the cabin is equipped with at least one smoke detector, one fire extinguisher and one carbon monoxide detector in both the kitchen and sleeping quarters; and
         o the owner of the cabin files with the municipality either:
               --- an affidavit on a form prescribed by the department attesting to the fact that the cabin meets the definition of a "recreational cabin" in section 103; or
               --- a valid proof of insurance for the recreational cabin, written and issued by an insurer authorized to do business in this commonwealth, stating that the structure meets the definition of a "recreational cabin" as defined in section 103.
          - continuity of exclusion.--
               --- if a recreational cabin is subject to exclusion under subsection (b)(7), upon transfer of ownership of the recreational cabin, written notice must be provided in the sales agreement and the deed that the recreational cabin:
                     - is exempt from this act;
                     - may not be in conformance with the uniform construction code; and
                     - is not subject to municipal regulation.
               --- failure to comply with the notice requirement under paragraph (1) shall render the sale voidable at the option of the purchaser.

Note: Under definitions contained with the UCC Code and amendments, a "Recreational cabin" is a structure which is:
     - utilized principally for recreational activity;
     - not utilized as a domicile or residence for any individual for any time period;
     - not utilized for commercial purposes;
     - not greater than two stories in height, excluding basement;
     - not utilized by the owner or any other person as a place of employment;
     - not a mailing address for bills and correspondence; and
     - not listed as an individual's place of residence on a tax return, driver's license, car registration or voter registration.

Download a Recreational Cabin form click here.

Be Advised: That misrepresentation of any facts during the application process may result in legal action.

Note: The Uniform Construction Code applies to the construction of a residential building or structure governed by a homeowner's or community association under section 104(d)(2)(ii) of the act.

When more or new information is available it will be put on this web site. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the Township Secretary by telephone (570-224-4410), by Fax (570-224-4940) or by e-mail , or contact the Building Code Official at the Township office.

The Uniform Construction Code (UCC) does not apply to any project for which application has been made for a building permit or for which there is a signed design contract or a signed construction contract predating the effective date of the UCC.

Please check back here again for any updates or new information that has become available.