Building Plan Review



Plan Review FAQ

General Plan Review Information

  • All work to add to or modify an existing building, or to build a new structure, requires certain building and trade permits. For most permit applications, plan review is a necessary and integral component. Both the Ohio Building Code and the Residential Code of Ohio require plan review to ensure compliance of the proposed work prior to the issuance of a permit. Once plan review is complete, the necessary permits may be obtained and construction may begin.

  • The Ohio Building Code and the Residential Code of Ohio require that plans are reviewed in the order in which they are received. Generally, for commercial projects it takes 4 weeks from the date of submission until plans are reviewed. For 1, 2 and 3 family residential projects, the timeline is approximately one week.

  • After an initial review, should the plans fail to provide enough information, or are not compliant with the appropriate codes, a correction and information letter is issued. At this point, the plans are placed on hold, pending a response to the correction and information letter. If no response is received within 6 months, the application is voided and the plans are destroyed.

  • If the owner or design professional takes issue with items listed in the letter, they may request an interpretation of the applicable code. They may also seek a variance from the Ohio Board of Building Appeals or the Columbus Building Commission, depending upon the project and issue.

  • A plan approval letter is issued once the plans are shown to be compliant with the building codes. There are three types of plan approvals that can be issued:
  1. A full plan approval
  2. A conditional plan approval - Minor items not shown on the drawings as being code compliant, but can be verified in the field by the inspector. An interpretation or variances is sought for one or more items of the correction letter.
  3. A non-conformance plan approval - Drawings do not comply with all of the requirements of the code and requires additional information to be provided.

  • The plan approval is valid for 1 year from the date of the plan-approval letter. If construction has not commenced within this 12-month period, an extension may be requested.

  • No plan review is required for those items of work identified on the Minor Limited Scope (MLS) list(PDF, 145KB) as documented on the fee schedule, provided that a complete and thorough description of work is provided.

  • Additionally, no plan review is required for the demolition of a building, where only a portion of the building is being demolished. This is considered an alteration and a building permit is required instead of a demolition permit.