Douglas County Building Department
Douglas County, Oregon
Building HomeDesign CriteriaPermits & FeesSite Map
InspectionsHandoutsContact UsLinks


Within this document editorial changes have been made to actual Code language for the purpose of providing a more brief and readable document. It should be noted that the code requirements for some multifamily housing projects are covered within the ‘commercial’ construction codes. The 2002 edition of the Oregon Manufactured Dwelling and Park Specialty Code is the code which primarily addresses the installation and placement of Manufactured Dwelling units.


Generally speaking, this document applies to projects reviewed for compliance with the current edition of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code.

A minimum of one hour fire-resistance rated construction is required if the fire separation distance between a structure and a property line is three (3) feet or less and/or less than 6 feet from an adjacent structure.

Note: If your structure is closer than these distances contact the Douglas County Building Department for more specific information. Local zoning regulations in most cases specify greater distances than these, contact your local planning department to verify the minimum required setbacks.


The minimum depth of all footings at an elevation of 2500 feet or less shall be twelve (12) inches below finished grade to the bottom of the footing. For footing depths for projects above an elevation of 2500 feet contact the Building Department.

The finish grade shall slope away from foundation walls (or sidewalks adjacent to foundation walls) a minimum of 6" within the first 10', except as restricted by lot lines where the fall will be a minimum of 6" regardless of the horizontal distance available.

Concrete, after curing for 28 days, shall have the minimum compressive strength as shown below. Air entrainment shall be required as provided by Table 402.2 of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code.

  1. Basement walls and foundations not exposed to the weather - 2,500 psi.
  2. Basement slabs and interior slabs on grade (except garage floor) - 2,500 psi.
  3. Foundation or basement wall or other vertical walls exposed to the weather - 3,000 psi with air entrainment of 5% to 7%.
  4. Carport slabs, garage floor slabs, porches, and steps exposed to the weather - 3,000 psi with air entrainment of 5% to 7%.

Exterior footings, columns and piers shall extend below the frost line, which is a minimum of 12" below grade up to an elevation of 2500 feet, above this elevation consult the Building Department for the minimum footing depth.

If the bearing capacity of the soil at a site is in question or if there is 'cut and/or fill', whether or not the soil appears unstable, a soils analysis or compaction test performed by a qualified registered professional engineer may be required.

Minimum required footing sizes shall be as follows and are based on a minimum allowable soil bearing pressure of 1,500 psf. Spread footings shall have a minimum projection of 2 inches, to both sides, beyond the width of the stemwall.

  1. For foundation stemwalls 32" and less in height for one story shall be a minimum of 6" thick x 16" wide and for two story shall be 7" thick x 18" wide.
  2. "Black Mud" or 'bad' soil conditions require a minimum 8" x 24" footing for both one and two story construction. Ribbon footings for interior are highly recommended.
  3. Foundation stemwalls over 32" in height with no back fill shall require an 8" x 24" footing for one or two story construction.
  4. Footings for foundation stemwalls over 32" in height and with back fill should follow as specified on the Douglas County Building Department handout on foundation retaining walls or Chapter 4 and Table 404.1.1(1) of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code, current edition.
  5. All footings noted above require 2-#4 (") rebar continuous in the footing at the mid-depth or at least 2" (two inches) from the bottom of the footing.
  6. All reinforcement shall be tied in place, splices shall be a minimum of 30 bar diameters for horizontal and 40 bar diameters for vertical, free from mud and oil, etc., and splices shall only occur in straight sections of rebar. Splices shall not be permitted to 'go around' corners or bends.


Foundation Stemwalls

Foundation stemwalls, block or poured in place concrete, 32" and less in height, must have a minimum of a #4 vertical rebar out of the footing placed a maximum of 6' on center. Block walls shall have the vertical rebar in the same cell as the anchor bolts for the sill plates if 10" foundation anchor bolts are used. One continuous horizontal #4 rebar is required to be placed around the top of poured in place concrete stemwalls or placed in a 'bond beam' located as the top course of CMU stemwalls.

Foundation stemwalls over 32" and up to 10' in height, with no unbalanced back fill against it, must have #4 vertical rebar out of footing at 32" centers. A continuous horizontal #4 rebar shall be placed in a 'bond beam' or tied to the vertical rebar near the top of the wall and at the mid-height in CMU or poured in place concrete walls, respectively.

Foundation stemwalls over 32" and up to 8' in height with unbalanced back fill against it, shall conform to the Douglas County Building Department's handout for foundation retaining walls or be designed by an engineer or architect who is licensed to practice in the State of Oregon.

Freestanding retaining walls over 6' (six feet) in height and foundation stemwalls over 10' (ten feet) in height shall be designed and stamped by a State of Oregon licensed engineer or architect. Freestanding retaining walls less than 6' (six feet) in height shall follow the Douglas County Building Department's handout for retaining wall construction or be designed by an architect or engineer licensed by the State of Oregon.

Foundation stemwalls for one story construction shall be a minimum of 6" thick poured in place reinforced concrete or fully grouted 6"x8"x16" CMU. Two story construction requires a minimum of 8" (eight inches) thick poured in place reinforced concrete stemwalls or fully grouted 8"x8"x16" CMU. The stemwall reinforcing requirements, noted above, apply to both one and two story construction.

Poured in place concrete stemwalls require a minimum of 3000 psi concrete with air entrainment.

Foundation sill plates shall be of 'pressure treated' or 'decay resistant' lumber and bolted to the foundation with minimum " diameter 'anchor' bolts. Embeddement of the bolts shall be a minimum of at least 7" into the concrete and spaced a maximum of 6' (six feet) apart. A minimum of 2 bolts per section of the sill plate shall be required. The anchor bolts shall be placed within 12" (twelve inches/one foot) of each end of each section of the sill plate. Where 'specialized' construction methods are employed an alternate anchor bolt pattern may be required.

Drains shall be provided around all concrete or masonry foundations enclosing habitable or usable spaces located below grade (except where the foundation is installed in well drained ground or sand-gravel mixture soils).


Damp-proofing shall be installed as follows

  1. Masonry foundation walls enclosing basements shall be damp-proofed by applying not less than 3/8" of portland cement parging to the wall from footing to finish grade. The parging shall be covered with a coat of approved bituminous material applied at the recommended rate. For habitable rooms see item '3'.
  2. Concrete construction enclosing basements shall be damp-proofed by applying a coat of approved bituminous material to the wall from the footing to the finish grade at the recommended rate. Habitable rooms see item '3'.
  3. Where a high water table, severe soil or other ground water conditions are known to exist, exterior foundation walls of habitable rooms or storage spaces below grade shall be waterproofed with membranes extending from the edge of the footing to the finish grade line. The membrane shall be firmly affixed to the wall and consist of either 2-ply hot-mopped felts, 6-mil PVC, 55-lb. roll roofing or equivalent material. The laps in the waterproofing membrane shall be sealed.

Foundation (crawl space) ventilation shall be required at a rate of 1 sq. ft. of net clear area per 150 sq. ft. of under-floor area. At least one vent shall be within 3' of each corner. Vent openings shall be provided with corrosion-resistant wire mesh with the least dimension being 1/8". The following exceptions exist:

  1. The area may be reduced to 1/1500 of the under-floor area where the ground surface is treated with an approved vapor barrier material and one such ventilation opening is within 3' of each corner of the building.
  2. Ventilation openings may be omitted on one side.
  3. Mechanical ventilation may be provided at a rate of 1.0 CFM for each 50 sq. ft. of crawl space floor area. Supply air may be from outdoors with an exhaust opening equal in size to the supply opening.

Provide a minimum 18"x24" access opening to under-floor crawl space. Note: If the furnace is installed in the crawl space, the opening must be large enough to remove the largest piece of equipment but not less than 30"x30".

In a crawl space area where there is evidence that the groundwater table can rise to within 6" of the finished grade at the building perimeter or that surface water does not readily drain from the building site, the grade in the under-floor space shall be at an elevation as high as the outside grade, unless an approved drainage system is provided.

Provide ground cover of 6 mil black polyethylene or equivalent lapped 12" at all joints and turned 12" up the foundation wall in crawl space. Provide either 55 LB roll roofing, 6 mil black polyethylene over 2" clean sand or other approved vapor barrier under concrete slabs.

Provide sill sealer between the wall and foundation where the foundation wall encloses a heated space.

If the reinforcement steel (rebar) provided in the footing or foundation is intended to be utilized as a UFER ground for the building electrical system. One piece of rebar from the footing or bottom of the wall is required to be extended 1' (one foot) above the sill plate in order to be used as a ground rod for the electrical system. If the piece of rebar is bent and tied to the foundations steel reinforcement, it must have a 1' (one foot) leg tied to a minimum 20' (twenty foot) length of rebar which has been placed in the footing or wall. Contact the Electrical Inspectors office with specific questions with regard to this requirement in the electrical code.



The following locations require the use of decay-resistant or pressure treated wood:

  1. In the crawl space, wood joists with less than 18" clearance and wood girders with less than 12" clearance to exposed earth.
  2. All sills or plates which rest on concrete or masonry exterior walls.
  3. Sills and sleepers on a concrete or masonry slab which is in direct contact with the ground.
  4. The ends of wood girders entering exterior masonry or concrete walls having clearances of less than " on tops, sides, and ends.
  5. Wood siding, sheathing and wall framing on the exterior of a building having a clearance of less than 6" from the ground.
  6. Wood structural members supporting moisture-permeable floors or roofs which are exposed to the weather, such as concrete or masonry slabs, unless separated from such floors or roofs by an impervious moisture barrier.
  7. Wood furring strips or other wood framing members attached directly to the interior of exterior masonry or concrete walls below grade except when approved vapor retarder is applied to the interior of the exterior wall.
  8. All wood in contact with the ground and which supports permanent structures intended for human occupancy shall be approved wood suitable for ground contact use.
  9. Posts, poles and columns supporting permanent structures intended for human occupancy which are embedded in concrete in direct contact with the ground or embedded in concrete exposed to the weather shall be approved pressure treated wood suitable for ground contact use.
  10. . Structural framing for decks and other similar structures exposed to the weather shall be pressure treated or of natural decay-resistant wood. Deck covering may be of other material but must be painted or treated.

Column bases shall be protected against decay or corrosion except when approved treated wood is used, except basement posts or columns supported by piers projecting 2" above the finish floor and separated by an approved impervious barrier.

All surfaces (inside and outside) of steel columns shall be given a shop coat of rust-inhibitive paint or the equivalent, except for corrosion resistant steel and steel treated with coatings to provide corrosion resistance.



All load-bearing dimension lumber is assumed to be installed bearing on the narrow edge and required to be identified by a grade mark or certificate of inspection issued by an approved lumber grading or inspection agency. Unless otherwise noted on the plans, all structural lumber (joists, rafters and beams) up to 4" thick are assumed to be Douglas Fir grade #2 or better; structural members greater than 4" in thickness (beams, posts and timbers) shall be graded as Douglas Fir grade #1 or better. If other lumber is to be used consult with the Building Department. Note: Construction, Standard and Utility grade lumber are not equivalent to grade 1, 2 or 3 grade lumber.

Plywood floor sheathing (full sheet) is required to be installed with the long sides perpendicular to supports. The grade stamp on the plywood shall correspond with the floor joist spacing. For spans exceeding 24", approved T&G 1 1/8" plywood or 2" T&G floor decking are required.

Floor joists shall have 2" thick solid blocking the full depth of the joist at each support except where both ends of the joists are nailed to a header, band or rim joist or adjoining stud. Joists having a depth-to-thickness ratio (slenderness ratio) exceeding 6 to 1 based on nominal lumber dimensions shall be supported laterally by either solid blocking, diagonal 'bridging' or 1x3 'bridging' nailed to the bottom of the joists at intervals not exceeding 10'.

Floor joists shall have a bearing of not less than 1 " on wood or metal and 3" on masonry or concrete.

Holes bored in joists shall not be within 2" of the top or bottom of the joist and the diameter shall not exceed 1/3 the depth of the joists. Notches in the top or bottom of the joists shall not exceed 1/6 the depth nor be located in the middle 1/3 of the span.

Floor joists under and parallel to bearing partitions shall be doubled or a beam of appropriate size shall be provided. If the loads are excessive or concentrated additional support may be necessary.

Floor openings shall be framed by doubling the floor ('trimmer') joists on each side of the opening and providing a header joist perpendicular to the 'trimmer' joists. For openings 4' (four feet) or less in size, a single 'header' the same size as the floor joist shall be provided. When the header joist span exceeds 4' (four feet), the 'header' shall be doubled and of sufficient cross-sectional area to support the floor joist framing into the 'header'. Approved hangers shall be used for the 'header' to trimmer joist connections. If supporting heavy loads, or if the joists have an excessive span, additional supports may be required.

If welded wire fabric or equivalent is not provided in a concrete slab. The slab shall be constructed with control joints having a depth of at least 1/4 the slab thickness. The control joints shall be spaced at intervals not more than 30' (thirty feet) in each direction and slabs not rectangular in shape shall have control joints across the slab at the points at which the slab of offset, if the offset exceeds 10'.

Fill material used to prepare the subgrade under slabs shall be compacted to assure uniform support below the slab. Unless approved by an Oregon licensed engineer or architect, the depth of the fill shall not exceed 24" for clean sand or gravel or 8" for soil. A 4" base course consisting of clean graded sand, gravel or crushed stone passing a 2" sieve and retained on a 1/4" sieve shall be placed on the prepared subgrade when the slab is below grade.

Garage floor slabs are required to slope toward the vehicle entry door.



Firestopping is required to restrict the passage of flames, smoke and hot gases in the concealed spaces at the ceiling and floor levels of furred or stud walls, and between all concealed interstitial gaps between vertical and horizontal spaces such as those that occur at soffits, drop ceilings, and similar locations, or in a flight of stairs at the top and bottom of the stair run and between the stair stringers. Firestopping is also required at all ceiling and floor levels where penetrations by vents, pipes, ducts, chimneys and fireplaces occur.

Asphalt-saturated felt or other approved material shall be applied over studs or exterior wall sheathing of exterior walls.

All exterior walls shall be provided with lateral bracing (brace panel) within 8 feet of each end of the wall and in every 25 feet of wall length. The braced panel shall be a minimum of 4' (four feet) wide and sheathed using approved structural sheathing (plywood, waferboard, etc.) or by one of the following methods:

1. A wooden 1x4 'let in' diagonal brace installed between 45 and 60 degrees from the horizontal plane or a metal strap device which is listed and approved for the required use and installed in accordance with the manufacturer's listing.

2. If the minimum 4' (four foot) wide 'braced panel' is not attainable, an 'alternate brace panel' may be used (see available handout). An 'alternate brace panel' may be from 48" to 32" minimum width and a maximum of 10' (ten feet) in height. Special 'hold down' devices are required.


Approved weather-resistant exterior siding materials shall be required. Siding, including T-111 siding, shall installed in accordance with the manufacturer's listing and recommendations for installation. Fasteners (nails/staples) used to attach siding shall be corrosion resistant and of a type recommended by the siding manufacturer.

Approved corrosion-resistant flashing shall be provided at top and sides of all exterior window and door openings in such a manner as to be leakproof, except that self-flashing windows having a continuous lap of not less than 1 1/8" over the sheathing material around the perimeter of the opening, including corners, do not require additional flashing. Flashing shall be installed at the intersection of chimneys or other masonry construction, with frame or stucco walls, under and at the ends of masonry, wood or metal copings and sills; continuously above all projecting wood trim at wall and roof intersections; under built-in gutters; at junction of chimneys and roofs; in all roof valleys and around all roof openings.

Foundation cripple walls framed of studs less than 14" in height shall be solid blocked or may be sheathed on at least one side with a structural wood panel attached to both the top and bottom plates. Cripple walls having a stud height exceeding 14" shall be considered to be first story walls for the purposes of bracing.

Maximum diameter of holes bored in bearing wall studs is 40% (60% in interior non-bearing or exterior studs or bearing studs if studs are doubled and not more than two successive studs are bored). Maximum notching in bearing wall studs is 25% (40% in non-bearing partitions). When sills or plates of exterior walls are cut for pipes by more than 50% of its width, the plate shall be reinforced with 24 gauge steel angle or other equivalent support spanning the distance between the appropriate studs.



The roof shall be designed to support all dead loads (weight of the materials) plus live loads (imposed loads; such as snow, etc.).

Truss fabricators engineering shop drawings shall be provided to this office prior to the framing inspection. Trusses shall not be altered without written approval from an architect or engineer licensed in Oregon. All bracing noted on the 'truss drawings' shall be required to be installed.

Enclosed attics and enclosed rafter spaces formed where ceilings are applied directly to the underside of roof rafters shall have cross ventilation for each separate space by ventilating openings protected against the entrance of rain or snow. The net free ventilating area shall be 1/150 of the area of the space or 1/300, provided at least 50% of the required vents are in the upper portion of the area at least 3' above eave or cornice vents with the balance provided by eave or cornice vents or the ventilation may be 1/300 if a 1 perm vapor barrier is installed on the warm side of the ceiling.

Attic spaces having 30" or greater vertical clear height are required to be provided with a minimum attic access opening of 22"x30" .

Roof sheathing shall not exceed the allowable spans indicated by the grade stamp located on the panel. Plywood roof sheathing shall be bonded with exterior glue where the underside is exposed.

Where rafters are not parallel with and/or tied to ceiling joists, rafters shall be 'tied' with a 'rafter tie' located as near (maximum of one third the vertical distance from bearing to ridge) the plate as practical. 'Rafter ties' shall be a maximum of 48" o.c.. Rafters shall be framed to a ridge board a minimum of 1" thick and equal to the 'full cut depth' of the rafters. If rafters are not adequately tied, a ridge beam shall be required.

Valley and hip rafters shall a minimum 2" nominal thickness and not less in depth than the cut end of the rafters being supported. Hip and valley rafters shall be supported at the ridge by a brace to a bearing partition or be designed to carry and distribute the specific load at that point.

All trusses and rafters are required to be anchored to the wall by approved anchors.

Rafters, ceiling joists, and trusses may required to be be supported laterally at bearing points by solid blocking to prevent rotation and lateral displacement.

Where 'shrink/swell' soils are known to exist, a controlled method of water disposal from roofs that will collect and discharge all roof drainage to the ground surface at least 5' from foundation walls or to an approved drainage system is required.

All fasteners (nails or staples) used to fasten roof coverings shall be corrosion resistant and of a type and size listed in the product manufacturer's installation instructions.

Appropriate valley flashing is required for all roof coverings.

Installation of roof covering materials shall comply with the manufacturers listed installation instructions. In 'wildfire hazard areas' special requirements may exist for the use of certain roof covering products or materials.



The dwelling units in two-family dwellings (duplexes) shall be provided the following:

  1. Units shall be separated from each other by walls and/or floor-ceiling assemblies (dwelling unit separations) of not less than one-hour fire-resistive construction. The separation shall extend to and be tight against the exterior walls and to the underside of the roof sheathing.
  2. Wall and floor-ceiling assemblies separating dwelling units (dwelling unit separations) shall provide an airborne sound transmission class (STC) rating of 45 and floor-ceiling assemblies shall also provide for an impact insulation class (IIC) rating of 45. Penetrations in the assembly for pipes, ventilating or exhaust ducts shall be sealed or treated to maintain the required fireresistance and sound transmission ratings.

In all habitable rooms (living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms, family room, etc.), provide natural light and ventilation by means of windows equal to 10% of the room area, one-half of which shall be openable. In lieu of openable exterior openings for ventilation, a mechanical ventilating system providing 0.35 air changes per hour in the room or a 'whole-house' system providing 15 cfm per 'calculated' occupant may be provided.

Provide mechanical ventilation per Section 303.3 capable of providing 50 cfm intermittent or 20 cfm continuous ventilation in bathrooms or openable exterior openings with an area not less than 3 sq. ft., one-half of which must be openable. Exhaust must be vented directly to the outside.

At least one side-hinged door not less than 3'-0"x6'-8" shall be provided from the residence as an exit. The minimum width of a hallway provided for exit access is 3'-0". All egress doors shall be readily openable from the inside without the use of a key, special knowledge or effort.

A minimum 3'x3' landing is required on each side of an egress door except at the top of an interior flight of stairs, provided the door does not swing over the stairs. The floor or landing shall be not more than 1 " lower than the top of the threshold.

All sleeping rooms shall have at least one exterior door or operable window approved for emergency egress or rescue. The units must be operable from the inside to a full clear opening without the use of tools or special knowledge. Egress windows are required to have a minimum net clear opening height of 22" and a minimum net clear opening width of 20" and a minimum net clear opening area of 5.7 sq. ft. (except grade floor windows not more than 44" above or below the exterior finish grade may have a minimum net clear openable area of 5 sq. ft.). The sill height may not be more that 44" from the floor.

Any addition to a dwelling shall not be adjacent to, block or preclude the use of exiting required emergency egress windows from sleeping rooms.

Egress ramps shall have a maximum slope of 1 to 8. Handrails shall be provided as noted below on at least one side of all ramps that exceed a 1 in 12 slope. A minimum 3'x3' landing shall be provided at the top and bottom of ramps where doors open onto the ramp and where the ramp changes direction. The requirements for ramps which provide accessibility for disabled persons are different than those listed in this section.

Stairways are required an 8" max riser and 9" min tread (except 10" are required when a nosing is not provided). Where stairs have more than 3 risers a handrail is required. Handrails are required to be 30-38" in height above the nosing of the treads and shall be continuous the full length of the stair. Ends shall be returned or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminals. The handgrip portion of the handrail shall be not more than 2 5/8" in cross-sectional dimension, or the shape shall provide an equivalent gripping surface, with the 'hand grip' having a smooth surface and the edges having a maximum radius of 1/8". The open sides of stairs with a total rise of more than 30" above the adjacent finished floor or the exterior finished grade (measured as the average grade elevation within 6 feet of the stair) shall be provided with a guardrail. The minimum headroom clearance is 6'-8" measured vertically from the nosing of the treads. The minimum stairway width is 3'-0".

Winders (winding stairs) shall have a minimum tread depth of not less than 6" and a minimum tread depth of 9" at a point 12" from the side where the tread is narrower. Where a continuous handrail is required it shall be provided at the narrow end of the stairs treads.

Spiral stairs shall have a required minimum width of 26", with each tread having a minimum 7 " tread depth at 12" from the narrow edge. All treads shall be identical and the rise shall be no more than 9 ". A minimum headroom of 6'-6" is required.

Enclosed accessible space under stairs shall have walls and soffits protected on the enclosed side with " gypsum board.

Porches, balconies or raised floor surfaces located more than 30" above the floor or grade below shall have guardrails not less than 36" in height. Open sides of stairs with a total rise of more than 30" above the adjacent floor or the finished grade (measured as the average grade elevation within 6 feet of the stair) shall have guardrails not less than 34" in height measured vertically from the nosing of the treads. Required guardrails shall have intermediate rails or balusters spaced so that a 4" diameter sphere cannot pass through any opening. The triangular openings formed by the riser, tread and bottom rail of a guard at the open side of a stairway may be of such a size that a sphere 6" in diameter cannot pass through the opening.

Smoke detectors shall be installed on each story of a dwelling, including basements and in each sleeping room, as well as in the immediate vicinity outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area of the dwelling. In dwellings with split levels, a smoke detector needs to be installed only on the upper level unless there is a separation between the levels, in which case a detector is required on both levels. All smoke detectors shall be interconnected so that the actuation of one alarm will activate all the alarms within the individual dwelling unit and provides an alarm which will be audible in all sleeping areas of the unit. Required smoke detectors shall receive their primary power from the building electrical system when that system is served from a commercial source. The wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than those required for overcurrent protection, and in the event that the primary power supply is interrupted a battery shall provide power to the unit(s).

For any addition or alteration requiring a building permit, the entire building shall be provided with smoke detectors located as required for new buildings. Smoke detectors required to be installed in conjunction with projects as noted above need not be interconnected unless other remodeling considerations require removal of the wall and ceiling finishes that expose the building's electrical wiring.

Habitable spaces, kitchens, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms and basements require a minimum ceiling height of 7'-0" measured from the finished floor to the lowest projection from the ceiling. Beams spaced not less than 4' o.c. may project not more than 6" below the required ceiling height. Where the ceiling slopes, the minimum ceiling height must be maintained in one half the room area. The minimum height of furred ceilings must be not less than 7'-0". Ceiling heights in basements without habitable spaces may not be less than 6'-8" except for under beams, girders, ducts or other obstructions where the minimum clear height shall be 6'-4".

The wall area above built-in tubs having installed shower heads and in shower compartments shall be finished with a smooth, hard and nonabsorbent surface to a height of not less than 6' above the floor. If gypsum board is used as a base or backer board for adhesive application of tile or similar material shall be a type manufactured for that use.

Glazing in the following locations is required to be safety glazing. Each unit of glazing shall be permanently identified by the manufacturer.

  1. Glazing in ingress and means of egress doors except jalousies.
  2. Glazing in fixed and sliding panels of sliding door assemblies and panels in swinging doors.
  3. Glazing in storm doors.
  4. Glazing in unframed swinging doors.
  5. Glazing in doors and enclosures for hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, bathtubs and showers. Glazing in any part of a building wall enclosing these compartments where the bottom edge of the glazing is less than 60" above the standing or walking surface.
  6. Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel adjacent to a door where the nearest vertical edge is within a 24" arc of the door in a closed position and whose bottom edge is less than 60" above the floor or walking surface except when there is an intervening wall or other permanent barrier between the door and glazing.

Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel other than those locations described in items (5) and (6) above, that meets all of the following conditions:

(a) Exposed area of an individual pane greater than 9 sq. ft.

(b) Bottom edge less than 18" above the floor.

(c) Top edge greater than 36" above the floor.

(d) One or more walking surfaces within 36" horizontally of the glazing.

In lieu of safety glazing, a protective bar may be installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 34"-38" above the floor. The bar shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 lbs. per linear foot without contacting the glass and be a minimum vertical dimension of 1 ".

    7. All glazing in railings regardless of an area or height above a        walking surface including structural and non-structural                    baluster and in-fill panels.

   8. Glazing within 5' of swimming pools or spas where the bottom        edge is less than 60" above the walking surface.

Attached garages are required to meet the following minimum fire-protection requirements.

  1. Openings from a garage directly into a sleeping room are not permitted.
  2. Openings between a garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1 3/8" in thickness or 20 minute fireresistance rated doors or equivalent.
  3. The garage shall be completely separated from the residence and its attic area by means of " gypsum board or equivalent applied to the garage side. Where the separation is a floor-ceiling assembly, the structure supporting the separation shall be protected by " gypsum board or equivalent. Any structural members supporting a horizontal separation must be similarly protected.
  4. Ducts penetrating the wall separating the dwelling from the garage are permitted providing they are constructed of steel having a thickness not less than 26 ga. and having no openings into the garage.
  5. Garage and carport floors shall be an approved noncombustible material. The vehicular parking area shall be sloped toward the main vehicle entry doorway.



The State of Oregon residential energy code allows for selection of one of nine prescriptive insulation paths, providing the homeowner or builder options for sun tempered situations, limited house size, log homes, variables in insulation in specific locations, etc. Path #1 was based on cost-effectiveness, while other paths are based on energy equivalence with Path #1. Unless specific information is received outlining the path followed and specific insulation standards met, this office will review the building for conformance with Path #1. The following specific standards are applicable for Path #1:

  1. Windows. Class 40. All windows must be labeled showing the class. Site built windows are not permissible with this path.
  2. Doors. Main entry door (max 24 sq. ft.) U=.54; other doors U=.20. Documentation must be provided showing the appropriate U value.
  3. Wall insulation. R-21. Advanced framing R-19 may be substituted.
  4. Underfloor insulation. R-25. Foundation perimeter insulation may NOT be substituted for the underfloor insulation.
  5. Ceilings. Flat ceilings R-38; vaulted ceilings (ceiling pitch 2-12 or greater) R-30 (ceiling insulation less than R-38 may not be in less than of the heated area), except that vaulted areas less than 150 sq. ft total area may be R-21.
  6. Skylights. Class 50. Skylight area may not exceed 2% of the roof area. Except Class 40 skylights are unlimited in area.
  7. Basement Walls. R-21 extending from the bottom of the above-grade subfloor to the top of the below-grade finish floor.
  8. Slab Floor Edge. R-15. Insulation must be placed from the top of the slab down 24" or from the top down to the bottom of the slab and horizontally back under the slab for a total of 24". For monolithic slabs, insulation must extend from the top of the slab down to the bottom of the thickened edge. Above grade protection must be provided for insulation installed on the exterior side of the slab. All slab edges at junctures between heated and unheated spaces must be insulated.
  9. Forced Air Ducts. R-8 in all unheated areas.

Recess fixtures are required to be 'IC' rated.

Insulation facings, such as vapor barriers, shall not be exposed in the attic, crawl space or any other area unless the flame-spread of the facing material is 25 or less and smoke density is not greater than 450.

If plastic foam insulation is exposed, it shall be approved to be exposed or shall be protected as required.

Exterior walls and floors (except concrete slab floors) shall have a warm side vapor barrier of 1 perm dry cup rating or less. In all exterior ceilings without an attic space above, an approved vapor barrier having a 0.5 perm cup rating or less shall be installed on the warm side of the insulation. Flanges shall be lapped at the framing members.



All electrical work which requires permits shall be permitted through the State Electrical Inspectors office, which is located in the same office as the Douglas County Building Department. The inspectors are available by phone (541/440-6282) Monday through Friday 7:30 am till 9:00 am, or in person from 8:00 am till 9:00 am.

Electrical panels are required a minimum 36 inch clearance in front, and 30 inches in width. Contact the State electrical inspectors with any specific questions.

Appliances generating a glow, spark or flame and all electrical outlets installed in a garage shall be elevated 18" above the floor. Appliances installed in a garage shall be protected against damage by vehicles.

Freestanding or built-in ranges require a vertical clearance above the cooking top not less than 30 inches to unprotected combustible material or 24 inches if protected by noncombustible material. If a vented range hood is provided, it shall be vented to the outside by a single-wall pipe constructed of galvanized steel, stainless, copper or other approved material. The duct shall have smooth interior surface, be substantially airtight and shall be equipped with a back-draft damper. Self-venting ranges or unvented hoods shall be installed in accordance with their listing.

Exhaust vents for clothes dryers shall discharge at the exterior of the structure, and shall be equipped with back-draft dampers. The joints in the vent shall run in the direction of airflow (male end 'upstream'), and shall not be joined with sheet-metal screws or other fastening means which extend into the vent and could 'catch' lint. When concealed, vents shall be constructed of a minimum .016" rigid metal duct or equivelent material. The maximum length of a 4" vent shall not exceed 25' from the dryer location to the point of termination. The length of the vent shall be reduced 2'-6" for each 45 degree bend and 5'-0" for each 90 degree bend.

Provide combustion air to fuel burning appliances (in accordance with Chapter 20 of the Residential Code). One opening shall be within 12" of the top and one within 12" of the bottom of the space.

Wood stoves must be installed according to their installation instructions and must be labeled indicating they meet State of Oregon DEQ and EPA emission requirements. Wood stoves installed in an alcove must be specifically approved for such installation.

Fireplaces and masonry chimneys shall be installed according to Chapter 10. A minimum 2" clearance to combustible wood framing is required.

Water heaters shall be anchored or strapped to resist horizontal (seismic) displacement. All water heaters in garages must be elevated so that the burner or element is not less than 18" above the floor.

The center line of water closets shall be not less than 15" from adjacent walls or partitions. A minimum 21" clear is required in front of water closets.

Shower compartments shall have at least 1,024 sq. in. of floor area and be of sufficient size to inscribe a circle with a diameter not less than 30".

All showers shall be equipped with scaldproof control valves (pressure balance/ thermostatic mixing) with the high limit stops set at a maximum 120 degrees F. UPC 410.7 or 909(f).

Upon the completion of permitted installations, alterations or repairs of any gas line, and prior to the use thereof, the following inspections/tests are required:

  1. Check piping size, cover, shutoff valves, and an air test of not less than 10 pounds per square inch for 15 minutes. (The pressure gauge is to be furnished by the permit holder.)
  2. For welded piping, 60 pounds per square inch for 30 minutes.

All building sewers must be water tested and inspected before covering.

  1. All non-metallic water and sewer piping must have an electrically conductive tracer wire (18 gauge insulated copper) installed in the trench for locating the pipe in the future. Blue color for water, green color for sewer and storm sewer.
  2. When all fixtures are installed, a final inspection must be made.

Water pipe and fitting shall be copper, galvanized steel or iron, PE or PVC type (160 pounds p.s.i. minimum).

  1. A fullway valve controlling all outlets shall be installed on the house side (discharging side) of each water meter. The minimum building supply shall be 3/4 to the first fixture (water heater). A good rule is not to supply more than three fixtures on a inch line.
  2. When local water pressure is in excess of eighty pounds per square inch, an approved type pressure regulator shall be installed.
  3. Before use, both hot and cold water piping shall be subjected to a full working pressure test or an air pressure test of not less than fifty pounds per square inch for 15 minutes.

    If a building is in a wildfire hazard mitigation zone the following are applicable:

    1. Roof covering is required to be at least Class 'C' rated roof covering. Untreated wood shingle and shake roofs are not permitted.
    2. When 50% or more of roof covering is replaced or required within one year, the roof covering shall be made to comply with the above and the required attic ventilation shall be provided.
    3. The premises shall be identified by approved numbers or addresses visible/legible from the public right-of-way.


Notice: The information provided here is for convenience ONLY.
Although reasonable attempts are made to maintain this information as accurate as possible,
 Douglas County in no way will be liable for any inaccuracies, inconsistencies, errors, omissions,
or other deviations in this information.
Douglas County Building Department
Courthouse Justice Building
Room 106
Roseburg, Oregon 97470
Fax: 440-4297

All rights reserved.
Douglas County, Oregon, 2000, 2001, 2002