Certificate of Occupancy

General Information

This handout is a general, brief statement for the convenience of property owners, prospective buyers, real estate agents, and all other interested persons. Corrections may be made without notice.

Setting Up an Inspection

Call the City of Festus Public Works office at 636-937-6646 to arrange an inspection appointment or a reinspection. Business hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Please call at least a day ahead to schedule an inspection.

Certificate of Occupancy

A certificate of occupancy for a house being sold shall be issued after the inspection is finished and all requirements have been met regarding the 2009 International Property Maintenance Code and 2009 NFPA Life Safety Code.

Rental property houses, apartments, etc., will have a certificate of occupancy issued, stating any violations to be corrected by the property owner. Violations must be corrected within 30 days of issue. If the Building Department is not notified within 30 days after the initial inspection for a re-inspection, a letter will be left with the occupant stating repairs must be made within 15 days or the water will be turned off.

Water will remain off until the corrections are made and the occupant pays a $25 reconnection fee to the Water Department.

Building Department Personnel Involved in Inspections:

  • Mark Harris - Building / Planning Director
  • Jim Walker - Building Inspector
  • Dan Kirchner - Fire Inspector
  • Heather Cochran - Building Inspector

Inspection Requirements

PM-301.2: Maintenance of Property

All exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean and safe condition. The occupant shall keep that part of the exterior property which such occupant occupies or controls in a clean condition.

PM-303.3: Street Numbers

Residential buildings shall be clearly marked with their numerical address. Minimum height is three (3) inches. Written and or script type numbers shall not be accepted. Color of numbers must be contrasting to the exterior of the building. Numbers must be permanently affixed and no stick-on or Velcro numbers accepted. Numbers must be located either over the garage door or within 6 feet of the front door.

PM-303.5: Foundation Walls

All foundation walls shall be maintained free from deterioration, and shall be capable of safely supporting the imposed dead and live loads.

PM-303.11: Stairways, Decks, Porches & Balconies

Every exterior stairway, deck, porch and balcony shall be maintained in a good condition.

PM-303.12: Chimneys & Towers

All chimneys, cooling towers, smoke stacks, and similar appurtenances shall be maintained safe and sound and in good repair.

PM-303.13: Handrails & Guards

Every handrail and guard shall be firmly fastened and capable of supporting normally imposed loads and shall be maintained in good condition.

PM-303.14.2: Open-able Windows

Every window, other than a fixed window shall be easily open-able and capable of being held in position by window hardware.

M-303.16: Doors

All exterior doors and hardware shall be maintained in good condition.

PM-403.2: Bathrooms & Toilet Rooms

To satisfy ventilation requirements, every bathroom and toilet room shall have at least one open-able window or a mechanical ventilation system which discharges to the outdoors.

PM-501: Plumbing

The owner of the structure shall provide and maintain such plumbing facilities and plumbing fixtures:

  • Water heater must have ¾ inch overflow relief pipe, maximum 4 inches from the floor and an approved pressure relief valve.
  • A gas-burning water heater shall not be located in any bathroom, toilet room, bedroom or other occupied room normally kept closed, unless adequate combustion air is provided.
  • Sump pump water from ground water drain tile must be pumped to the exterior, not into the sanitary sewer system.
  • Any new construction found during an occupancy inspection where an “S” trap is found will fail. All traps shall be vented according to the current plumbing code.
  • Washer standpipes must extend 18 inches above the trap (42 inches maximum) and not be “S” trapped.
  • All plumbing vents must exit through the roof. Exception is allowed for approved mechanical vents.

PM-602.3: Heat Supply

Heat must be available during the period of October 1 to April 30 to maintain a temperature of not less than 65F in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms.

PM-604.2.1: Panel Box

No double lugging allowed within the panel box; one wire per breaker or fuse will be allowed. All breakers shall be sized to the size of the wire.

  • 15 amp Breaker: Number 14 Wire
  • 20 amp Breaker: Number 12 Wire
  • 30 amp Breaker: Number 10 Wire
  • 40 amp Breaker: Number 8 Wire

Service entrance cable must cover interior wires and ground. The panel board must be connected to an approved ground. Any holes in the panel box must be covered with solid plastic attached with an adhesive, or plugged by an approved devise.

All circuit breakers or fuses must be identified in the box.

PM-604.3: Electrical System Hazards

Where is it found that the electrical system in a structure constitutes a hazard…the code official shall require the defects to be corrected to eliminate the hazard. These include: All wire splices will be in a covered junction box securely attached, service entrance cable needs to be protected, all light switches and receptacles must be covered, and all wiring must meet code.

GFI Outlets-All outlets within 6 feet of a water source in the kitchen are required to be ground fault circuit interrupter protected (GFCI).

PM-605.2: Receptacles

Every habitable space in a dwelling (bedroom, living room, study, etc.) shall contain at least two separate and remote outlets. Every laundry area shall contain at least one grounded type receptacle or a receptacle with a ground fault circuit interrupter. Every bathroom shall contain at least one receptacle and all receptacles in the bathroom shall have ground fault circuit interrupter protection.

PM-702.9: Stairways, Handrails & Guards

All stairwells must have a guardrail/handrail system. Stairwells can be solid blocked, vertical slats or spindles maximum 4 inches apart, nominal wood placed parallel with the plane of the steps with a maximum 4 inch space between boards. A guardrail must be 34 inches minimum (the handrail can be included) with the handrail between 30 and 38 inches above the treads. The handrail must extend from top to bottom.

For decks, porches, and stoops 30 inches above finished grade, there must be a guardrail minimum 36 inches in height, solid blocked, vertical slats or spindles or latticework maximum 4 inch spacing, while the steps must have a 34-inch minimum guardrail.

Egress stairs serving any building and having more than four risers shall have a handrail on at least one side of the stair.

PM-702.12: Emergency Escape

Every sleeping room located in a basement shall have at least one open-able window or exterior door approved for emergency egress or rescue, or have access to not less than two approved independent exits.

PM-704.1: Fire Resistance Ratings

The fire resistance rating of floors, walls, ceilings, and other elements and components shall be maintained. In a garage that is not taped and dry walled and there is a living space above, the parts of the garage that abut the habitable space must be dry walled, taped and mudded. In addition, an electric interconnected smoke detector with battery backup must be installed in the garage and a second smoke detector in series must be installed in the above living area. Open attic areas must be solid blocked between garage and living area.

The door between the garage and the house must have no exposed glass. It can be a solid wood door, or solid, or honeycomb core steel door, or a door having a minimum 20-minute fire rating.

PM-705.5: Smoke Detectors Required

All alarms must be maintained in a good working condition, with all components intact (battery, cover, etc.). If the home was required to have an electric smoke detector or electric smoke detector with battery backup when constructed the same shall be required at the time of this inspection. Smoke alarms are required on ever story of a dwelling unit including basements, inside every bedroom and in the vicinity (normally 10 feet) of each and every sleeping area.

Existing Apartment Buildings

Smoke alarms are required on ever story of a dwelling unit including basements, inside every bedroom and in the vicinity (normally 10 feet) of each and every sleeping area.

2.118.3: Solid Fuel Burning Appliances

All solid burning fuel appliances installed in one and two family dwellings shall be listed by a nationally recognized testing agency and shall be installed per the manufacturers installation instructions.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Any building housing gas fueled appliances or having an attached garage shall have a Carbon Monoxide Detector.