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Master Builder FAQ

The master builder program, a result of State of Oregon House Bill 2012, requires new and separate processes for both the applicant and building jurisdictions throughout the State. The bill sets some limits for allowing a State certified master builder to do parts of their own plan review and inspections of single family residences they are building or remodeling. The bill also allows building department discretion when determining what portions of a given project may be plan reviewed or inspected by the master builder. The following information is intended to aid the user in steps and processes associated with master builder projects.

What is a certified master builder?

A certified master builder is a title provided by the State of Oregon to an individual who has met pre-established criteria, including participating in and completing a BCD approved training program, and who has successfully passed a written State of Oregon examination.

May a company be known as a master builder?

No. A master builder must be an individual who holds a master builder certification issued by the State of Oregon.

What are master builders allowed to do?

A master builder may perform portions of plan reviews and/or certain inspections of basic, non-complex structures that are designed and constructed under the requirements of the Oregon One-and Two-Family Dwelling Specialty Code.

What portion of a plan review can a master builder perform?

A master builders can do the fire/life safety review for basic, non-complex structures that do not require fire resistive construction. A master builder cannot review the vertical or lateral loads associated with any project.

What inspections can a master builder perform?

A master builder can, based on the discretion of the jurisdiction having authority and the complexity of the project, make inspections of foundations, under-floor framing, wall and roof sheathing, insulation and masonry chimneys, and fireplaces.

How will a building department know when a master builder intends to do plan review or inspections on a given project?

The master builder must declare their intent to the jurisdiction having authority. This declaration must be made at time of application for a permit on forms furnished by the jurisdiction. The master builder (applicant) must determine specifically what portion of plan review/inspections they want to perform.

Who determines what portion of plan review or inspections the master builder can do?

The jurisdiction having authority will review the application made by a master builder for a given project. The jurisdiction's building official may allow some, all, or none of the master builder's request. The criteria for making this determination may be based on the complexity of the structure. For example, a master builder may be permitted to perform all the allowed inspections for a basic, single story 1,200 sq. ft. residence. A master builder would not be allowed to do foundation or under floor framing inspections on a complex structure with an engineered design, yet may be granted approval to perform an insulation inspection on the same structure.

How do building departments know when a master builder has done an inspection?

The master builder is required to notify the building official when any portion of the project is ready for inspection. This notification will vary between building departments, but the intent is that normal notification procedures be made for each inspection request. The building department, upon receipt of any request, may visit the subject project to:
a. Verify that the master builder has performed and recorded the inspection.
b. Perform an inspection and verify that the project is in conformance with code.
c. Record any portions of the project that are found to be in non-compliance, even if the master builder has given an approval.
d. Verify that any portions of the project found to be in non-compliance are corrected prior to approval.
e. Document inspection approvals given by the master builder where code deficient issues were noted by the building inspector.

What is the master builder's responsibility after the inspection is completed?

Once the master builder has done the inspection, the inspection shall be recorded on official forms and submitted to the building department within two working days of the date the inspection was made. (Please consult your local jurisdiction for any additional timelines.) The master builder also shall maintain a copy of the form used for each inspections. The copies must be kept with the approved set of plans at each job site. The master builder also shall record each inspection approval on the appropriate inspection record card at each job site.

What are the consequences if a master builder fails to maintain proper records, approves work that is in non-compliance, or neglects to notify the building department when inspections are required?

The non-compliant work would have to be corrected. Disregard for the rules of the master builder program can result in the possible revocation of a waiver for a plan review or required inspection. The jurisdiction shall notify the division within 90 days when the building official revokes a waiver. (OAR 918-020-0480 (2)