Residential Plans Examiner (R3) Practice Exam

Residential Plans Examiner (R3) Practice Exam

About Residential Plans Examiner (R3) Practice Exam

The exam for a Residential Plans Examiner has been built to review plans and construction documents for one-and-two family dwellings. Together with their accessory structures for compliance with the local codes and standards as adopted by their jurisdiction. Some of the important roles and responsibilities include -

  • Understand the evidence of the plan review is documented indicating deficiencies that must be corrected, or that the plan is available to be issued.
  • Identify whether plan changes need to be made
  • Also, the residential plans examiner verifies that the submitted documentation is complete
  • Illustrates the work proposed, prior to permitting issuance.

Exam Details

  • Exam Name: Residential Plans Examiner
  • Exam ID: R3
  • Type: National Certification
  • Code: 2018
  • Total Questions: 60
  • Exam Duration: 2 hours
  • Exam Type: Open Books
  • Passing Score: 75 and above
  • Exam Type: Online Proctored Exam
  • Exam Price:  $219 USD

Course Outline

The Residential Plans Examiner (R3) Exam covers the following topics - 



Determine if a permit is required and if the submittal is complete and meets the scope of the One and Two Family Dwelling Code.



Communicate with the applicant any need for further information, alerting them of deficiencies in their submittal or of their approval to start work; mark the official approved sets of drawings after approval.


Site Plan

Verify from the site plan that the building or structure location is in compliance with the requirements of the local ordinances, fire separation regulations, fire access, flood-hazard areas, setbacks, encroaching on any legal easement, wetland, right of way, or neighboring property.


Final Grade

Verify that final grade will provide the required slope away from the footing or foundation wall and will not adversely affect neighboring property.

Architectural and Life Safety25%

Room Sizes

Verify adequate room sizes, ceiling heights, heat, light, and ventilation are provided.


Means of Egress

Verify adequate means of egress, with proper widths, stairs, guards, rails, and openings.


Fire Protection

Verify fire protection through rated walls, draft stopping, smoke detectors, and sprinklers.



Verify safety requirements for glazing and foam plastic elements.



Verify that exterior veneers and siding have correct anchorage, support, and backing. Verify that a weather-resistant barrier is correctly specified for all walls and around all wall openings. Verify that exterior sheathing materials are correctly sized and specified. Verify that plaster, stucco, and metal lath have correct thickness and fasteners.



Verify unique requirement compliance for specialty, detached, and accessory structures such as pools, spas, fireplaces, and storage buildings.


Design Loads

Verify designer used the correct design loads.



Verify that footings are designed to correct depth, size and setbacks and that footings will extend below the frost line. Verify footing drains for basements and crawl spaces for compliance with the code. Identify soil type and verify that bearing capacity is adequate.


Foundation Walls

Verify that foundation walls are correctly sized and have sufficient height above grade. Verify that foundation wall materials, reinforcement, anchor bolts, and fasteners are correct type, size, and grade and are located in accordance with building code requirements. Verify that foundation dampproofing and waterproofing are to be provided.


Structural Elements

Verify that structural elements are correctly designed to support loads and maintain load path continuity. Structural elements can include beams, girders, trusses, headers, joists, rafters, columns, piers, walls, and bracing, as well as others not listed.


Lateral Bracing

Verify lateral bracing is adequate to meet required load conditions such as wind and seismic loads.


Construction Design

Verify construction design for wall systems built below the lowest finished floor in flood zones.


Pre-manufactured Construction

Verify pre-manufactured construction elements are to be utilized in accordance with their listing.

Energy Efficiency5%


Verify energy saving provisions for the building envelope, mechanical equipment, and appliances comply with the code and are indicated on the plans.


Mechanical Equipment and Appliances

Verify adequate protection, support, space, and clearance are provided for mechanical equipment and appliances.


Room Volume

Verify adequate room volume for combustion air or alternate provisions.


Venting and Venting Termination

Verify proper application of venting and venting termination.


Fuel Gas Pipe Sizes

Verify proper fuel gas pipe size to provide adequate gas to appliances and equipment.


Fuel-Burning Equipment

Verify that special systems utilizing fuel burning equipment, such as interior open-flame grills, pool and sauna heaters, hydronic heating systems, and decorative appliances comply with code requirements, the manufacturer's instructions, and listing of the equipment and have proper access and clearances.



Verify minimum required fixtures are provided in proper location with correct clearances.


Clearances and Support

Verify adequate clearances and support are provided for piping and piping termination.


Potable Water System

Verify potable water system is provided and protected.


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