About building permits
Well, here we are at my least favorite part of home construction which is building permits. Inspectors seem to be the necessary evils at the time of construction. I promise you as the years go by and your house hasn’t fallen down, you’ll be ecstatic that you jumped through all the hoops held up by the inspectors.
You’ll need to go and talk to the local building inspector at your county or city courthouse or planning office. He or she will help you with the necessary forms that pertain to your building site.
Every location is a little different and each has it’s own special building permits requirements. Inspectors can be very helpful in these cases. It’s best to have open communication with the inspectors.
You will most likely have a building inspector, an electrical inspector, a plumbing inspector, and a health inspector. If you’re getting financing from a bank, you will probably have a financial officer that will give you funding upon completion of inspections.
You will first have to take your plans to the building inspector. You can usually find the inspectors at your county courthouse or city government buildings. If you don’t find them, they’ll find you. It’s preferable to find them before they find you in most cases. Anyway, you will be charged usually a percentage of the completed value of your home. This really varies so be aware.
On average, building permits will cost around 1% the estimated value of the house. You’ll definitely want to find out the actual percentage before you take your plans in. One way to look at it is regardless of who builds the house, the owner will have to shell out hard-earned bucks to the inspector no matter what. Not many ways out around that one.
If you’re building a house in the city where water and septic are available, then you won’t have to worry about soil and water samples. Us country folk have a few more things to worry about in that case. We do need to provide soil and water samples to the health inspector.
After the samples have cleared inspection, the building inspector can determine how deep the foundation needs to be to get below the frost line and the health inspector will give the requirements for a septic system.
Once the soil type has been determined, you can start your house plans. Some inspectors require official blueprints that you can have made for you for a few hundred dollars or even do them yourself with software and then take your plans to a print shop and have them printed with a plotter or large format printer. Other inspectors really don’t care what kind of plans you have as long as they can understand them when you present them.
Most inspectors will need the following forms returned to them before you can get a building permit:
Over 4 million visitors to this site since it was born!
My newsletter keeps you up to date on home construction and design ideas.
I just wanted to say that I love your website. My husband and I followed your instructions on building our own home. Most of the work we did ourselves, but not all. We saved $90,000 in labor costs and now have a beautiful home that we own.
--Sue and Les Carrigan, Draper, Utah
I built my own home doing all my own labor. My house costs me around $70,000 for materials. It took me 8 months to build and is about 2,000 square feet. I didn't think I could do it, but your house web site encouraged me. I used all the info you had.
Benny Luis Lopez,
I can't thank you enough for your free information web site about home building. I was looking for Electrical wiring diagrams when I found your site. It was very helpful.
Little Rock, Arkansas
My wife and I lost our home to foreclosure but we kept a plot of land to start over. We are halfway through the construction of our house. Your website gave us hope to start over and build a house with low payments. We are in our late 60's but we find it rewarding to put so much effort into a project that will reward us for years to come.
Name respectfully withheld