The number of permits needed to build these days is crazy, there is a permit for everything. The most important one is the building permit. For us that was also the most expensive of the permits. The building permit, in our county, for building a house or addition, is 70 cents per square feet. Building permits for accessory buildings is 1,000 square feet or less is $50.00 and over 1,000 square feet is $75.00. Going into this, we honestly thought ours would be an accessory building, since it is a garage and we will be building a house later. However, that isn’t the way our county looks at it, they don’t look at part of it as a garage, and part as a home. They calculated the entire thing as if it were a house, so we had a hefty fee to pay to apply for the building permit.
One would think that if you want to build something, you simply go and get a permit to do so, that is the furthest thing from the truth. There are multiple things to do prior to that. First we had to obtain a storm water permit, here they call that a land disturbance permit. Basically, they don’t want you causing unnecessary water runoff. If they think that will happen, they make you install a silt fence, which is basically a plastic type of temporary fence on wooden post that will slow the runoff down. Luckily, with the naturally water runoff of our land, we didn’t have to install that, we just had to write the county a check. The next item to obtain is the septic permit, since we are out in the middle of no where and there isn’t sewer available. We had a soil scientist re-test our land, but it had already been tested years ago and there was a septic plat on file with the county. I had to have that pulled and make application for the septic at that time.
Next, I had to obtain an address, since this was just farm land in the past, this is done through the local 911 office. They pull the plat maps and see what the homes are around the property and then they accommodate for lots with additional acreage, in case they are ever subdivided. So, our address number is quite different than either of our neighbors, due to the acreage in between us. Then finally, I was able to provide copies of all of the above items and a detailed floorplan with square footage, dimensions, etc. and pay the fee to obtain the building permit. Several of these items are obtained from different offices, so I drove all over town, over a few days, getting everything required to get the building permit. Then they came out and posted a notice for the storm water stating that we were in compliance and finally they posted a building permit.
There are multiple inspections that have to be done during the building process and I will go into more detail about that in another blog. A electric permit had to be obtained as well, at first it is for temporary service. We had to hire an electrician to set a temporary pole so that the barn company could run their power tools to build the building. This all had to be coordinated with the electric company because they had to set an additional electrical pole for us, which was closer to the pole barn. The electric company found a pole close to the corner of our property and set an additional pole from there, to get power to the property. Additional electrical permits are pulled later, one for rough in when the electrical is installed in the building, one for the HVAC, and then a final once the electrical is complete. Each inspection has a fee involved with it, of course! In our area, the state is who inspects the electrical and they then contact the county to let them know it is approved, once it is.
We are still in the middle of this process and there are still additional electrical permits to be pulled, now that the electrician has started and the HVAC guy is about to start installing the system soon. This process is very overwhelming at times, but the county employees have been very kind in answering all of the questions that I have had and helping guide me through the proper steps. I have even talked directly to the inspectors at times and they have been very kind and helpful thus far. One day at time, one step at a time, that is the only way to stay sane through this process!