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Old 12-05-2014, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,605 posts, read 2,406,692 times
Reputation: 5937

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List of counties in colorado with Currently no adopted building codes:
Cheyenne
Conejos
Custer
Delta
Dolores
Kit Carson
Mineral
Philips
Prowers
Saguache
Yuma
Many of these counties will have towns inside of them with building codes so you will need to be in an unincorporated part of the county. Also a lot of these are eastern plains counties. Notice alamosa and costilla counties are not on the list. They therefore have adopted some version of the IBC or building code. This also doesn't mean there are no electrical or plumbing codes which there are and they are covered by the state. Also, water or lack there of.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:29 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,125,069 times
Reputation: 9066
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
List of counties in colorado with Currently no adopted building codes:
Cheyenne
Conejos
Custer
Delta
Dolores
Kit Carson
Mineral
Philips
Prowers
Saguache
Yuma
Many of these counties will have towns inside of them with building codes so you will need to be in an unincorporated part of the county. Also a lot of these are eastern plains counties. Notice alamosa and costilla counties are not on the list. They therefore have adopted some version of the IBC or building code. This also doesn't mean there are no electrical or plumbing codes which there are and they are covered by the state. Also, water or lack there of.
Even some of those counties that do not have building codes may have building regulations built into their planning and zoning regulations. And, of course, some lenders will not lend on structures that are not built to the UBC, as well. Even if the owner finances the construction with his/her own money, having a structure upon which many lenders will not grant financing can make the property very difficult to sell if the owner finds selling it to be necessary. Worse yet is having a structure on a property which is non-conforming to building or zoning codes--that can make selling the property hugely expensive or impossible.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,756 posts, read 16,467,757 times
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jazzlover wrote: No one on this forum can give you that answer--only the regulatory officials where you are going to build can answer that. Simple enough?

An inconvenient truth! Ouch that hurts, I didn't wanna hear that.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:49 AM
 
10,875 posts, read 41,221,323 times
Reputation: 14036
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Even some of those counties that do not have building codes may have building regulations built into their planning and zoning regulations. And, of course, some lenders will not lend on structures that are not built to the UBC, as well. Even if the owner finances the construction with his/her own money, having a structure upon which many lenders will not grant financing can make the property very difficult to sell if the owner finds selling it to be necessary. Worse yet is having a structure on a property which is non-conforming to building or zoning codes--that can make selling the property hugely expensive or impossible.
and some insurance companies may have underwriting guidelines which make obtaining homeowner's coverage difficult or impossible to obtain for non-conforming structures.

I've heard of folk saying "no problem, I'll self insure or go without if I can't get a homeowner's policy", but it will make obtaining a loan difficult if that's needed ... and it does leave most folk without any general liability or contents coverage, too. While most folk will go through life without ever having a claim under those coverages, there are reasons why we typically have them in our homeowner's insurance policies.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:14 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,125,069 times
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^sunsprit is spot-on. "Cheaping out" or trying to slide by without conforming to regulations will almost always come back to bite those who do it. Real expensive chickens when they come home to roost.

As an example, some years back, I was looking at a property with a structure with some serious non-conformance issues with the local building regulations. I got estimates of what it would cost to cure those problems. It amounted to nearly 1/3 of the guy's asking price for the property, so I discounted my offer for the property by that amount. The owner refused my offer outright. The property sat for sale for another year, and despite a general appreciation in the market in that time, he finally sold it for even less than I had offered. The guy that bought it?--a building contractor who brought it up to code.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:45 AM
Status: "I voted!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,287 posts, read 3,966,935 times
Reputation: 9503
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurb00 View Post
I have called for three days got a run around from the legal offices and no strait answers... I was under the impression you all knew the area well, as you all have stated. So with that knowledge I had hoped to find answers. As I have stated they gave me a list of regulstions online that explained nothing. I appolgize for seeking knowledge where it does not exist.
Then go down there in person and ask to speak to Mr. Iwarden. If he's not available, ask to schedule a meeting with him. Ask if anyone else is available to answer your questions. This has always worked for me. When I lived in Manitou Springs I went down to the City offices and asked to speak with the mayor. He was in his office and invited me to come on in and sit down. Here in Montezuma County, I've gone down to the District Attorney's office, and someone came out and spoke to me straight away. If all else fails, find out when the next county commissiomer's meeting is and show up for it and ask if you and your questions can be put on the schedule for the next meeting. I have attended county commissiomer's meetings all over Colorado, and people stand up and present all sorts of things. These are elected officials and they have a duty to be available to the public and respond to their concerns.

If it's too much bother for you to drive into Alamosa and spend a half hour or an hour or so getting your questions answered by the County, then you're really not all that interested in obtaining some answers. You can complain until the end of time on an Internet forum, but that won't make someone from the County call you up and ask if they can help you.

Here, since I'm a retired reference librarian I went ahead and did a little research for you:

According to the County building department website, "Alamosa County has adopted the 2003 IBC, IRC, IMC, and 2006 IECC building codes." You wrote that they sent you copies of these. This means that these are the codes that will be enforced in 2014 and next year in 2015. They’re not going to send you false information just for laughs.

Again from the website:
"Building Permits are issued by Alamosa County Department of Building Safety to help guide homebuilders through out the building permit and inspections process. Becoming familiar with the procedures and requirements will minimize delays in obtaining your permits, prevent unnecessary construction delays, and allow us to more efficiently serve all builders." You may get permit forms and information Here.

Now, short of putting you in a high chair and spoon feeding you these are the best answers I can provide. No need to thank me for my professional service.

Last edited by Colorado Rambler; 12-05-2014 at 12:24 PM..
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:13 PM
 
7 posts, read 9,639 times
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I have epilepsy, and my wife is a labor and delivery RNC we travel for work. I draw no money from the government for my disabilities and worked 20 years in construction working for what I own. I no longer work because the seizures caused me to be let go due to increased severity. I plan to eventually retire to this area. Currently I own two homes in KY where I spend very little of my time. I did the things suggested to me before posting on this thread, but had hoped I could gain local knowledge of how the area truely is in reguards to buildings... Who would want to spend an outrageous amount on a house they never lived in. I wanted to build unconventionally on the land... Build something I dont already have. I did not mean to cause problems here just looking for a local perspective from real people about it.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:15 PM
 
7 posts, read 9,639 times
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Thank you all for your time...
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:31 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,844,180 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink If of course Tres Orejas

As I recall, Mineral County has a sign near the county line with Rio Grande County saying it is zoned. So no less so than Rio Grande County, and my guess that either of these counties and most anywhere else in Colorado will take some interest in what is built.

This current question raised by someone with property in Alamosa County, so obviously the dictates of their building department will be the deciding factor.

But towards alternative housing in general, my suggestion that anyone considering Colorado would be better off in New Mexico. Unless something has changed, and my feeling not substantive these last several years, then places like Taos County are far more lenient with their building codes. Probably being one reason one finds as many Earthship homes populating that region.

One can be impacted in a number of ways, and not just with what they'd like to construct the walls of their home out of. BTW, many of these Earthship homes look to recycle used tires by incorporating them as the structure of the walls of their homes. Others will used strictly rammed earth, or such as straw bales.

But water being a vital necessity, and especially in the arid Southwest, this alone is no small consideration. I believe Colorado may have relented to some small extent in this, but formally (and maybe still now) claimed all the water falling onto someone's property. Whereas in New Mexico (or at least Taos County, and surely others) many of these Earthships rely on cisterns fed by all water falling onto their roofs and so collected (do note, such roofs need to be designed towards potable water). Then also, those in New Mexico had greater latitude in the use of greywater, being again a necessity if really off the grid.

These Earthship residences can be found all around the globe. If each jurisdiction will have their own ideas of design and which restrictions they wish to impose. In climate, building codes (or lack thereof), and most everything else northern New Mexico is a prime area for such activities. The Greater World Earthship Community, lying northwest of Taos across the Rio Grande River, is a good example of Earthship design, many sumptuous.

If any doubt in this proposition in general, then visit the small community of Tres Orejas. The whole place is off the grid, with only a dirt road leading to that often a muddy mess of the 'subdivision' roads. Last I was by the electrical power lines stopped well short of reaching this community. Houses there are ad hoc and seemingly usually owner built, to any specification they dreamed up.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:34 PM
Status: "I voted!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,287 posts, read 3,966,935 times
Reputation: 9503
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurb00 View Post
I have epilepsy, and my wife is a labor and delivery RNC we travel for work. I draw no money from the government for my disabilities and worked 20 years in construction working for what I own. I no longer work because the seizures caused me to be let go due to increased severity. I plan to eventually retire to this area. Currently I own two homes in KY where I spend very little of my time. I did the things suggested to me before posting on this thread, but had hoped I could gain local knowledge of how the area truely is in reguards to buildings... Who would want to spend an outrageous amount on a house they never lived in. I wanted to build unconventionally on the land... Build something I dont already have. I did not mean to cause problems here just looking for a local perspective from real people about it.
I am sorry to read that you are disabled. I would suggest that you apply for SSDI if you worked and paid taxes on your income for 20 years. That was your money that in theory went for Social Security. You are entilted to ask the government to pay up and keep its end of the bargain. Whatever.

Have you read any part of this thread at all? In November explorer-traveler wrote I will be glad to help you answer any questions that you have.We lived in Monte Vista for five years and I am familiar with all those areas and can help.

Did you take explorer-traveler - apparently a "real person" willing to give a local perspective - up on his offer and send him a DM?

Straw bale houses are common enough in the SLV. There's plenty of info on the Internet about it:

From the Colorado Straw Bale Association STRAW BALE CODES

This highly informative story from the Pueblo Chieftain includes an interview with the Alamosa County building inspector Ken Valwarden who explains how the building code for straw bale houses has evolved over time.

Do you plan to never visit your property in the SLV ever again until when you retire, then drive straight out here from Kentucky, and start construction on your home the day after you arrive without even stopping for so much as a cup of coffee when you pass through Alamosa? If so, I'd advise against it. Surely you will visit your property in Colorado once or twice before you start construction on your home. If your disability prevents you from asking questions yourself, then your wife could stop, get out of the car in Alamosa and ask a few questions herself.

You've responded to every single suggestion you've received here with some reason why that won't work. OK, nothing will work. You can't read the info they sent you on the building codes, no one at the Alamosa County building ever answers the phone, you can't go check things out for yourself because you and your wife are too busy driving around the country, and you never take up another forum member on their offer of help. I give up.

Last edited by Colorado Rambler; 12-05-2014 at 06:48 PM..
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