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Old 01-30-2019, 01:08 PM
8 posts, read 2,654 times
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Hello all, I'm looking to find out what the minimum square footage is for new home construction is in NH. I really just want to build something with a small foot print and not create a tax monster. A frame, maybe a cabin... I've looked for an hour online unsuccessfully....


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Old 01-30-2019, 02:36 PM
Location: White Mountains
71 posts, read 68,664 times
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That is something that is going to vary a lot by town. It all depends on the individual town's ordinance. You should be able to find zoning information on the town's website.

For example, I believe the last town I lived in had a minimum square footage requirement around 650 sq ft. My current town has a minimum of 320 for manufactured housing, but no minimum listed for stick built housing. You will find that some towns are really strict about minimum size, while others will have no minimum and some do not even have any zoning at all (aside from state level septic requirements and sometimes flood plain ordinances). The key is figuring out what towns/cities you are interested in first.
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Old 01-30-2019, 02:57 PM
Location: West Madison^WMHT
3,208 posts, read 2,904,437 times
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Post Common zoning ordinance minimum is 700-950sf (some towns don't have a minimum at all)

No statewide standard, most towns have their own zoning ordinance, most have a minimum lot size, many (but not all) also mandate minimum square footage. Also keep in mind that if you are taking out a construction loan, your bank is going to be reluctant to provide financing if your design is too weird to have much market value.

As recommended by 247crw above, pick a half dozen towns that seem interesting (and have vacant land available), then check their websites or even contact their Zoning Boards with your question.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:47 PM
8 posts, read 2,654 times
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Thanks, I'll do that. My brother is a contractor here in CT. I was gonna have him GC the whole thing but I'm just in the planning stages.
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Old Today, 12:40 PM
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All of this still applies.

There are towns with no zoning requirements.

New Hampshire does have state building codes LINK

"All homes now must have a street number.

Can't just build a cabin in the woods anymore. Must meet state and town codes and energy codes.

Most state roads Class 1 through 5 have access to electricity. The lowest class of road is a Class 6 road. Class 6 roads are not plowed in Winter. If using any propane then no deliveries in Winter. You can get your own propane. The larger tanks are quite heavy. And of course, the road would have to be plowed. Or just shovel your driveway and the 4 miles to the nearest Class 5 road.

Can you purchase a chunk of land and build a home and not sign up for electricity. Yes you can. Is this a wise move financially? No.

You can purchase a "shack" in the woods that has been grandfathered as is. Those folks do not live in "shacks" because of choice. The live there because they are poor. Are there exceptions to this? Yes, we had an older guy that had lots of assets. He had a pickup truck with a camper on the bed of the truck. He parked the truck on land he owned. And lived there. Until some in town complained. The town sent some town inspector down to this pickup truck. Not sure what rules the town used. But health inspector comes to mind. Not sure what reasons the town used. But they got the guy to remove his pickup truck/camper from his own property.

I live in a very "rich" town. But we do have people living in "shacks". No running water and no electricity. Note: all of the ones I have seen live near a brook or stream or river for water.

Best of Luck."
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