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Old 10-04-2010, 05:30 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,653 times
Reputation: 10
Default Straw Bale Building Permit

just curious if anyone might have a ballpark figure for the cost of a building permit for a straw bale/rammed earth tire house with an earthen roof, composting toilet, and wind/solar electricity. approx 800 - 1000 sq ft. i'm looking for inexpensive land to build on, and would prefer to do it legally. i know fees depend on counties as well, but was hoping for an idea just based on oregon in general? this is my inspiration: http://www.simondale.net/house/index.htm thanks
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:20 PM
 
Location: State of Jefferson coast
965 posts, read 1,551,654 times
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It will depend greatly on where the building is located and not at all on what kind of materials are used in the construction. A development permit consists of much more than just the cost of a building permit. Here is a partial breakdown:

Plan review fees: Generally range from $500 to $1500 and may vary with the square footage of the house. I'm not sure if the BCD has a prescriptive path for straw bale or rammed earth structures. Since you're not going to use continuously-sheathed walls to achieve your sheer requirements, you might have to get engineering to show how you will meet this requirement for the seismic and wind-load zones of your location using straw bale or rammed earth construction. Engineering of the plans might cost an extra thousand or more, but that's not something that you pay to the government authority, you pay it to the engineer. The city or county just wants to see the engineer's stamp.

Building Permit: Building permits are often scaled to square footage as well and generally start around $500. They go to help defray the cost of inspections.

System Development Costs or Impact Fees: If the structure is located within the city limits of a municipality or an urbanized part of a county, there is generally a $15,000 to $20,000 cost to "buy into" the city. Most county locations don't have SDCs but some are starting to add them. You might also have to pay for extension of water lines or sewer lines if they are within 300 feet (check OAR 918-770-0080 to see if your building site qualifies for a composting toilet).

Electric and plumbing permits: these are extra and generally cost a few hundred dollars each to pay for the inspections.

So your front-load costs before any building begins would be around $3000 at a very low end and around $25,000 at the high end. It's really something that you'll have to discuss with the building official in the jurisdiction where you plan to build.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:09 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,653 times
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thank you very much for this. it has helped a lot. i want to make sure i have the funds to both buy the property and then follow through with permits and building, so this "general idea" really does help a lot. and btw, they have building codes for straw bale structures in oregon (appendix m codes M101 - M111 http://www.strawbale.com/pdf/oregon_building_code.pdf ) which cover wind load requirements. not sure about seismic. i'm not a builder, so i get lost in the codes sometimes. i'm still looking to codes regarding rammed earth, but this was a secondary design, so if i have to build a complete straw structure i dont mind. i really all depends on the building site in the end. thanks again
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
144 posts, read 201,865 times
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I toook a look at the web site and loved this line ... "Main tools used: chainsaw, hammer and 1 inch chisel"!!

Being a big fan of Tolkien's books and the Lord of the Rings movies I find this architecture very intriguing and would proabaly really enjoy living in one of these homes except that I'm over 6ft tall and the required tall ceilings might make the structure look a little odd.

On a different note - I have never investigated building a home myself and was appalled to discover I could spend as much as $25,000 before ever firing up the chain saw.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
3,450 posts, read 3,999,518 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekOfTheOzarks View Post
I toook a look at the web site and loved this line ... "Main tools used: chainsaw, hammer and 1 inch chisel"!!

Being a big fan of Tolkien's books and the Lord of the Rings movies I find this architecture very intriguing and would proabaly really enjoy living in one of these homes except that I'm over 6ft tall and the required tall ceilings might make the structure look a little odd.

On a different note - I have never investigated building a home myself and was appalled to discover I could spend as much as $25,000 before ever firing up the chain saw.
If you can even find a building lot for $25,000, you are doing really good. There is 5 acres next to me that is virtually unbuildable, since there is no place to put a septic system and no way to build a driveway up the sheer cliff from the county road. The last time I looked, it had sold to some Californians for $85,000.

As far as plan check and permit fees, the $25,000 is a max. You should be able to get started for less than $10,000, unless you are planning some Rube Goldberg mansion that requires a team of engineers to design. SDCs are just a part of developing in a city. Your best bet in town is to find a lot that already has a junk house on it and tear the house down. Since you are just replacing a house that is already there, there will be no street, sewer, water etc. charges. In the country, of course, you pay full freight for every system.

People who have never built a house often don't realize how much work it is. It normally takes a crew of men three months to build a house from bare lot to turnkey, working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, roughly 1200 hours of labor. That's with nothing to get in the way. Most people get a shelter up and try to live in the house, which means moving things out of the way every time you want to do something, or trying to cook in a kitchen while you are still finishing it. That easily doubles the labor requirement. However, if you are willing to give up all your spare time for 5 years, working 7 days a week without a break, you can do it. I know. I have done it. Sometime in the second year, you come to the realization that this is really not fun.

If you want inspiration, take a look at DorothyAinsworth.com. I'm a real fan of Dorothy Ainsworth. I know how hard she had to work to do that, and how much determination it took. She is a phenomenal woman, but she had a hunky boyfriend to do the heavy lifting. Without that help, she might still be building.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:51 AM
 
Location: 'Shangri-La 'mountains west of Wolf Creek, Oregon
12,312 posts, read 8,407,364 times
Reputation: 7708
Lisa&Mike built an awesome home for themselves, with earth on 3 sides.





http://www.city-data.com/forum/tenne...tennessee.html
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:21 AM
 
206 posts, read 287,201 times
Reputation: 153
Oregons adopted building code is UBC. That is to say conventional. You want to build a screwy bale house and the first thing your gonna need is a complete engineered set of plans to submit to the AHJ. Been there done that on a timber frame house. If it aint stick built and OSB, good luck.
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