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Old 07-28-2010, 12:05 PM
 
131 posts, read 391,121 times
Reputation: 121

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I had a conversation recently with a contractor who seemed quite knowledgeable and a good reputation in what I'm hoping to build (a small Insulated Concrete Block home in a rural New Mexico Location). When I asked about permits he reported that they are granted regularly for this type of construction. Then he went on to ask why I was feeling it necessary to obtain a permit, that may people didn't bother. His read was... I own the land free and clear and who was the government to tell me what was permitted. As long as I have the cash to do it without financing what's the rub...right? Now honestly I feel very much the same. Additionally, it's that kind of free spirit culture that draws me to the Southwest. I am however much more cautious/practical than that for a few reasons. First I'd guess that if you desired to hook up with the power company they would want to see permits. I could go totally solar but would prefer not to. My water association might want the same, and water is everything. Insurance is another problem. Second to all that is if I ever wanted to sell any buyer requesting a mortgage (most prospective buyers I'd guess) the almighty bankers would want to see the same. I liked this contractors approach in building and admire and and in concept agree with his independent spirit. However, it sound like the equal to building a house on sand. So... has anyone here built without permits?
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:20 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,903,744 times
Reputation: 18188
Default You right to be skeptical...

I don't care how freedom loving your part of the country proves to be, the thought of just building with out permits AND INSPECTIONS is flat out wacky. Even if this is not an uncommon practice way out in the sticks I sure would not want to be close enough to such a structure that it might threaten my property values.

While parts of NM have a pretty mild climate others have some extremes that would quickly threaten your safety if the structure was not up to the task.

Most parts of the country have the ability to force the owner of an unpermited building to tear it down, you willing to risk that?

Any reputable builder would be 100% in favor of having a third party verify that the work done is up to code.

This sounds NUTS!
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:36 PM
Status: "October is the eighth month" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,676 posts, read 28,486,584 times
Reputation: 6842
I am with Chet. Proceed at your own peril.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:37 PM
 
764 posts, read 1,525,824 times
Reputation: 742
This man has built his home without permits, however it is under 400sq foot, there are many home shed plans under this square footage that you may consider, beyond that, you are at the government's mercy.



Video tour of my solar cabin
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:51 PM
 
228 posts, read 711,943 times
Reputation: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
I don't care how freedom loving your part of the country proves to be, the thought of just building with out permits AND INSPECTIONS is flat out wacky. Even if this is not an uncommon practice way out in the sticks I sure would not want to be close enough to such a structure that it might threaten my property values.

While parts of NM have a pretty mild climate others have some extremes that would quickly threaten your safety if the structure was not up to the task.

Most parts of the country have the ability to force the owner of an unpermited building to tear it down, you willing to risk that?

Any reputable builder would be 100% in favor of having a third party verify that the work done is up to code.

This sounds NUTS!
Nonsense. Many rural parts of the country including the Southwest have very minimal permit requirements if any. Even if you wanted to obtain a permit with all of the associated inspections commonly found in urban areas it isn't available nor would the governing authority have the staff to service it. I've come across a few counties in the Southwest where a permit is nothing more than a one page document that can be obtained in about 30 minutes at a cost of less that $100. Plan checks are non-existent other than to demonstrate on the same form with a hand drawn plot plan that the water well is a safe distance from the septic system. When asked if there are any inspections of completed work the answer received is often "we assume you'll build something that won't fall down on top of you". At this level of permitting I think the only reason for the minimal paperwork is to make sure that you are placed on the tax roll.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:01 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,903,744 times
Reputation: 18188
Default Let's assume that tax roles are the only thing that the permit is going to acomplish...

...than surely the fee for this must be very low. Further the hassle seems non-existent , with no inspection , no verification , no " as builts", basically just a big wave.

SO WHY NOT DO IT? Avoid being on the tax rolls? That is awfully neighborly of ya...

I am assuming that if there truly is just a care free attitude then there are no delays associated with filling such a minimal permit. Seems like the only reason to avoid this is either tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists or two cheats...
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
1,570 posts, read 5,159,862 times
Reputation: 1388
You need to build in accordance with any building permits that may be required. Also, "tap" fees need to be addressed if you want hook ups. Each area of each state will vary - building codes are VERY local.

A structure built without the required permits can pose many problems - Here's a few I can think of

Insurance companies may not insure the structure nor your liablity - an un permitted structure may void any insurance you may have.

Your local building dept. can order the structure be removed - if the owner refuses, they can remove it and add the cost to the landowner's tax bill and/or lien. If not paid, they can foreclose.

There will be no resale value. The fact that a structure was built or altered without a permit is a material defect & must be disclosed. Usually, the buyer will not be able to obtain financing. Even if the land and structure are owned free & clear - it will not be able to be financed thus, it has next to no value - if any at all.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:44 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 38,288,152 times
Reputation: 16097
And you should be able to have a meth lab on that land as well. You own it free and clear. Who is the government to tell you what you can do on it.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:52 PM
Status: "I cannot wait for the heat to break..." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,368 posts, read 25,483,948 times
Reputation: 87958
You need to check with our local building department and have your builder follow their rules.

My county doesn't have a building department or building codes and many of the homes have been here for hundreds of years with no problems. I'd actually be more concerned with the bad quality of our current materials for houses. Building codes are about "safety" and a way for the counties to make money and often not making any sense. Some codes and restrictions in some counties are quite absurd...again it's about job creation and politics.

Aside from that, you need to follow the codes of your county.
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 18,528,984 times
Reputation: 6356
3 words: DON'T DO IT! 3 more words: GET THE PERMIT!
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