Building Codes

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by whodunit, May 21, 2004.

  1. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just got to thinking about the fact that our county here in Idaho has no building codes and wondered how much an oddity (or blessing) this is. We do have codes for septic systems, but that's it. Any of your areas free of building codes?
     
  2. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    I needed a building and land use permit for my vegetable stand, which amounted to two TV tables and a beach umbrella. I solved that problem by screwing old wheels onto the tables. Wheels=machine=no permit.

    Be glad you're not so regulated... :haha:
     

  3. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    On the plus side for someone who knows what their doing it's fine for do it yourselfers but can be bad if a do it yourselfer built the house you want to buy.If your hiring someone and you don't have a clue about construction you had better do a lot of research into your contractor.

    mikell

    Just my .02@ 2.19$ a gallon this morning
     
  4. SRSLADE

    SRSLADE Well-Known Member

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    Building codes are only part of the problem.I was a builder for 27 years on cape cod. Still build in vt with no codes in some towns but as everyone leaving the city comes here this will end.The building code is cut and dry and i think you can deal with that but the one to watch is zoning.The prosess is started by some local fools thinking they will control the rich man.B---s--t. You will find your children without a home.The local people start the ball rolling and then the educational requirment for these jobs will be raised until you and your children do not qualify.The pay scales will go up when this happens.Most people have no idea how complicated this will all become.To give you an example i'll tell you what i needed to do to build on cape cod. I first needed a certified plot plan ( survey) showing land elevations lot size and sidelines. location of future well and septic.A plan for the building showing all elevations and structual components framing etc etc etc etc etc.This is not a plan you can do yourself.A septic plan done by an engineer. This can not be done by you. Then you can go for a septic permit given by the health agent. Smile, you may or may not get it. When you get the permit you can the go for a building permit. Building inspector. Smile, you may or may not get it. You then get a permit to pour your footings. If you're close to the set backs you may have to re survey. Once poored the footings are ready to be inspected. Smile. If all is well you then get a framing permit.You then frame the house and finish the outside. Then get the rough wiring done. The rough plumbing. This cannot be done by you. Then inspection. Wiring inspection. Wiring inspector. Smile. Plumbing inspector. Smile.Did i forget gas lines and fuel tanks.Then you get the framing inspected. Smile. Having done this you're ready for the insulation permit. You must do an energy calculation to get this. listing all windows, doors and all insulation values. Can you do this? Maybe.Once done the insulation must be inspected. Building inspector. Smile. You then get to finish the inside.scared yet?
     
  5. DAVID In Wisconsin

    DAVID In Wisconsin Well-Known Member

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    I have lived and been a builder in both kinds of places. Places where the codes are very strict and expensive and places where codes are almost non-exsistant. The funny thing is that there is almost no difference in the quality of the work. One would initially think that strict codes make for better and longer lasting homes. I don't see it. I have personally seen codes that actually have a detrimental effect on the quality and livability of the structure. It would seem that in many areas, codes have become a way to tax the builder and ultimately the homeowner to death.
     
  6. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Most houses are built by builders in urban/suburban areas. When somebody hires them to put one up in non-regulated rural area, they are going to use same specs just because they have their profit and everything figured. The labor they use is used to building in certain way. Why redo it to save very little . Plus any reputable builder doesnt want to damage his reputation putting up total crap, not just rep with customers, but banks making loans also. Most of really crap jobs are from flybynight home improvement contractors.

    As to buying any prebuilt house whether professional or doityourself, you want a bonded inspector that you hire to look it over carefully. He will tell you the flaws and his bonding company will stand by his recomendation. Dont buy crap unless the land alone is worth the price. Then figure cost of demolition. It always comes back to buyer beware, dont expect the government to be big daddy and look out for your interests. Your mortgage holder is going to insist on private inspecter anyway.

    Yep, zoning and building code stuff in rural areas is just another way to tax and keep tax base high by preventing building of small houses/cabins. If they force you to build a spec home of large size then they get more property tax plus keep out poorer folk. A rough small shack like mine brings them little extra taxes over worth of bare land. Also sometimes used to protect local contractors. Such as I will approve your septic if you hire brotherinlaw BillyBob to do the job. Septic is probably bad example as federal govt has forced enforcement of septic codes on all states in all areas., but it still can be used as I mention.
     
  7. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, Technically you do have building codes, The uniform building codes are just that universial across north america. What you most likey mean is you have no local building codes and more inportantly building inspectors.


    Building codes should only be for health and safety issues. They have been turnied into a profit center for many cities as well as a control center for an areas. Create abuilding code that forces 2000+sq ft home and you keep out the rif-raf. The booming county just south of us requires all walls to be made of 2x6 studs. You also have to have a specific R value of your walls, again forceing you to specfic materials.
     
  8. RAC

    RAC Guest

    SRSLADE, what, no environmental impact study? No earthquake geological study? No protected rat report? Hee, hee, hee, 8-(

    Part of the issue also are the insurance companies--if you don't have a mortgage, you don't have to have insurance, but if you sell to someone else, their mortgage company will require it, and even if you held the paper YOU would want it to protect your investment. If they can't get insurance except through Lloyd's of London (insurance of last resort, and VERY expensive), you may not be able to sell that house if it isn't up to code. The insurance companies want everything in tip-top shape so that they never have to pay on a claim if they can possibly avoid it.

    Everyone else is right, codes and inspections these days have virtually nothing to do with health and safety and everything to do with tax revenue. My own opinion is that taxes should be the same, regardless of the size of your house or property when it comes to things such as schools, fire protection, etc. Someone paying more in taxes is not getting better or faster service. I haven't seen minimum house sizes yet, but would rather see larger minimum lot sizes (except in obvious city areas). A dump is not so hard to look at when there is a lot of land around it....
     
  9. SRSLADE

    SRSLADE Well-Known Member

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    RAC. Thats correct it's about taxes to pay the leeches.They seem to multiply as more money and great ideas like increases in lot sizes become available. When the lot size goes up so does price. Who did you just move out of town? Maybe my kids maybe your own.Thats only 1 idea and we all have our own.
     
  10. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree, it's just a tax and really just Big Brother trying to "protect" us from ourselves.

    I heard of a case of someone building a garage in an area where it snows. The inspector signed off on the building as to code, but when the first snow came, the roof collapsed. Of course, the owner had no recourse, since the inspector was free from any kind of lawsuit, etc. What did the owner pay for in all his fees, if not a guarantee that his building was safe?

    Another example is USDA (a subject near and dear to the hearts of many homesteaders!). We buy farm fresh, raw milk from a family in the area. From what I understand, this is illegal since their facilities have not been inspected. Well, we checked these people out ourselves and found that you could eat off their porch and not worry about it, since they are so clean. We protected ourselves and do not expect anyone elese to do it for us.

    It used to be when a person went to buy meat, if it did not look and smell good, they did not buy it. It was up to the buyer to look for their own safety.

    With the USDA, do you think that if you were to get sick from USDA inspected meat, eggs, milk, etc that you could sue the feds? Not likely.

    A few years ago, we hung a deer and when we went to butcher it, we found an occasional fly egg. We cut around it and moved on. Guess what? We are still here. There was a day that meat was hung out at open air markets and it did not seem to diminish the population any!

    We are remarkably free from many regulations in our part of the country, but it's been a hard fought battle (not by me, since I am a California transplant!).

    There was discussion years ago of the county adopting building codes for the purpose of people being able to obtain federal flood insurance. Well, the commisioners quickly found out how some felt about this issue when they found hangman's nooses on their table tossed there by some local residents!

    Now, the big issue is water useage. Some feel that in all the effort to save a few fish, the feds might shut down people's wells or limit there useage of them thus making their land useless and, as a result, their livelihood goes out the window.

    Anyway, if I had my choice, I would vote for repeal of many laws on the books today and get back to a common sense lifestyle where each looked out for himself, as well as for his neighbor.
     
  11. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    I agree, I have not found that codes make the house you are buying any more reliable than if you had no codes. There are plenty of codes where I live, so why, when I was digging in my flower garden, did I hit the wire to the pump house six inches under the dirt? Codes apply to the people who follow them, they don't guarantee quality and there is no guarantee that a place you buy followed any of the codes, so why have them?


     
  12. charles

    charles Well-Known Member

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    No codes where I live except in the larger cities. Out in the country you do what you want. Than includes putting in your own septic (if you wish) but its not necessary if you live on 5 acres of more.


    I love the freedom.
     
  13. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No building codes where we are here in the country, but as far as the small city in our county - I think they may have some restrictions or zoning laws. Other than that our county is pretty rural. We can build anything we want out here and it's still legal to put in your own septic and drill your own water well. That's actually one of the things that attracted us to this county! :)
     
  14. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    No building codes or zoning in Carroll County OH. There is a requirement for septic and well permits. A number of properties have deed restrictions (nothing that bothers me) against trailers, junkyards, etc.

    Mike