Largest building in Minnesota that doesn't require a permit

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by tbishop, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. tbishop

    tbishop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    672
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Hello everyone-

    I'm looking at setting up a little piece of land. I need to ease into it slowly, so I'd like to build a small building to start out with. I think I remember that a building that is under 100 square feet isn't required to be inspected. Does anyone else have any idea about this?

    Tim
     
  2. luckyyvonne

    luckyyvonne New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Hi tim,

    You may build in any county in Montana any structure as long as its not on a foundation. If you want to build a 20 x 20 cabin, on railroad ties .go for it.

    Also if you have over 40 acres, no building permits are requires as long as its an agricultural building. A farm Management Unit (home) is an agricultural building. Dont get suckered in by "codes" ... Its not meant for us.
     

  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Well, it appears that Tim is in Minnesota, so the laws in Montana probably don't apply . . . .

    Tim, you had better go to your county offices and ask what the law is locally. Here in Oregon we are allowed to build up to a 200 s.f. building with no building permit, however, there has to already be a house on the property. Oregon's laws are pretty restrictive, but I think some of the other states are at least as restrictive. You might need to consider relocating someplace where rural land isn't so closely regulated. (Like Montana :) )

    Kathleen
     
  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    14,838
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    If you are within city limits, ask your city government. The secretaries at City HAll should know who can answer this.

    IF you live outside the city, try the county courthouse.

    Where I live now, for instance, I am allowed a 144 foot building without a permit.

    On my 5 acres in the neighboring county, I can only put up a 120 square foot building without one.
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,275
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    As others say, here in Minnesota the city, or if outside city limits, county govern these things, and it will vary from one county to the next.

    If you plan to live in it, you will need to have an approved septic or other plan, which is not a simple thing in most any county any more.

    If it is storage, you don't need most any size storage building inspected exactly, but you need it permitted - probably a building plan submitted for snow load. And any electrical and some plumbing work inspected.

    The details will vary by county, so check at your location's county seat. In my county & those around me they physically inspect each property every 3 years or so to update taxes on buildings - which is really why they want the permit, so you won't slip under the radar for long is you try to bend some of these rules very far.

    Are you trying to avoid the permit, or an inspection? Not quite sure how to reply, so I hope this info helps you some?

    --->Paul
     
  6. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    I'm next door in WI and its goofy over here. Some counties are extremely strict, while others (amish,etc) are very lax.
     
  7. tbishop

    tbishop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    672
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I was just looking for an easier way to build a barn by myself without the hassle of the inspectors. Something small, that could be be built repeatedly as the money comes in. I won't be living there, just spending the majority of my time there :). It's in Itasca county. Thanks for the help!

    Tim
     
  8. tbishop

    tbishop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    672
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota
  9. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    313
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Location:
    SE TN/SW NC
    Where I am, no permits or inspections are required for any agricultural structure, no matter how many acres you have. If you even store your livestock feed or other supplies in your home, it's an agricultural structure. When we bought a new tractor with a front end loader and backhoe several years ago, it was exempt from sales tax because it was for use on the farm. You just need to determine what the rules are for your area, and see what the requirements are for agricultural exemption, so you may try to meet them if necessary.

    Bob
     
  10. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    Tim,
    Take a drive to the county administration building. Go early on a weekday, not Friday. (you'll probably have their dedicated attention and not have to wait in line) Take a list of questions. Reading what you found on the website may help with your list, but don't rely on your own interpretation. I bet you'll find very helpful people willing to answer your questions and even provide information you didn't think even about. Although you may be able to do these things on the sly without consulting with the county officials, it will likely cause you problems in the long run. Find out the names of the different inspectors.

    I went through the same process at the beginning of the year when I bought my property. At first I was apprehensive, thinking they would want to get into my business and I didn't want them looking over my shoulder. Over the course of the spring I visited three times and gradually realized they were a great resource. My paranoia was unjustified.

    Now I have a list of names and phone numbers for inspectors responsible for different categories. I have introduced myself to all of them over the phone and told them that long term I plan to build a house. I learned things like: collecting rain water runoff is illegal, but they don't inspect for it; my property has an agricultural well license and I can use it as I want; I can build up to 200 sq ft of structure for any purpose without a permit.... and so on.

    If you planning on eventually living on this property, plant the seeds for a good relationship with the county now.
     
  11. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    14,838
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas

    I don't think that this site will give you enough information. Local governments (county and city) are allowed to pass local building regulations that are much more strict than the state code.

    In other words, the STATE building code may say X number of square feet, while the LOCAL building code allows fewer.

    A better bet would be to go to the government pages in the phone book, and call the county courthouse or the city hall, depending on if the property is in the city limits or not.

    Or, since you don't actually live there yet and may not have a local phone book, ask information.
     
  12. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,275
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    You need to follow the rules on that state web site, and you need to follow the rules from the county as well.

    http://www.co.itasca.mn.us/

    Looks like you need a county permit for any building. Sometimes portable buildings not on a foundation do not require a permit, but they don't mention that on the web site. I typed in 'building permit' into their search feature & got lots of good links.


    http://www.co.itasca.mn.us/Press2003.htm#Release#7

    As this shows (hope the link takes you to the article in the long list, it is more than 3/4 down the list...) even the county got it wrong, they said in one document that you don't need a permit for electrical work, had to correct themselves & say you don't need a county permit, but you _do_ need one from the state.....

    Now, lots of folks up there add little out buildings, and probably get away just fine. No big deal. I believe you will draw some attention on a new area that doesn't have any buildings yet tho.

    As someone said, they generally try to work with you, and are there to try to prevent problems along the way. Probably good idea to cutivate a good working relationship with these offices.

    Do you like rally road racing? There is an international road rally that uses the forest roads up there each August. It's having some backing troubles right now, but should be held again next year. My wife & I & some friends go up & help time the cars.

    --->Paul
     
  13. leaping leon

    leaping leon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
    If you don't have children, you might consider living in a travel trailer. It wouldn't need to be road-worthy, just good enough to move to your site and provide shelter. I've also considered modifying a box truck, one that has been deemed totaled so it won't have to have tags and insurance, but that is water-tight in the box part...might have a problem with having a "junk" vehicle depending on your local codes...and I have sometimes seen older, smaller mobile homes, still good enough to live in, that people will give away if you pay to move it...