Permits?....We don't need no stinkin permits!!!

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Schag
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Permits?....We don't need no stinkin permits!!!

Post by Schag »

I have a shed the is right on my property line.
It used to be part of a carport/servents quarters, but the carport has been torn down.
Now because I live in an historic district, the only way to add on and rebuild my shed is to do it fast and hope that no one notices.
If I apply for a permit, they'll require me to move it 5 feet off the property line, and I don't have that large of a back yard.

My plan is to add a green house to teh existing structure and rebuild the shed part and cover it with ceder shingles.
I'll have to do this over a single weekend, and make sure that the work isn't seen from the street.

Would you risk not getting a permit in order to be able to build a shed in the same position that it has always been in?

Greg
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Post by Greg »

Some communities can be rather harsh about permit enforcement, others are very lax about the whole thing. In my area it seems that codes for this sort of thing are only enforced if someone complains. I would be worried about the neighbors closest to the area you are going to build. If you don’t plan on keeping chickens in it, and you build something that looks nice, chances are no one will complain.

A few years back I was working for a small company that was expanding fast and needed to convert an out-building in to a refrigeration building. It was about the size of a large garage. The problem was our facility was right on the coast. That means we would have had to deal with the coastal commission and a zillion environmental groups would want input. What we did was save up a bunch of these wooden crates we got raw materials in and stacked them in front of the building that was being converted. It blocked the view from the highway that ran in front of the facility. Once the building was converted the crates went away.

Do you know anyone who owns an RV you can park in front of the work site while you build?

Starr-Point
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Post by Starr-Point »

go for it. love the RV idea.
RSS

scooter
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Post by scooter »

I luv the trailer idea! i dont' pull permits fer nuttin! what the man don't know won't hurt me! they want everything brought to current codes,forget the fact that what was original worked just fine! and remember if you get caught just act stupid...permit ,oh okay,didn't know I needed one, where do I get one?! good luck,,and don't start work to early, annoy someone in the area with power tools in the early a.m. and they might turn ya in.....Remember.... STEALTH!!!!!!!!

Tujo
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Post by Tujo »

I got a permit for my renovation - only because I thought I couldn't really sneak by without one. The 20' dumpster full of plaster in my driveway is a dead giveaway. Also, living on the main street in a town of 2000 just down the street from the building department makes it awfully hard to hide.

jeepnstein
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Post by jeepnstein »

Our city has a rather "enlightened" approach to the permitting process. If you are doing yourself and are spending less than $2,500 on materials they really don't want to be bothered. The lesson there is to do your work in small bites if possible. Any outbuilding built on skids to make it "portable" is not part of the permitting process and I've seen a couple of really nice ones as a result of this loophole. If you are changing out an electrical drop, doing an addition, or building an out-building of more than 100 square feet then you gotta see the building department. The last time I was there they had a pot of coffee made and were willing to discuss about any detail you needed to explore. They don't sweat the small stuff with property owners and encourage you to ask questions first.

If the inspector does come in and fail your work they will usually tell you what they need to see to get it passed. Of course, if you want to argue they will just walk away and let you figure things out the hard way.

If your shed is still standing then you may not have a problem. Siding and repairs to the "greenhouse" portion of it are routine maintenance, aren't they? If you stick a motor home out there to block the view I would think that would attract more attention than a little sprucing up on the old shed. How's the neighborhood? Do you have any historic district busybodies nearby? How big of a greenhouse is going up and is it permanant?

J.

Schag
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Post by Schag »

How's the neighborhood? Do you have any historic district busybodies nearby? How big of a greenhouse is going up and is it permanant?
No busy bodies that I've ever seen.
Although, I've never done anything that would attract attention.

And yes, the greenhouse will be permanant.
Here's a link to one similar to what I'm going to build.
http://ca.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/wyndya ... pg&.src=ph

lrkrgrrl
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Post by lrkrgrrl »

In my state, lack of proper building permits is a title fault, and can interfere with the sale of property. What has happened is that someone skirts the rules, then sells the house, the un-permitted and generally crummy job fails, the buyer finds out it was never permitted/inspected, discovers that they are now responsible for this violation, and the repair, and the proper permits, and sues the previous owner. Or finds out that they have to tear out the whole project/house/shed/pond/wall, whatever. So, there is potential liability. This will vary from state to state, and even from town or county etc...

Basically, you have to balance your risks. In my town, it's not hard to get a variance from set-back regulations, as most of the town is "grandfathered" and there is simply no where to go since so many lots are so small.

It also depends on whether your zoning and building offices are one and the same. Here, if the job was to be more than $1K, and we were repairing/re-building an existing structure, we could go get the building permit without having to go to the zoning board, too. Some places combine both functions.

Abuela
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Post by Abuela »

At least around here, you don't have to apply for a variance to get a permit to do work on an existing structure, even if that structure doesn't meet current requirements. I framed in an old free-standing carport that is only 4' from the property line to make a screened porch, and a friend built an entirely new structure on an existing slab that was only 2' from her property line - here, as long as something was already there, you're fine.

And Tujo,
living on the main street in a town of 2000 just down the street from the building department makes it awfully hard to hide.
You have just described my house! I'm on the main street running N/S in my town of about 4500, and the license & permits office is exactly one street over (I can see it from my top floor).
"Finished" is all a state of mind. ~Angolito

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

My house journal: http://retrovation.blogspot.com/

jeepnstein
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Post by jeepnstein »

Hey, that's just what my lovely wife has been searching for. I'll be sure to footnote you if we actually build it. Ours will be on skids and roughly that size. I'm considering how to put a concrete paver floor in a building on skids. That would give the necessary drainage and stability for the building according to my barnyard engineering slide rule. Twelve by sixteen is what I'm shooting for. Are you going to glaze with glass or something else?

If permitting is a problem why couldn't you put the "temporary" greenhouse in and do a breezeway of sorts to connect it to the shed? I'm just thinking of contingencies if permitting and historic district conditions require you to get a little creative. Honestly, I can't see why anyone would complain about the building you are proposing but it takes all kinds.

J.

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