How to Get a Building Permit to Build a New Home

| 4/16/2015 11:48:00 AM

foundation hole shown from below

The Small Home, Big Decisions series follows Jennifer and her husband, Tyler, as they build a self-reliant homestead on a piece of country property in northeastern Kansas. The series will delve into questions that arise during their building process and the decisions they make along the way. The posts are a work in progress, written as their home-building adventure unfolds.

Like it or not, before you can build a home in most locations, you have to first apply for and receive a building permit. We needed a building permit for a single family residence from the Leavenworth County Planning and Zoning department before we could turn the open foundation hole, shown above from a fun angle, into our home. As far as paperwork goes, this was the last piece we had to organize and complete with the county (fingers crossed). The septic inspector will come check out the septic system installation later on, but that will be the only remaining “i” to dot or “t” to cross with the planning and zoning folks.

Curious about how to get a building permit? Below is the full list of items we needed to complete, followed by the details of how we went about handling them.

1. Completed signed application. We decided that our contractor, Jeff Wooster, would be best at handling the remaining pieces and the official application process at the county office. We had to fill out a form that authorized him to act in our stead and have that form notarized. Jeff took it in with the rest of our permit application materials, including the actual signed application form. From here on out, he is the main point of contact with the county. (Cheers to that!)

2. Copy of the property deed. We made a copy of our original deed and sent it along with Jeff. If he’d needed to, he could have had a new one printed out at the county’s Register of Deeds office for no charge.

5/18/2015 2:22:29 PM

I worked in a local building code office for 15 years here in Virginia. The law here states that a permit my be issued to a properly licensed contractor, or to the owner. By signing the form authorizing him to act as your agent, the permit is issued to you, the owner. I always suggested to the owner to have the contractor get the permit in his name (provided he was properly licensed). For this project, you are the contractor (you don't have to be licensed to work on your own property), and if something "goes wrong" during or after construction, you are responsible to insure that the construction meets the minimum building code requirements. I wish you good luck on your house project, and hope it becomes a home. CCP

4/21/2015 10:53:10 AM

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