It is possible to build a home without obtaining any building permits in modern America. There are really only two ways to do it, and we’ll explore both methods:
1) Live in, or move to, a free state. Many states have no complicated permit process. Some charge a flat fee of between $100-300, and will only inspect your septic system. You can’t get much easier to that.
Our Association founder Skip Ellsworth did just that when his 7000 square foot log home was red tagged. After a 10 year fight the local officials tucked their tails and left him alone.
For most people though the story ends with them in handcuffs, in the back of a sheriffs car. The State has unlimited resources, so anyone fighting this sort of battle is doing it uphill on mud.
So we strongly encourage people to simply obtain a permit and cheerfully deal with all the subsequent inspections. The fact is, if you act reasonably then you are likely to have a great experience building your own mortgage free log home from scratch.
The shocking truth is that planning departments generally want you to build a home on raw land. It makes them more money in taxes year over year once you improve the land. That’s money they sorely need to fund the hive of bureaucrats who run city and counties.
So most planning departments will very helpful in the building process. Giving detailed lists of inspections, what the inspector will look for, tips on how to pass the inspections, and second chances to pass combined with some input from the inspector on how to pass. Some even post the entire code online.
The entire inspection process can be made as easy as possible by using a few specific ‘Pro tricks.’ Some tricks are about what’s on your building plans, while others are about dealing with the inspector during on-site inspections. These tips can make the process really painless, and are covered in detail at our two day log home class.
So don’t let the permit process intimidate you. Just learn how to work with the system, and how to work the system to your advantage!