Building permits for survival retreats???

Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by survivalboy12895, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. survivalboy12895

    survivalboy12895 Active Member

    I got to thinking today."Should people use building permits when building there survival reatreat?".As much as I stress building to code,I think that a survival retreat is an exeption.One of the main things of a survival retreat,is keeping it private.But by filing building permits with your county and state just makes it about as ""Here I am Feds,come and look at all this gear that will help you in a disaster!!" as you can get.Imagine this.Theres a global collapse,but the Feds are going around looking for food,water,survival gear,etc to "" Help people out"" in this time of need.Well if everyone filed there building permits,then all the Feds have to do is go to the city hall and or state department,and look for those "Hunting cabins" and "Vacation homes" and also........"Survival retreats".Even if you go to the great pains of concealment and security for your retreat,the Feds will still find you with the aid of(you guessed it)the building permits that you filed with the county and state.What are your thoughts on this???
  2. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    If you live where building permits are required you'll need to be careful about bucking the system. That might bring down more grief than it's worth. Around here the tax assessor makes annual visits to even vacant property to look things over. If there's a building on it that's not on the tax evaluation they will start asking questions.

    If bldg. permits are required I would never list the construction as a survival retreat, fallout shelter, blast shelter, etc. It would be a root cellar or underground home or simplly a house with a basement. If they ask why it has such thick walls or safe rooms just tell them it's for tornado protection, storing valuables in case of fire/theft or whatever.

    One might also just have contractors do what is required by law and finish air filtration systems, etc. on your own.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010

  3. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    I'm a firm believer in the old saying that is easier to get forgiveness the permission , If you have a place that's out of sight and your able to build it yourself then that's what I'd do.

    But I would forgo things like insurance, grid power etc, anything that leaves a trail to your door.

    What's the worst they can do? fine you? they can't make you tear it down or so I think, I'd simply refuse and let them take me to court, it only takes one person on a jury to agree with you and it's a hung jury and I doubt the PTB will think it's worth the bother. But that's just me...

    This land was founded by people who went out with an ax and a shovel and built a nation, all without building inspectors and work comp and insurance company's , I figure if I can build it with my own hands and it provides shelter and no bank involved or insurance company's involved to whine about codes, who's loss is it if it falls down on my head?

    Building codes for a chicken house are just another tax, and half the time the inspectors don't know squat, their only qualification is being kin the somebody....I used to be a contractor, can you tell? :D:D

    Of course this is assuming your out in the boonies, if your in town you may have to play the game... If I was going to cut thru my garage floor and dig it out part ways for whatever reason, I'd just do it and not say a word to anybody, the less you talk, the less they know...
  4. pdx210

    pdx210 Well-Known Member

    IF you plan on possibly selling in the future then yes for homes if not no and small out buildings like a root cellar or bomb shelter can be hidden so NO particularly in the country

    In an urban area YES to all the above all they need to do is have a neighbor report you or happen to drive by. In my town building inspectors look for active construction sites as they drive to and from inspections when they see one the check to see if permits have been pulled thats how they find most violators
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  5. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    As for building permits - I believe that if the structure is considered permanent, it requires a permit. Meaning, if you purchased a shed-package and dropped it on the ground (no significant digging and no poured concrete) it would be considered temporary. If that same shed package has a concrete-pad under it, it would then be considered permanent.

    Another great option would be to purchase the biggest bus you can find, gut it out and turn it into a mobile-home (pull the engine, etc) and tow it to your location, drop it on your land and call it done.

    As long as the shelter looks like it is easily moved, they cannot request a building permit to be filed.
  6. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    In Flathead County in particular they can get pretty cranky about such things. All it takes is an angry neighbor, "friend" or ex-wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend etc. and you're suddenly in the spotlight, perhaps in a very big way if the gov't is making an issue of illegal construction activities (and I've seen that happen).

    Our last tax assessment included a Google Earth photo of our property showing every item on the place and a description of how we were being taxed on them. (The assesor filled in details that were not on the photo.)

    Unless you're dealing with crooks in the government, getting a permit isn't a big deal. Most are concerned more with property boundary violations, taxes and septic installation than anything else.

    The best thing is to find a place where there are no county or state building codes/permits. Where we live (NOT in Flathead County!) county building permits are minimal and are concerned with only septic systems. (Unless you're subdividing or in a subdivision.) That's one of the reasons we purchased land here.

    Believe me, I've had my problems with bureacratic red tape before but if it's not putting you directly at risk or costing an exhorbitant amount it's usually best to do things legally and not have to watch over your shoulder all the time.

    Like I said earlier... don't label structures as anything related to survival or preparedness.
  7. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    When I build it will be off the grid, in the boonies and as permit free as possible.;)
  8. Vertigo

    Vertigo Member

    On a boat? :D

  9. kaadd6

    kaadd6 nomad

    The best way that I've found to get around permits is non-permanent structures. Structures that are not secured to the ground, aren't taxed in most states and therefore don't need a permit.

    Placing cabins or shed etc... on skids makes them non-permanent structures.

    edit: lol wow this was an old thread. Didn't even notice until I had already posted.
  10. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth


    They can make you tear it down and in many cases will.

    Last I heard about 8 years ago is if its under $600 you don't need a permit,but things change.

    Dig a hole and store it there in containers.Thats what we did the year we had 5 hurricanes.
  11. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth


    LOL me either!:eek:oops:
  12. weedygarden

    weedygarden Well-Known Member

  13. Jimmy24

    Jimmy24 Member

    We still have lots of counties with no building premit requirements.

    Our county has a restrictive premit process, if the stucture is going to be inhabited.

    My work shop at my retreat needed no premit. It has plumbing, septic tank and electrical. Course it's not inhabited.....:rolleyes:

    I pay taxes on it and other "out buildings" on the property.

    There are ways....

  14. Grizz

    Grizz Well-Known Member

    Permits ????

    In a few counties in a few states, they do not require any building permits. In alot of cities and counties in Calif, you can build a shed up to 120 sq' without a permit as long as you do not run water or electricity to it. Play it safe and walk in and talk to the people in the building dept. you don't have to give them your name, ask for a copy of their build requirements. Check with your local fire dept. I see building permits come through our dept and when i go out and do fire clearance inspections i have to cout the number of building on the property and if the number is different i have to contact the building dept.
    When i retire next may i will be looking for remote property that i can modify after the inspectors are done with my house. then i will sneek in what ever i want. Just saying.
  15. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

    Not getting a permit and getting caught can be expensive.
    Here is an article from today's paper.
    Short version. They put in a two-car metal carport port 5 years ago and got caught recently.
    Final cost was around $6000.

    All of these also require a permit.
    Hot tubs. Backyard tool sheds of a certain size. Fences, windows and plumbing improvements. Vinyl pools more than 2-feet deep.

    Missing permit costs carport owners quadruple | Yakima Herald-Republic
  16. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    I'd say it was time to vote in a new town concil and change the laws, a person should beable to do what they want to on their property without a lot of red tape
  17. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

    With the economy the way it is all the government agencies are looking to generate as much revenue as possible.
    The building inspectors have turned to permit verification and ticket writing.
    I have an old shed my dad built years ago and I want to replace it.
    The permit to tear it down is $90. The permit to build a new one 15X30 is almost $200. My brothers septic permit 10 years ago was $600.
    The county tries to get every dime they can.
    My shed is still not replaced.
  18. power

    power ExCommunicated

    I can remember years ago I was offered a job as city electrical inspector.
    Sounded like a good job until they told me how much it paid. They went on to explain how the inspectors made the majority of their pay. They would not be available to inspect during normal work hours, just too busy. If a person needed something expected they would come out after hours or on weekends to do the job. Of course the person needing the inspection had to pay extra for that. That amount came to what ever the inspector thought he could get out of the people and how bad they needed an inspection.
  19. MouldyJoe

    MouldyJoe Active Member

    Check your county laws

    I just checked the laws for the county I want to build in and if it's less than 200 sq/ft I don't need a permit. It is classified as a shed and must be designed/built as not intended for human occupancy. In my extremely naive knowledge the definition of "human occupancy" is somewhat confusing and vague. Joe
  20. Turtle

    Turtle Well-Known Member

    Anyone remember this story out of England?

    Farmer's secret castle must be demolished, court rules | Mail Online

    Basically, this farmer was trying to take advantage of an English law that says if one builds a structure without permits and it stands for four years without any complaints, it may stay. He built a Tudor-style castle behind giant bales of hay, left them in place for four years, then revealed the home. The government essentially said that he was concealing the building, so it didn't count, and are making him tear down his beautiful home.