With Instructables you can share what you make with the world, and tap into an ever-growing community of creative experts. Extra storage space is always welcomed around the house even if you do not have any kids or college students around. Thanks for sharing your detailed step-by-step DIY guide, especially the part about filling in the sloped ground area.
First and most important thing to know is that each location is different, there are no set standards across the country so you need to check with your local County and City authorities. Not every county will be the same so this is just an example of how to start looking for the information.
Note: Although some work is exempt from a building permit, additional permits or review may be required. Although work may be exempt from a building permit, it may be subject to other county regulations (Well and Septic, Zoning, Drainage, Sewer, etc.).
Accessory Structures: One-story detached accessory structures used as tool or storage sheds, playhouses or similar uses when located on a parcel which contains an existing single family dwelling or other permitted primary use or structure. Note: Electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work in connection with such structures requires an electrical, plumbing or mechanical permit even though a building permit is not required for the structure itself. This document tells me that I can build up to a 120 square foot structure without a permit. So technically I could build a Sonoma Shanty that is 120 square feet on a foundation as long as it meets these requirements. Many people just build and some areas are so remote that no one knows about your cabin or home. Hopefully this article has given you some idea as to where to start looking for this type of information and also what to look for. They may yet get their extortion money, but in the meanwhile, I will do what I want, as I want. You could dig a pond on your property, design your tiny floating home, then you don’t need a permit, it is a boat, really.
I also find the law not allowing you to build what you want to build on YOUR land incredibly stupid, I live with my dad in a single family dwelling as the zoning enforcement said. I live on half of an acre you would think I could make my own small place buy noooooo they won’t let me. Insurance companies don’t have to pay off on damage, fire, personal injury if the buildings are illegal. If everyone thought of the neighbors and community first when it comes to safety and environment we wouldn’t need most of our laws but there are a lot of people that would build structures that would collapse and kill someone innocent like their own kids. I agree with you that things would be far worse without requiring building permits, however I find the fees to be a far cry from reasonable. I personally think that zoning laws, while generally established to protect against those who would do something fooling (not as many people as you’d like to believe), have generally become a barrier to many people being homeowners.
One last thought: what about homes that were built decades ago that no longer adhere to the zoning policies?
Interestingly, Japan, a rather successful economic model today, does not employ the kind of zoning itemized in your second paragraph. It looks to me like most of the naysayers could be accused of personal greed as their motive. If they applied the standards to existing buildings, 90% of them would be out of compliance. This has nothing to do with protecting the health and safety of the occupants, neighbors or the living creatures around the property, they are for CONTROL, to stop ANY development and of course to MAKE MONEY FOR THE GOVERNMENT.
So am I reading this right, building a house in Sonoma County means you have two shell out around $70k before one bit of work really gets started? Kent – you asked regarding the circumstances in which living in an RV is legal in Sonoma County.
1) While you are in the process of building a home on your property, assuming all permits have been obtained and the utilities are in.


2) Either the person occupying the RV needs to require medical care by a person living in the home on the property, or vice versa.
I’ve looked at the laws for most of the counties in California and all of them have have similar laws. Finally, I’m legally living in my RV under a loophole so tiny you have to dig WAY deep into state law to know it is there. Sorry, I know that’s confusing, but that’s the clearest I can make the explanation! The places closest to California in which someone can (pretty much) freely live in an RV full-time are Humboldt and Elko Counties in Nevada. I rather deal with what might be built near me than having authorities dictate to me where, when and how I can build something. One of the most important aspects is good relations and communications with your neighbors. Look out folks, there is Agenda 21 (sustainable development) this is going to be in every city and every town.
Mostly I manage to take away my junk responsibly but it’s oftentimes demotivating when I check out just what many countries are doing to our wonderful planet! This article is helpful for at least knowing how to find the information one might need – good job to the author on that. I live in Napa County (next door neighbor to Sonoma) and we have pretty strict building codes here as well, however building is only a SMALL fraction of the hazards we encounter on private property. If everyone who wanted to build a shed took those things into practice (first of all, protect yourself by building something correctly and safely) we all would be a lot less taxed and coded, regulated and permitted. I have been looking into this, and the very few counties without building codes are adopting them due to suburban sprawl. The whole concept of the United States Constitution is that I have the right to be left alone.
Hey, howabout just making a ‘Permit for Standing and Breathing’ and just get it over with?? Could the per sf cost reflect that people with lots of money often build houses with lots of sf? The reason liberty is being curtailed all over the place is that the self-professed libertarians are to dumb to see beyond their own little world. Places where you may not be bothered by permits will be poor places where local gumment is too poor to police properly. In line with my observation, after a in foreclosure home is sold at a bidding, it is common for the borrower to still have the remaining unpaid debt on the mortgage loan. There are places without a residential building code, unless you’re committed to living in Sonoma. Other states, like Texas, Tennessee and New Mexico have state wide codes, which are only enforced in densely populated counties.
Well, there are over bearing, jerk clerk types that enforce the building codes, just as there are jerks elswhere. I wouldn’t want to have an unregulated septic system built by one of you guys near my water table. Give us your contact information and one of our representatives will reach out shortly to schedule a site visit!
Service AreaWe deliver storage shed solutions to customers across the state of Virginia and parts of West Virginia. Our backyard is similar to yours and we have been contemplating on the various materials to use to level up the sloped ground area. Thankfully much of this information is now online and you can do your research without talking to anyone. Here are the steps I went through to discover what the requirements were for building without a permit.
Before a building or structure is erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished, it is important to contact the appropriate staff at the Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD) to determine if any other permit or technical review is required.


It can’t be higher than 12 feet and if I choose to put in electrical or plumbing I will need to get a permit for that only.
He built similar to what you describe, and once the county found out about it, he did as you suggested and took them to court.
You basically have to hide it where it will not be noticed, or place it somewhere remote where no one will care. In a choice between maybe too much regulation and my upwind neighbor starting a home based meat rendering plant I vote for regulations. If you’re building a modest $50,000 house, the permit and plan check fees top out at about $1200. Sonoma county has adopted extremely strict septic regulations, and will not let you build without septic (composting toilets etc are not allowed, they are running a 4-toilet pilot project and may be approved if everything goes well in approx 2015). The law is still listed on the books, but they effectively gutted it in 2010 (everywhere where they grant owner-builder’s discretion was replaced with conformance requirements to the CA Model code). My fifth wheel is in a mobile home space in a mobile home park … which makes it in most ways legally a mobile home, go figure.
It will dictate every aspect of your live from were you live to what you eat and if you drive. Very few people want to or would take the time to research how to mitigate all the variable safety issues nor take into thought the impact on the neighbors, wildlife, air and water. There are many loan companies who seek to have all expenses and liens paid by the future buyer. There may be atheists in fox holes but there are no libertarians down stream from a leaking nuclear power plant. Give us some information below and one of our experts will reach out shortly to discuss custom build options for this product. I thought it is going to be an almost impossible mission to DIY our own storage shed so we have resorted to under-the-bed boxes, but I guess that fact is going to change.
Some places allow you to park an RV at your home or on your property but only allow you to live in it for so much time and than you must move it. I have known people caught in this one and they lost everything in the fire plus they were out the money. 999 people having homes they will own for the rest of their lives, can continue to improve throughout their lives and can pass along to their children, or disallowing a major segment of the population from ever building any wealth?
One difference: I do not need to get permits to remodel my RV, which I would have to do if it was really a mobile home. Nonetheless, depending on certain programs, laws, and state laws there may be some loans which are not easily solved through the transfer of loans. Extra space is always needed especially when things keep getting piled up around the house each day. Others say it can only be parked but not lived in, and other areas don’t care one way or the other.
The handouts details a number of house sizes, and their lowest figure is $20k (I believe for a 1500sq ft house with a 2 car garage). Trying to get permits for all of this (some of which you can’t) would be a nightmare. Therefore, the duty still remains on the customer that has acquired his or her property in foreclosure process. Perhaps a link would be useful, because you’re house value figure is so out of touch with reality I have a hard time beleiving the permit numbers you provided. SOLAR PANELS,HAUL MY OWN WATER, AND WANT TO USE EVERYTHING I CAN USE FROM THE LAND.I AM NOT TO EDUCATED IN THIS MATTERS. At least, in the end, it would be our choice not some authority above us dictating our plans.



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