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# Posted: 12 May 2018 19:09

I'm planning on buying 8 acres in Ashe County, NC. The land I'm looking at isn't zoned and is out of city limits.

My question to you good folks is what ALL do I need a permit for?
I plan on living on the land (in a tiny home) full-time at-least for a few years. I plan on harvesting solar energy, getting internet hookup, getting a well dug, having a compost toilet and doing small scale gardening on my property.

I know I need a building permit, I know septic needs permit but do I NEED septic if I'm using a composting toilet? What if my "grey" sink/shower water goes into holding tanks to be used on the garden?

If someone could break it down for me, like:
"yes, you'll need -
1. permit for house
2.permit for digging well
3. permit for pluming well water to house
4. permit for composting toilet
5. permit for wiring solar panels
6. permit for roof"
Or something along those lines? I hope it's not that complicated. I'd love to get feedback.

I'm really looking forward to starting this self-sufficient chapter in my life, breaking away from society and constrictions and proving that there are Other options out there then going to college and/or paying mortgage/rent whole life. It is a lot to take in though, I know its not all easy and fun. Any help would be greatly appreciated thank you!!!

# Posted: 12 May 2018 19:48

It really all depends on your particular County/City....and if you are way out in the boonies, you may be technically required to have one, but do you really care? Do you plan on ever selling the property? If you don't have a permitted house, it will be worth much less and will probably not qualify for a bank loan, so you'd be limited to cash buyers only... much to think about.

To do it 'right' will need a set of plans...and there will be many fees (depending on your area) for the municipality, school fees etc... usually about $20 - $30k right here

Generally, a permit is required for:
1) Foundation/Anchors/Steel
2) Framing
3) Electrical - all
4) Plumbing - all
5) HVAC - all
6) Waterproofing
7) Roofing
8) Interior/exterior wall coverings
9) Other code/safety related/structural items

You will only get 1 permit for a new build. All of the sub trades will be covered in that single permit.

Not simple, hope this helps a little bit.....

# Posted: 12 May 2018 20:23

First of all thank you for your response.
Wow I had no idea a permit for a tiny home would be 20-30k!
I thought it would be in the less than $500 range.

I did want to do it right because I would want the option of selling in the future. I'm not an investor but i'll be pouring all my money into this endeavor.

If it makes a difference I'm planning on building a 12x16 wood frame on deck blocks (though I may decide to opt for a sturdier foundation.) I do have floor plans already.
The County I'm building in is unincorporated so that means I just follow the state of North Carolina's regulations?

All-in-all if it looks like its going to be around $25k that's just not an option for me. I don't have the funds for that.

# Posted: 12 May 2018 20:29 - Edited by: ICC

As Boeego said, permits are issued locally, some things at state level. If you are not in a city or town the place to check would likely be the county. Septic can be required when you have running water inside. Grey water systems in many places do not allow the storage of the grey water, but require immediate use. Kitchen water is often called black water, needing a septic system. I've seen grey water not allowed for use in a vegetable garden, but trees or ornamental plants okay. Many different ideas and laws on it. Use Google for an NC search. Everything you need to know is likely online. If thinking about going 'under the radar' think hard about that. Many, maybe most, jurisdictions use GIS systems and they can easily find you. The only question is how diligent they are at tracking building of new structures and property improvements. My county has an assortment of pictures of my property. Some states allow tax assessors access to the property without notice. Others have fuzzy laws. Again, check locally or with the state. Google.

# Posted: 12 May 2018 20:36

It can be interesting to do a search for a 'county property parcel viewer'. All the ownership info, value, taxes rate, etc is public info. The counties around where I live have interactive maps that show a lot of info including owners name and address (if different), photos, building dimensions, etc.

# Posted: 12 May 2018 22:06 - Edited by: turkeyboyslim

Ashe County Inspection Department
Permit Fees
Effective July 1, 2013
1 & 2 Family Dwellings:
$385.00 for First 1000 SQ FT Heated; $10.00 per 100 SQ FT over 1000 SQ FT
$100.00 for First 1000 SQ FT Unheated; $6.00 per 100 SQ FT over 1000 SQ FT
(Unheated space consist of unfinished Basements, Carports, Garages, covered Porches/Decks and similar areas)

1 & 2 Family Additions & Remodeling:
$290 for First 1000 SQ FT
Additions or Remodeling of more than 1000 SQ FT requires 1 & 2 Family Dwelling Permit

All the above permits cover all Trades

Commercial Building, Remodeling & Additions:
$7.00 per $1,000 Construction (minimum $265.00)

This permit can cover all trades or each trade can be individually permitted

Moving Permit:
$250.00 includes Moving, Foundation, & Hook-up any other changes or remodeling requires a separate Permit.

Mobile Home Permit:
Single Wide $130.00 Double Wide $175.00 Triple Wide $200.00

Electrical Permits: Plumbing: Mechanical:
Wiring $100.00 Safety $55.00 Alterations $55.00 Mech. Appliance $55.00
Alterations $55.00 MOP $55.00 System $100.00 Mech. System $100.00
Service Change $55.00 Camper $55.00 Water Heater $55.00 Decorative Appliance $55.00
Park Model RV’s $100.00

Miscellaneous Permits:
Garage, Carport/Stor $130.00 Cover Porches $130.00 Tennis Courts $130.00 Roofs $55.00
Prefab Utility Bldgs $55.00 Sun Room Encl. $130.00 Swimming Pools $130.00 Daycare $65.00 Gas Tank Removal $65.00 Decks $55.00 Bath room Addition $200.00 Basements $175.00 Gas Tank Installation $65.00 Signs $65.00 Retaining Wall $55.00 Demolition $100.00 Re-inspection $65.00 Solar Panels $55.00 Blasting $65.00 Insulation $55.00 ABC $55.00 Wind Mills $130.00 Towers $300

Towers include cell, radio towers, Commercial Wind Mills (Wind Mills fees are for Res. Wind Mills)
All work started before permitted is subject to double permit fee.
All Inspections require 24 Hour notice.
All Inspections must be called by 4:30 pm for next day inspection.
All permit fees for non-profit tax exempt organizations as described in General Statute 105-278.3 are waved

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------
Okay so I found this on the county website. I copy and pasted it from the .pdf file. This is everything listed under "permit fees"

To me it looks like I should only be paying a few hundred bucks (if that) for building a 16x12 wood-frame home. Am I missing something?

# Posted: 12 May 2018 23:40

Probably. You need to go in in person and tell them what you are doing. Be specific. They will tell you what it will cost...we are just guessing, no point in that....

# Posted: 13 May 2018 11:15

Understood, will check it out.

# Posted: 14 May 2018 09:42

So I called this morning.
As for Ashe County, NC, Minimum Sq Ft. is around 256' or close to that number.
Building permit would be about $380 for minimum Sq Footage.
(cost increased per Sq Ft but nowhere close to $20k-30k)

Septic is required for all houses, can't build a house without septic hookup.

As for digging a well and doing septic I need to call the Environmental and Health Department, get the "okay paperwork" from them, then show it to the Building and planning department.

I know its different for every area but I'm just sharing my experience as reference for other beginners like me.
Thanks and Good Luck all!

(oh and I think he said If i get fiber optics the company does all the permit and paperwork and I don't deal with that.)

# Posted: 14 May 2018 09:53

Well that's good news....way stricter out here in SoCal! Good luck with your project, let us know how it goes........

# Posted: 19 May 2018 22:56 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech

I applied for my address online (needed for permit) and drew up a site plan (layout on paper of property and where items will be. Drain field must be 100feet from well or more.

Site plan was and cost $95, then I headed over to the building dept and in about 20 minutes was on my way, and got a call permit was ready 2 weeks later. They just OK'd my design (bought online) and it was super easy, county was so nice to deal with. Permit was about $400.

Final inspection went nice. You can not get a permit without a septic design that has been approved. Once approved, then permit is issued. You can put septic in later, but needs to be done, signed off for final. Electrical is done by my states labor and industries, health dept deals with septic. Building dept, all the rest.

# Posted: 26 Jan 2022 00:14 - Edited by: TaylorMountains

turkeyboyslim did you ever finish this project? I'm starting one in Ashe County NC and am curious to hear how it went.

# Posted: 26 Jan 2022 11:27

Consider looking for a property that already has a cabin or cottage on it that 'needs love' but interpret that as 'needs work and money'.
Already there, on the tax rolls, might be 'usable' with some clean-up and refurb then you can improve over time.
In our case, it was a distressed property and sort of an estate thing. The out of state daughter did not want to have to deal with all the issues and we were ready to pay (very important that, have money or financing ready to go for the right situation!).
Having to buy a property, permit and build would have been easily 2x as much, likely 3x and made it undoable.

# Posted: 26 Jan 2022 18:08

My permit was $450. I needed to get an address first, did that online $45, then I needed to go to the planning dept with a site plan. This was my drawing of cabin and location on lot, ground slope, rough measurements from boudary etc, then paid $90, then headed to bld dept for the permit, do it in that order.

Bought plans online, use white out to made adjustments without changing load bearing walls. Nice folks, super easy.

The bldg permit needs to be visable at site, then it has steps that need signing as you go, ie foundation, they will want to see rebar before you pour. Inspector comnes out, signs off, you pur and then work on floor framing etc, this includes lots of stuff. He comes out, signs off. Then you have roofing, water proofing (caulking all joints and nail heads) and electrical (may be done by different dept ie labor and industries) and insulation, mechanicals ie furnace, then all done, then final. You can avoid lots of things by not heating it, no insulation, no sheet rock, then no furnace needed. Maybe add it later (wink)

# Posted: 26 Jan 2022 19:37

Quoting: gcrank1
Consider looking for a property that already has a cabin or cottage on it that 'needs love' but interpret that as 'needs work and money'.

blower. Looked at property with a building on it. People thought there 1980s half rotted shack built with left over material and filled with garbage picked furnishings where worth 30k over the land value.

# Posted: 27 Jan 2022 10:01

Good luck n stay positive. Glad we don't need permits.
When we built our home. I hired a livenced private house inspector to inspect the different phases of construction. Foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical n finish. So that our home can be financed through the banks when sold. Same fellow did it all.
I don't know if you have that option available there but maybe worth checking out

# Posted: 15 Sep 2023 16:40

I just bought land in Ashe county NC- West Jefferson to be exact. I'm looking to get a well done and septic does anyone have a ballpark estimate on how much that's going to set me back? If I build my own house will I need all the permits and plans still? Thanks

# Posted: 15 Sep 2023 19:35

Well and septic..15-40k. The rest you will have to ask your local municipality as there the ones who are going to be giving you the fine if you do it wrong.

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