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What You Need to Know About Construction Laws and Permits | Custom Home Construction

sure, building a new home for yourself is exciting. However, permits are a part of any construction, whether you’re building a new custom home for yourself, or just renovating one. Thus, you need to obtain the correct approvals and building permits depending upon where you live.

Therefore, this article is going to focus on the construction laws and permits you must become familiar with before you go on to start building your home with custom home construction companies.

Land Approval

Just because you purchased land and are the sole owner. This does not mean you can do or build whatever you want on it. Therefore, you must make sure that your land is an approved lot. In simple words, it should be a legally existing lot, tract, or parcel of record.

However, not many people have been careful about this. And because laws keep changing over time, an already existing structure doesn’t really mean that it is existing legally. 

What you must do is to get hold of a parcel map, and find your APN (assessor’s parcel number). Thus, by this, you can easily check and ensure whether your parcel is in an approved building location. 

The good news is that these records are easily available to everyone. And you can easily get hold of these at the county courthouse. The county recorder’s office, city hall, or the tax assessor’s office.


Zoning laws include all the laws related to how real property can be used in certain areas, especially the type of operations allowed on a site. 

Zonings covers all aspects of how the land or lot can be used. And what type of building is allowed on that land. These laws are introduced by the state and local governments in order to regulate the use of any land and buildings to manage land use better. These zoning codes set out what is legally permitted on each block of land.

Again, these laws are open to the public, and you can easily get more knowledge regarding these zoning laws from your local zoning office, city hall. Or any other planning board that may provide you with zoning information related to your land or building. 

Knowing about zoning laws is crucial before you start construction on any land, as you will get to know about any restrictions or regulations that may hinder or affect your home building or construction process.

Building Codes

Building codes are a set of rules that determine the standards that are set for any construction, be it building or non-building structures. Thus, it is crucial to abide by these codes. And residents must obtain planning permission before they build or construct their homes.

In numerous countries, especially in the US, these building codes are determined by International Building Code (IBC). Moreover, these codes also include other codes, such as the International Plumbing Code and the National Electric Code.

Therefore, in case you purchased land or a lot in an area where there are set IBS, make sure to adopt these along with the other applicable codes. 

Talk to your project engineer and contractor, make sure they have all these aspects in mind. Moreover, it would also be a wise thing to do by researching these codes yourself. You can research them online and also find these at your local building codes department.

Ordinance and Covenants

Local ordinances and covenants are important as well. These small sets of rules and regulations can get in the way of your home building process. Therefore, you must make sure that your proposed build is in compliance with these local ordinances and covenants.

For instance, although your building’s structure might already be approved. These local ordinances can restrict the size or even height of your building. Thus, to avoid these interferences and restrictions, you must obtain written approval from the planning commission or commissioner in your area, and then you’re all set.

Permit and Plans

A building permit is crucial if you want to build a new home or even remodel your home.

Under this law, when an individual obtains a permit, they will be considered a contractor and will be then responsible and liable for any damages that may result during the construction process.

Therefore, you have to have a talk with your team and discuss who will be taking care of these permits. In most cases, your contractor or building will be responsible to fill the permits.

However, one must have a full understanding of each permit that needs to be obtained.

Here’s advice- in case your contractor keeps stalling or procrastinating for doing this, please find yourself a new contractor.

Furthermore, it is also important to know there you will need numerous and additional permits for different systems. For instance, in case you’re renovating your home and wanting to replace the old plumbing system with a new one, you’ll be needing a plumbing permit. You will also need electrical or grading permits depending upon your building.

Renovating Your Home

To do this, you will have to submit all your plans related to your custom home to your local code office. This plan is going to include the overall structure plan of your house, as well as the measurements, floor plans, the materials that will be used in the building, the exterior, and more. 

You can easily find a checklist through FEMA. In order to better understand how to obtain a building permit, and work for approval.

In case your building engineer or compactor does not obtain the imperative permits that will be needed for you to begin with your construction project, fret not. 

Although the process of obtaining a permit is lengthy, you can take care of this responsibility yourself as well. 

Besides that, the overall process isn’t too complicated, and you can begin by contacting your local authority in order to determine and find out the necessary documentation and formalities you will be needing for your custom build. You can easily search up the application guidelines for building a new house online.


CAITIE C. is a digital marketing and SEO Expert working for multiple organizations to boost their business and online presence.

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