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Old 02-13-2006, 04:11 PM   #1
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Starting an outbuilding - plans, permits?

Hello, I would like to build a shop / well plumbing building. I bought a set of plans that will work for what I need. I will need to build this on a slab with a brick exterior (for subdiv requirements), which means that I need an additional ledge on the slab. I'm calling concrete contractors to get estimates. Some of them are telling me that I need to have my plans redrawn by an engineer for them to give me an estimate. I'm going to build this myself, except for plumbing, electrical and the slab. My question is; can I use the plans that I have for getting permits or will I need to have them redrawn? Or can I redraw them myself using some home design software? Are these contractors sending me on a snipe hunt? Thanks!

BTW, this in Hays County, Texas


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Old 02-13-2006, 05:54 PM   #2
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Maybe you r just dealing with larger contractors that are used to using prints, many of our jobs for outbuildings are just like yours; homeowner has an idea with a crude drawing and wishes and we build it to wht they want. This includes any electrical and plumbing to the building.

Typical process for outbuilding:
Go to planning and zoning and see what restrictions you have to deal with as far as how large you can go, where on the property it will sit. See what your allowed to do first.

They will give you a piece of paper for a site plan. You will make a topical drawing of your ENTIRE property with measurements from lot lines to existing buildings and proposed building, dimentions in between the existing building and new building, you'll literally measure every point on the property on the paper. Once this is done, resumbit it to zoning. They will quickly look it over, make sure it falls within requirements and sign off allowing you to purchase building permit.

You'll take your site plan that's been signed off on over to the building desk and get a permit for your build. You will need a general permit for the struture and if running electrical and plumbing out there this requires seperate permits as well so your looking at a total of 3 permits.

If your building it, your the general contractor and it will be your job to be sure yuou have footings if needed (building office will tell you) and making sure the placement of all plumbing rough in's are where they need to be prior to placing concrete. You will need to get a inspection prior to pouring footings and covering up rough plumbing to main sewer and main water hook up. Once footings are okay by inspector it's full speed ahead and a race to the rough in electrical and plumbing inside the standing structure.

Every place is different so talk with building officials first before spending any money. In all the years I've been doing this I've never had an engineer looking at "building plans" prior to a build for an outbuilding. Even did a house based off homeowners imagination on a piece of notebook paper.



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Old 02-13-2006, 08:18 PM   #3
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I agree!

I built my own garage at my place with plans I did up on graph paper!

You could probably do a monolithic slab down there, it's easy for the concrete guys to add a brick ledge while forming. (well not real easy, costs more, but can be done).

Like josh said check with your building dept. if you can get a permit with your plans, anyone that knows concrete should be able to put in the foundation.

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Old 02-14-2006, 02:01 PM   #4
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whenever you are in doubt about local codes and zoning issues talk with your local officials. do not take the risk of building something because a vendor siad it would pass or not pass, go straight to the official source.
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