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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Sep 2004
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    upstate South Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800 4WD

    Default Building permits required???

    Several years ago, I built a 40' x 40' pole shed on a 300 acre wooded tract for tractor storage. I realize laws vary in each state or county, (I am in Greenville Co., S.C.) but was curious if you guys obtained permits for similar work. I operated under the premise that since this was not a residence, had no electricity or plumbing, a permit was not necessary. When I called the building department, they seemed not to care (or not know) so I just went ahead and built it. No problem has ever arisen.

    Now I would like electricty brought 700' down our drive to supply this shed for lighting and power for tools such as a welder. Obviously, this is probably going to need a permit. My fear is that by drawing attention to this, am I openning a "can of worms" drawing attention to my already built pole barn? Note my shed has no floor or walls, and no one lives on this property. I was also curious as to what fees power companies charge to run overhead power lines to a new meter at a shed? Obviously this varies from region to region. Before I pursue the channels of government bureaucracy, I just wanted to see if anyone else had any knowledge of similar issues, especially in S.C. My past experience with local code enforcement agencies leaves me a little fearful.

  2. #2
    New Member
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    Jul 2009
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    Default Re: Building permits required???

    Quote Originally Posted by HCJ View Post
    Several years ago, I built a 40' x 40' pole shed on a 300 acre wooded tract for tractor storage. I realize laws vary in each state or county, (I am in Greenville Co., S.C.) but was curious if you guys obtained permits for similar work. I operated under the premise that since this was not a residence, had no electricity or plumbing, a permit was not necessary. When I called the building department, they seemed not to care (or not know) so I just went ahead and built it. No problem has ever arisen.

    Now I would like electricty brought 700' down our drive to supply this shed for lighting and power for tools such as a welder. Obviously, this is probably going to need a permit. My fear is that by drawing attention to this, am I openning a "can of worms" drawing attention to my already built pole barn? Note my shed has no floor or walls, and no one lives on this property. I was also curious as to what fees power companies charge to run overhead power lines to a new meter at a shed? Obviously this varies from region to region. Before I pursue the channels of government bureaucracy, I just wanted to see if anyone else had any knowledge of similar issues, especially in S.C. My past experience with local code enforcement agencies leaves me a little fearful.
    well if it was me i would not drawing any attention to it...
    you DID need a permit for something that size. anything over 10x12 or anchored to concrete you need a blueprint drawing (sometimes they will take a nicely done and to scale drawing) have it okayed by your building department give them a copy and pay for the permit.
    anyways the cost of having power companies come in and put poles up and run lines cost alot more then you would ever think (we had some stuff on a trailer that pulled out a line going to the house and it was only about 25' away from the pole and it was $1800 to have the line put back in. i asked if it was so much coz it was ripped out or would it cost that much if it was a new install. he told me the new installs cost more) more parts, more time, more people to do the job.
    i would hate to pay for them to put poles in and run that much line
    i would look into running a heave line from the house up to it just to run the lights and radio and with all that money you just saved get a nice big diesel generator to run the welder or anything else you would ever need.
    if code enforcement comes you will get fined and have to tear it down ( my friend had a small shop and was adding on to it when code enforcement came he got a fine of something like 300 bux and was told to tear it down.
    ( he only had the framing up for the walls thank god) but after he took it down they tried to charged him for not having a demolition permit.
    i had never seen someone turn 6 colors of red and yell so loud in my life. lol
    as he did to that code enforcement officer..
    another thing you might be able to do -
    if it looks old enough you could say that it has been there for along time and is grandfathered in witch means before they passed that law. i'm not really sure how many years ago that was. i'm thinking 15 to 20 years ago or something like that
    and seeing how theres no walls or anyone living there as long as its done right and dont look like something that might get someone hurt or killed should be okay
    do your homework before you do anything that might bring bad luck or take the cash from your pocket.
    hope this helps.
    gary...

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2006
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    4,409
    Location
    Northwest, WA

    Default Re: Building permits required???

    Quote Originally Posted by HCJ View Post
    I operated under the premise that since this was not a residence, had no electricity or plumbing, a permit was not necessary.

    My fear is that by drawing attention to this, am I openning a "can of worms"
    If you truly believed no permit was necessary, why are you worried about "openning a "can of worms"" ??

    Quote Originally Posted by HCJ View Post
    My past experience with local code enforcement agencies leaves me a little fearful.
    What "past experience with local code enforcement" did you have ?
    ::Sent from a standard desktop keyboard::

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  4. #4
    Platinum Member bigdad's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    617
    Location
    West Central Illinois
    Tractor
    Kubota B7510

    Default Re: Building permits required???

    In my community anything that cannot be moved or drug around has to have a building permit, Electricty, water or sewer or whatever. Mostly its a way to keep the property updated for tax purposes.

    We constantly have people that sneak building projects to beat the county out of property tax. I am sure that is not your intention sir, but be careful and not get socked with some back taxes.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Re: Building permits required???

    Quote Originally Posted by HCJ View Post
    Several years ago, I built a 40' x 40' pole shed on a 300 acre wooded tract for tractor storage. I realize laws vary in each state or county, (I am in Greenville Co., S.C.) but was curious if you guys obtained permits for similar work. I operated under the premise that since this was not a residence, had no electricity or plumbing, a permit was not necessary. When I called the building department, they seemed not to care (or not know) so I just went ahead and built it. No problem has ever arisen.
    At this point, you're at their mercy. Call your counties department that issues permits and tell them you're considering building a barn and ask what requires a permit. About five years ago, I built a shed in my back yard. I was told that anything above 10'x12' (or was it 12'x12') required a building permit.

    Keep in mind that by not telling them about the building, in their eyes, you have ROBBED them of tax revenue. Additional improvements on your property drive up your property assessment and increase your taxes. Some counties routinely have their GIS department analyze aerial photography to identify structures, etc, but I've never heard of one using this to identify people that didn't get permits.

    Keith

  6. #6
    Elite Member blueriver's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    4,420
    Location
    S.E.Oklahoma
    Tractor
    JD 5520 Montana 4340 Farmall Super C

    Default Re: Building permits required???

    Don't ask about permits, just call the electric company ... they will tell you what they can and can not do. Then go from there.

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Apr 2000
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    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Building permits required???

    I am sure what everyone is saying is true for their area but this is a county by county thing. My county you have to permit a barn. The next county over, my property line, you do not on ag zoned land but do if the land is zoned residential. Many places in the country if you have over 10 acres the only thing you have to permit is a septic system. Just depends on your given county.

    I would do as blueriver suggests and call the power company for an estimate. They will let you know if you need a permit or certificate of occupancy, know as a CO, from the building department before they can hook you up.

    MarkV

  8. #8
    Platinum Member NSBound's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    924
    Location
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Tractor
    Landini 4140 HST

    Default Re: Building permits required???

    Quote Originally Posted by HCJ View Post
    .... Note my shed has no floor or walls, and no one lives on this property.
    I dunno, it doesn't even sound like a shed to me if it has no floor and no walls. What is it, just a roof on poles? If you went with out electricity for 4 years, maybe you can still do without it? Can you just build a simple little shelter and put in a portable generator for when you may need some power?
    Ian, now retired near Wallace Nova Scotia. 2008 Landini 4140H made by LS Tractors, FEL, toothbar, 6' box blade, bedder, middle buster, 5' Celli tiller, pallet forks, Pat's EC System, loaded tires, 2 rear remotes (standard on the Landini) . I bought my tractor from Cumberland Tractor, www.cumberlandtractor.blogspot.com . See the full story on building my hillside house in Nova Scotia at http://wallaceriver.blogspot.com/

  9. #9

    Default Re: Building permits required???

    If you are installing a new meter,the utility will require a UL inspectors sticker with signature on the panel before the turn the power on.So you will have to pull a permit for the electric.If your coming off an existing meter,you can do as you like.Remember that you are liable for the work,and any damage improperly installed electric may do.SO an electrical permit,and inspection is the way to go IMO,irreguardless of if you get a building permit,around here,one has nothing to do with the other.
    One other thing,around here the utility company is priced very competite with local contractors for buying,setting the poles,and the hookups.We used them,because by giving them some work,we got it all finished turned on faster at the panel in the end. To go 700 ft your gloing to need another transformer down there or very large wire off your existing utility to combat voltage drop.My rough guess is the poles and wiring to the panel will cost you 4-6000 dollars.Id get a local electrician to quote you a heavy underground aluminum low voltage run if its possible,youd save buying another meter and the monthly fees that go with it(30.00) a month here just to have a meter.
    Cat 246 SS,Homemade 35T log splitter,2004 Ventrac 4231G various attachments...2005 Dixie chopper XXWD5000, 2001 Dixie Chopper XW2500-60

  10. #10
    Silver Member Hiltz's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    218
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    JD 790

    Default Re: Building permits required???

    I went through this not long ago here in Michigan. I dont know what was worse---dealing with the county or dealing with the electric company. Alot of hoops to jump thru. If your electric company is like the one here you will need an address on your building which you have to get from the county ($50.00 in Michigan) The electric company had varying rates they charge for running the service, setting the pole, ect, based on how much electricity they think you are going to use. The more you use per month the lower the hook up fee. I have heard of some people who have their local electric company run a temporary pole to their structure (secluded pole barn, hunting cabin, getaway) and dont pay the high fees of a regular service to get hooked on. I guess its a loophole in the system. I heard of a hunting cabin thats been on a temporary pole over 10 years. Seems the electric company does not want the expense of running a regular service a couple of miles through rough terrain. The new owner made a visit to the electric company and they were well aware of the temp pole. Go figure

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