Nov. 11, 2019, 1:40 p.m.

Do I need a building permit for a metal garage or carport?

Certified Metal Carport
Certified Metal Carport

Before you go out and actually build your metal carport or metal garage, you will have to take care of the formalities. We know its a pain, but trust us, it is worth the effort. Most of our clients ask us whether they need a building permit to build a steel carport, garage, or storage shed. Our answer is not the same every time. Well, it depends, you see. Building permit requirements are set out by your local building authorities. And they vary from state to state or even county to county.

The authorities will hand you out the permits if they consider that your building follows all the local building codes. You probably have heard architects, engineers and designers alike complain about buildings codes during a construction project. Some think they are too restrictive while some are just annoyed by the hassle they create. However, everybody will agree that you need to abide by the building codes of your place to have smooth sailing with your building process.

What Exactly Are These Building Permits?

Building permits are official papers and documents that certify that the government has approved the construction of your building. These permits are necessary to ensure that all building constructions are safe and that they follow the local building codes.

Building Permit Process for Metal Carports and Metal Garages

The process of obtaining a building permit will vary from place to place.

First, you will have to apply to get your permit. If you have any confusion or just need information on the building permit requirements of your place, do not hesitate to contact the concerned authorities.

There might be a few things you will have to present with your application form. Some places require certification or building plans and drawings. So, make sure that you ask your metal building supplier to provide those documents if you need them. A trusted supplier, like Carport1, will supply certified units which are designed according to the building laws of your place.

Second, submit your application. Pay all the fees that are required. After that, the licensing office will issue your official building permit.

But the process does not stop there. The building authorities will give you further directions. They might tell you to display your building permit at the site when the construction is taking place. Most of the time, a site inspector will pay you regular visits when the building is being installed. If he/she is satisfied at the end of the installation, then only will your metal building installation be complete in earnest.

So, What Are Building Codes?

We have already said that to get your building permits, you will need to follow local building codes. But what are these?

Building codes are a set of rules that govern every aspect of the construction of a building. State legislatures, politicians, and building professionals set forth these laws. They include standards for the design, the construction, the repair as well as demolition of any building.

While there are building codes that are to be followed internationally, on the federal and state level, local governments are mainly responsible for adopting these laws and enforcing them. Building codes regulate everything, from the building setbacks to the construction of the foundation to the utility supply to a building, and so on.

Building codes vary from one locality to the next. This is because conditions change from place to place. Some areas are prone to flooding, some areas have loose soil type, and some areas have high building density. These varying conditions are the reasons building codes are enforced on a local level. The concerned authorities are continually modifying and evolving these building codes to ensure increased safety of the people of that place. Building codes have strict rules and guidelines which the designers, engineers, and contractors have to incorporate in the building construction. Some of these rules regulate fire safety; some regulate seismic design while some of the rules regulate environmental impact that a building has on the surroundings. Building codes make sure that the buildings are strong enough to withstand any loads or pressure that it might face during its lifetime.

What happens if I fail to get a building permit for my metal carport or garage?

Not every locality in the country requires a building permit for a metal carport or any other metal building. So, check if that is the case or not.

But if you need to get a permit and you fail to do it, then you might be in a bit of trouble, to put it mildly.

Safety Concerns

Local buildings codes are most important for the safety of the people. They check the structural stability and strength of your steel building so that it can withstand the weather of your places. Also, provisions in buildings codes are there to ensure the safety of occupants during various kinds of disasters like fire hazards, earthquakes, floods, storms, etc. All these measures are put in place for the well-being of the people of that place. So, getting building permits is incredibly essential for your safety as well as that of the general public.

Legal and Financial Consequences

Suppose you do not want to be bothered by safety this and safety that. You just know that your building will remain standing no matter what the conditions (we do not see how you would know that. This is just a hypothetical situation.) You want to be thrifty and do not want to spend the money on the permit fees.

So what will happen if you do not get the permits for your metal carports and garages?

Failure to obtain building permits, when you need to get one, might come with serious legal consequences. You might be penalized or made to pay some considerable fines. Sometimes the authorities will charge double or triple the original fee amount. In the worst case scenario, the government might decide to take down your building if they deem it too unsafe for the public.

The legality of the building you install will also influence the price of your property. If you do not have the legal documents for your metal carports and garages, potential buyers might be discouraged from buying your property. This can devalue your property significantly. Another thing is that insurance companies may deny paying your claims for unpermitted metal carports or garages.

Build Your Metal Carports and Metal Garages Legally!

Do not try to cut corners when it comes to installing metal carports and garages. If your building supplier or contractor is telling you to do so, find another supplier. A good supplier will definitely make your building process easier. But they will never tell you to do something shady, like build without a permit.

If you do not feel well-informed about your local building codes, then contact the concerned authorities. Constructing a steel building that follows the building codes will pay off in the long run.

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