building permitsThere are five important questions you must answer before the installation of your steel garage kit.

After you have decided which company you will be buying your kit from you will need to provide information so that you will receive the right kit for your needs, whether you are building a steel garage or metal carport for residential or commercial. Other questions will cover building codes permit, whether your building needs to be certified or not, municipal fees you might have to pay in some areas, accessory structure rules and basic building information.

1. What are the permit requirements for my area?

Some “Do It Yourself” owners will not have to get a permit to build their steel garage kit. Those are generally people who will probably be building in a rural area. However, by and large, the rule is if any building, including those made from galvanized steel, is to be attached to the ground, it will need a permit.

There are a lot of people who will go ahead and order the pre-engineered plans or a metal garage kit anyway without a permit. We do not advise that because in some extreme circumstances codes may make you move it or take it down. This will depend upon your local codes and how hard they are to deal with but most companies high recommend you to get the permit first before you order the kit.

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That being said, keep good records of the construction of your steel garage or carport. This is to prove to codes that you have properly anchored and assembled it. It is also a very good idea to have pictures of your concrete floor footings.

One huge advantage to a steel garage kit or carport is that you can take it down and reassemble it if necessary. Because the garage building kits are bolted and screwed together that task will be much easier should you find yourself in that kind of situation.

2. What does a certified or uncertified engineering option mean?

Most likely, if you are building in a rural area such as a farm, your building will not need to be certified. If you are building inside city limits, you will probably have to be certified. Certified means the kit or engineering plans meet your state’s building requirements. This is particularly important if you live in an area that needs wind or snow load ratings. In those cases, you’ll need to meet standards from your local county inspector since your steel building must be able to withstand winds, rain or snow. It would be foolhardy to erect a steel structure which would collapse from snow load or will fall due to high winds.

3. What are municipal fees and will I have to pay them too?

Municipal fees are another way local governments can get more money from you before you are allowed to build anything on your property. This depends upon your area because some places will require them and some will not. The amounts will also vary. It wouldn’t matter whether your garage, rv cover or carport is constructed of wood or steel, you will have to pay the fee in order to do the addition.

It is good advice to find out what, if any, municipal fees you will be required to pay and just pay them. It is much easier in the long run instead of fighting city hall on this.

4. What are accessory structure rules?

This is probably the most important rule to keep in mind with a building permit. You must be in compliance as to where your will putting your building on your property. It cannot be placed too close to your property line, for example. It must be in compliance with your property set-back requirements. Also, your new building must be the proper distance from your other structures, if that is also a local codes requirement.

The reason is this can be a real sore spot with your neighbors and can cause rough disputes if your neighbors feel you are building too close to the line. They can complain to codes or your city councilman and that can lead to unnecessary trouble that could have been avoided if you have simply followed codes in the first place.

5. Basic building information

Your steel garage kit company will need to ask you what you want in a steel structure. You’ll need to be able to tell them eve height and roof type. They’ll want to know if you want clear span and what types of pedestrian doors and sizes of your windows. You’ll also need to think about insulation, if any, and gutter and downspout. This is not as difficult as it appears because many companies have kits clearly shown and explained online. You can go in and choose the kit you want. If you need more custom plans or a special order you will need to get into more detail with the company.

If you’re not sure, or if it still sounds too complicated, you can simply talk to a sales representative you can help you sort it all out. But the more you know before you start the job the more successful your new garage or carport kit will be. Staying in compliance with your local codes can help prevent many serious headaches down the road, especially when it comes time to sell your property.

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