Author Topic: getting set to build  (Read 40842 times)

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Offline altaoaks

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getting set to build
« on: August 20, 2010, 03:10:53 PM »
Hello to all.  This is the first time that i'm jumping in.  I have been following this forum for a couple months now, and my hats are off to all of you.  I'm still at the indecisive stage, but I am doing some type of small cabin.  We recently bought 2 1/2 acres in Alta, CA.  Thats a short 10 minutes from the Tahoe National Forest along interstate 80. 

We are in the snow line, and the well is there.  We need to put in a pump, and i'm thinking maybe a solar set-up.  We are butted up on 2 sides to 160 acres of Pacific Gas & Eletric land.  Nice, no neighbors over there!  Thing is, PG&E already have their new smart metors installed up there.  That sinched it for me.  We are going off grid.  Those smart metors are really offensive!  many people's bills have jumped 40% once they got those things, me included here where I live in the SF Bay area.  I dislike PG &E anyway.

Is anybody here building or built in Placer County?  Id love some 411 before approaching for  building permits.

Love all of your cabin projects, I look forward to all of you guys great advise.  By the way, we are rookies to building, and do plan on doing everything ourselves except plumbing and electrical.  Can't wait for your input!

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 03:22:07 PM »
 w*  altaoaks .  Can't really be much help on that end of the country but most on here are willing help. If you are not sure just ask.  There is probably someone thats "been there and done that".  Good Luck

Offline Tom

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2010, 04:38:02 PM »
Looking forward to your project

Offline wannabuildacabin

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2010, 07:10:13 PM »
 w* Im new here also and everyone has been a big help .

Offline Pine Cone

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 08:26:37 PM »
 w* w*

Nice part of the world.  I used to live about 20 miles SE of Alta in El Dorado County.  Can't help much with building permit info since I haven't lived in the area for over 20 years.  At one time they were pretty reasonable, but lots and lots of people have moved into Placer county in the last 40 years. 

I think the new fire safety codes have put lots of restrictions on materials and design details in rural areas.   Having been around wildland fire fighters for the last 35 years I'd have to say that many of the code changes are reasonable, but it all adds up to more government and more up-tight county enforcement folks.

More details can be found here.  Alta is in a State or Federal Responsibility Area w.r.t. wildland fire first attack response.
http://www.fire.ca.gov/fire_prevention/fire_prevention_wildland.php

So when do we get to see a picture of the property ???

Offline altaoaks

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2010, 02:05:52 PM »
Hi everybody, sorry for the hatius.  i am still here and kicking, still checking on what all of my buddies are up to on the forum, but drowning in company from the big apple who seems to like california a bit  too much.  been at my house for almost 3 months and i think i will need to pack his bags and put a postage stamp somewhere stratagic.  my husband says we made him too confortable. 

anyway, i am back to the business of preparing to build.  i took a ride over to the auburn planning, building, and environmental health departments.  to say i was in shock is a BIG understatement!  placer county has some really high fees.  how about a 1000 sq ft house with a garage, covered front porch, and a small back deck is going to cost approx. $20 grand! 

yes, that is really $20,000 for a building permit.  if the house is bigger, the cost is bigger :(  ???   and if that isnt enough, anything over 120 sq ft needs a permit!  could it get any worse?  did i say we wanted to build with cash and stay mortgage free?  well that might mean building will be a bit delayed, like maybe another year or two!

i dont know which emotions are the strongest:  anger, shock, dismay, frustration, and this over-governing arm of our govt. is really a eye-opener.  big brother is in the drivers seat!

the only good news was from environmental health: the previous owners septic permit is expired but all they need from us is $385. and submit a new copy of the same paperwork that had been submitted by them.  thank god for some good news.

i have photos to submitt but cant find my USB cable to upload them.  i will do that soon.

im trying to figure out how to do an underground house so i can keep my $20 grand, but i dont know if the 2 neighbors near me are cool, or not!  but i truely resent paying this obscene amount of money for a permit, especially given my personal belief is that you shouldnt need permission to build on your own land.

i guess i somewhat understand the need to make sure the primary home is up to code, but sheds, barns, stc. should be free and unpermitted.  we the people have allowed our government to take too much control.  well, that we will build is for sure, when is in question.  the other good news is that the plans do not need wet stamped or engineered, unless we do anything unusual or extraordinary.  after giving them 20 grand we wont have enough $$ left to do any of that! (haha).

the snow load is 78 lbs.  and they dont have any frost line requirements. but we will do at least 2 ft. i guess to be safe regardless.  i would think with snow most of the winter months there would be a minimum requirement.

i cant wait to get suggestions from anyone.  maybe we should just build a bunch of 8X10 sheds!

Offline speedfunk

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2010, 03:30:21 PM »
wow.. to say govt is overstepping is bounds is an understatement.   20K!!!!!!!!!!!

I just read the hand sculpted house and one trick is using a trailer as the OFFICAL house and building what you want behind it. 

Def feel out your neighbors.

always easier to ask forgiveness then permission esp in this case where its pure robbery..

GL!

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Offline Don_P

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2010, 04:04:54 PM »
Umm, I monitor inspector's forums. Forgiveness is not guaranteed, they do remove offending builds/ charge double fees and require engineers regularly.
We demand our local gov'ts not raise property taxes, so they raise fees. It's one or the other, my property taxes went up 40% this year.

Offline altaoaks

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2010, 11:04:19 AM »
thanks for the respond speedfunk and don.  yes, it is really highway robbery.  its not any different than the guy sticking up the corner store except they dont need a gun.  they have you over a barrel and they know it.  as don said, i also have met people who were charged double for doing it without permits.  man, that would hit about $40 grand!  and i have heard stories about being made to demolish and re-build.  its all pretty scarry.

it really is about fees.  im looking at this hand-out i asked them for.  $3227 for a "traffic fee".  $3926 for a "park fee".  $3695 for a "facility fee which includes animal services".  then there are numerous fees for plan check, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and building fees.  in addition to all of that they charge seperate fees for sq. footage on everything right down to additional charges for covered porches. and there are still fees for schools and fire, and  something called 7A. they couldnt tell me the school portion, i have to contact the Alta/Dutch Flat school and get those numbers.  fire is .65 a sq ft under roof.

i also found out all windows must be tempered glass (on the exterior side) and all materials rated especially for our forest fire rating.  i have seen that I-80 corridor from auburn to reno on fire at least 6 times, and its unbelievable to see thousands of acres in red embers and just unstoppable.  during the day its just smokey, and you see a few flames.  at night it looks like a sea of red hot coals.  i wont argue with them about fire-proofing.

well, where there is a will there is a way,  underground is sounding better and better all the time.     

 




 


Offline Squirl

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2010, 05:41:27 AM »
Well, just like most politics, building departments are local.  You must have a lot of people that want to build there or they don't want anyone to be there.  I don't know how land prices are around you, but for me, I would sell even at a loss and go somewhere else.  20k was more than I paid for the land or plan on spending on the building.  Voting with your feet or dollars as they say is sometimes the only thing they listen to.  If fees are too high and people start selling low, property taxes and revenues go way down.  Towns can price themselves into default or poverty.  I would also take the time to make yourself and problems known to the local politicians and see if they are willing to do anything.  Good luck.

Offline Bob S.

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2010, 04:02:47 PM »
Is there any size that does not require a building premit? I saw on another post that you are thinking about building under 200 sq. What if you built several structures one for kitchen one for bedroom ect? all built so as you could jack them up and put them on a trailer and moved if you had too.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2010, 04:20:17 PM »
The costs and requirements sure vary across the country. I just heard about a guy in Arkansas, I think... (some place with hillbillies and that was his self description, not mine) Anyhow, all his building department wanted was $50 and they told him he could build it out of Legos for all they cared.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Don_P

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2010, 04:29:02 PM »
In no code is a "habitable" structure of any size allowed unpermitted that I know of... on the books. That is an accessory structure exemption. YMMV, wildly  :D.

High fees are also a way of outlawing poor people  ;)

Offline dmanley

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2010, 04:50:56 PM »
We're getting ready to start a small (12x16) cabin in Scott Co. Tn, and to quote the county; "At this time Scott County does not have any building ordinances or permitting in place".  Permits are only required for water, electricity, and septic and they are very reasonable.  Sure seems like some other places around the country are gouging pretty deep with permits and such. 

Offline altaoaks

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2010, 06:46:05 PM »
hi everybody.  you make me feel vindacated for the strong emotions i have been having since getting the fee news!

squirl, im not ready to throw in the towel yet, but if i cant figure something out i guess i could try voting with my feet.  its just that property is not a hot selling commodity right now, and i would really hate to loose money.  i am considering just getting it paid off and sitting on it until it will sell, and in the mean time looking for another piece of land (ill research the building permit costs first) where its much more affordable. 

bob s, we can put up a "shed" 120 sq ft or less, but not with electrical or plumbing.  we were thinking about a builders cabin until we got to the house, but thats mot much better than a tent.

mountain don, i could start to like being a hillbilly, especially if i could actually build on my own land without such outlandish fees.

don p, given that there are a lot of poor people in that area, and some very wealthy ones also, i think you may be on to something---i think they gave it some thought and decided they liked the higher taxes from those folks in tahoe and truckie, and decided to raise fees to control feasability of poor people, or at least middle class and under, from coming in.  feels like a conspiricy to me!


d manley, i could really love scott county, tn.  no building permit or planning department,  i would like to order one of those please.

well, im giving a lot of thought into getting a flatbed trailer, one of the builders or big enchalads plans, and going for it.  if they come knocking at my door ill tell them im a motor home, and thats my story and im sticking to it.  that way they get no fees!

Offline h0rizon

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2010, 07:51:09 AM »
I can't help but think some of those fees are kinda fishy.  Why is there a "park fee" and a "facility fee which includes animal services" for a building permit?  I am not from California so I don't understand their systems, but that almost seems like something you might have to pay after you have a home built.  

I am not sure if you had done this already, but did you press them on these fees further?  Ask them exactly what these fees are paying for/covering, who needs to pay them and why?  Maybe they made a mistake or were trying to spook you into not building?

I did a quick google and found the placer county ca fee schedule (http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/CommunityDevelopment/Building/~/media/cdr/BLD/BldgFeeSchedRev05132010.ashx) .  I don't see any mention of park or facility fees.  It only says:

A. Building Permit Fee - 50% of the Fee as set forth in the Fee Schedule (Table 3-A)
in addition to any Electrical, Plumbing, and Mechanical Fees.

Granted that is county fees, so perhaps the township added in some extras fees or something?

On a side note, their valuation system stinks if i'm reading it right.  They actually list a 30% premium valuation if you have a "good quality" residential addition over a "average quality" one.  Who determines that?  ???  What you might also find interesting to note is they value "Residential use converted from garage, basement, or unfinished area" much lower than regular additions.  If you build a "garage" first and then convert it living space, maybe you could get away with a lower valuation and hence lower taxes?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 08:09:03 AM by h0rizon »
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy

Offline MountainDon

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2010, 08:20:15 AM »
I can see the park fee as being money that is supposed to go towards developing community parks. That is charged to builders here, in town. But the amounts charged there are crazy.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline altaoaks

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2010, 08:27:58 AM »
mountain don, thats what all these fees are making me, CRAZY!

Offline John Raabe

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2010, 08:42:26 AM »
I suspect that your county rules on building have been driven by past development on Lake Tahoe. This doesn't require a conspiracy by county officials, they are just responding to public pressure from their constituents who feel:
• Lake Tahoe and Placer Co. is a lovely pristine high mountain area with a spectacular lake (most of us agree!)
• We were here first and more people will spoil what we came here for.
• Prohibitively high fees and construction expenses will severely restrict new development, and this is a good thing!
• Reduced development will keep demand for existing houses high and protect my property values.

In places where lots of people would love to live and where land and housing are in high demand, you will also find zoning, building and other property restrictions to be high. This is telling you "we don't want you - don't move here".

In places where people have historically or recently moved away and land and housing prices have been dropping, you will find that rules, restrictions and building fees are also being reduced. This is telling you "we need people to support our county and pay taxes, come be part of this community".
None of us are as smart as all of us.

Offline John Raabe

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2010, 08:51:38 AM »
Is it cold where you are?

Consider this an example of how things can change in a few years.



http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/13927-North-132nd-Lane_Surprise_AZ_85379_M29640-38162

An 8 year old 3 bedroom 2-1/2 bath house for $250/mo (click property history). It sold for $140,000 in 2007. Property taxes were $841 in 2010 and the assessment value just dropped 25% for 2011.

This is saying "come on down, the weather is great!" (and it is now, but not in August.)
None of us are as smart as all of us.

Offline altaoaks

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2010, 09:00:33 AM »
holly cow john!  that must be one hard hit by forclosure area!  you cant even build a house for that, much less by the lot to build on.  this must be a short sale, its just hard to imagine it comes to this???

Offline MountainDon

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2010, 09:20:37 AM »
They have entire neighborhoods for sale like that.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline h0rizon

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2010, 02:34:12 PM »
I know what happened to that house.

It was built in Surprise, Arizona.

"Surprise!  Your house is now worthless!  Betcha didn't see that coming!".

OK, bad joke. d*

CNN Money did an article last year on how cheap some homes had gotten.  Some where available for $1000 or less.  http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/08/real_estate/thousand_dollar_homes/index.htm

But I digress.  altaoaks I still think you should dig deeper into those fees and really try to find out what's going on.  If they truly do charge that outrageous amount for a simple building permit, I would hate to see the annual taxes or other "living expenses" the town/county imposes.  You may find it's cheaper in the long run to take a loss on the property now and move to the next county/town over.

I feel your frustration.  I would fall over myself.  But then they'd probably charge me a fallover fee.  >:(
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy

Offline MountainDon

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2010, 03:01:14 PM »
I believe what John stated makes sense. Those already there don't really want any more neighbors and this is a perfectly legal method to keep new development to a minimum and preserve the value of those properties that are already developed.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline altaoaks

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Re: getting set to build
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2010, 06:52:51 PM »
ouchhhhhhh! 

 

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