Permits for Building a Small Cabin?

Discussion in 'IW Outdoors' started by Drop_Tine5214, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Drop_Tine5214

    Drop_Tine5214 Member

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    I have also posted this in Iowa Sportsman but thought I would stop in here too so I can get as much advice as possible. :)

    So I have always had this dream of someday owning a little getaway cabin on a piece of land in the middle of nowhere. I took the first step to this in March of this year and bought a 6 acre piece of wooded property in Southern IA. It sits off a dead end gravel road and has access to a small river. I'm super pumped.

    Anyways, I want to build a small cabin (probably 12x20) to be able to stay in when I go down there. It won't have plumbing, but if possible I think I would like to trench in electrical from the road to have lights and a few outlets. Also looking into solar as an option. Does anyone have any experience doing this? Do I need to notify the county and get special building permits for this? Also, do I need to just set up an appointment with the electrical company to find out of I can even trench a line in?

    I'm very new to this, and have some minor building experience, but this will be a whole new ball game. I can already start to see my dream come true, but want to make sure I do it right the first time.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!!!
     
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  3. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    I do know that zoning varies by county and whereas there was a lot of leeway 10-15 years ago...there have been changes over that time that have tightened some things up...at least in the county that my farm/cabin is in...which is Davis.

    I would go to county website for whatever county you are in and/or call the county zoning office with specific questions.

    Oh...think about security too...unless you are going to leave nothing inside it.
     
  4. bigbuckhunter88

    bigbuckhunter88 PMA Member

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    Most likely it depends on the county and since you will be needing a service you will most likely have to get a contractor. Talk to people in the area and find one who will work with you. Someone licensed will have to pull the permit. All this is if you have electrical put in (which I would do). Solar is a whole different ballgame. I would also definitely put security systems in. Would hate to see your cabin turn into a meth lab/crime scene and you not be allowed to use it.
     
  5. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    mehhhh.... I wouldn't ask too many questions and just buy a shed package (plenty in that size category) from Lowes, Menards, Home Depot, local lumber yard, etc. You won't need a permit for a "shed".

    Or the amish sell those pre-built shed deals all over southern Iowa.

    Just my 2c.
     
  6. Oct-Lull

    Oct-Lull Active Member

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    12x20 Cabin, build it on skids. If its not a permanent structure what can they say? I personally wouldn't get anyone involved but that's my opinion. As far as the electrical, I would go thru an electrician. Get one to go out with you tell them what you want and let them do the contact. Most likely will go more smoothly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  7. bigbuckhunter88

    bigbuckhunter88 PMA Member

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    My entire post was directed towards the electrical aspect as that's what I'm familiar with. Each county is different on building codes and some require nothing for structure,plumbing,hvac which is most likely the case you have. But if you want power you will most likely need to involve an electrical contractor or at least someone who will pull a permit for you because of the need for a service.
     
  8. Mike311

    Mike311 Active Member

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    Its easier to ask for forgiveness then get permission. Honda generators are easy to carry in and out and can handle your small electrical needs.
     

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