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29.06.2014 admin
Since most of us dislike dealing with the local bureaucracy, I have compiled a list of things that can be built on a property without a building permit. Here is the southwest suburban Portland area (Oregon), we can build a 200 sf shed without a permit.
The outdoor playhouse at Tracy Wieland’s home in Fernandina Beach was supposed to be a funhouse for her twins, a playplace for those daydream days. Instead, the cottage-style playhouse, erected on stilts, is racking up fines at a rate of $100 per day after Fernandina Beach cited Wieland with building the playhouse without a permit and ordered her to take it down. But even a dollhouse can require building permits and related fees, adding to a family’s cost of buying one of the buildings. Jacksonville City Hall, for instance, does not require building permits for playhouses in its jurisdiction.
Nassau County requires building permits for all playhouses in its purview, which is the unincorporated area of the county.
Fernandina Beach mandates building permits to ensure playhouses are constructed for safe use and can withstand hurricane-force winds, said Michelle Forstrom of the city’s building and code enforcement department. She said the city gave Wieland notices and opportunities to present documents showing the playhouse meets city standards, but she didn’t provide sufficient engineering plans.


The dispute begins with Wieland’s assertion that before she even bought the playhouse, she and an office assistant contacted Fernandina Beach three times and were told no permit was required unless the building was more than 100 square feet in size. Forstrom said Fernandina Beach officials wouldn’t tell residents the permits are tied to the size of the structure. Wieland purchased a wooden playhouse made by Backyard Storage Solutions, which states its buildings are designed to meet most national and local building codes.
She said she built the playhouse that way so a daughter could use it as a dollhouse and a son could use the area below it, either as a make-believe military bunker or as a sandbox. Construction of the playhouse was almost complete when city inspectors notified her she needed a building permit. The city doesn’t have the authority to go onto the property and remove the building, Forstrom said.
A tree house can be so much more than an accessory structure; it will be easier to get away with building an insulated structure with desks, day beds, and windows if you label it a tree house as opposed to an accessory structure.
A permit may be required if a fence over 3 feet in height is proposed within the front yard set back.
We can also attach a patio or deck cover to the house (under 200 sf and less than 10 ft avg height) without a permit – which is surprising.


In Fernandina Beach, for instance, the total fees are about $120 for a playhouse costing $2,000. With summer vacation adding to the appeal of getting a playhouse for children, it’s important to check in advance with building departments before buying one of the buildings. The manufacturer’s directions for assembling the playhouse refer to it being built on a concrete slab or with the floor supported by the ground. She also sent in photos showing heavy-duty bolts and brackets that secure the bottom of the playhouse to four-by-four posts that are encased by cement in the ground.
As for Wieland’s twin children, who were the reason she built the playhouse in the first place, she said the building is off-limits to them, something to see but not touch.



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Rubric: Woodworking Plans Children



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