Already have money and insurance. now you are looking for land and ready to acquire land. do not buy land yet, make sure you will be allowed to do what you want to do. find out what the properties around you can do and what they cant. think long term.

Research the construction codes and regulations in your area!

It is absolutely CRUCIAL to understand what your team needs. Do they need a toilet on the land itself? A spot for camping and making fires? How many meals a day will you be providing? If you are also facing land limitations, then make sure you have a back-up plan. Being able to go to the bathroom during a long hard day of work is not to be taken lightly!

Residential and commercial building codes are very complex in the United States and Canada, so do plenty of research and make sure that your dream Earthship complies with both federal and state/provincial laws! Alternatively you can hire a lawyer, but you can definitely find out yourself if you put in the time and patience.

Make sure you know:

What kind of zoning is my land considered? What building restrictions are there for that kind of zoning?

Do I need a building permit from my local municipality or province?

How do construction inspections take place?

Am I allowed to use car tires as part of my foundation?

Do we need to build a toilet and set up a temporary living space on the construction site? If so, are there any local or federal regulations about it?

When building permits are required.

(New Mexico Residential Code 106.1)

Except as specified in Section 105..2 IRC, no building or structure regulated by this code shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished unless a permit has first been obtained from the building official.

When building permits are NOT required.

(New Mexico Residential Code 105.1)

A building permit shall not be required for the following:

  1. One story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet.
  2. Fences not over 6 feet high.
  3. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured form the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge
  4. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2: 1.
  5. Sidewalks and drive way no more then 30 inches above adjacent grade and not over any basements or story below.
  6. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work .
  7. Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches deep.
  8. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to a one or two-
  9. family dwelling.
  10. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project
  11. more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
  12. Deck not exceeding 200 sq ft in area, that are not more than 30” above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling and do not serve the exit door required by section R311.4.

Note: Unless otherwise exempted, separate plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits will be required for the above- exempted items.

Septic Tank

Obtain a permit to modify or install an individual liquid waste system form from your local state environment department office.

To obtain a building permit.

The applicant shall fill out an APPLICATION for STATE BUILDING PERMIT form. Applicant must list property owner’s name and address, contractor’s company name, address and license number (if applicable), architect’s name, address and license number (if applicable), specific use of building, county in which the project is located, project address, nearest city/town/village, legal description, written directions to the site, description of work, construction material, and total square footage. The qualifying party for the licensed contractor requesting the permit or the homeowner requesting a homeowner construction permit must sign the application.

Zoning Approval

Your project may be located in an area requiring zoning approval from a city or county zoning authority . You must obtain zoning approval and signature on the APPLICATION for STATE BUILDING PERMIT before applying to this office for the building permit. Contact the Construction Industries Division for zoning requirements in your area.

Valuation and Fees

Valuation of your project is based CID Rules New Mexico

Administrative code 14. 5. 5. 10 . The project does need the signed contract between the project owner and contractor. If you are applying for a homeowner construction permit, the Division will calculate the valuation based on established valuation tables in our office. The fee, which co vers plan review , the permit notice and required inspections, is based on the valuation amount. Our office will calculate the valuation and fee for you. If you are mailing the application and plans to your nearest CID office, call any of the offices listed above for the fee prior to mailing.