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Do You Need Building Permits for Metal Buildings?

First Things First: Get Your Construction Permits!

First time buyers often ask if you need building permits for metal buildings.  Absolutely!  In most cases, you will definitely require a construction permit from your local building authority.

Thank goodness, smart buyers ask about building permits first—before they order a pre-engineered steel building.

icon depicting a building permit for metal buildingsUnfortunately, some construction novices, in the heat of let’s-get-it-done-now mania, may order first, and then seek metal building permits later.

That is putting the cart before the horse— big time.

Most perplexing are the buyers who deliberately ignore their local building restrictions.  They simply build however and wherever they want.  These individualists sing along with Sinatra, “I’ll do it my way.”   They subscribe to the “it is better to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission” school of thought.

That’s a very bad idea.

Building before permitting is a HUGE and COSTLY mistake that can take a big bite out of your wallet.

Why Get a Permit?

Unauthorized building can result in fines. Worse yet, building authorities may refuse to allow you to erect the building that has already been manufactured and delivered to you – whether it’s for a barn, shed, or metal carport.

If you complete the structure and then find out you are violating local building codes, you may be required to tear down the building— at your own expense— and pay massive fines!

Moreover, without certification from the local building authorities, it may be impossible to sell your property later.

Building codes and permits are in place to protect us.  They demand our structures are as safe as possible for local conditions.  The process also seeks to eliminate any compliance problems before building construction starts.

So Who Needs a Permit?

Yes, it is true that in a few instances you may not legally require a construction permit.  For example, some locations do not demand permits for small buildings on rural properties.

However, never assume your structure qualifies for an exemption. 

Ask FIRST; BUILD second.

Where Do You Apply?

Look for your local building department online.  Google your county or parish with the state name and “building permits.”  The web site should give you the basics, as well as contact information.

We recommend that you speak directly with a building official.  Building codes evolve over time.  You want to be sure that you have the most current information.

Also, building officials know local zoning.  They will make sure your structure meets the requirements for your particular property.

Don’t forget to check with your neighborhood association, if applicable.  They too have restrictions and limitations on building types, sizes, and locations allowed in their residential neighborhood.  Be sure your structure complies with their guidelines before you order your building.

When Do You Apply for a Permit?

Do not wait!  Apply for a permit as soon as you have all your construction documentation gathered.

What Do You Need to Apply?

Your building department should supply you with a checklist of the items they require to accompany your permit application.  These items will probably include:

Permit fees vary by location and the size of the project.


Two things you need to remember:

  • NEVER take delivery on a metal kit before obtaining your construction permit. Wait for approval!
  • As the owner, YOU are financially and legally responsible for your building permits.

RHINO and Building Permits for Metal Buildings

At RHINO Steel Building Systems, we assist our customers through permitting.

Our highly trained metal building specialists have led thousands of metal building buyers through the permitting maze.  Trust RHINO to provide you with the expertise you need to navigate this sometimes frustrating process.

RHINO provides three copies of plans stamped by a qualified engineer certified for your location.  Three letters of certification also accompany the plans.

Stamped plans smooth the permitting process with building officials.  All this documentation comes as part of our standard metal building kit package.

In addition, RHINO offers a Permit Hold for orders with delayed permitting.  Large commercial and industrial projects often require more time to gain approval.  Manufacturing for your building remains on hold until you receive official building permit.

A Permit Hold protects you from last-minute adjustments made by building officials.  It also protects you from any imminent steel price increases.

Contact RHINO now with any questions you may have about building permits for metal buildings or our prefab steel structures.  Call us today at 940.383.9566.