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Author Topic: Places with no building codes in NH?  (Read 7056 times)

Alex Free Market

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Places with no building codes in NH?
« on: January 02, 2009, 09:38 AM NHFT »

This question is for those real estate agents, or homeowners very familiar with this issue.... but I am wondering if there is any place in NH outside the jurisdiction of building codes, like is the case in certain rocky mountain states where you can literally put a cardboard box on your property and the town can't say anything. 

I am pretty close to buying a piece of property, which I intend to put my "real" [legit] house on one day.  But in the meantime, I'm just look to throw an off-the-grid shack on it which I may somewhat covertly live in for a year.  I have no intention of informing the town that I built it, since it's up to them to find that out if they are interested in that fact.   I'm only going to get involved with the town when I build my real house in a year or two... then I'll do the whole architectural plans thing, building permits, etc...

NH seems to have an awful lot of shacks in the middle of the woods that (particularly up north)... there's just no way these things meet legit building code, you can tell by just looking at them.... so I'm sort of wondering.... are there places outside the building code in NH.... or is it simply a case of lots of people build "illegal" small cabins and the town is never the wiser, or maybe just doesn't care.

I ask because it would obviously suck to build a small cabin, only to have some nosy town critter come tell me I have to tear it all down.  I don't even see how they are going to know about it... since I want to buy a piece of landlocked or set back property not in sight of the road (to avoid just such problems actually). 

I'm pretty good at building because I do construction work, so my place won't be a junker.... but I doubt it would meet every single aspect of the code... most cabins don't... if not the building itself, then something in the wiring or the plumbing, as do-it-yourself cabins tend to be done by homeowners who mouse things together over the years... throwing in their own electric outlets and such.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 09:43 AM NHFT by Alex Free Market »
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41mag

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Re: Places with no building codes in NH?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2009, 12:12 PM NHFT »

I believe the rules are different for a seasonal (not primary residence) cabin. 
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jerry

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Re: Places with no building codes in NH?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2009, 12:29 PM NHFT »

There is nowhere in NH that is "outside" the building code,since the state adopted the International Building Code  http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XII/155-A/155-A-mrg.htm

But don't despair.  The code specifically exempts single family homes, so you only need to deal with town rules and the state rules on septic systems and the state fire code and more recently, building anything near bodies of water.  If your cabin doesn't have running water you don't need a septic system.  If you don't install electric then you needn't be concerned with the fire code.

If it's only for a year or two why bother building?  Just find some land in a town with no restrictions on trailers/RVs and move in.

Do your research on town rules carefully.  A friend  who bought property in Lempster found out that "no zoning" didn't necessarily mean no building permits and other restrictions.

The town of Grafton comes to mind as one of the least restrictive. :)
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jerry

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Re: Places with no building codes in NH?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 02:06 PM NHFT »

I don't know the specifics of the law on plumbing, but I did a search on Craigslist not too long ago and found a bunch of trailers and RVs selling for less than the composting toilet you are looking at.
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Places with no building codes in NH?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 03:09 PM NHFT »

I think first you might want to find inexpensive land that can be accessed.
Many of the camps up north met the codes at the time of their construction, and most 'codes' are based on past experience... but not expensive to meet.

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KBCraig

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Re: Places with no building codes in NH?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2009, 04:15 AM NHFT »

It's true that they demand an approved septic plan if you have running water, even if you only want to use a composting toilet, and your only discharge would be gray water.

One of my plans is to buy land and build a shop-slash-barn, and park our travel trailer inside.

The barn would be insulated and heated.  ;)

Alex, you're being very optimistic to think you can go a "few months" before you have to dump your RV sewage tank. With 3-4 people in our trailer, we get 2-3 days tops before having to dump the black water.

You can always dump into a portable tank, and take that tank to an RV park to dump (caution: it's big, heavy, and fully of nasty stuff). A cheaper solution, if you can find someone on municipal sewer to cooperate, is to pay them a small fee for each tank dump. Ideally you might find someone who has an RV sewer dump hooked into their house plumbing.
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Free libertarian

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Re: Places with no building codes in NH?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 07:30 AM NHFT »


  ...Here's my .02
 If you are planning on being in the woods, why not construct an outhouse?
 Also you might want to check out home made composting toilets (bucket / sawdust etc.) .
 A good book by a guy (Jenkins?) that knows his shit - Google "Humanure."
 A chemical type toilet system creates waste you have to dispose of.  For that matter so do most "normal toilets"  and sewage systems.   
Compost toilets in my experience need to be vented properly or you will not be happy. Consider buying a used one as the new ones are pricey. 

 Water / Shower etc.  - Get a 3 gallon metal vegetable sprayer, add a tea kettle of  very hot water to the standing water in the sprayer. You'll eventually get the mix right to your comfort.  It works as a shower water dispenser or you can buy one ready made with a thermometer on the side....between $35 - $100.  Walmart has cheap solar shower bags for sunny days, they work too, say from May - October if you're lucky.   It would not be hard to construct a decent outdoor shower site or a small indoor one for cold weather. 

 Water storage - Feed stores often have plastic food grade barrels and containers that will work for water storage devices.   I've paid anywhere from $15 - $100 for  containers from 30 gallons to 265. They were formerly used as syrup or other food stuff.  Consider elevating a larger container on cement blocks and putting a hose set up on the bottom valve. You'd need to reduce down from the 2" valve on the bottom of the large container to either 1/2" or 3/4" but you would have good gravity water pressure.   
Before I hooked up our well pump, we used this system for awhile, now it's for watering the garden and
feeding the critters.  A single person frugal with water use can go a long way on a little water.
 To refill - If you are fortunate to be next to a stream, use a pump if not set up a tarp and pray for rain.


 Codes? Don't get me started.  ;D

 Oh yeah...move to Grafton.
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Lloyd Danforth

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KBCraig

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Re: Places with no building codes in NH?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2009, 11:15 PM NHFT »

I found this pretty cool device which should handle just enough hot water for my daily showers in my off-the-grid cabin:

I've always wanted to have an outdoor shower for cleaning up after yard work, etc.

We actually have one on the back of our travel trailer (which sits at the end of our driveway), so we could shower there if we didn't mind the neighbors watching. For a more private option, that looks like it might be just the thing!

Here's a source for the Marey 10D 5 liter heater, at $179:

http://stores.gonetankless.com/-strse-5/5L-NG-Gas-Tankless/Detail.bok
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zackbass

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Re: Places with no building codes in NH?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2009, 05:55 PM NHFT »



NH seems to have an awful lot of shacks in the middle of the woods that (particularly up north)... there's just no way these things meet legit building code, you can tell by just looking at them.... so I'm sort of wondering.... are there places outside the building code in NH.... or is it simply a case of lots of people build "illegal" small cabins and the town is never the wiser, or maybe just doesn't care.


There is a STATE Building Code now.  That is the bad news.  The good news is that, once we control a Town Government, we can legally ignore the State Building Code!
The Statute explicitly states that:
(1) the Building Code is to be administered LOCALLY,
   and
(2) The State cannot overrule or otherwise interfere with local administration of the Code!

So if you build that shack in the woods, yes the Shack Nazis will come and oppress you - unless you have brought enough of your friends to vote the creeps out of office, in which case you might as well go all the way and give everyone in town a Property Tax Abatement such that every landowner is taxed at $1.00 per year.  NH Law allows a man to appeal the Denial of a request for a Tax Abatement, but no one in the world has standing to appeal the GRANTING of Abatements, so your elected Selectmen have full legal power to do this.
For that matter, each NH Town is its own School District, so you can withdraw from any "arrangements" with other Towns and let your citizens ignore the Truancy Laws and School Taxes, since you won't have any Government Schools in town.
Taking charge of a Town Government gives you far more Freedom than a first glance at NH Law might indicate.

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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Places with no building codes in NH?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2009, 06:53 AM NHFT »

The State buiding code legislation had something to do with financing...
Not quite sure what it was... most likely federal programs.

Town governments have lots of power... generally just overlooked.
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