Are your home plans up to code? Federal and the local governing bodies of Utah outline the specific home building requirements you must meet. When building a new home, you must understand the building codes for your state, county, city, or municipality. Failing to adhere to these requirements risks suspension of any work until you fully comply with all local codes and receive a building permit. Fortunately, working with a custom home builder will ensure that you follow any necessary rules and codes.

Of course, it is fun to unleash your imagination when embarking on the home-building process. There are a million details that you might envision adding to your dream home plans. While the sky’s the limit when working with a luxury home builder, you must fit your vision within the guidelines of Utah’sUtah’s home building requirements.

The custom home builders at Highland Custom Homes recommend understanding the home building requirements of where you plan on living as you start drawing up plans with our designers. Doing so at the beginning of the process will give you your best solutions and chances of receiving a building permit. 

Here are some of the home building requirements you should know when building in Utah.


Utah Building Requirements

Available Lots Approval

Owning land doesn’t mean you can do anything you want with it. Some specific laws and regulations regulate what structures go where. You should also keep in mind that just because there is a building in a certain area doesn’t mean it is up to today’s code. Regulations change over time, and the established system might not be what it used to be.

Fortunately, land records are open to everyone. Before you start building, you’ll want to get the parcel map of the area you plan on putting your new custom home. Find your APN (the parcel number of the assessor) and ensure that your parcel is a pre-approved building site. You can check these records for your town online. You can also visit the county jail, the office of the county clerk, city hall, or another agency of the city or county, such as the office of the tax assessor.


Residential Zoning Laws 

Zoning laws determine land development, including what structures will go in a specific plot of land. Zoning data is open to the public. You can talk to your local zoning office, city hall, or local planning board to understand whether your considering areas are set aside for homes.

It will also give you an idea of what other structures will go up around you—grocery stores, parks, trails, and other zones. Understanding your local Utah town’s zoning laws will ensure that your lot has no restrictions regarding home building. Your luxury home builder can also guide you through this process.


Building Codes

While zones define how land will develop, building codes determine the requirements of the specific structures. These codes are a standard protected by the International Building Code (IBC) in the United States. Although some of this has to do with fire safety, these codes also apply to and include other codes, such as the International Plumbing Code and the National Electrical Code.   

Along with the national codes determined by the federal government, there are local building codes you must comply with when building your home. Your custom home builder and contractors will understand your jurisdiction’s specifics to make sure that your design plans all follow code. However, it would help if you also studied them yourself as you undergo the home building process. Utah codes are available online on the Utah State Legislature website. You can also search for the building codes of your specific county and city.


Local Ordinances

It is up to you to ensure that your home plans comply with local regulations. Some local ordinances and covenants can hinder progress on your build. You can understand the ordinances of your future lot to ensure that your plans fit the guidelines.

Your zone might permit certain structures, but a local ordinance may limit that structure’s size or height. You’llYou’ll want to seek written permission from the planning commission or the commissioner of your municipality if you are planning on a design feature that doesn’t match any local ordinances. The best place to find this information is the town hall or mayor’s office, housing department, or other local government offices.

If you are building on a lot with a Homeowners Association (HOA), you should also ensure that the building complies with the neighborhood agreements. If you do not have a copy of the agreements as a property owner, they might be available from the local county assessor’s office. You can sometimes find these online or ask for a copy from your future HOA.


Residential Home Building Permit

You will also need a building permit when building your new custom home. You will need to apply your plans for approval to your local code office to obtain a construction permit. The application will include sketches of the home, dimensions, floor plans, exterior materials, and elevation. You can ask your luxury home builder for more information on the licensing and approval process.

Under the statute, whoever obtains the permit is the contractor of the project and liable for any damages related to construction. As a homeowner, you can collaborate with others in this process, but it’s ultimately up to you to have all of your I’s dotted and T’s crossed.

Usually, you will need several permits for various areas when building a new home. For example, if you repair old pipes or add an underground sprinkler system, you will need a plumbing permit.

You will also need electrical, mechanical, and even grading permits depending on what you are constructing. An experienced contractor will apply for all the necessary permits. That is why you must choose a custom home contractor who is transparent. It is also crucial that your Utah home builder has a complete understanding of when you will need the permit and can get it done in time.


Highland Custom Homes

The sky’s the limit when building a custom home in Utah. Your options are truly endless, which can be a bit overwhelming. However, you will need a custom home builder who can flawlessly walk you through the home building process, including complying with all necessary home building requirements.

Highland Custom Homes puts our experience and knowledge of adhering to federal and local law to work to create homes that are more than sticks and bricks throughout Utah. We want your home to be an extension of your life’s work or a legacy of who you are. Every client has different needs, and we are equipped and ready to meet yours by creating a home designed just for you.

Contact us to learn more about our custom home building process.