The Importance of Zoning Permits for Metal Structures

By Peter Dimaira

May 31, 2019   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

metal building codes

Many people wonder if they would need a building permit to erect a prefabricated steel building. Well, the majority of local building authorities will require one for any new construction or remodeling project. However, there are some areas where a building permit may not be required for agricultural steel buildings or those that are used as a storage unit.

The rule of thumb is never to assume that you’ll be exempt from having a permit.

Building permits and subsequent inspections ensure that you aren’t taken by surprise by inferior construction. So, the building authority in your area makes sure that the metal building is up to code, safe, and insurable.

You are responsible for the building permits

In most cases, unless somehow stated otherwise, the responsibility of making sure that you have all the required building permits is squarely yours. Regardless of what the structure is intended for, meeting all the requirements is your job.

Do your homework on the zoning requirements and metal building codes of the area

researching zoning requirements

The local governing body sets the zoning ordinances. The goal is to protect everyone in the area and their best interest. After all, nobody wants a noisy manufacturing facility in a residential neighborhood.

Plus, the authority is there to ensure that there is a uniformity of appearance across the town. That’s why a section of the town that’s zoned for commercial businesses have different requirements for things like colors, facades, square footage, etc.

Now, before you choose any type of prefabricated metal structure, start by making an appointment with the local building authority. This will help you find out if it is appropriate based on the current zoning restrictions. Plus, it will help update you on the latest building codes and other related regulations something you may not have originally considered.

Who will give you the building permit?

You will want to start with a call to the local building authority. You should be able to find their number online or in a phone book.

First, ask if your property is under their jurisdiction. Then, you’ll want to provide them with the exact location and description of the property based on what is on the deed.

Now, some areas may be in the City Building Department’s jurisdiction while others may fall under the County Building Department. So, you certainly don’t want to waste time asking questions if you’re speaking to the wrong body.

Requirements for getting a permit

metal building construction

Once it has been established that the general plans comply with the latest zoning ordinances, the next step is applying for a permit. Also, there will be a fee for processing the application.

The process involves the authority reviewing the building’s blueprints. They will be examining several factors, like square footage, height, width, electrical wiring, strength, etc.

Generally, the bigger your metal building and the more people working inside, the stricter the evaluation will be. If it is a relatively small structure, then a permit may not even be needed in some cases. However, don’t begin construction or schedule any installation before having a permit.

You will also want pipes and utility lines marked before the building is installed. Plus, the officials from the building authority may want to review the third party certified plans for the foundation and the building. But this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re using any of our prefabricated metal buildings.


Always buy your prefabricated building from a manufacturer with experience and credibility. When you do that, you are covered in many ways, especially when it comes to providing the required specifications required for the building permit.

See Also: How to Choose the Best Builder’s Risk Insurance For your Construction Site

Peter Dimaira

I welcome healthy debate, challenge authority and attempt to laugh in the face of fear.

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