Building a $500 Cabin Without a Permit: “Simple Offers Freedom”

cabin_3By Mac Slavo

How to make it in the wilderness certainly has its difficulties, but so does living in modern society.

Whether you are taking shelter from the elements and the harsh realities of nature, or from the stresses, panic and emergency crises of the city.

Building a cabin is a classic, timeworn and reliable way to build a shelter that can be made simply by a few people, or if necessary, by a single person alone.

It is enough to survive, but no guarantee of an easy life.

But it provides a path to a simpler life – away from the busy conundrum of idle and mostly meaningless existence inside the system.

As the man in the below video notes, “Simple offers freedom.” Indeed, the cabin life may be about as free as it gets.

He built the cabin at 10×10 deliberately, and cheaply – for $500 – allowing him to build without a permit, and enjoy the freedom of living off of his own land.

Practically everywhere in the country – suburban communities and rural lands alike – places restrictions on building that requires approval and permission. But most codes make an exception for temporary structures and those under a certain size – and that’s where you’ll have the most room to work on the project on your terms and outside of most restrictions.

For bigger projects, and the right to build without a permit if you are willing to stand up for it, see what patriot Tom Hyland did to live free.

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Like other things in life, there is no one way to do it, but it’s a time honored tradition that offers its own advantages – for survival, independence from debt and life of self-reliance and preparedness.

Here’s a look at the old fashioned way, from an archived old timer:

Whether it is your getaway retreat from emergency, or the start of a new and simple lifestyle, the cabin can be an asset that will never be out of reach in price, is easy to construct, and can be counted on for many years of dependability – even if the construction isn’t perfect.

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You can read more from Mac Slavo at his site

  • CAWS

    Problem is most counties require hookups to utilities if they find out you are living in a structure so don’t advertise it.

  • CAWS

    You can also build a larger structure [say 12X16] without a permit if it is on “skids” as it would be considered temporary & portable.

  • dale ruff

    You can build this “shed” without a permit if you own the land and don’t live in it. LIving in it would be illegal.

  • rcade

    It is easier to build a 10×12 (usual size limit) cabin on a property that has existing utilities and use it as living space than it is to build a stand alone cabin on property with no utilities and be successful at avoiding the inspectors. It is a shame. I have built several “cabins” on property with a house for extra space. A couple I built tall enough, 12′, for living area with loft above.

  • dale ruff

    How free is it when you live illegally in a structure without a toilet or running water and have to fear being caught? Paranoia is not a sign of freedom.

  • berrybestfarm

    I received an actual order, served on me by the Sheriff, from the County Health Officer stating “the law requires you to apply for a septic permit and pay the required fees” or “…criminal action may be brought against you.” I’m in Washington and did my homework before building off grid. The law (state codes) requires a permit to put in a septic system. It does not require a septic system to be installed. This is just one example of how they lie. Anyways, I wrote back that ordering me to contract with them and pay them money under the threat of harm is called extortion and any further contact and harassment would result in me filing criminal charges. Haven’t heard a peep out of them for a year. The crux of this story is that it was about power not public health. I live next to a wetland which makes a septic system a very stupid way to pollute it compared to the dry composting system and gray water line directly on the garden. Yes, I also built a small off grid cabin without permits. Received an order on that too from the building department. Our county has an owner-builder exemption if you have enough land to meet the set backs (I have plenty) so I wrote that I could not contract with them as their inspectors clearly proved their engineering incompetence by not being able to see my cabin was way inside the 100 foot setbacks. If they can’t tell this kind of distance I can’t trust them to know how to build anything correctly. Haven’t heard a peep out of them in 2 years. Take nothing for granted. You will find troubling things in their rules–like the health department rule that if a septic system you have approved by them later fails and they don’t think it can be fixed they can condemn your home. Well informed is well prepared. Most districts are far more restrictive than Stevens county , WA

    Do your homework people.

  • Konju

    The “illegal” issue is what is the problem here

Thank you for sharing.
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