This anonymous post comes from someone who’s fed up with intrusive government regulations that dictate how you can build on your own property. Disclaimer: We are not advocating breaking the law and are not responsible for anyone acting on the following experience of this outlaw builder. Your project could be tagged with a cease work order, your building condemned and you might have to pay to have it torn down.
“Thanks for the great info on your websites. I’ve been following your sites for a couple years and have learned a lot. I like your YouTube videos that show every step and free articles like Counties with Few Building Codes have been very helpful and gave me the encouragement to build my own home in a remote location.
I did’t want to deal with the whole process of getting a building permit and couldn’t afford all the added costs of building to code anyway. So why bother. It’s my land so I say screw em. But at the same time I realize there are risks involved and you need to take steps to avoid problems. So here’s how I built my home illegally without a building permit.
The first step was getting remote land with a certain amount of natural concealment. That’s the most important thing = no people, no problems. Hide it good enough and no one will notice. And if no one notices everything is fine. Scout out areas far from cities with irregular terrain and plenty of vegetation. This will make it much easier to hide your home. Choose a location close enough for convenient access, but far enough from roads and trails that no one will likely stumble across it accidentally. Plan for small south windows, water (small stream, spring, water catchment) and total concealment. Learn to live simply off grid.
Build small so if your home is discovered then you’re not out much. If I get busted I’ll do the same thing again somewhere else and be even more carefully next time. My place is about 8’x13’ on the inside. There is no house plan. It’s just a little area between large rocks. Earthbags filled with soil from the area form walls between bolders. Get creative – use soil you dig up for hidden caches, leveling the floor and outhouse. Earthbags are bullet proof and easy to work with. The roof is made with small trees cut from a place not too far away and covered with boards cut from shipping pallets, several layers of plastic and cardboard to prevent holes in the plastic. The roof is covered with a few inches of dirt and chunks of grass that I “borrowed” a little here and there from nature. There are several freebie windows on the south. Gotta have windows in a small house or you’ll go crazy. I cook in a small shelter next to the main living area to keep smoke out of my cabin. I keep my firewood nearby covered with a green army poncho. And remember what I said about concealment. Everything was covered the whole time during construction with army surplus camouflage net. Add some brush and clumps of dry grass to make it look more natural. This keeps my place nearly invisible. And the best part is no rent. The land was paid off in two years. Remote land with no power lines is often very cheap.”