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Build this. No permit required

Step one to develop our lot on Galiano Island was construction of this utility building. It let us install grid-connected power and provided a distribution point for our well water and other utilities.

In it we have the water pressure tank, a small deep freeze, tiny fridge and sink along with tool storage. The large exterior covered area is perfect for the wet west coast climate, but because the interior space is under 10 square meters (about 100 sq. ft.) it did not require a building permit.

With help from friends and family, it was built for about $12,000 including concrete work, windows, doors and metal roof. If you’re considering something similar here’s the plans for free, including a materials list. Feel free to copy the design or use it as a starting point for your own modifications. Your local building codes may require permits despite the small size, so please check before assuming our regulations apply everywhere.

And if you’d like to see our stop-action animation of the whole process, start to finish, check out our movie!