I decided to build a shed in my backyard to get the lawn mower and other stuff out of the garage. I did some research on codes etc. I discovered in FL (wrongly) that if you build a shed over 150 square feet you need engineered drawings just as if you were building a home. I read (erroneously) if you build under 150 square feet all you need to do is take your properties site plan down to the building office and get a permit and there are no inspections required.
I realized we never received a site plan when we closed on our home. I contacted our realtor and she said because the home was only two years old, they didn’t need to have a new survey done. No one could find the original site plan so I paid the $275.00 and had a new one done. The problem is the previous owner had the sprinkler system at what looked like the back of the lot and also some shrubs and it was clear the grass was there also. We always assumed that was our yard. We live on a retention pond, which for non Floridians is a large area for runoff water to go when we get a gully washer.
The survey showed my backyard was about 15′ less than I thought. Plus, being on the retention pond there is a 10′ drainage easement. That leaves me about a 20′ deep back yard! My 12′ X 12′ shed must be about 7’8″ off my house to allow the 10′ easement in the back.
So, I get all my documents together and go down to get a permit. The lady says, where are your plans? I said, “What plans. I’m building a 12′ X 12′ box! Who needs plans?” She says, “The 2010 building code requires any shed, any out building to have engineered and stamped drawings to get a permit.” I said, “No wonder so many people do improvements without permits. You people make things so difficult it isn’t worth messing with!” I asked, “What will it cost if I get caught building it without a permit?”
As I drove home, I sensed the Spirit of God say, “You are a rebel at heart! You really don’t like anyone telling you what to do. This situation just reveals your problem. It isn’t with rules, it is with rebellion.”
I surrendered! I thought of a friend who is an architect. It will cost me more but my shed will be built to code, with proper setbacks and easements and I feel at peace in the surrender.
It reminded me of the words of an old college professor, “Temptation never caused anyone to sin, it just reveals an area of weakness.” Geesh, always room to grow!