When Marlene and I started building our own home back in 1984, we didn’t have plans drawn up by an architect and we didn’t ask any government agency for permission to build. I drew up my own simple plan and we just started building.
The house measured only 16ft by 24ft and was 2 stories high. To save money, I built on a foundation of twelve concrete piers. They measure 1ft square and rest on a 2ft by 2ft by 1ft thick footing that is four feet below the ground.
I decided that I would hand-dig the holes for each pier. I was 26 years old and full of enthusiasm for the project. After digging the first hole I came up with a better idea. I called a fellow down the road who owned a backhoe. He dug the rest of the holes in less time than it took me to dig the one.
Marlene’s dad told me he had an old cast iron cement mixer we might be able to fix up and use. It had been setting outside in a hedge row behind his house for a long time. I hooked an electric motor I bought at an auction to the mixer and it worked just fine. Marlene and I spent many hours shoveling stone and sand and Portland cement into that old mixer. It’s a great memory but the point I want to make is that we did all this, and built the rest of the house, without getting any building permits and without any building codes.
Every other house in our rural township, going all the way back to the 1700s, had also been built without asking the government for permission.
But those days are gone. If I were to attempt to build a home for myself now, without an architect’s plans, without filling out government forms and getting permission from the local authorities, without complying with a code book full of rules and regulations (that are always changing), without paying a fee, without getting regular inspections from the local code enforcement officer, and without getting an official "Certificate of Occupancy" before I moved in, I would be in violation of the law.
I would be taken to court and forced to comply. Or I might even go to jail. And if I did not comply, if I actually built my home without following the rules and laws, it might be torn down by the government. This scenario actually happened several years ago to a man not far from where I live.
Having once enjoyed the freedom to build my own home without government interference, it galls me that I must now ask permission to not only build a home, but to do any significant home improvement.
It is a sad thing to see such freedoms being taken away. Building a home is but one small example of a freedom once enjoyed but now lost to the monster of oppressive government. And, once gone, those freedoms are not easily regained.
One of the protestations of the early American colonists, expressed in the Declaration of Independence, is that the King has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
We ended up fighting a war for independence because, as The Declaration further states, The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
Well, the swarms have returned with a vengence in modern-day America. Absolute tyranny by government is becomming a certain reality right before our eyes.
All of which brings me to a question for you...
Does anyone reading this live in a place where you still have the freedom to build your own home as you please, without asking permission of the government?
P.S. I did have to get an electrical inspection of the home by an independent inspector. It was required by the electric company.
Feb 25 17 - Cloudy this morning as a front was coming through but clear and windy this afternoon. I was going to cut some cedar poles for the hops yard but too windy....
3 hours ago