Small House Build Process


Local building department staff can outline the rules and regulations that apply to your site.  Areas of interest include but are note limited to:


  1. Zoning designation
  2. Front, side and rear yard setbacks.
  3. Height and story limits and calculation methods
  4. Allowable lot coverage (Impervious surfaces, open space, etc.)
  5. Parking
  6. Landscape


Some jurisdictions have regulations pertaining to architectural style, materials, colors, etc.  An architectural review board may require submission of detailed exhibits illustrating design, materials, colors, etc. for review and approval prior to permit submittal.


Each jurisdiction has its own requirements based on state law geared towards the use of energy efficient building materials and methods.

Critical Areas

Most jurisdictions have city/county wide sensitive area maps.  If a property is with-in one of these zones, a professional consultant may be required to assess the site and prepare a report.  Areas of concern include:

  1. Waterfront
  2. Wetlands
  3. Steep slopes
  4. Unstable soils
  5. Wildlife nesting


In areas where archaeologically significant artifacts have been discovered, local, state and/or national authorities may require a licensed archaeologist to assess site and submit a report outlining findings and construction directives.  Although important to our cultural heritage, protecting these resources can be an expensive time consuming process.  Check with local building officials.

Additional Local, State and Federal Regulations

Federal or state Environment Protection Agencies (EPA), Army Corps of Engineers, US Department of Fish and Wildlife, Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA), State or National Department of Archaeology, etc. may have additional requirements for sensitive sites.  Local building department officials are generally aware of when and where these regulations apply.

Permit Requirements

The design and construction of buildings intended for human occupation is regulated by state and local laws developed to protect the public’s health and safety.  The permit review process allows local building officials to verify submitted drawings and documents comply.  Most building departments require these documents be prepared by licensed architects and/or engineers.

Fees are generally correlated to a projects projected costs and separated into two payments – intake and approval.

  1. Building permit - Construction documents (CDs) clearly outlining a projects scope and construction as well as how it meets applicable zoning and building codes is generally required for any building intended for human occupation. Small unconditioned buildings used for storage may not.
  2. Demolition permit - May be required if a project includes the removal of an existing structure.
  3. Tree removal Permit - When heritage trees or large numbers of trees need to be removed to accommodate proposed development, logging or tree removal permit may be required.
  4. Other submittal requirements
  5. Water availability – Document from your local utility or well installer indicating your site has access to an adequate supply of potable water.
  6. Sewer availability – Document from your local utility or septic system designer indicating your site is either serviced by a municipal system or is suitable for the installation of private septic system.
  7. Site survey (if required) – Site plan drawings prepared by a state licensed land surveyor documenting existing site conditions including property lines, easements, topography, buildings, fences, paving, trees, utilities, etc. Although this may not be required as a submittal document, it is needed to prepare an accurate site plan which is required.
  8. Storm water plan (if required) – If deemed necessary.
  9. Archaeology report (if required) – If deemed necessary.
  10. Wetland biology report (if required) – If deemed necessary.


Select an ECO-HAUS building that meets your site, program, and budget goals.



After your building department has determined your site meets local requirements and you've placed your order, we'll contact you via phone to verify details, answer questions and coordinate payment.


We'll walk you through the processes during this call.  We'll collect the following information and prepare a contract for your review and approval.

  1. Site address
  2. Site owner's legal name, mailing address and contact information
  3. Registered site survey prepared by a local licensed land surveyor
  4. Soils report (in some cases) 

After contract execution, ECO-HAUS will use your land survey to prepare site and architectural plans and coordinate structural drawings and calculations required for permit submittal.  Signed and stamped copies of these documents will be sent to your mailing address.  You then take these together with required submittal forms, intake fees, utility availability letters and reports and submit to your local building department for review.  Review time is affected by a number of variables, so be sure to ask for an estimated approval date.

During the review process, a plans examiner may ask for clarifications or additional information from you or one your professional service providers.  ECO-HAUS will respond to any requests relating to documents provided by or coordinated by ECO-HAUS.

Once approved, these documents must remain on site until the building inspector has issued a certificate of occupancy.


If you're interested in a building kit, we'll also walk you through the manufacturing and building processes.  Which include the following:. 

  1. Engage Kit Manufacturer

    After permit approval, ECO-HAUS will initiate the manufacturing process which includes:

    1. Contract with manufacturer
    2. Verify product and material selections
    3. 3D framing model
    4. Establish delivery date and details
  2. Engage Kit Assembly Contractor

    If your project is built in an area where either ECO-HAUS or our manufacturers have relationships with contractors, an introduction will be made.  If not, you’ll locate a reputable company and we’ll walk them through the process.

    With permit in hand and a team in place, construction can begin!  Sequence of event looks something like this:

    1. Excavation
      • Rough grading including roads and building pads.
      • Utility trenching and rough-in.
      • Coordinate w/ utility providers, plumber & electrician.
    2. Foundation
      • Concrete footings and slab preparation
      • Concrete forms
      • Reinforcing bar
      • Pour concrete footings, stem walls and slabs
    3. Building kit delivery (off-loading by local contractor)
    4. Kit assembly (local contractor)
      • Floor, wall and roof panel assembly
      • Exterior vapor barrier (roof and walls)
      • Roofing
      • Exterior windows and doors
      • Exterior trim and siding
    5. Plumbing rough-in
    6. Mechanical (HVAC, exhaust fans, etc.)
    7. Electrical rough-in
    8. Insulation (kit option)
    9. Drywall (kit option)
    10. Flooring
    11. Paint/Stain (interior and exterior)
    12. Doors, cabinets and interior trim
    13. Finish plumbing
    14. Finish electrical and lighting
    15. Certificate of occupancy