Building Your Own Home in St. Johns County, Florida

What are the building codes in Florida? What sort of construction permits do I need in St. Johns County and do I have to use a licensed contractor? These are just some of the (non-design) questions I hear from customers planning to build their own home.

In this section, I try to answer some of those questions for you…

If you are tired of searching through thousands of stock house plans?

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New Custom Homes

Additions Remodels

PDF and CAD Files

Important Note:

If you a Home Owner Builder you are responsible for everything a general contractor does (I do not do this)

  • For the bank you must provide everything else including specification and anything else they require (I do not do this)
  • For permitting you must provide everything else including structural engineering, truss engineering, clearance sheet and anything else they require (I do not do this)
  • If this is your first time you will need to know or hire a general contractor for guidance (I do not do this)

Steps to Permit

  1. Design DrawingsMcConnell Custom Design
  2. Truss Engineering – Contractor or Owner Builder
  3. Structural Engineer – Contractor or Owner Builder
  4. Permitting – Contractor or Owner Builder

McConnell Custom Design does the Design Drawings from Your Sketches, Photos and Ideas.

Truss and Structural Engineers follow and are handled by the contractor or the owner builder. If you are building yourself then you are the owner builder.

Important Note:

You will need to call the correct building department to find out all the restrictions for your specific lot.

What are the Responsibilities of the Homeowner?

Building a new home, adding an extension to your existing home or undertaking a remodeling job yourself makes you the contractor. That means you are responsible for everything that a general contractor is responsible for: workers and other insurances, permits, specifications, bank requirements, materials and ordering, scheduling, contracting subcontractors, and a lot more.

Do I Need to Hire a Licensed Contractor to Get Funding for a New Build?

Most banks will not lend you money for a new build unless a contractor is involved. That is to say, you’ve found a contractor who is willing to build according to your plan and has given you a firm quote. You will probably have to prove the contractor’s building experience to satisfy the lender (e.g. verify that he’s licensed). Some general contractors will oversee projects, which may allow you to become more involved and do some of the work yourself.

Can I Build Without a Permit?

Building without a permit is bad. Very bad. It can result in fines, additional permit fees, stop construction notices, and many other time and monetary costs. So please don’t do it.

But, if for some reason you find yourself in this predicament, there is a way out (although you may still have to pay the fines). What you need to do is get a house plan and a permit. Getting a house plan should be easy because you know what you want by now. The present conditions are probably exposed, and anything you cannot do has probably been pointed out to you. Getting a permit involves submitting your plan to the relevant building department.

In a hole? Call McConnell Custom Design to start digging your way out.

Ready to start designing your custom home? If you’ve already bought a lot and you have a clear vision of your dream home, call me today on (904) 794-4500. Let’s turn your vision into a quality house plan that you can submit to a general contractor.

Read more: 11 Steps to Designing & Building Your Own Home

Creating a House Plan Yourself will NOT get you a Building Permit

Please read the Design Build Process for the required steps to getting a building permit.

Building Departments

I do the house plans. This is the design. The plans include floor plans and elevations. Engineering structural plans, truss engineering, contracting and building the home is done by others. The home owner, owner builder or contractor must find out all restrictions from the proper building department. Please make sure you call the correct department for your lot location (and please be very patient):