Everything You Need to Know About Building Permits for Metal Buildings

By Mark Hiatt   |   Posted In: Prefab Metal Buildings


Modern metal buildings are built to a higher standard

Considering having a metal building installed on your property? That’s a great call! Light-gauge steel is a wonderful construction material that can be used for a wide range of building applications. There are also specific engineering and design guidelines that metal structures follow, much as would expect for any type of building.


Depending upon the nature, intended use, and location of your metal building, it may need to meet certain building codes, load requirements, and human occupancy ratings, depending on the standards set by your local building authority.


What is a building permit?

A building permit is simply official approval from your local government building authority to begin a construction or remodeling project. The primary purpose of a building permit is to help ensure your building conforms to all applicable local construction, zoning, and land use policies in your particular area. Building permits are also important in that they are meant to help ensure the safety of any human occupants of your building.


In order to ensure that these priorities are met, your local building authority will send an inspector out to review your permitted building or remodeling work. The inspector will make a visit once work is completed but can also show up unannounced at any point to check on the progress of your project.

Double carports with lean to

When is a building permit required?

That’s a great question; not ALL home or building projects require permits. For example, if you’re just doing some painting, putting up a fence, repaving a driveway, putting on a new roof, replacing a window, or adding some cabinets, you generally won’t need a building permit. But if you’re putting up a new building or making some structural changes to an existing structure, then you likely will need a permit.


Here are a few categories of projects which typically do require a building permit:

  • New construction or new building additions
  • Major renovations
  • Structural changes like adding or removing walls (especially any that are load bearing)
  • Making any electrical or plumbing changes


Does a metal building need a permit?

This is one of the more frequently asked questions we get at Carport Central. If you’re planning to purchase a custom metal building, will you need to obtain a metal building permit in order to have it installed?

The short answer: it depends!

If this is a metal building you intend to use for a residential living (like a barndominium or other style of metal building home) or for commercial purposes (like a storefront or a warehouse), then you’ll almost certainly need a building permit. But if it’s simply a smaller storage building you plan to use in your backyard, a permit may not be required.


The best way to find out is simply to check with your local municipality or county to learn about the building codes, regulations, and standards that apply in your area. And if you decide to purchase a metal building from Carport Central, our building specialists are very familiar with building permit requirements across the continental United States. We’ll be glad to help walk you through the permitting process!


Also note that if a permit is required, you’ll need to have that in hand before the scheduled date of building delivery. Otherwise, your building installation will have to be rescheduled until after you have received your permit.

30x31x11 Triple Garage

Do I need site plans for my metal building?

That will depend upon the specific building codes and regulations that apply in your area. If you need to obtain a building permit, metal building blueprints and site plans are often required to be submitted along with your building permit application.


And whether a site plan is required for your particular building or not, it’s still a good idea to draw one up whenever making your own plans for your steel structure. Carport Central has several generic site plans we’re happy to provide as a template to help get you started. Our engineering team can also generate site-specific plans, where needed, for a fee. Just let us know what you need or what questions you may have.


Does my new metal building need to be certified?

This is another common question we get quite often. Steel buildings are already stronger and more durable than stick builds, thanks to the unique properties of steel as a construction material. So, what is a certified metal building, then? It’s a building which is specifically engineered to meet or exceed local building codes and requirements for specific minimum wind and snow loads.


Does your metal building need to be certified? That, too, depends on your local building codes and regulations, along with how you intend to use your building. But even if a certified building isn’t a regulatory requirement for you, we still recommend building certification to all of our customers. Certification simply offers better peace of mind that your new metal building will be ready to handle more of what Mother Nature may decide to throw your way.


Carport Central can get you whatever you need in a metal building, and we’ll be there for you every step of the way!

Looking for a new metal building to meet the needs of your residential, commercial, agricultural, or industrial pursuits? Carport Central is here to provide perfect steel building solutions!

Every metal structure we provide is made-to-order, and we can help you to think through the best site plan, building certification, and building permit approaches, too. Whether you need a carport, garage, barn, utility building, workshop, retail storefront, warehouse, manufacturing facility, production facility, office, residential space, or something else – we’ve got you covered! Plus, you can design and create your own personalized building layout with our powerful, simple-to-use 3D Estimator on any computer or connected smart device.


Ready to get started? You can reach out to us online, or for a faster connection, just give us a call at (980) 321-9898 and speak to one of our friendly building experts today!


At Carport Central, we don’t just sell metal buildings. We provide shelter for your way of life.


At Carport Central, what’s Central to you is Central to us.


  • Mark Hiatt

    Mark Hiatt brings over 20 years of commercial construction experience as a licensed engineer in NC, SC, and VA. Design-and-build is his specialty, and he serves both as a structural engineer for American Building Network and as an engineering consultant for Carport Central.

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