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A Guide for Home Builders

Step 3: Design Your Project

design iconIn the previous step, we discussed the importance of researching how you can use, and build upon, your property.

Now it's time to design your project and prepare building plans. 

Gather Information Early and Work in Stages

Before you begin designing your project be sure that the designer has a complete understanding of the applicable regulations. For all but the simplest projects, work in stages by stopping by the Building Development Center and asking for information as often as you feel is necessary.

These two simple rules - getting as much information as possible up front and working in stages - will help you avoid expensive and time-consuming changes in “finished” plans.

Can a Professional Help?

Unless you are familiar both with the preparation of plans and with regulations, you should consider hiring a qualified person to assist you with the design and development of your project. Click here for more advice.

If your site will require on-site sewage disposal, you will need to contact a certified on-site sewage (septic) system designer (click here for a list from Thurston County Environmental Health). State-licensed engineers with expertise in civil or sanitary engineering and state-registered sanitarians are also qualified to design on-site sewage (septic) systems.

Land Use Ordinances

Thurston County's land use ordinances regulate the use of land in unincorporated Thurston County. The ordinances are intended to promote sound development and the most appropriate use of land; to promote a coordination of development as land develops; and to conserve and restore natural beauty and other natural resources, Click here for more information.

Building Codes

Building codes are designed to ensure safe building techniques. These important standards help protect your family from safety risks like structural failures, fire hazards caused by electrical and heating systems, and electrical shock. They also help eliminate costly repairs for substandard work and save money in the long run. Click here for a list of building codes.

Contact Us

Please click here for contact information.



Portions of text on this web page are courtesy of the San Mateo County Development Review Center, CA.


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