New Construction In Howard County, In: What You Need To Know

New Construction In Howard County In

While Howard County has experienced a slight dip in population over the last year, it has enjoyed relatively steady growth of about 0.83% over the last decade, mostly due to its affordable cost of living while still being within driving distance of major municipalities. As such, its construction industry is flourishing, with new sites appearing every year. 

If you’re planning to build a new home, factory, or recreational facility in Howard County, it’s essential that you follow the county’s rules for construction, particularly in regard to permits; however, you also need to pay attention to basic principles of safe, effective, and long-lasting architecture. This is a basic guide to the particularities of breaking ground on a new site in this region of Indiana.

Designing The Structure

One of the most complicated parts of any construction project is the design phase. This takes into consideration factors such as functionality, size, and location in order to create a reference for construction. Typically, you will need to have these design sketches in hand when you submit your building proposal to the city, as they want to see that you have considered all aspects of the project. 

A significant component of this is ensuring that you have adequately considered all environmental factors that may impact the long-term safety of the structure. For example, putting a slab foundation on a soft, porous soil type may cause the building to sink and lead to foundation cracks, while choosing an area with poor drainage will lead to significant flooding in the basement or the first floor. 

Typically, Indiana buildings are made with a basement foundation because of the high frost line, meaning that groundwater freezes high up into the soil. However, this may not be true based on the specific structure you’re building, whether that is a simple foundation pad for a patio or a multi-story apartment complex. 

Howard County Permits And Zoning

Permits and zoning can be very complicated, as they operate at both the county and city level. Zoning and site approval are at the county level, while building is at the city level. 

First, you have to ensure that your specific project is in the proper zone for its type, whether that is residential, commercial, or industrial. If it’s not, you can either ask for rezoning or you can request a special exemption for your project. 

You need to submit a site plan application or improvement location permit with the Howard County Plan Commission, which is also responsible for zoning issues. 

To build or remodel a building, you need to request a construction permit from the specific city. Each of the municipalities within the county has its own construction permit and rules. For example, if you are going to build in Greentown, Indiana, you need to submit a diagram, fill out the application, and provide a $15 fee, while Kokomo has a sliding scale based on the estimated cost of the construction.

Concrete: The Foundation Of Success

Once you have successfully ensured you’re properly zoned for your project, submitted a site plan, and received a construction permit, it’s time to think about the foundation of the project. This includes deciding whether or not you need rebar for your slab foundation and deciding on the depth of your foundation. As everything is built on top of the foundation, this should be your major concern when designing a new construction. 

Most people constructing a home or other building in Howard County choose to use a local concrete pumping service rather than attempting to manage the concrete themselves, as this provides a professional finish to this critical element of new construction. They will be able to provide a concrete pump, which will allow for a smooth and seamless laying without having to back a cement truck up to the edges of the new building, potentially damaging sewer lines or other underground components. However, it’s possible to use a concrete conveyor if you can easily park the truck on a nearby street and fill it that way. Concrete conveyors can also deliver other materials like gravel or soil onto the construction site if necessary. 

The Essentiality Of Licensed Contractors

Like other areas, the cities and towns in Howard County require certain types of contractor work to be performed by those with valid licenses. This includes plumbing and electrical work, which can be incredibly dangerous to perform on your own. When you’re building a new construction, you will likely want to work with a contractor who is familiar with and has the proper training to perform this type of work safely. Failing to use licensed contractors can result in major fines and even condemnation of your new building, which can cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Designing, applying for, and building new construction in Howard County requires an understanding of the local laws, as well as the support of responsible contractors, such as local concrete companies, who can provide prompt service. Given the importance of performing construction work to rule, carefully vet all of your contractors and ensure that they are familiar with all aspects of safe building in this area of Indiana. 

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