Do Amish need building permits (Amish view of building codes)?

As a theologian, I became interested in researching the Amish. During my online research, I found articles centered on Amish beliefs on building permits. I was curious to know more and decided to visit an Amish community in Ohio to get first-hand information. Yesterday, I was moderating an online discussion forum that coincidentally talked about the Amish view on building permits. Members asked various questions regarding the Amish lifestyle and their building culture. Most members wanted to know whether this community required building permits due to the simplicity of their homes and structures. Luckily, I could use the information I gathered during my research to guide the forum members. So, do Amish need building permits?

Most Amish people do not comply with obtaining building permits. They argue that some building codes go against their religion’s beliefs and practices. However, there are yet to be laws that support their non-compliance. For this reason, some states follow up on them to ensure they have building permits.

I invite you to join me in the article below as we look at the Amish view of building codes. Follow on to find out whether the Amish are exempted from getting building permits. You will also learn about the activities that require Amish to obtain building permits. Not forgetting, I have highlighted the possibilities associated with an Amish building a house without a permit. Read on to find out more.

Are Amish exempted from building permits?

An official statement is yet to be made on the exemption of the Amish from requiring building permits. However, the Amish community has had issues with compliance with obtaining building permits. They argue that some building codes go against the Amish religious beliefs. Some regions do not agree with the Amish failure to comply with laws that may affect other people. In this regard, they take legal action against the Amish who fail to abide by building permits.

What activities do Amish people need building permits for?

Amish view of building codes
What activities do Amish people need building permits for? Image source: Pixabay

The Amish need building permits when building privately owned homes, just like other people. These building permits contain certain building codes that guide the building requirements. Some areas in the US may not require building permits, but a good number do.

The building permit ensures that the construction follows local standards for land use. It could be a new project or a re-modeling construction that the Amish people decide to take up.

Why do the Amish refuse to follow building codes?

The Amish refuse to follow building codes for some reasons. They imply that some of the building codes refute their religion’s beliefs. For instance, installing smoke detectors, abiding by onsite inspections, and following architectural plans.

In their view, these actions lead to an outside intrusion from the mainstream, contrary to their belief of materialistic avoidance.

What happens when the Amish build houses without a permit?

Do Amish need building permits?
Amish building a house. Image source: Unsplash

Some consequences follow when the Amish build houses without a permit. In some regions, such as New York, the Amish have received legal action following their non-compliance to building without permits. These legal actions may make the Amish pay fines equaling thousands of dollars.

On the other hand, there are some states which acknowledge Amish beliefs. Hence, they make certain adjustments to the building codes; in other instances, the Amish get waivers. In this regard, they allow the Amish to practice their beliefs while complying with the law.

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