We built our home a year ago. We want to finish our basement using the plans provided by our builder. If it is just building the interior walls, could we qualify for a permit to do the work ourselves following their plans?

As an owner of the structure, you can do any work on your own home if you live at the home. If you have anyone else work on it, they must be a licensed contractor.  A permit needs to be obtained.  Having those original plans should help you in submitting for the permit but the plans would need to be updated to show how you are proposing to finish it.

What can you build without a permit?

There are many cosmetic changes to your home that can be done without a permit. For a fairly extensive list of those, you can click here.

The largest stand-alone structure that can be built on your residential lot without a permit must be detached (at least six feet) from your home and less than 200 square feet, one-story high. It cannot include electrical, plumbing, or heating. If it does include electrical, plumbing, or heating, then it will require a permit.

On your commercial lot, the maximum size is less than 120 square feet but there may be additional steps required from Planning/Zoning.

Adopted Codes & Design Info

Current Adopted Codes – as of July 1, 2023:

2021 IRC, 2021 IBC, 2021 IMC, 2021 IPC, 2021 IFC, 2020 NEC, 2021 IFGC, 2021 IECC commercial provisions and 2015 IECC residential provisions, 2017 ANSI and current Utah State amendments

Climatic And Geographic Design Criteria, Orem, Utah, Table R301.2(1)
Ground and Roof Snow Load: To calculate, click here.
Wind Speed 115
Seismic Design Category D1-E
Weathering Severe
Frost Line Depth 30”
Termite None – Slight
Decay None – Slight
Winter Design Temp 8
Flood Hazards See Flood Map
Ice Shield Under-Layment Required Yes
Air Freezing Index 1000
Mean Annual Temp 45