Before you can begin
the building process, you must obtain a building permit.
Check with your building department for requirements.
Also check how long the process takes. Generally a
building permit takes between 2-6 weeks to obtain
once the building department has all the necessary
documentation. The building department may require
many of the following: 2 complete sets of plans, engineering
specs, MECcheck (Model energy code check), truss details,
drainage plan, permit fee, etc.
A variance is a exemption from the zoning committee
to exempt your project from certain building zoning
or building regulation. For example, a common variance
that is sought is the building setback. Zoning and
building regulations require that a building is "setback"
a certain distance from property lines. If you want
to place your home closer than the current zoning
regulations, you will need to apply for a variance.