Permit required for moving a pre-built porch to a property?

Winny

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
369
93
So this is an odd one. One of my friends in the past has replaced their main porch with another porch, similar in size. The first porch they received was from a neighbor when they moved in, never was permitted. They literally dragged the porch from across the street and that was that. Then that porch was starting to fall apart, so they ended up getting a similar sized porch from another neighbor and replaced it. They left the old porch next to the new one that winter and took it apart that spring. They never filed a permit for that move either.

My question is this, did they need a permit for moving the first porch over to begin with? Technically there was no construction or building, they just moved it from one area to the next. Same with the porch that replaced it. Each porch was similar in size as well.
 
Location
Michigan, United States

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It's nice your friend lives in a neighborhood where second-hand porches are in such abundance :). I'm reminded of Jeff Foxworthy's old "you might be a redneck" jokes (it's 90s humor so I could be dating myself here, lol). If you're replacing part of your house by just dragging the replacement over from your neighbor's yard...well you might be redneck is all I'm saying. I'd probably be concerned about the situation, like you are, especially if you're not sure the new porch is structurally sound. Porches are always going to have foot traffic, being as they're the de facto entrance to the house...I definitely wouldn't want play fast-and-loose with the rules when it comes to making sure my porch is constructed safely.

The local municipality probably regulates decks and porches under Section R507 of the Michigan Residential Code ("Exterior Decks"). If you're wondering about your neighbor's code compliance, you might start by comparing those code requirements against your neighbor's situation. Not sure how large the porch is, but I'd probably be most concerned about whether the porch is anchored to the house properly and/or whether any posts are properly secured in footings/buried.

Here's a screenshot from Michigan Residential Code showing how the porch should be supported by posts/footings:

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It's nice your friend lives in a neighborhood where second-hand porches are in such abundance :). I'm reminded of Jeff Foxworthy's old "you might be a redneck" jokes (it's 90s humor so I could be dating myself here, lol). If you're replacing part of your house by just dragging the replacement over from your neighbor's yard...well you might be redneck is all I'm saying. I'd probably be concerned about the situation, like you are, especially if you're not sure the new porch is structurally sound. Porches are always going to have foot traffic, being as they're the de facto entrance to the house...I definitely wouldn't want play fast-and-loose with the rules when it comes to making sure my porch is constructed safely.

The local municipality probably regulates decks and porches under Section R507 of the Michigan Residential Code ("Exterior Decks"). If you're wondering about your neighbor's code compliance, you might start by comparing those code requirements against your neighbor's situation. Not sure how large the porch is, but I'd probably be most concerned about whether the porch is anchored to the house properly and/or whether any posts are properly secured in footings/buried.

Here's a screenshot from Michigan Residential Code showing how the porch should be supported by posts/footings:

View attachment 393
Haha, I thought similar. I'm surprised they were able to get a second porch so easily. Just lined up perfectly at the time I guess. I'll update them with these details and see if they're all up to code. To my knowledge they just dragged it over, not sure if they anchored it or not though.
 
Moving it over might not be a problem in itself, but you need to make sure it's anchored like Eric says. My family made the mistake a few years ago when we moved a small porch over from one of my parents properties. It was just basic thing, basically some steps with a bit of space to stand. But they got in trouble for not anchoring it and making sure it was stabilized or something. idk I forget, it's been so long.

Once they got it anchored it was pretty much good to go. I don't think we needed a permit for a small stairway essentially.
 
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