We Have Permission!

It’s been a long, tedious process, but we’re finally allowed to construct! There are an awful lot of permits that one needs to rebuild a house. First, there was the debris removal permit. Then, the permit for the temporary power pole. Then the septic inspection, the fire safety inspection, and the geological inspection as well as the structural engineer’s report feeding into the architect’s plans which all had a bunch of back-and-forth before we finally got the approved building permit for the ADU. Don’t worry, there’ll be more of this fascinating stuff when we get to the real house.

Part of the frustration with this whole process has been that at any given point in time, the people we’re dealing with are happy to tell us what they want right now, but they’re persistently vague about what they might want in the future. Of course, one can see their point: they don’t know what they’re going to object to when they haven’t seen anything else yet. Still, we’re living in an age of supply chain disruption. Before COVID there was a trade with China brouhaha and now there’s not just COVID but a war in Europe. So, it can take a while to get supplies.

For instance: we knew we were going to need a new retaining wall. The old “retaining wall”…let’s just say that every single licensed contractor who saw it was astonished and reacted with something along the lines of, “Holy cow! Do you know what that is made out of? You know that’s not going to work, and it’s probably hazardous, right?”

So, we knew we would need a new wall. The engineer came up with a design and the builder said he’d order the steel beams (30 foot long girders) from Pennsylvania so we wouldn’t run into problems with shipping and the ports. I paid for these things back in November of 2021. Four months later, after some delays on a train in Denver, they arrived in Stockton, California. The builder had to rent a truck and have his son drive them over, six at a time, but they are finally on site.

The point of this story is, I don’t just want to know what the inspector wants now, I want to know what he’s gonna want in four to six months, so I can order the stuff today.

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