Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hurry up and WAIT...

The deconstruction of the barn went smoothly and the project was ahead of schedule for awhile. If things were going according to plan, I'd be bolting down the sillplates and framing the walls right now. But unfortunately I have not posted any updates because, well, there aren't any to speak of. I grossly underestimated the bureaucratic system of our little town. Actually, I was working based on old knowledge- when I set out to remodel this dilapitated old farmhouse a few years ago, all it took was a signature and a $20 bill to get a permit. Nobody EVER came to even check my work...I was expecting something along those lines for this go-around. Apparently things have changed. Now I need to file a "plumbing review" ($150) with the state, and "building plan" ($900) with the city. I'll need a separate permit for the electrical work, too. I was on-the-ball with these first two items, and got all that done on time. But since the building inspector noticed that my structure is not the typical unconsciously-designed starter mansion, a red flag came up and more design work was requested. This requires a "plan review" to be stamped by a professional engineer (I have an engineering degree, but not a "professional engineer's" certification), at a cost of $1000-$2000 based on the estimates I have gotten so far. And it all takes time- a precious commodity with the short building season here at the North Pole. The whole situation has been exacerbated with the hiring of a new city administrator (5 weeks ago) and a new building inspector (yesterday, Ughh!). I can't seem to keep everybody on the same page long enough to get my project approved. I originally budgeted $50K to build and furnish this barn. So far, it looks like about 5% of the budget will used to get 3 very expensive signatures. Anybody want to come over and play in the $2500 sandbox?

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