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First Things First

Last week, Husband went to get a building permit so he can begin work on the new house. I thought this seemed premature because we aren’t really financially ready yet and because I thought building permits expired after a certain period of time, but Husband said as long as you keep working on the construction, the building permit is good.

So he went to get the building permit. And the building commissioner liked the house plan and said it didn’t seem too difficult for Husband to do on his own (we won’t be hiring a contractor or builder), and that we don’t have to hire a licensed plumber or electrician. He said he doesn’t care who does the work, as long as it’s up to code; he’ll inspect it when it’s done.

The other thing the building commissioner said was that before he issued a building permit, Husband should talk to the septic people to figure out where our septic tank is. We figured it was probably in the front yard somewhere, but we had no idea where. They always tell you to look for the lines where the grass is greener, but we’ve been looking for a year and haven’t seen anything like that. And the clean-out had to have been buried because we couldn’t find that either. The commissioner said if we got the building permit and started work but didn’t have the septic stuff figured out, the county would probably issue a stop work order and that sounded like a big mess.

So then Husband called the septic people. They came and looked and couldn’t find anything, so they had to remove the toilet and stick a camera down the pipe. Crazy. And it turns out, the tank isn’t in the front yard at all. It’s in the back, apparently between two maple trees.

Which, of course, means it’s all full of roots. And it needs to be pumped out. And it’s only good for about another five years.

I guess that gives us a rough deadline for getting the new house built!

So, the septic people will come out and clean out the tank sometime next week. Then we need to get a septic permit so that we can get a new septic system installed for the new house. The septic people (I’m sure they have a more official name) said to install all the plumbing and the pipe to the new house first, and put in the actual tank last. That’s because all the heavy equipment will compact the soil, and you don’t want to compact the soil on top of the septic tank. If you put the tank in last, that won’t happen.

So, we thought we’d get a building permit last week, but it turned out we had to do three other things first.

When all that’s done, we’ll get a building permit.

Then things will feel all official-like!


About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

One response »

  1. Well it’s a good thing he went sooner than you thought he should!


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