Friday, January 06, 2006

Building a House

Building a house these days is
so wound up in permits and
regulations, it is unbelieveable.

In 1976, my deceased husband,
Marvin and I built, actually, on a
house in Ellensburg. We had
bought a 3 room cabin with no
water, or bathroom. Just the outhouse.
We added on 3 bedrooms and sewing
room (actually a catch all room) and a
bathroom. We brought water in from
the pump house. We did most of the
work ourselves. Those who help, traded
work for work. Marv was a mechanic.
So he did work on their cars, and they
help with times we had problems.

We did need a permit ($25) to add on.
We did have a house inspection for
wiring. And to check stucture. They
both came out one time, when we
were finished.

In 1982, we bought a mobile home
(ok, a 3 bedroom trailer with a pull
out in the living room.) and then set
it up on 10 acres in Vay. The
electric company came out and
installed a the meter stand. We
had a friend put in the septic tank
and field. The rest Marv did himself.
The electic inspector, health
dept. came out and checked their
sections. It cost $125 for permits.
Electric and building. We put in our
own road. No permits for that. No
inspections for that. We put in a well,
and I don't recall an inspection for that.
We might have had to take in a sample.

But last night I went to a town
council special meeting.
There are two contractors who are
putting in two nice areas just outside
of Kootenai (which they annexed
in to the town). The sewer people,
engineers, contractors, developers,
and the guy who keeps an eye on
water drainage for the town. The
meeting was to help the contractors.
To see if they were all on the same
page, as they get all the i's dotted
and t's crossed.

Through all the meetings I have
gone to watch, it amazes me how
many permits there are. How many
papers they have to have just be able to
get a permit. There are so many loops
and hoops to jump thru before they
even get to step across the ditch to
start digging a foundation. There are
culverts to place. Ditches to be leveled
and angled just right. Placement of the
utilites that are coming into the property.
And if you are putting in several houses,
well, you have to have LOTS of
patiences, time for paper work, money,
and did I mention patience.

Because you have to have sidewalks,
street lights, roads set just right, ditches
and the water drainage is a BIG thing.
After all this, hopefully you have all your
ducks in a row... and then you can start
building houses. And you know the
permits for that. Building, electric, sewer,
plumbing, and the list keeps going.
Money, Money money....

So when you see your contractor? Tell
him thank you... you have no idea what
the headaches he has, just to build you
new house. And no wonder they cost so
much anymore.


Patches & Mittens said...


LucilleNT said...

Patches did you know my daughter has a cat identical to you named Patches...I can't agree more with your Mom on the permits and all that entails in building....its awful....but well worth the trouble. Good article Mom...

Taz n Angel said...

We have a show here in Canada on HGTV Canada, called Holmes on Homes.

He shows us the misdeeds that can occur by unscrupulous contractors who tell home owners they don't need a permit! Some have turned a $300 repair job into a $30,000 demolition and rebuild. One family paid $250,000 to a contractor and had to pay the same amount to have the house rebuilt properly when he walked away from the job, when they could have bought a similar house for what they paid in the first place. And here in Canada, there isn't a law in place to catch the contractors that do it, provided they did SOME work on your house, they can't be sued, and if they can, they just go bankrupt.... Makes me think twice before entering that RENO phase again. It pays to do your homework!