Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Permit Story

We thought we had a pretty good timeline for doing our bathroom remodel.  Then, things got crazy and that timeline was blown out of the water.  Here's what happened.

Two Saturdays ago, demolition happily began on our bathroom.  Piece by piece, the bathroom came out and by the end of the day, we were down to the subfloor and sheetrock.  The next step was replacing all of the sheetrock with water-resistant sheetrock and getting it textured as well as adding new lights and a ventilation fan.  For all of that, we decided to hire a family friend.  Monday night we went to Home Depot and got everything we would need.  Tuesday morning, the said family friend showed up and got to work. Everything went well that morning.  He ripped out all the old sheetrock, installed the fan, and then got to work putting up the new sheetrock.  And that's when things got crazy.

While he was unloading sheetrock, our neighbor started talking to our family friend.  He informed him that he was a building inspector and told him to tell us that we needed a permit for what we were doing.  He said he wouldn't want to Red-Tag his neighbors, so we should get a permit.  Our family friend passed on the message and continued hanging sheetrock and backerboard.  We were completely floored.  We weren't moving walls or plumbing, so why on earth would we need a permit?  Well, as we started looking into it, it appears you need a permit to sneeze here in Morgan Hill, so obviously we would need a permit to remodel a bathroom (Okay, perhaps sneezing is a bit of an exaggeration, but really and truly you have to have a permit just to replace a water heater here).  Our friend finished for the day and we told him we would figure out the permit situation and let him know what was happening next.

That evening my sister stopped by to drop something off.  She is the YW Secretary in her ward and was on her way to YW.  We mentioned to her what had happened with the need for a permit and that the bathroom remodel had suddenly become much more stressful since we had no idea what we needed to do for the permit and what would need to be inspected.  She said, "oh, well our YW President works for the city issuing permits.  I'll see her in a few minutes and I'll ask her about it."  Ten minutes later, we got a phone call from my sister who put the lady on the phone.  She very nicely explained to Mr. Frisby exactly what we would need for the permit and told him that she would be working the desk the next day and I could come on down and she would give us a permit.  So great!  We were suddenly feeling better about everything.  So, Wednesday morning, I headed down to the city office and got us a permit. It helped that I took Stella and she charmed the pants off of everyone there.  With that done, we were set to go.  Except now we needed inspections.

And we have learned that these inspections are the really annoying part of getting permits.  They completely change the order in which you do things because of what has to be inspected and they make things very inefficient.  So, the next step in order to get our inspection was putting in the shower pan.  We hadn't planned on doing that until the sheetrock was up, taped, and textured and the backerboard was all ready to go.  But, it had to be put in for the inspection.  And we couldn't finish the sheetrock because the electrical that we were adding had to be inspected.  And the sheetrock nailing had to be inspected, so even after hanging it, we couldn't get the taping and texturing done until after the inspection.  So, our timeline was destroyed.  Mr. Frisby put in the shower pan last Saturday and after the mortar dried we scheduled the inspection.  The inspector came on Tuesday (not suprisingly, it was our neighbor who didn't want to Red-Tag us).  I was super nervous, but everything went okay.  In spite of getting the shower pan all ready, he couldn't test it.  We were misinformed about what the test would be and how much of the shower pan had to be ready, so we didn't have it totally done (because we were told not to).  But, he inspected the electrical, so we could at least finish hanging the sheetrock and have that inspected.  So, now the sheetrock is ready for inspection and as I type, Mr. Frisby is finishing the shower pan.  Once that's ready, we will have inspection number two.  Then we will really be able to get to work because we won't have any more inspections until the finals.

This has turned into quite a headache, so this bathroom had better be super fly to make it all worth it.  I'm so excited for it to be done!


Gordita said...

Pain in the butt!

Sharon said...

Too bad about the red flag neighbor. In Utah, you don't even need a permit to own a gun. I found that out from Matt.

Dalene said...

So infuriating! Like when I tried to rent a car this morning and couldn't get a good deal even though 24 unrented cars sat in the lot. I said, "You'd rather have all your cars sit here for the week than to give me a discount? Seriously?" And, yes, they would rather. Can't wait to see pictures of the finished, permitted bathroom. Ugh. Lunatics.