When last we left my quest for the Holy Building Permit, I really thought that I’d put the hard part behind me, that all I had to do was wait patiently for the NC bureaucracies’ wheels to slowly grind out its grudging acquiescence to build a house.
I was wrong.
It’s nearly three weeks later and I’m still without a permit. And the thing is, it’s such a little fly-in-the-ointment, burr-in-the-saddle, sand-in-the-bikini thingie that’s holding everything up that I’d be tempted to let it go if it weren’t important.
But it is.
What it boils down to is this- we want to have exposed rafters in the ceiling. Period. Originally I had drawn the house with a simple A-frame cathedral ceiling utilizing 4×6 lumber as rafters. Nope. Can’t do it. NC code dictates R-30 insulation in the ceiling. (Or actually, supposedly it’s R-30 overall but nobody’s quite sure what that means or how to achieve it.) Whatever.
So I re-drew the plans (which means re-drawing all 5 pages because you have to show elevations and typicals and blah, blah, blah) with an attic space that’ll allow for the R-30 installation and duct work, which we were going to run exposed in the cathedral ceiling scenario. Nope. Sorry. NC code doesn’t recognize or even address 4×6 lumber.
And this is the sand-in-the-bikini thingie. By code you can span 15’6″ with a 2×6 (we’re spanning 14′) but because there is nothing in the regs about 4×6’s, the county wants me to shell out an additional thousand bucks to have an architect draw up the plans and have an engineer stamp them to ensure lumber that’s TWICE AS BIG AS SPEC is OK to use.
Can we say it together?- WTF???
I could just, and maybe I should just, give up and re-draw the plans using puny 2×6’s, or have an engineering firm bless the 4×6’s, but I can’t. I just can’t. It’s something we want and something whose underlying logic should be a foregone conclusion and something which, in my mind, brilliantly spotlights everything that is wrong with bureaucracies and their inability to cope with common sense.
While I try and figure out a way around this latest obstacle and not succumb, time speeds by. I was planning to be coming out of the ground mid-October, now I’m hoping to get started by mid-December.
Is it possible that the permitting process will end up taking longer than the actual construction?
Holy mother jesus.