Monday, March 24, 2014

Continue On

Sunday afternoon while I was sleeping, the Codes Inspector left me another voicemail.  This one was much nicer than the first one.

"You are correct that since you have an approved Certificate of Appropriateness you may demo your porch.  Once you have it demo'd, then provide measurements and a framing plan and your building permit should be approved.  Continue on!"

I should not have called her back.  I should've just let it go.  The Dalai Lama would've just let it go.  But I am not the Dalai Lama.

I called her back.  I said, "I knew I was right.  I knew that all I needed in order to tear off the porch was a COA, and I knew that I didn't need a building permit until I actually started building.  You should have checked to see if I had a COA before you called me.  You shouldn't assume that people are doing something wrong, especially not people who live in a Historic District and are restoring their homes.  I had a very bad winter, which you know nothing about, so you don't know how much I looked forward to working on my house again this spring.  You also didn't know how angry your voicemail made me [although I bet she did, since I was speaking through gritted teeth at the time] and how much it really set me back emotionally. You really pulled the rug out from under me, and you should apologize."

And after a bit of bickering, she did.  Without admitting she was wrong, exactly, but I'll take it.

Dylan and his ax will be back Wednesday or Thursday, unless it snows.


  1. Never mind the Dalai Lama, I can understand your sentiments. Nothing like officials going off half-cocked.

    Hope the weather cooperates and you can "continue on.". Heck, I hope it cooperates here, too. I'm sick of winter.

    1. Sick. Of. Winter. It snowed here yesterday afternoon. Gah!!

  2. LOL I probably would have done the same thing.

    Here you are doing the neighborhood a favor by restoring this house, spending money on the house, and spending time on the house and she comes along and doesn't ask questions but jumps to some conclusion that you are doing wrong. She probably has no idea what your house looked like when you bought it.

    Continue on......geesh. Power trip. I think her panties are still in a wad. How dare you challenge her authority.......LOL

    Exactly what kind of credentials does she have that makes her knowledgeable in the building field? Has she ever restored an older home? Working on a older home is unlike anything else. That's why a lot of contractors shy away from old houses because it can be a can of worms.

    Continue on. ...have fun and take it easy on the shoulder. No heavy lifting or pulling on boards and drink plenty of cheap wine.

    1. Thanks, Jan! That's exactly what angered me the most--that she just jumped to a conclusion. When we were bickering back and forth, she said she couldn't understand why I was angry because she was just trying to protect a historic home from being damaged. Spare me!!

      A lot of us in the community have asked what qualifications she has. She's not a structural engineer or an architect, and as far as I know she's never been a contractor. Mare said he heard she owns an older home but I don't know that for a fact.

  3. While I was relaying your story to my husband while we were on ladders trying to figure out how to make the last corner of the ceiling install level.....I had an idea.

    You know those T shirts that say Stay calm and carry on? I think you need to order one that says Stay calm and continue on. Maybe instead of a crown you could have crossed hammers. It would make for the perfect t shirt for when the building inspector shows up.

    1. YES! That's a great idea! My son's brother-in-law (does that make sense??) owns a graphics business and he could design those for me. I'm seriously gonna do it!

  4. Ooooooh! Your previous post made me so angry for you! I know the feeling. It's perfectly OK for the township to let you buy a house with rotten walls, a leaky roof and a front lawn that's barfing its lawn out through shoddy retaining walls etc. THAT'LL pass inspection just fine. But let you try to FIX any of those things, and they're all up in your business.

    It's especially obnoxious that you ARE playing by the rules, and that person felt the need to try to bonk you over the head with her grand scepter of authority and righteousness. Like someone else (Laura maybe?) commented...those folks are usually the old biddies who just live to "put people in their place".

    I'm glad it worked out, and glad you hassled her back. I don't know what I would have done there. Probably left it alone, so that the Maleficent of the HPC understood that she was but a small, inconsequential piece of rotten wood in the great porch makeover. The porch looks better already, especially with the new "skylights!"

  5. Tara, that's what made me SO MAD about it!! Right across the street from me is a house that was foreclosed upon at least 5 years ago, and it's had a blue tarp covering a giant hole in the roof ever since. The gutters are falling off, there are holes in the siding, and the neighbors have photos of a rat going into the house. Bank of America and FannieMae are playing the shell game about who owns the property, so it continues to deteriorate. Take them to court! Grrr.

    We did deliberately leave the trash bags full of debris and the two piles of salvage lumber out in the front yard all week. I'll pick them up tomorrow.