Finally, My Dream Shop #14: Building Inspectors Must Be Unhappy People!

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Blog entry by Calgirl posted 12-10-2007 01:22 PM 3326 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Something Happened Today Part 14 of Finally, My Dream Shop series Part 15: Ongoing Saga »

I haven’t updated the progress on the workshop because I didn’t want to share my pain, but as there is finally some small light at the end of the tunnel, I can finally tell what has been going on.

The inspection process has been the most frustrating aspect of the entire project. Each inspector arrives and finds one thing they don’t like and then leaves with instructions to fix it. So, the electrician comes all 26 miles from town and puts in GFI outlets for each circuit. Then two days later the inspector comes again and this time he decides some other little thing needs to be changed and the electrician has to come back out. This has happened with the carpenters also. Because the city does not have a code for the 8’ sliding door, we have had to have a garage door company come out and install a “temporary” steel door. Then the inspector comes out and O.K.’s that but decides that because the ceiling is not being finished by the contractor (gypsum installed), he now wants “perlins” placed above the rafters. These are just 2X4’s lined up the length of the building every four feet. So, the carpenter goes out and buys some more lumber and is scheduled to place the perlins today. Another inspector shot was that they wanted “hurricane” covers for both of the windows, so now I have ugly bolts sticking out from the trim and two pieces of 1/2” ply to cover the windows with. This is just a game for the inspectors to make $30.00 each time they come out, but it is costing the contractors a lot of money and time, and is extremely frustrating to me. The Gen’l. Contractor hopes that the inspections today will be the end of it. We finally got the electrical final inspection O.K.’ed and now only need the building inspector to sign off, which we are hoping for this afternoon. Then, the garage man has to come back out and remove the steel garage door, and the builders have to remove the ugly bolts for the “hurricane shutters”, fill them and repaint and it will be all over. Hopefully by tomorrow I will have the shop to myself. I do not fault the builders at all, as everyone who has looked at the work, or commented on the pics that I have posted, feels that the construction is exemplary. It is just an inspection thing. We could not get a final sign off on the plans with the building department last Thursday because the “computer is down” while they switch over to a new system. If there was a way to delay the final O.K. the city found it. Maybe this week I will finally have the temporary toilet that is at my driveway entrance removed. Once that darn thing is gone, I will know that it is finally over. I have managed to build a worktable and get some of the machinery in, but can’t do any wall insulation, wall covering, attic flooring, etc. until all inspections are done. I will celebrate big when it is all over, and all the interruptions are over with.

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

21 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4204 days

#1 posted 12-10-2007 01:28 PM


-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4402 days

#2 posted 12-10-2007 01:43 PM

shame on them.
Perhaps some letter writing would be appropriate (after you get final approval of course) saying that they inspector obviously wasn’t doing his/her job properly as it took several trips to find errors… he should have only needed one visit at the end to point out all the things “wrong” and then one visit to see that they had been fixed.

Perhaps a letter to the newspapers to show people where their tax dollars are being spent. hmph.

Anyway…...... one step closer; doing what you have to do .. and then, it will all be part of history.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4247 days

#3 posted 12-10-2007 01:47 PM

This is whats great about where i’m at in Alabama. We don’t yet have enough govt bureacrats to make building a dog house an intolerable ordeal. I’m sure its coming though.

Glad you’re near the end!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 4199 days

#4 posted 12-10-2007 02:26 PM

It’s a shame that after you spend all that money and time, these clowns have to come in and nickel and dime you, basically playing power struggle games. The worst part is that they can’t agree amoung themselves what the code is. Good luck and soon enough you will be standing in the middle of your new shop, with no worries except what to build!


View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4263 days

#5 posted 12-10-2007 03:27 PM

The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-by to the Bill of Rights.

- H.L. Mencken
Chin up grit the teeth , smile.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4291 days

#6 posted 12-10-2007 03:47 PM

Seems that you or your GC did not take the right person in the city building department to the right place for lunch.

No, really, I can feel your pain. Where I live anything under 100 sq. ft. will only require approval from our architectural board, no county inspections. That has me debating whether to keep my shop in the garage or go whole hog and put me a nice shop in the back yard. There is even a vacant lot next to mine that I guess I could buy and put a shop on it.

Good luck getting finished up. Show us some pictures when you are done.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View Karson's profile


35154 posts in 4642 days

#7 posted 12-10-2007 04:00 PM

In Delaware where I live it’s 350sq ft needs a footing inspection and a final.

So my neighbor built a storage shed with a loft. After the final inspection was done a bed was moved in for his son and daughter in-law to visit. She’s allergic to cats. So they will sleep in the “Storage Shed” with hard-rock maple floors.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4116 days

#8 posted 12-10-2007 04:55 PM

I feel your pain, CalGirl! You know those cheap, piece-of-junk storage sheds with 2×2 framing and 6’ walls that they just come dump off in your yard, concrete blocks optional? No permit needed. Want to build one of decent quality yourself? Permits, inspections, commercially built trusses. I fought with the county to get them to let me put the thing on concrete blocks – they wanted me to put it on a foundation with hurricane straps!

-- -- --

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 4130 days

#9 posted 12-10-2007 05:36 PM

It’s terrible that the inspection system where you are is such that it encourages inspectors to find “building code exceptions” so someone gets $30 per re-inspection. It seems if you end up paying them whatever amount those “several re-inspections” cost and everyone locally knows about it, why don’t they (the inspectors and their departments) get together and develop a system that charges that full amount and they coordate their inspections so all the inspections are done at once so at most they would come out twice (once for the initial and the second time to inspect any call back work that is “required fixes”, with the second “follow-up” inspection at no cost. It would make things much less frustrating and more predictable.

This is just one bystander’s thoughts. I know in the real world things are not that logical, though they should be.

Glad you are nearing the end and will have your work space to enjoy. Looking forward to seeing your shop when finished.


View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4402 days

#10 posted 12-10-2007 06:21 PM

yah.. first there is the nuisance value and then the cost value (financial and time) and then there is the cost on the environment – -just think of all that extra travel impact on Mother Nature…

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 4104 days

#11 posted 12-10-2007 08:37 PM

It seems as though they are trying to justify their jobs, they probably have no lives outside of their work. If you can call what they do work. I call it harassment.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4552 days

#12 posted 12-10-2007 08:53 PM

Didn’t they look at your plans when they issued you a building permit? Seems like all these dislikes should have been discovered then. The inspections are suppose to verify that the contractor followed the plans and codes that were to be verified when the plans were delivered. I’m sorry that they put you through all of this, but will celebrate with you when you are finished. Good luck and happy woodworking!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4556 days

#13 posted 12-10-2007 09:00 PM

Our tax dollars at work…most of it is because of bad contractors, but for that we all suffer a bureaucratic solution.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4402 days

#14 posted 12-10-2007 09:00 PM

good point, Os…..... definitely letter-writing time!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4127 days

#15 posted 12-10-2007 09:40 PM

While you are letter writing pen one to your local legislators and/or city council.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

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