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Friday, December 29, 2006

The run around

Yesterday I set forth {after the migraine was subdued} to find building codes for my county. Numerous resources have informed me that your local residential building codes can be found at your local library, hence this would be my first stop.

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It's a tiny, cram packed {cozy if you will} building. Inside it's my dream house. Books stacked in the aisle because the shelves are overflowing. It dark and woody, a perfect library. The librarian was sitting at the computer with a child and immediately smiled as I walked up. I told her I was looking for the building codes.

"I know we are suppose to have them, but we were never issued them. You'll need to go to the city building." I thanked her and went on to my second stop.

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The city building was once tucked into a little shop building on the main street, they went and built something larger and fancier, now the official men no longer have to share an office. Goody for them. I had borrowed my father's cell phone and called my husband before entering the building.

"If you don't hear from me in an hour, I've been arrested."

Once inside I was told I needed to talk to a certain someone, and was called back into his office. First thing he says to me, "The code book is about this thick" he did the international hand sign for big freaking book. "You sure you want it?"

"No, but I need to know what we can do and what we can't do." We talked a bit about what info I was looking for and then he informed me that I should go to the county code enforcement building in downtown. ummm. . . thank you for your time.

Nope, not going to happen. I will not be going to code enforcement unprepared. I know several people that have tried to get green buildings and had to preform strange freak show tricks to get any of them approved. I have seen what is around the county, someone okayed these before they were built. So off to the extension office I went.

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I walked in and told the receptionist that I was there looking for an ally. Of course she wanted to know why I needed one. So I told her about how no one wanted me to see the residential home building codes. It's a conspiracy I tell you. Here's where I lucked out. The receptionist's father use to build berm homes. She acknowledged that it was a bad idea to go to code enforcement unprepared and then she called her son, who had graduated from K State in architectural engineering. He said there was no one I could call for an ally. WOE IS ME! The receptionist and I were talking, and I mentioned that I really needed to know the codes before I spent almost $4,000 US on just blueprints! Her jaw dropped, and then she calmly informed me that in the state of Kansas, that they do not require an engineers stamp on residential home blue prints. As long as everything is to scale and detailed, they will look at them and tell us yes, no, and maybe. I calmly informed her that I loved her, and skipped merrily out the door. We have a friend that in his past life, designed homes for a living and is willing to help out where he can. Happy dance with me?

So now we begin the process of blueprinting the house. As I type, my husband is sitting quietly on the couch, doodling. {Their so sweet when they doodle} And I am looking at the prices of building material. Instead of concrete we would like to go Rastra, it will save us labor cost and we can go full berm with it. Things might be starting to fall into place.

Did I mention I ran around in my NONAIS.org shirt that I got from the Granny Warriors?

6 comments:

Cheryl said...

That's so funny, there's been a lot of talk about Rastra around here lately, too. We're thinking of putting in a basement and would like to use Rastra blocks to build it. Now to find a Canadian supplier!

Stephanie said...

I guess we won't have the run around. No codes here! Glad you found some helpful information though! I like the Rastra. Need to look into that more.

Chelee said...

Talk about a runaround. Good for you though, keeping with it. I've found anyone I've tried to get in touch with this week is on vacation. Blah!

alrescate said...

Fantastic! What a relief to know you won't have to drop all that money on plans.

Oh, and you know I read that as "...we would like to go Rasta..." the first time right?

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

We have a friend who works in building supplies. He used heibel blocks (similar to rastra)for his house and loves them. They are stuccoed since it is an above ground house.
Good luck you are now entering the realm of building a home---the next year of your life will be devoted to thinking of it, and only it, constantly.( you have to do the music from the twilight zone with that sentence)

abbagirl74 said...

Whew! What a day! Glad to see you got what you were looking for.

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