Obtaining the Permit

Once I had the stamped blueprints and site plan, it was time to call my county community development office again. I picked up a copy of the permit application. It asked very basic questions such as who I was, the property address and size, and who the general contractor would be (me). I returned the application to the community development office along with the stamped large copy of the blueprints/site plan, and one small copy.

The Old Back and Forth

I received a phone call a couple days later by one of the county engineers. He said everything looks fine so far but he had a question about the slope of the driveway. So I gave him my estimate of the rise of the driveway from the road to the garage. It's a little steep, but still acceptable.

There are a couple reasons my driveway has so much rise. The garage has to be as high as possible, basically the same height as the house. For drainage purposes we can't really dig the garage into the ground much without radically altering the landscape to keep water away. And we can't really dig very deeply anyway because my property consists of a fine layer of dirt covering granite. We don't want to deal with any more granite than necessary.

He also said he was concerned about the fact that my new garage driveway was not occupying the area that we had used in the past for parking. I told him it was impossible to put the garage in that area because it was too close to the road for setback requirements and the septic system is just behind our current parking area. He said he was going to contact the road and bridge department to make sure it was okay with them.

A couple days later I got a call, everything was great and I could come in and pick up my permit pack. He also gave me the price of the permit fee at that time, and let me say it wasn't cheap.

The Permit Pouch

When I arrived, my paperwork was in a translucent blue plastic bag called a "Permit Pouch". There were a couple things I needed to sign, and the engineer explained the inspection card and the inspection process. Basically, I had a card in the bag that showed what inspections were necessary and had them listed in order. There was a foundation inspection, a framing inspection, and a final inspection. Other inspections were crossed out because they didn't apply to my garage, for instance I am not running electric to the garage. He explained that after I pass my final inspection, I receive a certificate of completion and can then use the garage.

Where to Put It?

I didn't have even the beginnings of a garage yet, so I didn't know where to display the permit. Many people tape them to a nearby window, but I knew this would fade the printing on it. The permit pouch said it protected paperwork from the sun, so I placed it on a pole, against the house, near where I was going to be digging. One week later I checked my paperwork and the ink had faded. I colored in the writing as best I could, bought a cheap plastic mailbox, attached it to a nearby tree with some wire, and the permit stayed in there.

Next: Foundation Basics...

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