Plot Twist: I Call The Building Dept.

So this last couple of weeks have been a bit of a tormiol. I finished removeing the old floor, and started marking and digging for the piers, and planning the plumbing and frameing. About this time the house was looking a little bit conspicuous.


The house was looking less like a house and more like a construction site. Now i have no problems with a construction site, i actually feel quite affectionate towards them, but I was trying to be low key with this remodel. So after working in secret for two months i decided to go public and called the coweta building department to get a permit.

Now before the county will issue a permit, they have an inspector come out and walk the site to see the scope of work you will be doing. I was a little nervouse, but optimistic about getting a permit.

The inspector arrive, and upon looking inside the house he gasped, then sat down staring wide-eyed and silent for the next ten minutes.

At which point my optimism began to fade.

After a few minute of this called up his boss to come over and look at the  structure with him. He his boss arrived, they both looked quite  reserved. Finally i got them talking.

After discussing the merits of tearing down the structure and starting over, and the unlikelyhood of my sucess, and the economic unviability of the project, they finally agreed i could do the project. But the permit was qualified on that i would have an engeneer inspect and aprove the existing 105 year old brick foundation, and as part of the project, i would need to bring the rest of the building up to code.

This sounded close to my original plan, but with building inspector’s trepidation I wasn’t quite certain what I had in mind was the same as they had.

With the caviats laid out i only had one question for them: if either of them knew of a good structural engineer?

The chief building instructor pulled out his phone, and said, “call this guy.”

So through their recomendation, and with the fate of the progect on a weaker footing  than my building, i got in contact with an engineer.

The engineer turned out to be pretty cool, he looked at my grading, and gave me some tips, then started looking at the foundation.

“Does it have a footer?” he asked.

Now i had done a little digging around my house and i hadn’t seen anything that looked like a footer, these were cheap mill houses after all #explotivelabor

“Im not sure,” I replied. Hopeing that the fact that my house was still standing after 100 years would be enough to perswade him of it’s merit.

“Let me check” he replied, as he pulled a length of rebar out ofhis truck and probed the ground at the base of the brick wall.

My hearts sank as the rebar slid easily through the dirt.  He probed a couple places. The silence was audible.

All of a sudden  the piece of rebar clinked. He moved it along the foundation a little bit and got another clink.

Sure as hell, my house has a footer. it’s about 6in wide, and rickety, but it’s got a footer!

So in the end, after a very nervouse week, the engineer gave me a letter saying 85% of my foundation was good and the other 15% was complete crap and would need to be replaced.

Fortunately I had been planning on replaceing the crap foundation  (kinda, not realy. I though about it, but wasn’t looking forward to it), and soon after Coweta issued me a building permit, and I baught a copy of the International building code.


So far, so good.


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