[Worldtrippers home] [Mountaintop home]

November 26, 2012
Final inspection

Gail and Dennis break out the “bubbly” in honor of our latest and greatest milestone

On the last weekend in November, we took a quick overnight trip up to our mountain home with one goal in mind. At long last, we had arranged for Dennis, our building inspector, to sign off on a final inspection and give us our occupancy permit!

We drove up on Sunday, November 25. Dennis would not be available until Monday morning, the first work day after the weekend. This gave us a half day to re-install wire mesh between the stair newels. While temporary, this would provide the stairs with enough “railing” for the county to declare that the stairs were completed. Having already done this once (before we had to re-install the newels), we simply re-used the same pieces of mesh and fastened them in place with zip ties and staples.

Dennis was kind enough to schedule us as one of his first inspections on Monday morning. There was no drama to the inspection; Dennis had already indicated he would have been happy to sign off even when we had the wrong newels installed. Gail brought up a celebratory bottle of sparkling cider just for the occasion, and we toasted more than nine years of waiting for this moment.

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted a retrospective. In honor of our final inspection, we present another brief snapshot of our journey so far…

We saw our 50-acre mountain property for the first time in March, and made an offer the following day. We gained title ownership in May, and would spend the next several years camping on the undeveloped property.

With a home design and a building site identified on the highest and flattest knoll, we had a septic system installed by professionals. This would be one of only three tasks for which we hired an outside contractor. (The other two would be the foundation and rough plumbing).

Another task that we were reluctant to do ourselves was laying the concrete foundation. In April, with our kit house delivered, we hosted a house raising party that erected the center post, main support beams and roof.


We rolled up our sleeves and began to build. With occasional friends, relatives and our devoted friend Steve, we installed decks, walls, power, water, windows and doors. (We used consultants for the power and water.) With the help of some plastic sheeting, we achieved a weatherproof shell.

With the exterior of the house completed, we began working on the interior: toilets, interior walls, wiring and plumbing. Our brother-in-law Jim led the wiring work.

We finished framing the interior rooms, as well as installing external weather shutters.

Our friend Dirk took over the wiring work. We hired a professional to install plumbing throughout the house. Gail drywalled the interior rooms, while Russell built the stairs.



As our home lives got more busy and our sons transitioned from high school to college, we had less time to visit the mountain home. When we did make it up, we continued drywalling and stair building.

Our mountain home became more civilized and refined, with the additional of deck rails, a working telephone and wireless internet. The building of the stairs continued.

Gail alternated between drywalling and installing hardwood floors. With our time and energy lessening, we finally resorted to hiring a contractor to drywall the vaulted ceilings on the upper floor. The stairs finally reached the point where the county could declare them finished.

On November 26, 2012, we received our final inspection and occupancy permit. This means several things.

We are now legally allowed to live in the house, even though we’ve been spending long weekends here for years.

Our mountain home is by no means finished. We’ve merely accomplished everything on the county’s checklist. We have a functional kitchen and bathroom, and the house is finished enough that no one should kill or injure themselves by leaning against an open rail or falling from an unsecured platform.

On the other hand, we still have a master bathroom to finish (including a bathtub); walls, floors and ceilings to finish; and actual stair rails to install. We no longer have to worry about the stress of inspection deadlines. Anything we do from this point is strictly on our own.

As we review the past nine and a half years, our pace has definitely slowed down. Our bodies are getting older and more tired, and we are finding fewer free weekends to make the long drive up here.

We may be posting updates less often than in the past, but we will continue to make slow and steady progress on finishing our mountain home. Stay tuned!

Russell, Dennis, Gail… and our signed building permit


[Worldtrippers home] [Mountaintop home]