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Permits, Ownership, and Planetary Stewardship

I’ve learned something interesting along the way –  in my life, as well as in the construction world.

The building process requires permits and inspections.

Each licensed trade, including the electricians, plumbers, HVAC mechanics, and carpenters, have their work inspected. This is a good thing for a number of reasons; it is often just a double-check for safety and code compliance. The inspectors (often tradesmen themselves) are easy to work with when the workmanship is clean.

My clients are almost always time-pressed and impatient with the permit process because it slows the pace of a job – often causing a week or more of delay. On complicated projects an inspection may fail due to discovery and correction of an unforeseen condition; in these cases an updated drawing must be submitted before proceeding, but everyone wants to do a good job and pass the test.

The purpose of this permit process is not only for the safety of the current owner, but also for passing the baton down the line to the next, and eventually all, of the subsequent owners. Quality workmanship lasts!

In a way, we don’t own our homes. We are just caretakers for the next party – maintaining the chain of occupancy, permission granted by the local building department.

I want to stretch this thought just a bit more – to include a life lesson of caring for all things while they are in our hands, including this beautiful planet. We are just stewards, “lords of the manor” so to speak, with the power to preserve our homes and the world we live in, until we pass it on to the next generation.