If you’ve been following our blogs, you know that I’ve likened the building construction process to being pregnant here. Following that analogy, I’m proud to announce that it’s a preemie! Yes, our fledgling building was “born” but it’s not quite ready to “live” on its own just yet. That is to say, the building is done, but it wasn’t done enough when we needed to move the office.

In order to be completely done, the building must pass a series of inspections. Throughout construction, we have had a series of progress inspections, making sure we comply with local building codes. For example, we had to have a “rough-in” inspection for our trades (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) and the building before the drywall could be installed. It makes sense to make sure all the pipes and wires are what and where they should be before they get covered. The building also must be inspected by the fire marshal to ensure it meets fire codes and a general building inspection for life safety codes. At the end of July, most of the work was done, but we hadn’t passed all our inspections. However, we obtained a temporary occupancy for the first floor. Hooray!

You super sharp readers have already guessed why we could only occupy the first floor. We were missing a critical element of building safety for a two-story building—handrails. Ok, we were missing some other things too, but handrails were a sticking point. Apparently, falling down (and off) the stairs is some sort of possible hazard. Seriously though, we knew from the start that the custom handrails were a long lead item. Along with the windows, this was going to take a longer time to be delivered/installed from the time we placed our order. It turns out, our problem wasn’t knowing that the railings would take long, but the stairs had to be completed before we could measure for the railings. Not a big deal, except it is a critical element in getting our final occupancy permit.

maple staircase with no handrail
Why would this be a safety issue?

Since the end of July, I have felt like I’m dragging an elephant on a marathon where I can see the finish line, but I can’t seem to get there. I’m not sure if it’s just lost momentum, but this preemie has been incubating slowly. By the end of this month, we hope to have all the boxes checked for our final Use & Occupancy Permit and I can finally say “it’s a building!”

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