Inspection: We did not pass

True Story. As I mentioned previously, we did not pass our building inspection. *Insert sad  and pouty face here, possibly some feet stomping, don’t judge me*

We were both nervous about the inspection. We knew our stairs were not up to current code. They are about 1″” too tall and 1″ too shallow to pass current rode. There is also a closet right above the bottom of the stairs that you hit your head on if you are over 5’11 (Sorry tall friends!). Here are our stairs currently.


Now flash back to when the old fuse box still existed, before the header in the kitchen, and before kitchen sub-floor. You can see the closet in this picture below.


Ryan and I did not want to replace the stairs due to their location. Since the stairs are pretty much right in the middle of the house, stealing square footage to allow for proper stairs is tricky. By tricky I mean very, very crappy and down-right near impossible with our new floor plan. Here is our floor plan if you need a reminder.


Redesign the stairs would mean taking room from the kitchen and dining room, as well as possibly losing the bathroom tucked under the stairs. Not cool, right?! NO!

Our second fear was the kitchen ceiling. Not because we are choosing to vault it, but because the rafters are 2 x 4 studs and code requires something beefier/stronger, like a 2 x 8. There was also some noticeable sagging at the roof line that has concerned us from the beginning.

So, with all of that said, Ryan and I were basically waiting for the inspector to tell us that we HAD fix those two issues, costing us more time and more money we weren’t hip on spending. Why spend time and money on fixing an issue when we don’t absolutely HAVE to?!

Well, the inspection came and went, and our inspector did bring up those two issues as problems we needed to address to pass inspection. She also gave us a list of some other small things she wants us to take care of.


That is Ryan’s handwriting, not mine, just to clarify 😉

With our list of things to-do, we threw ourselves a very quick pitty-party (ok, not we, that was just me, but it was short!) and got started punching items off our list. For one, installing a new header above the exterior door in the dining room.


We also had to have posts on both sides of the fireplace for structural support. So long completely exposed fireplace! I am still brainstorming different ways to make that look intentional. I have a few thoughts, but I am open to ideas!


We also had to add cripples above the new closet downstairs in the bedroom. Cripples are the pieces you see above the headers that help keep the top plate from sagging over time (at least that is my understanding).


Adding those also meant we add to pull some of the wiring and run it back. Redoing work that was just completed sounds awesome, right?!


It’s not, but it totally could have been worse. Thankfully it was just the one ceiling fixture! The building inspector also said I was not allowed to use my short doors 😦 I have two small doors that I was wanting to reuse because they were original with the house. While I have head clearance, someone who is 6’0″ tall would have to duck to get. I guess it isn’t nice to make my brother duck to get into the powder bathroom! I said the doors were original with the house, so I should get to keep them; however, Ryan said it doesn’t work that way. I don’t really like it when he tells me I don’t get to make the rules….but whatever….


So we adjusted the opening door size for the powder bath to fit a taller door. Boo. You are welcome my tall friends!

We still have a couple small things to do, but the two biggest projects are the stairs and the kitchen ceiling. Here is our plan of attack for the stairs. I think a picture would explain it a lot better than words, so here ya go!


Instead of having stairs that are 60″ wide, they will be 36″ wide with a landing and change of direction. It is still not ideal because we steal a few inches from the kitchen, bathroom and the dining room, but it is the best solution we have at this point. I have stared at those stupid stairs a lot the past few days!!

Lastly, the kitchen ceiling. Our new beams are really just decorative. The inspector gave us a couple different options to fix the ceiling, all with different pros and cons. We decided to add two more very LARGE  beams to help pick up the load of the existing rafters. This picture below might help explain where we will be adding beams. Look at the black lines.


The new beams will run perpendicular to the beams we just installed and to the rafters. Thankfully the location works out pretty well! We are going to leave them exposed as well, I just have to figure out a way to distress them or wrap them in old lumber. We will have to wait to see what happens there. I can tell you that these bad boys are LARGE and very HEAVY!

Checklist_material Checklist_kitchen-beams-are

My arms were tired just caring them one at a time. I sure as heck am not able to lift them above my head! Thankfully we have some friends (muscle!) coming to help put them in place Saturday morning. Can you say BEST FRIENDS EVER?! Our friends are pretty awesome. Hopefully they will still be our friends by noon on Saturday 🙂

So that’s the bulk of our building inspection story. Once we get all the issues addressed the inspector will come back out to take a look. Hopefully she won’t give us another list of things to do. I am SO ready to start insulating and closing up the walls. I never, ever want to see the inside of my walls ever again! Do you have any building inspector stories? Anyone with strong shoulder muscles want to come help lift heavy beams above their head? More the merrier!



One thought on “Inspection: We did not pass

  1. Pingback: Stair-elluah Chorus | younganddomestic

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