Up to Code
How one homeowner chose a savvy architect, made nice with the building code, and moved in without a hitch.
When planning her family’s new house in the Olde Seahorse Farmes subdivision, Penny McWhistle hired a talented architect who was familiar with the residential building code and the zoning ordinance adopted by her city’s planning department. She and the architect quickly developed a program to suit her needs. Because the architect had a strong understanding of the site’s constraints, he was able to abide by the numerous setback and height restrictions outlined in the zoning ordinance. He developed a full set of construction documents, and after the contractor came back with favorable pricing, he dropped off three sets of the CDs with the city’s plan review and permitting department.
After about a week, the building official reviewed the CDs and, finding them to comply with the minimum standards outlined in the building code, she issued a building permit, which the architect picked up, paid for and delivered to the contractor. The contractor had developed a good relationship with the department over the years. He was always well prepared, friendly, and direct in his interactions with them, which they appreciated. In fact, he had even presented them with a handsomely framed enlargement of the Termite Infestation Probability Map one Christmas, which was prominently displayed in their office.
After all the deficiencies were duly corrected, the building inspector dolefully issued a certificate of occupancy. Penny and her family were overjoyed, and they moved into the house later that week.