Friday, February 5, 2010

Permit me to share

I wish I enjoyed documenting. Watching old videos of vacations or recalling the experiences of building the cabin would be much more fun with detailed record. However, when I am in the moment, documenting always seems like such a bother, such a detractor from the moment. I guess I pay for it down the road.

That said, I will try to recount some of the details of building this cabin.

Step #1 - The Permit

I've heard it is important to get on the municipality's good side. You dont' want a war when it comes to permits. When I showed up at the municipal office in Val-des-bois, I was ready to charm. However, the cards were stacked against me. When the guy found out who I was he was angry with me. It turns out he was previously a real estate agent. The agent who listed my property. The problem is that, unbeknownst to me, the owner waited until his contract with the realtor ran out before we closed the deal and therefore didn't have to pay any commissions. Which might explain, in part why the agent now has new employment. He was irate! He was not very helpful.

My plan was to build 2 cabins. The first one would be rustic and smaller, we would use it until the second one is built and then it would become a guest cabin/rental cabin. The second would be larger, luxurious, and modern. It may become our home eventually or maybe even a luxury rental even though this larger cabin couldnt be build for years. But hey, we are planing.

I asked:

"Are we allowed to have 2 cabins on the property?"

and the permit issuer said "no" without any explanation.

I asked if I can build a garage separately,

I think he could see my little wheels turning.

"Yes but....", he countered..... " I am trying to get the bylaw changed that you can't build your garage first because you will just live in it and not build the other one"

"How long until the law is changed?" I asked

"Any week now". He said

"What if I buy the permit before the bylaw changes?"

"Your permit is good for 1 year from the time you bought it bound by the bylaws when issued"

He sounded more upset, and a little defeated.

A couple weeks later I went back and he seemed to be a little kinder. I had decided to build our first cabin with a garage permit. I asked if he needed professional drawings for a garage. he said no he didn't so I told him I was thinking about doing a 24x30 garage about 15 feet from the property line. A minute later he had printed out a building permit that says 24x30.....15 feet from the property line and charged me $35.00 for it. Wow, that is almost fishy that it was that cheap and that easy. Never in Ontario. One of the few times I have ever appreciated the "distinct society" differences in quebec.

I wonder what he will say when he sees a garage with a kitchen, bathroom, 2 bedrooms, a fireplace, and heated floors? He he. I will have to do some smooth talking.

Part # 2 will be a differnt post. It will chronicle the excavation and foundation.