One of the biggest challenges I've faced in the past year was getting the renovation work done on the house. I hired an old friend from high school who had worked in cabinetry and told me he was branching out to building. So he and his partner were working at the farmhouse one day when the building inspector stopped in to see the permit. I didn't know I needed a permit! (apparently old friend didn't either) So I went to get one, only to find out that the property had to have a zoning change from residential to commercial before I could get a permit. (zoning- that sounds serious) And then we had to build up to commercial code. And have a paved parking lot, handicap ramp, emergency exit signs, bigger bathrooms and more than one, etc.
In hindsight, of course this makes sense. But I didn't have hindsight- or foresight-going for me at this point.
I know some are thinking,"But your Dad is a contractor- you had to know!" Nope. I had told Mom and Dad I wanted to have "my own business!", so they let me. Dad believes in teaching us to fish instead of handing us a fish, so we have those lessons with us the rest of our lives- how does that saying go? So I got to make my mistakes and learn my lessons, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity.
(Having said that, when I did ask, Mom and Dad did offer advice and that helped me a lot during this little pickle.)
So, once I found out about the commercial-ness of my business, my old friend finally fessed up that he didn't know how to build up to code. Good to know. (Now give me back my money- Seriously.)
I'll skip the rest of his story, but to give you some pictures of what my new contractor got to start with, these are photos from August 2007: