A few weeks ago, the county was doing some road work near us. They must have had a lot of dump trucks to stage, as they were parked all over the place in the early morning when I drove to work. One of them decided to park in our pasture driveway. Not a big deal, but he backed way down off the road, and off of the gravel apron. Into the Mukilteo Muck. Kirk wondered aloud, “why did  he back so far in? He’s probably going to get stuck!” Maybe he was trying to make room for a second truck to park in front of him, I don’t know.

Well, sure enough, he did get stuck. Another truck had to pull him out. Leaving some really big ruts behind. I waited a week or so, curious to see if the driver would return to clean up the mess he made, or fess up to his supervisor and have someone sent out to do it. Nope. So, I sent a quick email to the county, asking them to send someone to come and tidy it up. Within minutes, I got a reply saying a ticket had been logged.

I envisioned that a laborer with a shovel would come out in a few days and do twenty minutes of hand work. Also nope. Within a few hours, this is what appeared:

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One very impressive project, the neighbor’s barn roof, was completed this week. I assumed they’d put metal on it. But they went all out, with asphalt shingles- wow! I think it took the whole week to do this side. Here they are doing the final trimming of the edges on the widow’s peak fascia.

No biggie on the height there, eh? The worker men looked like ants up there, crawling around. It looks gorgeous now that it’s complete.

And, one slightly less profound accomplishment, I got the second floor coat finish done in our upstairs bedroom. Love that old growth fir!

The old barn across the street from us is getting re-roofed. I’m not sure when this barn was built, but I think sometime in the early 1900’s, as part of the Cedargreen (then, “Cedergren”) family homestead. I believe their original late 1800’s homestead had a different wood barn, so I think this brick-bottomed, fancy one came later.

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Last fall when we got our property tax bill, I got to wondering about the assessed value of our land and whether it seemed too high. On our tax notices, they split out the value of the land and the value of the structures, so you can see how they’ve assessed each component. Our land has the added complication that all but one acre are in “open space AG,” (OSA) the reduced tax rate given to land that’s in active agriculture status. The land is taxed at “current use” instead of “best use”, so it’s given a lower assessed value. I decided to do a little research to see how our values compare with neighboring properties.

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ExteriorOnly_RedOnlyOur county building permit system has a convenient method for calling in inspection requests by phone. You punch in your permit number, and a code for which inspection you want done, and an inspector is usually dispatched the next day.

The permit paper prints out with all of the expected categories that need to be approved for your type of project: 110 for footings, 115 for framing, 305 for underslab plumbing, 325 for mechanical rough-in, 315 for plumbing rough-in, 345 for water service, 160 for insulation, etc., etc. As inspectors come and go, they sign in the little boxes next to the codes (or write you friendly correction notices instead, as the case may be). Slowly, you fill up the piece of paper with new milestones completed.

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And the pinnacle is 199: The Final. We have earned a fancy dinner out to celebrate that last signature. Cheers to completion!

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We have continued to be pretty swamped with finishing the electrical work in our barn. The rough-in was signed off with no correction list-yay for us! As was the bathroom insulation job. We’ll have the fanciest, most cozy barn bathroom ever, with R15 insulation, a solid core door, and an exhaust fan. Gotta meet residential code, ya know?

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The last “big” stage of our barn construction was to wire in lights and outlets. We had originally budgeted for hiring an electrician; but had a contingency that we’d do it ourselves if we had unexpected expenses. Our budget actually went pretty well overall, but bringing in power was more than we thought, and we’d like to reserve some money for other improvements, so we went ahead and tackled the wiring ourselves.

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