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Posted by Larry in Nashville, TN on 1/1/2015

Inspections are always a bit of an unknown for someone who doesn't build as a profession.  First, I have found that each jurisdiction has peculiarities on how you schedule ( as already mentioned in previous posts) and also local codes and code interpretations.  And then there is your own ignorance of the code, as much as you read and reread to understand it.  All three played out Tuesday.  The thing to remember is to NOT treat the inspector as an adversary, play a little dumb ( not hard for me ) while at the same time asking for their advice on how they would suggest tackling a problem.  I've found that most will give and take -give on borderline things while insisting on the most important. 

In Tuesday's cases, the plumbing inspector started walking around, asking if I did this under a "self" permit.  Said it was better workmanship than many of the pros.  He was impressed! But- he then went on to say as he walked, there were a couple things that needed to be changed. The major one was my use of "dry" vents.  He had to explain the term as we were looking at the runs.  Now remember that we are trying to fit a new layout into a very old structure and getting venting in for the toilets was a major headache.  Normally, you run that up the wall behind the toilet, but in my case, that couldn't happen due to existing framing that couldn't be changed.  So what I have is a horizontal run on the vent before turning vertical.  In that configuration, it needs to have a source of water to flush it in case any debris builds up over time.  It needs to be "wet". I understand now, but I always thought that wet vents were restricted.  The good thing is he helped me work out a method for getting that to happen for each of the toilets.  Two other small items, one he let pass as it was borderline - and relocate the kitchen sink drain to a different place.  I still don't quite understand that, but an easy fix.

The framing inspector was a little different story.  Basically said as he walked around that I wasn't ready for the framing inspection as my trades " plumbing electrical and mechanical , weren't finished and signed off.  Huh? In other areas of the country, you get a framing right after the roof is sheathed, and the doors and windows are in, then you get a structural after the trades ( to make sure the tradesmen haven't cut through major members). Here in Nashville it's all done at the latter point. A case of not understanding the procedure.  But he did walk around, and told me of several items that would be need to be taken care of. Fire blocking where we are dropping the ceiling, and I hadn't sealed around the penetrations through the plates - whoops missed that.  He said the beam in the kitchen was fine, didn't ask for calcs, other items I though he might ask about he was fine.  His major issue was head room.  Code is a minimum of 6'8" where someone will stand.  We are shy of that building under the roof as we are on the 2nd story.  One toilet was a concern, he looked at a shower, and while he had a bit of a grimace, he let then go as there is enough headroom in much of it.  We have to do something with the toilet.  From what we can find, it has to have the headroom for someone standing in front of it.  If we rotate it 45 degrees, I think we'll be fine.  Since it's in a corner, I don't think it'll look too weird. Otherwise we need to move it 18", reduce the size of the vanity, change plumbing. 

He also had a comment about headroom on the stairs at the landing. Yeah that is a problem, but it was original to the house and I don't have to change it.  His firm  opinion was that it should, and suggested ways to reconfigure the stairs, like taking them into the den and all sorts of other things that we will not consider. 

Ok onto other stuff.  Todd and I ran the furring strips across the kitchen ceiling now that the tray ceiling furrow a were done.  It was a pain in the butt, but man it really really makes for a nice flat surface.  We had to notch several of the old ceiling joists to get it right.

Started laying out the recessed lights in the kitchen.  Each one needs to be modified to fit between the furring strips, but we've got it down and will run the rest over the weekend.
I may lay out the furring strips at 24" centers on the other rooms in order to not to have to modify the lights.  But overall wasn't too difficult once we came upon a solution.


Furring of the kitchen ceiling as the unevenness of the old ceiling joists would have meant wavy sheetrock. With long screws, we could adjust the strip all along its length to arrive at a nice flat surface

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