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Reinforcements


Building requires permits, we just didn’t realize we needed one for the solar panel rack we built. This was our very first building project, built before the house was started, and we were very proud of it. The process was overwhelming because we had never done something like this before. Multiple weekends were filled with digging holes, cementing 18 poles, and measuring to make sure they were the correct distance in every direction. When we finally got the 24 panels placed on the rack, we felt like we had conquered a giant.


Then is sat, unconnected and unused for almost two years. When inspectors found out we had the solar rack, we were told we needed a permit. First, we had to pay for them to evaluate it. They decided it wasn’t to code… to hold nine feet of wet snow per square foot! I bit of an over kill.


Second, we had to pay the engineers, who designed the rack to begin with, big bucks to figure out how to reinforce it. They weren’t willing to give us any discounts for just drawings. So frustrating. Once the county approved the plans, we had to pay the permit fee and the clock started ticking on how much time we had to work on it. That was last fall. We explained to the county we couldn’t work on it during winter. That didn’t seem to matter. They gave us the latest date we had to complete it, which included two extensions.


Finally, we purchased the supplies. We are required to add three more rails to each panel that already had two. Jer and I worked one full hard day and only got halfway done. Still a little too much snow for us to take the trailer to the property, so a day trip it was. I hand-screwed over a hundred nuts and bolts. Jer used battery operated tools to tighten all the rails and fasteners.


The upside was that it was a beautiful pre-spring day. Another six hours and I think will have the rack ready. I’m frustrated that all this increased costs by $6000 but grateful that we are closer to have power to the house. It will truly be a day to celebrate when it’s up and running. We are doing every thing in our ability to make that happen quickly.

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