What a Pane

"Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. 
Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in."
Alan Alda
Basement windows to be replaced.

I knew things were going too good. The most trouble I'd had up until this point was a misplaced light fixture (which I take complete accountability for!). Last week we had our first home inspection by the city and it did not pass. Darn. Not that it's that big of a deal, but I feel like it didn't pass because of me.

I gave our contractor the go-ahead to keep the existing basement windows despite him strongly encouraging me to replace them so they'd meet the egress code. Even though I called the city engineer and got a verbal approval over the phone to keep the existing windows, the city has now rescinded.

Typically on remodels, basement windows do not have to be replaced. Only new construction must meet certain specifications. The city claims our renovations are too extensive and since we've upgraded wiring, plumbing, etc., we must also upgrade the windows. I can see their point, but it's still frustrating.

As a result, I had my first passive-aggressive tiff with the City Engineer. It went something like this:

Sorry, I can't approve your inspection. Your basement windows don't meet code. You will have to dig out the all the window wells, break out the foundation and install bigger windows.

(looking expectantly at Jeff)

My wife said you had a phone conversation with her and that you said since it's a just a remodel that the current windows are acceptable and that they would pass inspection.

I can't give approvals over the phone, and I can't approve basement windows that are too small.

(looking desperately at Jeff)
Well, the new windows have already been ordered and they cannot be returned. It would be quite an additional expense for us to dig up the current window wells and replace them, not to mention that we will have to order brand new windows. You did give my wife approval over the phone...

I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do. Good luck.

(ever the optimist)
Well, OK... we tried! Thanks for your time!

(head hung in defeat)

I'm not sure what happened, but the meeting didn't quite go as planned. That's not exactly true. I do know what happened. If I'd spoken up, I would have done one of two things: yelled or cried. So, I kept my mouth shut.

In hindsight, it's kind of funny. At the time, I was really upset. 

Here's the good news. We get brand new, bigger windows with brand new, bigger window wells. Our house will be safe and up to code. If there's ever a fire (heaven forbid), firefighters will be able to get in through the window with all of their equipment. My kids will be safe.

When one window closes, another one opens.

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