You may recall that a couple of years ago we started to build a barn. In our community, a barn does not require a permit. But, because we intended to keep the car in it (storage of personal, not farm property), a permit was required. We called it a barn, but the permit people know better–they call it a DURG (Detached Unfinished Residential Garage.) We are, just now finishing up enough to get the permit closed and squared away.

There’s a curious tension in this finalization process. The structure is, by definition, unfinished. If we were to finish it–insulate and put in interior walls–we’d be exceeding our permit. (This would trigger an whole new level of requirement and, I’m sure, additional permits.) So the push/pull is how finished does unfinished require?

Mostly it’s about safety. Apparently, it requires adequate lighting throughout. It requires that all wired items have proper fixture endings–either lights or plugs. And, though it doesn’t require interior walls, it does require a “finished surface to 36 inches,” or “code railing” in any location where there is an elevation drop. At our “rough” inspection, the inspector wouldn’t speculate as to what materials would suffice–just that it would need to meet those requirements.

Rick came up with the idea of fencing. It’s inexpensive, easy to install and can be re-used as fencing at such time that you might decide to actually finish the interior. As an added surprise, it has an interesting, post-ag look to it. So, fencing it is.

We are now ready for final inspection! Hopefully, we’ll pass. And then we’ll be officially unfinished.