From Horse Barn to Wellness Center, Part 6: Demolition Begins


Following the journey to remodel a horse barn into a commercial wellness center on a Midwestern property zoned for agriculture. This multi-part series recounts the considerations, pitfalls and ultimate successes of a green-building project with an ambitious scope to bring a defunct farm building new life as a natural health destination.

I thought for sure that I was going to leave the township hall with the building permit that day. After meeting with the building inspector or nearly two hours in the pursuit of receiving a permit to begin the remodel of a horse barn to transform it into a wellness center, I was taken aback But although I left empty-handed, I knew that we were getting close to getting the building permit — I just needed to jump through a few hoops.

The owners were not happy with the fact that I wasn’t granted a building permit, and after a discussion about the matter, we all agreed that we would jump through the last few hoops and focus our attention on getting the building permit. I called my wife, who was waiting to hear how things went.

“How did it go with the building inspector?” she asked.

“We didn’t get the building permit because the building inspector needs the building plans to be updated with what he and I talked about. I will have to stay up after we eat supper and the kids go to bed so that I can try to update these prints as quickly as possible.” My wife is not only a great listener, but she is also very understanding about my work load over the years. Owning a small business means that we don’t have normal nine-to-five hours.

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