Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Certificate of Occupancy

Months ago when I was on the phone with Amica, our insurance company, the woman asked me when I thought we'd get a certificate of occupancy. I explained to her that we don't have certificates of occupancy up here. (It follows that there's no building inspector; that should give any insurance company pause.) In more civilized parts of the Maine, you can't move into a house without a CO. I'd always thought that the purpose behind a CO was to protect the homeowner from the hazards of the the construction environment. Electrocution, fire, falling, hazardous materials. I've come to realize, however, that these protections are secondary; the primary purpose of a certificate of occupancy is to protect sanity. I wonder if there's a study out there that shows how many days it would take on average for the absence of a kitchen sink to effect a complete mental breakdown on the occupants. My guess is about 20 days for a COMPLETE breakdown with positive signs showing at the end of one week. It goes without saying that some occupants are more susceptible to degradation than others. But perhaps the worst part of living in a house as it's being finished is that progress, the one thing that serves as a prophylactic against insanity, becomes extremely labored just when you need it most.


Mark said...

I thought the first sign of slipping sanity was pulling out one's hair?

That train has left the station!

The Wedding Planner said...

man - we lived 2 summers without a sink and I thought we would decline into utter insanity and squalor. But good news - just the squalor part happened. No insanity unless you count taking a shower with your plates which I don't.

Michelle Keyo said...

I resent that hair comment!

Thankfully it hasn't yet occurred to me to pull out any more hair . . . though now that you mention it, I could work on the other side.