Building Permits and Landscaping

We got our building permit set submitted to Summit County on the second of October, just over a month later than we wanted to. It was another instance of feeling some relief at the sight of forward progress. 

After a little under a week, we received a note that our activity room qualified as a bedroom, since it adjoined a closet under the stairs. A bedroom would require an egress window, as well as additional tap fees etc. Or, we could move the closet door to the mudroom. It was a pretty easy choice.

Landscape Advice from our Extension Office

While we were waiting for the permits to come in, we heard back from our local agricultural extension office regarding their recommendations for replanting the site once we’re done tearing it up with all of the construction work. Here is what the site looked like to begin with:

The Extension Cooperative has an ask-an-expert feature here that is great for this sort of thing; they’ll give you specific advice about your specific property. Here’s what we got:


After reading your description of the property a mix from Pawnee Buttes Seed came to mind, it is called the dry native mountain mix. This mix contains: Mountain Bromegrass, Streambank Wheatgrass , Thickspike Wheatgrass, Slender Wheatgrass, Rocky Mountain Fescue, Beardless Bluebunch Wheatgrass, Sandberg Bluegrass, Prairie Junegrass, Bottlebrush Squirreltail.

Look over the description to make sure it does align with your needs.

I know you mentioned not watering the meadow area, but you will have a much better establishment of plants if you can water it some during the first year or two.

Fescues such as Thurber’s and Idaho would probably do well in your area as well. 

If you are interested in a flower mix, they also have a rocky mountain wildflower mix which could help you pick out a couple flowers to seed, or you could also get that mix and add it into the property.

This link can help you with other reseeding methods and practices to consider. It mentions cover cropping, which is a good method but may not be worthwhile in your situation since it looks like such a small area.

After we gave them the specific address, we got some more information:

Historically, the native plant composition for that area was Big sagebrush, Idaho fescue, mutton grass, prairie june grass, snowberry, and wheatgrass. Mowing will be good for general management but hard on shrubs, so I would avoid the sagebrush and snowberry. The mix I mentioned in the original message lines up good with the site description for that area, so I stand by that recommendation.

By no means do you need to go through Pawnee Buttes Seed to purchase seed, there are other seed dealers in the area such as Granite seed and Sharp Brothers seed ( am just more familiar with the PBS website). Additionally, you could select some of the plants I’ve mentioned and leave out others, such as selecting a mix with three types of wheatgrass and adding some wild flowers.

Additional Interior Design Reading

Our other bit of reading while we waited was another interior design book. This time it was Home Body by Joanna Gaines. It’s a well put-together book, with a lot of pretty photography, though it works better as an idea book rather than a set of guidelines you should follow when putting together a design plan. Usually that wouldn’t be super-helpful, but she and a lot of her clients have a similar aesthetic to ours (rustic/modern), so it struck a chord. Check out or Resources page for more recommended reading.