Thursday, August 29, 2013

What a Hole!


All the floor joists are out.

It was at this point, I considered just filling the basement with water and calling it
an indoor swimming pool.  But I thought with all the old plumbing still in place,
I shouldn't tempt fate.  This, I believe (and hope), is the worst of the worst.  

We've been called to the principal's office--summoned to the building inspector's office--
to provide more information for the building permit.  We've already provided the plans
but they've requested photos of the porches, the windows and a site survey of the property.
In such a congested urban area, almost every structure violates current zoning
setback requirements so changes to structures, including changes to windows
and doors, can require special permits.  That could delay the project by two months.

Stayed tuned.


 Thank you for all the great suggestions on the time capsule.  
You're not just a bunch of pretty faces, you're all really smart too!

I've pulled a lot of things together, and I'll compile a list of everything I put in.

53 comments:

  1. Having re-habbed 5 houses, I grew to dread the building inspectors. I suppose they are a necessary evil though. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for a quick blessing for you from them.

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    Replies
    1. Christine,
      I really don't mind the permitting process and inspectors. They really prevent some heinous things from happening.

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  2. You're a brave, brave man. I hope things don't take as long as it looks like they will. How are the cats coping?

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    Replies
    1. The cats are doing well. I've taken great measure to isolate them from it as much as possible and that's actually a good subject for a post so thank you for asking that question.

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    2. All of the cats I have known and loved have hated upheaval of any kind, so this is a very interesting topic to me, as is keeping them isolated. I've known a few real escape artists with four paws. You are to be congratulated for managing to keep them calm.

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  3. What the hell did you get yourself into?!? The building inspector must love to see your name come across his/her desk :) Maybe you should come to Texas for Thanksgiving...we'll hopefully be done with our project by then...or maybe I'm being overly optimistic...whatever

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    Replies
    1. It's a little more than I expected but it'll all work out.

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  4. Seems the universe wants us all to learn the true meaning of patience.

    I love seeing house guts. It's both creepy and fascinating at the same time. Thinking about when it was being built the first time-so cool. Seeing any rot/really iffy wear and tear-ugh.

    Can't imagine herding the kitties out of there-don't they just sit by the block off point, tails swishing, with that look of "Hmmm...what have we here?" LOL

    Fingers crossed your permits go through quickly. Bring a six-pack to your inspection meeting.
    An offering to the permit-bestowing gods is never a bad idea :)

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    Replies
    1. The cats have pretty much gotten used to the construction and don't bother too much with the barricades anymore. Hmmm, a six-pack, huh?

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  5. When looking at the "hole" as it comes in on RSS the photo looked beautiful. Steve with your gorgeous photography you could take that photo, tint it sepia or all blue with some of the paint cans color popping out and it could become modern art, frame it and months from now you won't believe you have come so far.
    Nat

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    Replies
    1. Natalie,
      I'm not surprised you noticed that. The light was bouncing off my neighbor's house and made all the wood look orange and the shadows in the basement look very blue so there's some beautiful contrasts.

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  6. Hopefully, because the work you’re doing is within the “footprint” you’ll get the permit quickly.

    A friend of mine, who was a building inspector, called me once asking about a bottle of wine that someone had brought him after a difficult project was completed. After he told me the name, and we busted out laughing, I said drink it, it’s fine – it was called Fat Bastard.

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  7. Oh boy, you really have some guts and a great amount of patience, Steve. Good luck with the permits. I hope things go smoothly and do not delay the project too long.
    Claudia

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  8. I have the strongest urge to put on a face mask and pull out the shop vac. :)

    This brings back memories of two home renos.

    Best of luck with the principal!

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    Replies
    1. It's certainly a good opportunity to clean out the basement.

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  9. Oh my, so much to catch up on here! WOW! Look forward to catching up...
    xoCatherine

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  10. Oh no the dreaded building inspector! I am already getting a headache!
    Steve, I would be asking you "is it done yet?" Ha! no, truly your home will all be wonderful!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena
    Feature: "Love Where You Live"

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    Replies
    1. I think we've pretty much gotten them figured out. I hope so anyway.

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  11. That's a pretty long wait. Is it smelly having the floor open?

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  12. Oh, wow! I know the transformation is going to be grand. "It is always darkest before the dawn". Having gone through a renovation, and I am sure you know, there are steps you will go through... oh I can't wait, this isn't so bad, what was I thinking, how many more weeks/months?, just get the hell out of my house...now, and finally, wow, it was all worth it. I am sure I missed a few...enjoy the process. Sending you thoughts of patience and sanity. Bonnie

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    Replies
    1. Bonnie,
      It's funny to hear you say "get the hell out of my house." I remember everything you went through.

      Delete
  13. Oh cool picture of the time capsule contents! Building permits are the most annoying but important part of our job unfortunately -and no one appreciates the amount of work they take. Thanks for sharing your experiences as always!

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  14. You may have opened a can of worms, the inspectors might not allow that outer foundation and make you replace it to code.
    You are doing a wonderful job on your reno, I can't wait to see the finished kitchen.

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  15. Steve - I find that delays can be beneficial sometimes. Gives you time to regroup, etc. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

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  16. I enjoy your posts so much I could hardly wait for this one. Wow, what a undertaking. Have you tried to
    go down in the basement and shoot up? Would love to see that view. I hope you will see some progress in the next 2 months, I can't wait that long for more reno posts!

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  17. Holy kamola!! I know it's all going to be amazing in the end. Maybe you should throw some copies of your building permits into your time capsule too.

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  18. AH - the joys of urban living. Hopefully you will never be accused of being a Carpet Bagger by the chairman of the zoning board as Sally and I were at a variance hearing many years ago. Seriously, we feel your pain. Hopefully you'll be settled, closed up and well on your way toward completion before Thanksgiving!

    Cheers,
    John

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  19. Wow...maybe 2 months?
    I shudder to think.
    I hope it all gets rolling faster than that for your sanity's sake.
    What are you going to use for a time capsule?
    Some cool wooden box?
    An Indiana Jones duffel bag?
    and yes, I would LOVE to read about your cat adventures!
    Have a Happy Holiday weekend!

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  20. Maybe you could include some of the new coins (and bills?) to show how we are in the middle of them changing! Especially a Massachusetts quarter!

    Also, make sure to remove the batteries from the electronics to prevent them from exploding/corroding in the item. But still include the batteries of course!

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  21. You ARE including this photo in the time capsule, aren't you? Pretty dang amazing. May the house gods smile upon you and grant immediate approval.

    Barbara H. (delurking)

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  22. Holy Moelie!! My kitchen chaos is looking better after seeing this...franki

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  23. Ouch! Two months? I get the inspector and building permit process and necessity, some people do some pretty crappy stuff, but you're doing everything by the book and improving big time. This should be abundantly clear. Some building inspectors are such sourpusses, hopefully yours can see the good in this renovation. Time capsule contents are looking fun, oooh to be around 100 years from now!

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  24. When my husband and I left the house that we lived in for many years, I did this project as an emotional closure exercise.
    I wrote about the laughter of our son’s, our hopes and dreams when we moved in.
    Our joys and our sorrow.
    Maybe one day, someone will remove the light plate and read about the family that once lived there before.~Homestead Survival

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  25. I will light a candle for you on Sunday. And one for the building inspected too.

    Ann

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  26. my old house has such a hole, aka money pit......

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  27. Oh dear. I hope you are managing. You seem like a very resilient person, but this must be the final straw. How are the kitties? I hope your friend is doing well. It must be a chore to cook meals. How are you keeping the kitties out of the hole? Are there mouses? :)

    xo Terri

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  28. This is great, Steve! I love construction (as long as its not in my house!) We did pretty much the same thing a few years ago, and I never walk into my new kitchen that it doesn't make me happy. It will be worth, you'll see : )

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  29. Those will be some B&A photos!

    Thank you for the compliment, but I think we are "wicked smart" LOL

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  30. Wow...it must require a lot of patience...hang in there..it will be worth it in the end!

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  31. Hi Steve,

    I noticed that there have been very few replies to readers' comments in the last few days.........does this mean that you are making the rounds of garage sales in search of a George Foreman Grill to use in the foreseable future????? Or maybe hitting the restaurants for takeout and delivery menus??????

    YOU WILL SURVIVE!!!!!! Nice guys finish last but they DO FINISH!!!!!!! You CAN do it!!!!!

    All the best!!!!! Rob

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    Replies
    1. Rob,
      Just busy. I'm lucky to live in a place where there are a lot of places that have prepared foods. Indian, Chinese, grilled chicken, salads, mac-n-cheese, sushi. There's no shortage of places I can get a dinner without too much work.

      Delete
  32. Damn permits. My replacement stairs cost $1000. The permits cost over $5000.

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  33. You are brave, indeed. If my house looked like that I would have a melt-down. I am confident in you and your taste and I know how gorgeous it will all look in the end. Hang in!

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  34. We went through the same thing when we gutted our kitchen down to dirt. I actually enjoyed it and we were able to beef up the floor for the frig and stone flooring. I hope you're enjoying your weekend Steve!

    XXX
    Debra~

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  35. Oh, the stories you will be able to tell! That pictures rather defines hell hole, yes?

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  36. I have had two such "Pits of Despair" (as we called them) in my house throughout our renovation/restoration. One in the kitchen and one in the living room, both of them down to the ancient dirt beneath. It's hard to believe such chaos can ever be tamed, but amazingly it can. What cannot be tamed are permit offices... Best of luck.

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  37. Dealing with the city can make you want to go postal for sure.....wonder what your personality will be like if it is delayed 2 months.....

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