Friday, July 31, 2009

    Photos of the footings concrete pour

    Here's a bunch of photos from today's concrete pour for the footings:


    We are not messing around, folks. We had a building permit at roughly 11 a.m. on Wednesday, our contractor had an excavator on site by 1 p.m., hole digging started at 2 p.m., and the footings depths were all dug out by 4 p.m. Wednesday. Then, Davido set forms for footings yesterday to prepare for an inspection and concrete pour this morning.

    This is the beginning of our first pour this morning:

    And here's the finished pour for the footings, an hour (!) later:

    I do not have words to communicate how thrilling this is for us.

    (And yes, yes, we will post elevations/drawings as soon as we can get pdfs from the architects. Then those footings will make sense.)

    Thursday, July 30, 2009

    Photo experimentation

    We're playing around with a couple of different options for displaying photos on the blog. Feel free to point us in the right direction in the comments — we're just looking for something that will let us easily upload and share construction/design photos.

    This one is Picasa, the Google photo partner.

    This is the very first scoop of dirt on the lot — a very exciting moment for us!

    Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    Under Way

    As we posted earlier today, we have a building permit. I'll save the gory details of that struggle until another post, but we were able to finally pull the permit this morning at 11:00 a.m.

    Never one to let grass grow beneath his feet, our builder went straight to the lot and started laying out the building for the excavator. We will eventually live between the spray painted lines.

    Because we had been really hoping to have pulled our permit by the end of the day yesterday, the excavator delivered his track hoe to the lot last night. This turned out to be great because once Davido was finished with the layout, the excavator showed up and got going right away, hence our construction began in earnest at about 2:00 this afternoon.

    I had to run somewhere at 3:00 and when I came back at 4:30 they were done and had displaced a LOT of dirt.

    I can't even imagine what it would look like if we were digging out a basement.

    Oh, whew.

    We have a building permit.

    Monday, July 27, 2009

    Still no permit

    I am so deflated.

    And, time for a mini-rant:

    Really, public utilities, REALLY?!?!?!? In the last eight conversations that we've had over the past week about OUR #$%^ING HOUSE PLANS you could not, at any point during those eight conversations, mention the fact that your @#$%^#% department would not provide plans approval to zoning withour first attaching a fee schedule to our application? You had to mention this at 4:45 p.m. on the very day when we finally satisfy all your requirements to redraw our site plan (instead of accepting plan notations, like you have for all other residential plans up to this point) to mention casually WHILE WE'RE STANDING AT YOUR $%^&ING COUNTER, "oh, so has anyone talked to you about a fee schedule? Oh, no? Well, we can't release these plans to you until we have a fee schedule for your plans. And since so-and-so was out of town, things got backed up, so we'll add you to the pile." And then the kicker: "We might be able to get it to you on Wednesday."

    And now I'm off to search craigslist for firearms and large-scale explosives.

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Stump removal

    You may have been able to tell from the pictures of the tree clearing that we left pretty hefty stumps above ground -- the majority were at least four feet tall. We haven't been quite sure what to do with stumps (and have been thinking about it for a while, given that we knew about the need to remove them almost from the moment that we bought the lot).

    You can imagine our relief, then, when our contractor, Davido, called one morning and offered to bring an excavator around to dig them out.

    Turns out that Davido was working on another job in the area that required this, and he and the excavation sub-contractor were able to save us some transportation costs by bring this bad boy over to the lot this week.

    We are a bit saddened that we weren't around for the actual stump pulling. I bet it was exciting, with that bucket and thumb tearing away at the stumps. (It's so awesome to see heavy gear on our lot -- gives us hope that maybe someday we'll actually get a permit!)

    We stopped by at lunch time of the second day of removal and the lot looked like this already. And although the stump removal wasn't free/cheap, it took them only a couple of hours to get everything cleared.

    Compared to the DIY options (trimming the stumps to level ground with another round of chainsaw action, then renting a stump grinder, tackling the 12+ stumps on our own), this method was priceless.

    And, we're still waiting for a building permit. If I can paraphrase a bad piece of religious folklore: No one ever told us it would be fast. Only that it would be worth it.

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Waiting for the book deal

    In the meantime, we're trying not to jinx ourselves more than necessary by revealing information that might come back to bite us. 

    Things are stressful, but things are moving. Now, just offer me that tell all and I'll unzip my lips. Soon -- I promise.