Breaking Update

This is one of the longest breaks I’ve taken from the blog, and I can’t say it was a good one. I was unable to write (or breathe, for that matter) for the last week that our plans were at the city for the permit review. We failed, on all accounts, but we’ve been assured that failing the first time for permits is totally normal. It’s our goal to pass next time. After meeting with our contractor this week, going over all the comments from the city, and changing a few things about the way we’re going about this process, it feels like we can do this.

The main reasons we didn’t pass the permit process had to do with the drawings and the details that needed to be included on them, and our contractor told us to expect these issues. The city called out our lack of trees (we are required to have two in certain locations on the lot, which we will, of course), drainage, driveway and attic specifics, proof from the engineer that the house will withstand windgusts to 110mph, energy assessments, and sidewalk requirements.

Most of these issues are fairly straightforward to address…that is, if you are a contractor or engineer or architect. For us, two people with full-time jobs in none of those fields, it’s all too much time and stress.

Luckily, we have help now, and this is a big break from the way things have been done lately. We’ve decided to relinquish some control of this project to our contractor to coordinate with the city and the people who can fix the drawings. It feels pretty good to have someone else taking care of the details, and it feels like the only way to move things forward.

And here’s a little secret that’s too good to keep: if all goes well this time around at the city, and then with the bank, we’re looking at a late March/early April move in date. Yeah, it sounds far away to me too, but it’s closer than it’s ever been.

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5 thoughts on “Breaking Update

  1. I know that this must have been a frustrating week, but I almost feel like saying Congratulations! I have been following your blog for months now, and hearing that you guys now have an ally really thrills me. You both have done so much hard work yourselves, and you really deserve to have someone (or some people) helping you along in this process in the places where it seems like too much to deal with. You are both an inspiration to those of us out there who dream about alternative housing but think it will be just too darn complicated.

    • Wow, Nancy, thanks so much! It has been difficult, but we’re still thinking it IS possible to build the alternative house for minimal dollars. Hopefully our process will make it easier for someone else out there someday. Thanks again for following along! 🙂

  2. We failed a few times. Sometimes we’d get a different response depending on who we spoke with at the city. Sometimes the city would just plain lose our drawings. In the end we had our contractor lay into them and after a bit of him yelling, they stamped our project. Hang in there, and one more piece of advice: try not to set deadlines for move in. It’ll happen sooner or later.

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