Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Applied for permit

September 2, 2009

Yesterday I met my contractor to apply for our permit. Just to get to this point has been a rough 6 months. We were pursuing a special permit but the aldermen finally voted a band-aid to fix their screw up for FAR (floor area ratio). Well, yesterday was 9/1 (move in day and John and I spent all day cleaning our college apt for the next 5 male college students to move in). It was also the 1st day we could apply for our permit with the new fix. I came from scrubbing gross bathrooms and a kitchen. Mike, our contractor was going to be 15 min late - stuck in traffic. I asked him if I needed my checkbook for the permit. "Only if we get it today". No one thought THAT would happen. It would take 2 - 3 days if we were lucky and how my luck's been I thought it was going to take another 2+ months! Since I had the extra 15 minutes I dashed home to get it anyway.

At the counter was Al, an inspector Mike has used MANY times. (Another reason I picked my contractor - he's done lots of work in Newton). If Mike was alone, the permit would not have been given. Since I was there and could answer many questions we got the permit! It took 20 minutes. I wanted to FRAME the permit - not just tape it to the window. I was SOOOO happy. We started planning this project the day our offer was accepted 10.5 years ago. I went looking for an architect almost 2 years ago. I've been working with our architect for 1.5 years. We've been stuck in zoning purgatory for almost 3 months. It has been a LONG journey and we haven't even started the "hard" work.

Well, Mike wanted to start in the basement - we need about $20K of structural work. First the old radiator pipes need to be removed (10 radiators so 20 pipes). We're getting a new central heat and air system. Since we knew we had to do this no matter what (and we could split the permit in 2 if we really had to) I had my HVAC contractor take out the pipes ahead of time. (Actually, he drained the system last June when we thought for sure we would get a permit and took out the pipes the last 2 days). I walked thru with Greg (HVAC guy) where the returns and registers would go on Mon. I said I wanted to run it by John . There were a few up in the air. He asked when he could start. I said I would like it done by mid Oct so we have heat down there but he could start sooner. After the pipes he was going to send someone over to take out the radiators. He was doing a job near by and could send some guys over during their down time on that job. I said I was flexible.

Well, last night I was so excited and couldn't get to sleep until almost 3 am. So much going thru my head - so many decisions! At 8 am our doorbell rings. A guy wanted to talk to me about some stuff downstairs. They're taking out the radiators and 2 are enclosed. They may have to saw it apart to get at them. I said let it rip. He then asked me where I wanted the heating grates in the kitchen - they were not marked. WHAT!?!? 8 am and most of the grates have been already cut in the floor - including one where it definitely wasn't going. If I was there some would be moved a few inches. I told the guy - no more holes in the floor!!!! We called Greg, my HVAC contractor. Greg said since he didn't hear from me that he thought all the locations were OK. It was only a little more than a day! From now on if a decision has to be made, no one can precede until they get my OK. I didn't think they were going to cut holes in the floor for a few weeks. I now may have a few patches in the floor. There would be some for the holes from the radiators pipes. Take a big breath - I will live. I told them to keep all the wood they sawed out of the floors. I inspected some. I thought they put the present floors over the old floors. Now I could see for sure.

There were 3 floors. Our oak and fir wood floors (from 1910's), the original floors (1825) and a subfloor. Now another major decision. Do I pull up the beautiful wood floor to show off the original 1825 hand planed painted grey floor? You would not believe how dense that wood is! It's 3/4 inch thick. There's an old fashion square nail in it. I'm thinking about exposing the old floors in a few rooms. At least this decision doesn't need to be made for a few weeks. What do you think? Really - tell me your opinion. All comments welcome! I'm also going with wood floors in the kitchen. They may not have the old hand planed floors since it was built in the 1870's (we think). They may have the oak floors and I could use the pulled up oak for patches. (This is my economical side thinking). What are your thoughts?

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