Friday, June 24, 2011

A month out.

We're about a month out from our first guests in the soon-to-be guest suite downstairs. There is no floor, no drywall, and certainly no furniture. No toilet, no sink, no tile on the floor or walls. But the electrical is done and passed inspection, as did the plumbing and mechanical. We're still crossing our fingers for a variance on the inch-and-a-half too narrow hallway and at the same time plotting our course in case the variance doesn't come through.

All I can think is, oh my word. What have I done? My house is a pit. There's animal hair everywhere. Nobody has clean clothes. I've yet to swim in the pool this summer. My children and husband are losing weight because I can't muster the energy or creativity to cook for them (I, of course, am holding steady as always). What the crap was I thinking?

Someday this will be a long-forgotten season of exhaustion. And I will sit on a comfy sofa down there and watch a movie in 7.2 surround sound. And gaze at my beautiful built-in cabinets that I BUILT MYSELF. Mostly. On a wall that is about as flat as the earth. Which is to say, not at all flat. Someday.

These aren't the newest photos, but they're new to you and, honestly, not much different from what I'm seeing down there today. Hopefully we'll sheetrock next week and then things will resume moving along. Hopefully.

Why yes, those ARE two perfectly square and plumb pocket doors, thank you very much.

Bathroom through the doorway on the left, walk-in closet to the right.

The one existing wall with the new closet framed in on the other side.

Tub and screwed up plumbing which had to be ripped out because I chose the wrong kind of shower valve. Rookie mistake.

This is that round wall. I know you can't tell from the photos, but trust me...the cabinets and shelving I'm installing are flat and the wall is...not. Not at all.

Someday you will look through that doorway and see a beautiful custom vanity made from reclaimed wood and perfectly centered reclaimed chandelier reflected in the built-in custom medicine cabinet mirror. Seriously, what have I done?

Psst...the basement is finally done! Check out the finished product here

Friday, June 17, 2011

Let's talk about inspections

Had I known then what I know, that the hallway has to be 36" (nope, 34 1/2 apparently doesn't cut it) and that hallway width trumps standard closet depth. Or that a bathroom has to be on its own electrical circuit because hair dryers blow the circuit otherwise. Or that when I pulled down that drywall, what I found behind it was the cold air return and it needed be panned and sealed to meet current code...which was much more difficult to do after furring out the wall and adding the bones for the built-in medicine cabinet. I wish I had known that you start by submitting a sketch to the building board, not by going straight to the permit desk and pulling a plumbing permit. It would have been nice to know that the building inspector would measure the not-to-code hallway, that the plumbing inspector would tell us to install the exhaust fan and then call him back but he would tell the building department that we needed to pull mechanical, electrical, and building permits...

Yeah, there's a lot I would have done differently had I known then what I know now. But, now we're in up to our necks and hoping to get it done before the end of July. I'll either be ripping out the closet and rebuilding it or getting a variance for the 1 1/2 inches short that the hallway width is because of the closet depth. Of course, the next time our variance can get approved is July 22nd. It would be a bummer to wait until then to sheetrock, right? Especially if they deny us, which they probably will. Sigh. Scott is rewiring as I write and then we'll wait for our electrician to connect the rewiring to a new circuit in our very nearly maxed out electrical panel. Whew...we're lucky even to have a spot for the new circuit.

The one thing I probably wouldn't do differently? I probably wouldn't NOT pull a permit. I'm glad to be doing this all above the radar (although not happy about the taxes that will befall us because of the extra bathroom and I will fight that for sure), I just wish I'd known more before I started.