Thursday, June 14, 2012
Frustrations and Fixes
We're still here! A couple of things have derailed us from blogging for the last couple of weeks. First, we spent a weekend in New York City on a whirlwind visit. Thanks to a lucky alignment of schedules, we managed to spend time with friends of mine from high school, college, and law school all in a 27 hour period. It was, in short, a wonderful weekend away - but one that was wholly bereft of house-progress.
Then, we logged into the county system a week ago Monday to see that our garage permits had been approved - hurrah! But when we went to pick them up on Wednesday, we learned that we were being rejected by the Department of Environmental Services - noooo. Since we didn't even know DES could reject us - assuming, naively, that Zoning and Building were the two relevant departments - this was a deeply unpleasant surprise. Without getting into the details (because it is late and I've been living this issue for a week now), I thought DES was improperly reading/applying a statute and they thought I was, well, a pain in the ass. Several meetings with various and sundry officials, plus one particularly long letter (and many thanks to my friend Jake for taking the time on a Sunday to edit my work!) later, I am cautiously optimistic that we've worked out a resolution. We need to submit a bit more information so Project Garage remains stalled for another week but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that by next week, we'll have a permit and can finally move forward. We've been planning this project for so long that I feel like the darn thing ought to be built by now but if all goes well, we can break ground this month. The Bobcat is getting bored out back.
On other news, we finally bit the bullet and admitted that building the master closet drawers was just a tad bit too ambitious - at least given the amount of time and effort we were willing to put into them. Since these drawers were my brainchild, Brian was not exactly excited to spend the several days we would have needed to make really nice drawers and neither of us was happy with the not-so-nice drawers we had started constructing. So, he made an executive decision and ripped out the drawer box frames and replaced them with everyone's go-to source for furniture - Ikea! I dug up an old picture showing the original drawer box where we had planned to install four drawers and below is the current closet with the Ikea dresser installed. We still have a little painting to do but by adding trim to the dresser, it came out surprisingly well and looks very much like a built-in. Next time, we'll plan to build the dresser in from the beginning and save ourselves from the never-fun ripping out of old work. But, I'm glad we finally did it - the drawers had become one of those projects that neither of us wanted to do and yet both of us were resenting the unfinished closet. A little paint and the master closet will be officially finished.
So, it's been a one-step-forward, two-steps-back kind of week but I'm learning (or trying to learn) that sometimes construction is like this. We'll try to get back on track over the next few weekends, both with work and with posting, so stay tuned.