Daily Archives: January 21, 2015

project addition: week two

Digging up Bricks-Stack GrowsFlash from the past. 2001, a much younger me, round one on the backyard. Uncovering buried bricks in the back yard – the whole yard. And then we uncovered buried treasure!

Our project meetings have been conducted largely via email this week rather than in person. M was out of town from Friday-Monday, so we haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and work. But we have been able to go through our action items from the last week and get some of those things rolling.

I’ve also been tossing a few things around in my head as we move forward on this, mostly related to process. First, the girls are at a great age for inclusion in some steps of the project – I’m excited to show them the topographic survey of the site, and then show them how we can model the site out of chipboard and cardboard. I was E’s age when my parents bought a new lot and built the house we would later move into when I was thirteen. I’m pretty sure that my obsession with all things related to design and construction was fueled by that big event in my life.

I’m also looking forward to documenting the process here, and it’s fun to have so many of you along for the ride. I know there are lots of sites that follow renovation projects, but many of them start with the first swing of the demolition hammer, barely skimming over the earlier stages of planning. I suppose the whole construction phase does seem a lot more exciting, but there’s a fair amount of prior work related to the design process that we find interesting, and maybe you will too. It’s the kind of stuff you won’t see on HGTV – you know, that world where people ambush you at the hardware store and three and a half minutes later they have a rendering of what your new family room is going to look like in another twenty minutes for less than 50% of what it would cost in the real world.

And speaking of money… I think I’m going to stick to the way I’ve always written here and not include costs along the way. I’ve just never really followed the DIY model of blogs and listed project costs on anything, and I think it would feel like I was crossing a privacy line that I’m not very comfortable crossing. I’m more than happy to answer any questions on the process though, and you are more than welcome to email me directly to ask cost related questions such as “What should a topographic survey cost?” and I’ll answer your questions as best I can.

Since we’re on the subject of surveys – that’s where we left off. M and I called three different surveying companies that we’ve worked with before and all three came back with quotes for doing the boundary survey + topographic survey + spot elevations of the existing building. All three prices were different, with a margin of about 10% between each. All three companies are qualified to do the work, so in this case we’ll contract with the company with the lowest quote. I asked a few follow up questions yesterday, and we should get on their schedule today. Turn around time is under two weeks.

I located all the files and printouts I had from earlier talks with the city regarding fencing and garage requirements. The girls and I did some reorganizing over the weekend, and I’ve nearly cleaned off the dining room table and surrounding area (holiday cards and assorted accumulated piles), and I’ve got a nice sized bin that we can store all of our project planning materials in. We need something easy to pull out and put away if we are really going to make this weekly meeting thing happen.

Next up: I’ll post some images from the various Sketchup models I’ve created over the years, as I work to put all the separate pieces into one big model. It won’t be so much about the new addition, but should give you a nice overview of what we’re starting with, and show the floor plans of the existing house.. And soon we’ll have a site plan to look at and start to model (in the computer and in real life)!

Edited to add: I’ve bookmarked a place to quickly link to all the project addition posts – that link should be up and running soon. I’d love to organize it on a calendar of sorts, but I’m not quite sure how to do that yet.

Meeting adjourned.