Back at Kinkos

Everyone keeps saying "not bad" about the comments and questions that we are getting back from the city. We were expecting another round - we all were. Not because the architect and engineer had not done their work because there is something running amuck in the city's building and planning departments. Botched plans and stop orders and a law suit and a flood of people wanting to build the perfect home have caused this small town building/planning dept to become overworked, overly-code crazy, overly-intense and overly difficult to work with.

But like any other bureaucratic entity, there are rules. When one learns the rules and the players, it tends to make dealing with such entity a little easier. And if not easier, well then less frustrating. So I am learning. I am learning to be the squeakily wheel. I am learning that taking the 3 minute walk to the office and talking face to face gets me much better results than sending an email or calling. And I am learning that a smile really does go a long way.

And I am learning that we will get our permit when we get our permit and there is nothing more we can do about it.

For today, I am re-submitting plans that include addressing our existing retaining wall, the framing for the new skylight, the "proposed" placement of our new duct work for the new upstairs furnace and some energy calculations for the new laundry room. Basically, busy work and details that have NEVER needed to be addressed on a permit set before, according to our architect. But we joined the game and now we have to play by the rules.

Ann brought me her set, I picked up Kevin's set in San Francisco and then I headed to Kinko's to print 3 copies of the 1-page construction management plan that I hacked together. $4.50 a piece. There goes another $15.00. Doesn't seem like a lot but if you realize that the whole set is 17 pages all together and we have to supply 3 sets each time we submit/re-submit. That's over $200 each time. And we have now done this 3 times. You can do the math, right?

I fold it all up - the way I was taught to fold them and then drive back to City Hall with my stack of expensive paper. I walk to the Building Department counter and hand it all over.

"Re-submittal", I say.

"Ok, looks like it's all here. We should be getting back to you in about 2 weeks." they say.

And just like that, we start the waiting portion of the game all over again.

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