Sunday, July 26, 2009

Basement Renovations - The permit application

The permit application saga

Part One
Extensive internet search and perusing of New West Building Permit Application web page. Go in person to city hall and speak to clerk. Ask some questions. Get copy of the "Guide for Residential Construction" from the Building division. Come home and read through guide, do some research to try to understand it. Have a basic idea, then call the "Plan Checker" (that's his real title) to discuss what exactly is needed. Write down the details.

Part Two
Spend many hours using specialized software for designing floor plans (Home Designer Suite). Have some difficulty getting cross-sectional diagrams. Much help-menu and forum searching later, and a few emails to the developer, we come to the realization that this program does not do that. Despite it being a requirement for most permits. Utter a few expletives. Do the cross section diagrams by hand.

Part Three
Drop plans off at city hall. Clerk gets Plan Checker to come over and check plan. There are problems. The conversation goes something like this:

"But we picked up these instructions from this desk a few weeks ago".

"Yeah, this guide is old. Doesn't have the current requirements. We really should update it." He tells me I should have called the office and asked for information. "A phone call goes a long way".

I try to explain: "I did call. I talked you, actually. You told me to do it this way."

"Yep. You really should call to be sure you have the most up-to-date information".

"But I *did* call. I talked to *you*."

"'Cause then you wouldn't need to go back and re-do these".

"(sound of tongue being bitten)"

Part Four
Many expletives and hours later, re-submit plans to city hall. This time they get past the desk. Yay. A few weeks later we get a phone call. If we want to change the garage, we will need to bring it up to current bylaw standards. Which means no driveway access from the front of the house. So, if we want to make half of the garage into a real room, they will take away our driveway access. Which means we will need to fill in the driveway. And change the garage door into a real door. And reno the outside of the house.

If we want to apply to get a variance it will cost $1000. And we will probably be denied. They suggest paving the backyard to make a parking pad as an alternative. I ignore the stupid non-sequiter.

Back to the plans again. More expletives. Nix the reno to the garage. Move everything back into the rest of the house. Drop plans off again. Cross fingers.

Part five
Phone call from city hall. Plans are approved. We can pickup the permit as soon as we pay them enough to take the whole office to Disneyland.

And we call it a victory.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hm...I should probably update my blog..........

Thursday, September 04, 2008


So much for keeping my blog up to date!!

As you may know, Boy and I have an unfinished basement we will be renovating. Hopefully I'll be a little better about blogging the progress as far as that is concerned. Currently it's still in the planning stages. We're designing a virtual basement in Design Suite, which has been great for room layout and sizing! You can add walls, flooring, furniture and decor, then render it in 3D to see how the room layout will look. Great for someone like me who has trouble picturing it in my head.

Aside from the perpetually procrastinated basement, we have done little renos here and there. David installed a dishwasher and counter, installed a new dryer, resealed the bathroom tile, and built a wine rack with dad. I tiled a backsplash.

Oh, and I replaced a floor tile.

Actually, I haven't left it all to him. My biggest project so far has been our back stairs. I decided they would be a quick little project that would spiff up our back yard quite a bit (they were pretty ghetto when we moved in). It turned out to be a much bigger job than I anticipated! The paint was a pain to scrape off, even with the strongest paint removing chemical we could find, and a snazzy new sander. Crawling under the stairs to strip/sand/prime/paint underneath was a hassle and a half, especially for the lowermost stairs. And I discovered anew why I hated oil-based primer so much.

In the end, though, it was well worth the efforts. I actually finished them a few weeks ago, but have had some camera troubles of late so the photos were slow in coming.

Before . . . . After

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It snowed again

And again we made a snowman.

Snowmen, actually. Unfortunately, the snowpeople got into a bit of a bar fight when we turned our backs. Fiery tempers have led to cold-blooded murder! It looks like Bob got iced!

Witnesses to this heinous act are frozen in terror.

The police are processing the scene, but I don't expect them to have difficulties finding the perpetrator. He has no legs, and has been unable to make any progress in his getaway. You might say he is as stuck in place a tongue to a cold metal pole. Brrr.

Possible motives for this chilling deed include a missing shipment of ice and snow.*

Update! This just in: the prime suspect in this snowicide has taken his own life. Moments ago, he jumped off a ledge, leaving his lower body behind.

This is one cold case solved in record time!

* in the "diamond" and "coke" sense...geddit?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Had Thai food for lunch today. It was yummy!!

Other things I have done since my last post:
-gotten married
-moved to the suburbs
-vacationed in Jamaica
-received a promotion
-turned one year older
-finished a knitting project
-spent my first Christmas as a wife
-celebrated a pajama-party New Year's Eve

Maybe I should endeavor to update a little more frequently this year?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

48 hours!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007