May 11th to May 28th, 2009 ~ Construction begins.
"It is not the beauty of a building you should look at;
its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time." ~ David Allan Coe
Stephen talked to contractors when he was here at Christmas of 2008 and in February 2009, I submitted the plans for approval by the homeowner's association. This should have taken only a month to look and yet when he arrived in April, they still had not approved the project.
I read the massive bylaws in detail and found the loop hole. Apparently, they had a time limit to approve or disapprove and I pointed this out to them at an association meeting... their time was running out. If they did not approve the plans by the specified time limit, then the plans were considered "approved" by default. When the day came, I sent a certified letter demanding an approval notice to give the city. They ended up stamping the plans anyway. Of course this was a week after Stephen left... so I was now in charge.
We signed the contractors contract on the first of May and then construction started.... so did the rain. Dig a foundation? Rain. Pour concrete? Rain. Start a construction project? Rain. And very localized rain. Here it would be raining cats and dogs.... well, it does seem to rain cats at least here... and only a mile down the road it would be completely dry, with sunshine. Yes, if you need a remedy for drought... start a building project.
Stephen was adding on a sunroom, deck with hot tub and a patio area with rose garden. When they first sprayed those outlines for the foundation it looked really small. I was concerned. But Terry (contractor) laughed and said, "It'll grow... they always do." All summer I would be up at 6AM because the workers might be here at 7AM and if I slept in it would be a sure thing. Of course, many days I was ready by 7AM and they didn't show until 9AM or later or rain came or the dreaded Anderson window delays.
There was always a bit of excitement.... especially the first time they brought the cement truck in through the back gate. Two things happened that day. First, I accepted the fact that the entire back yard would be trashed before the project was over... bye, bye grass. Secondly, I fell in love... with the cement truck driver. He drove that truck in through that gate with only an inch to spare on either side and did not even touch the gate. He managed to miss the small maple tree in the back yard and get out again. I was breathless... and it has been a long time since I could say that about anything but climbing the stairs to my room.
The construction in this phase, once started, really moved quickly... even with having to pump out rainwater from the foundation trenches before and after pouring the concrete. Foundation posts in for the new crawlspace and sand deposited .... phase one ends with the initial termite treatment of the soil.
(end of post)