after months of waiting...
yes! it finally happened!
THIS is what a permit looks like in our County. It's pretty underwhelming. Just some white pieces of paper. I felt like a marching band should have come to my rental home holding the permit in a 24k rose gold frame but...instead this is what you get...
but...you ask...what took SO long?
It's hard to even describe the ridiculous shenanigans that we went through.
We submitted for several permits in Sept of 2017. If you do the math...that is 7 MONTHS AGO. But - please don't make me do the math on how many months we wasted on rent at this rental home. It will make me crazy (crazier than usual?) and I don't think i can count that high.
REASON #1: The IDIOT engineer didn't actually know how to do his job and had no idea what kind of information was necessary to get a storm water permit for a new home build. So every time he made a revision it was WRONG. We had to do 3 different revisions.
REASON #2: We didn't read the IDIOT engineer's contract where he said he won't do ANY tree design for permit drawings. He should have mentioned to us that we might need to hire outside for that. So that took another month or two.
REASON #3 (and the most bizarre one): Every time you resubmit for permit, the permit reviewer comes back with comments. Comments are items that are still missing or incorrect on your permit. Every time we got comments back it would take this reviewer 4 to 5 weeks to review the drawings - even for ones that were considered a "small" revision. And when we would meet with him at the permitting office to discuss the issues he would say stuff like " Oh...you aren't even close to being done!". HUH??? Oh....Thanks!! This is about the time I actually had to start taking melatonin to sleep at night. It was REALLY stressing me out.
nothing better than a Dave Chappelle meme
After the third round of comments, I called in the mother-of-all-favors from a good friend who works for the County. (It's great to have friends in the business.) I asked if they could check on the permit and see if they could help us expedite the process. We find out that our permit reviewer was not able to review our drawings in a timely fashion was because...as it turns out...wait for it...his house burned DOWN TO THE GROUND. He was "working" on our project at home the night of the fire and...LUCKILY he grabbed our drawings out of the burning house (as well as his work laptop). Does anyone believe this ACTUALLY happened? Ummm not this girl.
The reviewer whose house "burned down" never reviewed our drawings. They had to assign a different reviewer. One (that's right - only one) day later we got the permit approved!
the best thing we have done so far
While we were waiting for permit...we did what we could to the interior of the house knowing we were just days away from getting that elusive permit.
The interior of the house was basically gutted and salvaged by a company called Second Chance for material donations in exchange for a tax donation. Second Chance is this amazing nonprofit that deconstructs homes to salvage usable materials and make them available to the public through this huge retail store in Baltimore MD. They also provide job training and workforce development for those who are normally unemployable in the Baltimore region.
They took EVERYTHING. My old washer that smelled funny, my vintage double oven, the kitchen cabinets, the tubs with weird stains, the carpets, the windows , the doors, even the drywall! Oh - and the BEST part? The good stuff like my perfectly good Porcelanosa bathroom tiles and Kohler sink are not going into a landfill! Someone can love them once like we did.
Click on the link above to check them out. They are an amazing organization - I highly recommend them. It felt good to give back as well as get some money back (in the form of a tax deduction). They were efficient and did their job in under 2 weeks (even in the dead of winter). I think of it as a win win win.
here's what the house looks like now
welcome to my home. please take off your shoes
photo cred: my awesome across the street neighbor Carrie S.
view of my old kitchen. look at that vct flooring that looked like brick.
Can you believe someone picked that out and used it? Can you believe I lived with it for close to a decade?
view of living room and playroom
view of my little guy's bedroom
The last photo was taken by my favorite friend and across the street neighbor Carrie S. She took it at just the right moment with the sun setting behind my house. I love this pic for some reason. Maybe it's because I am feeling good that things are starting to happen. Maybe it's because I can't wait for Carrie to wake up one day and not have a house that looks like a an abandoned crack den but one that looks as lovely as it does in my (melatonin) dreams.