Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Our first building permit!

We just got our very first building permit for the RBB: it's for the new roof. Our contractor and code consultant went down to the municipal building department and pulled the permit for us this morning. Had I received this news a couple of months ago, I would have thought it was no big deal, but I now know that getting to do this much work on a short form (which doesn't need all kinds of plans to be submitted and a longer wait) is a pretty spectacular thing to pull off. We're so excited! And so pleased with and impressed by those two members of our project team. Our contractor says he can start the work in two weeks' time.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Very slow going

Progress on the red brick building has been very slow, hence the lack of new posts.

Today we met with the architects to restate the priorities we gave them a month ago. 1) Get four details checked/worked out on the engineer's drawings of the roof so we can give the go ahead to our contractor to begin construction. 2) Figure out what the building code requires of us in terms of emergency egress in case of fire. 3) Decide where the utilities are going to go in the basement so we can get our contractor moving pipes and wires around. 4) Analyze the facade to know what changes, if any, we'll make to the windows and doors there. Locate the new fireplace so we can get a mason in to brick up to windows at the back of the building and put in the new fireplace/chimney.

Over the past month, there's been activity related to these points, but nothing that actually puts us in a position to start altering the building's structure yet.

We've also had a wood flooring guy come in to look at our existing floors (which are in very rough shape) and he recommended laying new ones. That's what everyone has been telling us so far. He told me about a place in Portland, Maine that has a good selection of old, reclaimed lumber, so the plan is to head up there one weekend. Meanwhile, I found a gorgeous, inspiring, herringbone-patterned floor in a shop here in Boston. It's very pale in color: old, unstained, unfinished oak. I want to approximate that look on our living level using the old pine framing that we've been pulling down. We'll likely need to buy some wood too, though, since what we can salvage from other parts of the building won't be enough to cover its floor square footage.