Brief house update: …

Brief house update: We've ditched option #1 (moving into our house and living through construction) for a variety of reasons. It looks like the new owners may actually be interested in renting back to us; we should know more after inspection, which is currently scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Life will certainly be simpler if we can just stay here, especially since my contractor's current timeline has the house being finished in mid-October.

I admit, I've been pretty frustrated by how the process has stretched on, but I think I understand a bit better how this happens now. For one thing, when the various contractors we talked to said that it would take six months to do the work, they were talking about actual work time. Whereas here is the real timeline:

  • October 15: buy house, start interviewing GC and architect
  • late October: hire architect and talk to likely GC
  • November: have many meetings with them
  • mid November: get initial budget from likely GC, sign her on
  • next month: revise and revise and revise basic floor plans, exterior elevations
  • Dec 11: submit plans to historic commission
  • Dec 18: present at historic commission meeting -- they tell us we need more stuff (we lost a month here), send architect off to get more stuff, and hire illustrator to draw what they want
  • Jan 14: next historic commission meeting -- approved!
  • mid-February: more meetings and fine-tuning, leads to architect getting structural plans to GC (we probably could have shaved off two weeks here if we'd pushed our architect more and been less busy ourselves)
  • end of Feburary: GC works on budget, but also needs more from architect to finalize it (exterior elevations with dimensions; roof plan; electrical plan; stair and built-ins, interior elevations; window and door schedule). I think we've lost a week or two here, because we didn't realize the architect needed to do more -- in general, I wish I'd understood everything the architect needed to do better up front, so that I could have bugged him more to get things done at certain points. He's working on multiple projects (as is the GC and everyone else), and I totally understand how if you need your work to be a priority at certain points, you need to make that clear -- which is fine, but I often didn't realize we were even waiting on something from him. I just didn't understand how much he had to do, and in how many parts.)
  • sometime soon: finalized plans get submitted to the village for permits. This can be fast or slow. We're hoping to have approval by the first or second week in April. FROM THAT POINT, it's then six months of actual construction time -- so we're currently looking at mid-October, exactly one year after starting the process.
Overall, I'd say that we could perhaps have shaved 2-4 weeks by harassing people to work faster. And of course, we lost a month to the historic commission (perhaps by being underprepared, but perhaps just bad luck). The main problem with all this is that if we'd understood the real timeline up front, we would have just signed a one-year lease for our rental, rather than going to some effort to find a six-month lease. Saving us some extra hassle now. Oh well. Learn from our mistakes.

P.S. We still like our architect and GC. Six months in, I think that's pretty good.

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