Friday, August 01, 2008
heart attack waiting to happen.
We adore our little house. When I discovered our sweet 1938 cape cod in a quaint little neighborhood with giant trees and winding roads near our favorite Norfolk places, I knew we had found our home. We knew that it was small, but with a large backyard there was potential for expansion. And then our family began its expansion. At the point Henry arrived we began seriously contemplating a major addition. And when that second little line arrived on that pregnancy test this past late winter, we knew it was time to stop contemplating and get the ball rolling. Having an architect for a brother really came in handy at this point, as we were able to sit down with Thom and get him to flesh out the current attainable version of our 'dream home' (my actual dream home consists of secluded acres of land, lots of glass and steel, and ocean views). We simply need a larger kitchen/family room area, another full bathroom, and an extra bedroom, preferably a large master bedroom with a nice big walk-in closet. Oh yeah, and a screened-in porch that the family room and master bedroom could both open up into through nice sets of french doors.
We contemplated just moving to a larger house, but we couldn't find anything in our price range that matched our current location or the criteria by which we deem housing suitable for our family needs. With plans in hand, we were somehow able to secure funding in this god-awful market. We decided to act as the general contractors ourselves to save money. Mike's mom has run a breakfast/lunch shop for 25 years, and she has many regular customers who work in various areas of construction. Foundation guys, plumbers, electricians, etc. Through her and some of our own connections we were able to lock-down some people to help us get the addition done. People warned us of the stress this type of thing causes, and how it always runs over-budget and over-deadline. But I was so excited that we were moving forward with this thing that I didn't even allow that part to phase me.
At first the novelty of having a port-A-potty and a giant back hoe in our yard was very exciting. (Our name is even stenciled neatly on the front of the port-a-potty- hello this years christmas cards!!) Things moved pretty quickly past the environmental/preliminary building inspections we needed to obtain permits, etc.; the foundation was quickly dug, concrete filled in, sand dumped, bricks beautifully laid. Now we are just waiting on a building supplier to come up with the necessary materials from our blueprints so that we can order what we need to frame it up. This has been the most frustrating part, thus far. Which is ridiculous, because it shouldn't be. We have already dumped one supplier and are just waiting on another (anyone reading this about to build something? DON'T USE PRO BUILD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Long story. Will save it for some other time. Let's just say that I'm not playing mrs. nice guy any longer. And this time around I might even take freaking prisoners, dammit.
Needless to say, the novelty of the back hoe and even the port a potty have sort of worn off. Perhaps I will feel better about everything once the materials are delivered and the framing begins. In the mean time I'll just keep my fingers crossed that this baby doesn't arrive any time before she is supposed to. And the next time we decide to build something, it won't be with a crazy two year old running around and another one on the way. Actually, the next time we realize we need to build something, we will probably just move.