Monday, August 12, 2013

Progress is sometimes as slow as molasses

So, remember here where I touted my skills as a deck designer?

Funny story about that. While my deck design was pretty amazing, and it was exactly what the ARC (a.k.a. my arch nemesis) asked for, it wasn't good enough for them. Let's recap: They said, "we need deck designs." Our contractor hand delivered his rough sketches with important information like how the decks will be attached to the house and what materials will be used. They said, "Uh, we need professional drawings. Lowe's does them. Those will work." I immediately found the deck design program and designed the 3-D drawings on the program using the sketch our contractor gave us and some additional specifics I harassed him for. I submitted those drawings and got a response that said something to the effect of: hey, this is nice, but the footer depth is not deep enough (this was the one default on the design program. Our existing footers are 40 feet deep and plenty deep to support the decks, but I couldn't show that and the committee had to see it in writing) and we need the drawings to say that your contractor is going to follow code. Among other things.

Here is where I started to get more than a little frustrated. First, they told me to go to Lowe's. Then, they said the Lowe's product wasn't good enough and they wanted a computer program to say that the contractor was going to do x,y, and z.  Let me remind you: they had his original sketches on file. Said sketches already outlined the requested information. And besides, isn't that what permits and inspections are for?!?

While I wanted to cry/throw things at the computer/scream/use profuse profanity, I did the more logical thing. I went to Lowe's with my printouts--all 15 pages--and explained to the design expert what I needed. He looked at me like I was insane. I explained the ARC and showed him the email outlining what they needed. He basically told me that it couldn't be done on their program (which is the same as the in-store program the expert will use, fyi) and he wished me luck dealing with the committee. Because I'd need it.

He actually said that.

To make a long story short, our contractor went to a structural engineer in Elkins, WV who designed what the committee really wanted. I had no problems hiring someone to do this, I just wish I hadn't been sent on a wild goose chase first. (And, I wish I hadn't looked like such a clueless blonde in Lowe's...)

Ok, yeah, they're a little more specific than the Lowe's decks. I get that.

Finally, our decks were approved. Everything was set to go and then, guess what? God laughed at us a little. He decided that it would be a really, really rainy two weeks in West Virginia.

The guys were able to get a bit of the work done between storms, but the building has been almost as slow as the approval process.

The decks, siding, windows and rot repair are not the only things we will do to the exterior of the house. We have quite a few projects planned. Here's the rub: Everything we do to the exterior of the house will need to be approved by the ARC. The thought makes me cringe. I'm trying to be optimistic that now that I know the level of detail they are looking for so I can meet and exceed those expectations for quick(er) approval.

Unless, of course, they read this rant. In which case we will be blackballed and will face an eternity of the ugly red DENIED stamp.

I'm trying to be optimistic.

And if you're from the ARC and reading this, I was totally kidding when I called you my arch nemesis. I really, really like you. Want a hug?

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