Archive for: June, 2008

Permit application short on MANY counts

June 12th, 2008

We received a revised notice from the city citing many things that will need to be addressed before our plans can be approved, including:

  • More details regarding the footings
  • Many details about the ICF Support, Structure and Framing
  • Header and Trimmer joists
  • Etc.

There are 13 items in total, many of them inter-related. We’re still working out who we should be calling to get these details fleshed out to the city’s satisfaction.

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Greener pastures of our own

June 10th, 2008

We’ve found our new project manager!

Last year, our new PM had actually looked at our plans at the request of the architect and turned down the job as he was already stretched thin. He also wasn’t very keen on the stick-frame construction that had been proposed at the time.

Fast-forward a year and it turns out he had been selected by our old PM to lay the Durisol ICFs for the project. But we met with him today and some really interesting things came to light:

  1. He usually works as a general contractor and has a full team of trades on hand to do the work (so he can usually work much faster than other General Contractors who have to hire external trades, whose availability is highly variable).
  2. He’s been building Eco-Block ICF homes for many years and has a wealth of experience with ICF type products.
  3. He seems like just a great, smart guy who will be really easy to work with.
  4. He works on exactly one project at a time.
  5. He works the job site himself, so he’s there all day to make sure things are being done correctly (often by him).
  6. Even our old PM said he thinks we might be in better hands with this fellow, based on his wealth of experience

I think we will be really happy if we have no more surprises on this project, but so far the majority of our surprise “missteps” have actually had us wind up in a better place than before.

The plan is now to start August 1.

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Permit application short on two counts

June 9th, 2008

We received one call and one letter letting us know that our building permit application could not be approved until we:

  1. Submitted a Grading and Drainage Diagram with our build plans (a new requirement for all new construction in the city).
  2. Submitted revised mechanical drawings that show the location of the HRV ducting. (Because our heating system is entirely radiant flooring, one has to show how the ventilation will work.

We’ve asked the Mechanical Engineer to start work on the HRV ducting but we’re not sure who will provide the Grading diagram yet.

Even though it may seem like we have lots of time with our start date being moved back to August 1, we know all too well by now everything that can be rushed, should be rushed or it will never get done.

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Fertilizer for greener pastures

June 2nd, 2008

The Project Manager has received a job offer teaching architecture at a Canadian university and will not be available to help us this summer.


This is suddenly shades of last year, but this time we haven’t just paid for plans. We’ve also paid to design a mechanical system, and bought permits from the city for a house we can’t build.

He is (and we are) working on finding a replacement.

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