Hiccups to a House Elevation Project

WEEK 19: Mired in a sea of inept, lazy, self-righteous pin-heads this week, things could be better.  Sometimes life is bound to get a little dicey, particularly when undertaking a substantial home renovation. Allow me to elaborate.


The week started with a site visit in which our contractor had erroneously poured cement in the wrong place when building up our foundation walls. His solution was to jack-hammer out the aforementioned cement that was located in our basement (lowest lying floor). If you’ve ever seen this before, you’ll appreciate how much dust is thrown off.

Through every crack and crevice this dust exploded upwards resulting in a scene akin to a volcanic ash flume straight to the top floor, and setting off the fire alarms all over the house. There now sits an appreciative layer of a “dust” cover on every surface – EVERY surface.

Our weekend task will be to undo this mess and seal off all interior rooms. Oh, that’s the contractor’s job, you say? Yeah, that’s what we thought as well when he said, “You don’t have to seal up anything. That’s our job.”

Flood Savvy
Steps in dispute: approved for two, but NOT three steps.
Zoning Board

Last night the good times just kept coming when we had our Zoning Board meeting to determine the fate of our back deck steps. If you’ll recall, the steps were called into question by our self-righteous, non-stop belly-aching neighbor (she’s still single?). Turns out the stamp of approval from the city’s building inspector on our blueprints somehow did not include these steps. The building inspector feels our architect tried to pull a fast one and sneak something in on the plans.

Apparently when we went before the board initially,  our architect did not ask for the proper side-yard variance. He then failed to attend the hearing on this decision last night. As a result, the topic was tabled until the next meeting which is held once a MONTH when MAYBE our pinhead architect will see fit to show up and defend his drawings. In order to move the project along, we may opt to simply redesign them. *similar problem was had with the front steps, but that’s another story. 

The stairs in question are already built. We have permission for two steps leading to the ground, but not three (as seen in the photo above). Any changes now will cost more money. The contractor was following the plans given to him. The plans which were spuriously stamped by the building inspector which riled up our neighbor which resulted in us attending a meeting last night where nothing was resolved. Merely trying to lift our house out of the flood path while helping our city improve it’s standing with FEMA (who issues flood insurance) has been on par with sustaining a flood event itself. It’s nothing but a low down dirty shame.


Turns out we had the proper variance necessary to complete the steps all along. In fact, we had more than enough variance. All that heartache was for nothing. 

3 thoughts on “Hiccups to a House Elevation Project

  1. I think I would find a way to back charge that lame architect for all extra costs involved stemming from his ineptness! Contractor & material charges to rebuild the steps, rent and the cost of any meds necessary to help get you through this project!!!!! Hang in there, your almost done.


    1. Although we do own all the way to the fence (and then some) there are side-yard setbacks that have to be adhered to, unless you get a variance from the city (which we secured last night, woo-hoo!). How this step impacts her is not at all. Once our construction is complete, we have a six foot fence that will be reinstalled and then landscaping that will be planted – really tall landscaping. That way she’ll no longer feel compelled to peek over at my side all the live long day.


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