11 September 2009

I Should Never Have Said, "It'll Be a Rainy Day in Texas Before I Go Back There...."

This week we got our foundation plan from the engineer (who -- small world -- turned out to be the same engineer our neighbor/landlord/friends are using for the remodel on the house they recently bought and will move into once it's ready). We promptly forwarded the plans to our builder prospects, so now it's just a matter of waiting for their numbers. Have I mentioned that we are not patient people?

While we wait for the bids to come in, we decided to go ahead and submit our building permit application. We will need to provide our builder's information to get the permit, but for now we can get a head start on the application process, which in our case requires an extra three weeks for "flood plain review" because our house is near (although definitely not in) the 100-year flood plain. We have been assured that flood plain review will be no problem, but we have to go through the extra steps anyway. (How can it take three weeks for someone to look at the address on our application, look up that address on the flood plain map, and conclude that we're not in it? I have no idea.)

So...back to the City development office I go bright and early Monday morning. I think I've worked through all of the kinks from last time, but this time we may get hung up on the application for electrical service, which we will need to get the permit, but we don't know whether we need to go ahead and apply for construction service (the electrical box attached to a wooden post in the ground) now, which is the usual process, even though everyone knows we're not really applying applying right now; we're just trying to get a jump on flood plain review. If we do have to apply for electrical service before submitting our application, that will set us back a few days -- and lead to another trip down there, and another stint in the waiting room -- because we don't have answers to some of the questions on the electrical form (how many amps we need, the size of our air conditioning unit -- actually, we don't have answers for any of the questions except, you know, name and address). We hope this won't be a problem but are prepared for the worst.

In other news, the fear that plagued Austin all summer -- that we would never see another day below 100 degrees -- has been allayed. We have had cooler temperatures and rain (we had forgotten what that is) almost every day for the last week, with more on the horizon. And the amazing thing about the rain is that the grass at the lot, which hasn't been watered since January and has been brown since May or June, is sprouting new, bright green growth! Hopefully the area where the hole was dug for the water main/sewer line repairs will quickly grow new grass, too.

Once upon a time, our hope was that we would begin construction at the beginning of September. Now the beginning of October seems overly optimistic. The upshot is that all the rain actually makes me feel better about the delay because I know that even if we had been ready to start last week, the weather would have prevented much from getting done anyway. A rainy fall has been predicted; hopefully we're getting that all out of the way before we're ready to start.

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