Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Renovation Page 2

I’m sure you aren’t as interested in my home improvements as I am, but it is sucking up most of my time. Since I’m neither working on the book nor thinking up great topics for the other blogs, I thought I would share.

After many weeks of crossing and dotting, the City of Atlanta graciously granted us a permit for the repairs we have planned. Why we even need a permit to replace siding and put up new gutters is beyond me. I thought I was a master wordsmith back in my marketing days, but the linguistic maneuvers required to get basic repairs approved is a real art. Contractors actually hire expediters – people who are experienced at running the maze – to help them get building permits in less than a month.

Today the workers started ripping the old vinyl siding off the house. The good news is that we found R11 insulation behind the foam board. That means we have a credit coming from the contractor. We didn’t think there was any insulation in the walls, and were planning to install R13 before adding a plywood sheath, moister barrier, and Hardie Plank siding.

What’s the bad news? If we thought the squirrels had access to the attic space before, they sure do now. Apparently the only thing between the great outdoors and the inside of our attic space was an inch and a half of foam board and some vinyl siding with about half the nails and none of the caulk that should have been there.

And, we are going to have a chance to spend the credit from the insulation on rebuilding spots like this. The contractor originally planned to demo the old siding and put up the new as he went along focusing on completing one side of the house before moving on to the next. Now he has decided he had better demo all of the siding quickly to see what other surprises are in store.

My next challenge is to get a survey of the property. We already have a survey, done ten years ago when we bought the house. However, our expediter tells us that the Bureau of Buildings won’t issue the permit to rebuild our deck and patio without seeing a survey that includes topographical markings.

So I’m headed back to the phones. Maybe I’ll work on the book tomorrow.