Addition: Edition 1

That addition we have been planning for 4 years now? Yeah.. It's happening.

For the past year + we have been working on developing the space plans that we had tweaked over and over into construction documents. I am a commercial interior designer- I do CDs all day every day. BUT they are commercial and I have no idea how residential work is done, and especially not the structural portions.

Enter my father in law, the civil engineer. He did all of our structural drawings for us. John and I did architectural and John did engineering.

After the CDs, our next big hurdle was getting our septic system leach field and well approved by the county. In June, John started the process of working with the county health department and in August they finally got out to our house to test.

We had a contractor come out and dig several trenches and they poured water into it to see how quickly the water would drain to see if the leach field would be appropriate.

If the leach field failed we would have to replace that and the septic (with some new fancy system that costs approximately $1 million).

Luckily, the leach field passed. We have had this awesome looking yard since August.

As part of the health department's conditions, we had to move our well above ground. Prior, it had been in a pit below ground that had to be dug up anytime we needed access to it for maintenance, etc.This was not a DIY project.


The biggest project for "demolition" so far has been tree removal. John and his dad have been cutting down trees.branches and cleaning the yard all fall. There were several trees that had to come down due to the location of the addition and/or the new driveway.

House and trees before.
We were quite trashy for awhile.

We did have to pay a tree company to come out and drop some branches that were hanging over the power lines. They literally left them on the ground where they fell though and John and his dad cut them up, and cleaned up the yard.

Minus the branches on the ground, this is where we are now.
The addition will come off the side of the house, so in September John and his dad tore up our old "detio" in preparation for footers and the new deck that will be over this area.
Lucy helped.

The last piece of prep-work that we (they) did that we could do before having a permit was taking down a portion of the fence that will be where the addition will be and replacing it with a temporary fence solution so that Lucy can still go outside and play.

The posts were all sunk in concrete so they came up with this giant contraption to pull them up.. apparently this is how engineers remove fence posts.

In July, once our construction/permit drawings were mostly done, we started talking to contractors to get some pricing. LOL. They were ridiculous. Like $100k over what it should have been. I am pretty sure that several gave us horrible pricing because they didn't want to work with us, thinking we wouldn't be able to afford the work. Some just straight up never responded back with pricing.

Luckily we were recommended an awesome guy and in a stroke of perfect timing, he came to meet us the same weekend my parents were here. He was pretty much the same contractor that my dad is. Like down to owning the same truck, using the same phrases, construction materials, etc. Oh, and he gave us realistic pricing. Kind of important.

In the beginning of September we submitted our permit drawings to the county for review. After a few minor changes, and painful drawn out process...


This is a HUGE deal because we did the drawings all on our own with no architect. And now we are free to work!

John took off work on Monday to prep the house a little more- he tore the stairs off the side of the house that the addition is going onto and also staked out where our deck footers are going to go.

And.. he decided to be all official and post the permit in the window. 

It is officially official now! The contractor has the excavators scheduled for next week pending the weather and then the concrete guys will come at the end of next week (again pending weather) to start the foundation formwork and pouring!

At this time next week we could very well have a giant hole in our yard!

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