Construction – Done(ish)!

As many of our friends know,  our “plan” was to construct a new, smaller unit for Los Harris in the basement of our home in Chicago.  This unit was to be one we could “abandon” for months at a time while we began our ongoing travel adventure.  Well,  as of 1 December, 2016,  the apartment is DONE — done being more of a waypoint than a destination.  So what does “Done(ish)” mean in this case?

  • We applied for the building permit in JANUARY of 2015.  We received the actual permit on 1 AUG 2016.  By the city’s own stats,  which they proudly publish on the permit itself:  426 Days total,  380 waiting for the City and 46 waiting for applicant (us).   You can’t make these things up!   And,  the reason we are leaving town a bit later than we had hoped!!! 
  • The Final electrical and plumbing inspections are complete and signed off (though totally different experiences…more below)
  • We moved in…and are nearly finished emptying the larger apartment of our worldly belongings.  Speaking of worldly belongings,  we have relocated DOZENS of bags to Salvation Army        Lot’s of challenges in this process…mostly all successfully overcome. 
  • Our unit is now on the rental market
  • We traded in the Honda for a Smart Car to tow on our travels.  This means construction is now DEFINITELY DONE because I can no longer fit more  than a box of nails in the car should I need to go to Home Depot. 
  • We even had an informal house-warming event.  Lot’s of friends and food and good cheer.
  • — And,  THE CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES.  (Boy,  writing that felt good and never gets old!)

If you are interested,  we have a short video tour of our new abode, in which we intend to spend very little time!

So,  now that our new home is complete,  we are FINALLY ready for departure on our Travel Adventure.  Sort of.    More on that follows here-à

Electrical and Plumbing Inspection – two VERY different experiences.

For context,  it may help to know that Liz and I did “most” of the plumbing,  under the oversight of our long-time journeyman plumber.  On the other hand,  we did NONE of the electrical work.  Rationale:  bad plumbing makes a puddle on the floor.  Bad electrical starts fires!  

Anyway,  the final electrical inspector was,  shall we say, “Detail Oriented.”  I would use a three letter word beginning with “A” but shouldn’t…   Anyway,  some things that were important to him:  “The outlet on the kitchen peninsula must be no more than 10” from the counter top” (ours is probably 14”).  After about 45 minutes of making the electrical contractor squirm,  he finally said, “I really shouldn’t do this,  but I am going to sign off…”

On the other hand,  the Plumbing Inspector walked in the front door and immediately signed off.   I asked him if he needed to look at anything (having been prepared by my plumber as to what he would want to see).  He said, “I see no puddles and you seem happy.  Good enough for me. “ 

I am not sure which kind of inspection better serves the public.  Nor do I care.  Both signed off,  and we are DONE in the eyes of the city!