Two Big Mistakes

After a couple of weeks of not much happening, this was a high drama week.  The guys who were going to lay out the concrete foundation came out and spray painted where the house was going to be based on the surveyor stakes.  On our Monday meeting with the general contractor, Catherine looked at the markings and said “uh oh – the house is in the wrong place!”. It was a foot too close to the Northeast fence – a foot we were required to have by code.  Luckily it was still in spray paint, and no excavation had started.  We stopped the excavation, and called the surveyor.  The next morning, the surveyor came out and explained that because there was uncertainty in the boundary because of the way the subdivision had been laid out in 1948, he couldn’t certify the southwest boundary to any better accuracy than 6”, so he had to move the house 6” away from that boundary, and he had simply moved it a foot (without mentioning this to anyone!), thinking that the driveway could be narrowed by a foot and still meet code.  Well, not so.  the driveway had to be 10’ wide because there is an accessory structure in the back… but it turns out the fence with the Northwest neighbor is 6” onto our property line, so when we rebuild that fence, we’ll move it.  So the house layout was moved 6” back towards the Southwest, and we’ll have to get the other 6” out of the fence – and then we’ll have a 10’ wide driveway that meets code.  So excavation was started up again on Tuesday afternoon.

But that made us start to think…. so on Wednesday night, Paul put the boundary lines into his solid model… and discovered that the porch roof overhangs the Southwest neighbor’s property line by 1 1/2 FEET!  This is a pretty major screwup.  The long suffering concrete guys were put on hold again.   On Thursday we met with the architect (who apologized profusely for the mistake), and after evaluating and discarding many possibilities such as rotating the house a bit, changing the roof overhang (it would really change the look of the house and mess up the passive solar), we devised a reasonable solution (hack the corner off the porch roof where no one will see it anyway since it faces the property line), and on Thursday afternoon, excavation was started again and by Friday afternoon, they had the perimeter concrete forms in.  On Saturday, Paul and Catherine walked every square inch of the laid out forms, and measured every length, and every diagonal, and it is accurate to within a 1/4”!  It is astonishingly precisely laid out – and in the right place!

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