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Archive for the ‘permits’ Category

Inspections Passed

On Monday we have a 5-way inspection: Electrical, plumbing and mechanical (HVAC) rough-in, framing and stucco. There were 7 failures. These were fixed and on Tuesday it was re-inspected and there was 1 failure. The failure was with the HVAC and was down to the fact that the inspectors have never seen an HVAC system as sophisticated as ours before. They said we need to add float switches and drip trays to each of the zones. Float switches detect back-up in the condensate line and cut out the power the compressor, but these system include integral float switches and are networked to the compressor. Our project manager went to the manager of the inspectors today and had a word with them, and now today we have passed all inspections and are approved to the next stage which is insulation.

The guys are finishing off the standing seam metal roof, it should be finished tomorrow (Sat) and if not Monday, and the framers are putting on the Hardi panel soffit. The Hardi soffit looks really nice and it hasn’t even been painted yet. It will be finished next week and painted the same cream color as the stucco.

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I attended the Lakeway¬†City Building Commission public hearing at 9am this morning where two of the four agenda items were our house (item 3 was dropped from agenda). The first request was what they call a ‘height determination’. Basically how high is the place and will it block anyone’s view or light? For this we needed to erect a 25ft pole to show the highest point of the house. (The house is actually about 21ft high but better to be safe than sorry!). In fact we couldn’t put the pole at the highest spot of the house as the lot is so overgrown where the house will be, so placed it a couple of feet higher in elevation just behind the house (again, better safe than sorry). The pole was completely invisible from the road due to the overgown lot and 145ft driveway to the house. The committee consisted of 7 grey-haired old men, apparently all retired gentleman. Daniel Arellano our architect from Bercy Chen Studio presented on our behalf. One commitee member questioned whether there was really a pole as he could not see it?! None of the neighbors turned out to complain or otherwise make a nuisance of themselves.

The second item was a request for a 20% grade on the driveway, steeper than the 15% allowed by code (=building regs). The committee met at 9am and adjourned the decisions until a site visit was made at 10am. Now I wasn’t expecting the committee to go over there right away, and had the lot clearers booked to start clearing some of the overgrowth (despite not having the building or clearing permits yet). Robert the builder (aka Bob the Builder) called the clearing guys to tell them to hold off until given the all-clear! It might have looked bad to have guys with chainsaws there, even though you don’t need a permit for clearing cedars and brush (only oaks) and we don’t plan to take out any of the oaks. (One of two of them might need a bit of a trim).

The committee all turned up in a Lakeway City mini-bus and looked over the lot. The ‘height determination’ was a non-issue, it was unanimously ¬†agreed that it would not block anyone’s view. But the driveway turned out to be more controversial. One guy said that if the grade exceeds 20% then the driveway should have railing and steps alongside it the whole driveway length. However, fortunately another committee member said that this was unnecessary along the whole length and only those parts greater than 15% grade need steps and a railing. (Since only a small part of the driveway is steep there can be no reason why they would be needed along the whole length).

The eventual vote was 4:3 in favor of allowing a 20% grade with steps and railing anywhere there was a greater than 15% grade, with the the one guy in favor of railing along the whole length claiming it was split 3:3 but the secretary helpfully pointing out there are seven members so it cannot be 3:3. So we got through but only just, and need to add some steps and railing. One of the local councillors not on the committee pointed out to me that putting the trash out could be hard with 145 ft of driveway some of it very steep. But I can live with that.

So with that we called in the lot clearers and I installed the solar-powered ProjectCam and we are finally making real tangible progress! Hurrah!

ProjectCam

ProjectCam

Lot clearing

Lot clearing guys move in with their chainsaws