First, as for the construction, we filed the application for the building permit today. The City has 20 business days to issue the permit... or ask for additional information. The preliminary review went well, even though the city's card on our house has it listed as a 1-story rather than a 1+1/2 or 2 story. While it is a small step, it is a concrete one and it felt good to file the application.
Second: Contractor bids are almost all in. We are looking them over and also checking with lenders on the best way to finance the work. More should be known next week.
Third: Atlantis, or as it is more commonly known, our basement... is dry! 2 nights ago we had a big storm come through which dropped anywhere from .75 to 1.25 inches of rain. The combination of the new french drain, the repair of some broken concrete to redirect gutter flow and me climbing the big ladder and cleaning the neighbor's gutters seems to have done the trick. No basement moisture!
More to follow...