Friday, July 13, 2007

Permission or Forgiveness?

So the Phillips Crew framed our new front porch and it looks great. It really balances the bay window on the east side and it reinforces the character of the house. A small issue arose when we realized it might be built 10 inches too close to the western property line. The plans originally called for building the porch eaves to be flush with the existing roof eaves. Some faithful readers may recall that the plans were initially rejected as the porch eaves would be about 10'' into the 3' building code setback. Regardless of the fact that the rest of the house is less than 3' from the property line, the building dept. wanted the porch eaves 3' back. So the plans were changed and the plans were then approved. Well, the porch roof is built, and the eaves aren't 10'' back. It was built flush with the old porch eaves and about 8'' to the east of the other roof eaves. The dark wood area with the gutter mounted to it is the old eave.

I talked to our architects and I talked to our contractors. As we are only talking about between 2'' to 10'', and the construction of the porch obviously follows the original porch line, we decided not to change it. (We joked that we would claim we were just replacing an existing porch... which was torn down probably 50 years ago). Which leaves us with the question, do we ask for a variance now (i.e., permission) or do we ask for a variance if the inspector notices the issue (i.e., forgiveness). And the answer is: Forgiveness. It is a small portion of a large project and it is in line with the rest of the house, making it possible if not likely that it won't even be an issue. And for the safety-minded out there, the eaves are all fire-rated so the concern about fire jumping from building to building is minimized.

But what else? The skylights are in, the roof is being shingled and the balcony and rear porch roof has been framed. I'll let the photos show the progress from the last few days.

Above: a skylight surrounded by Estate Gray shingle.

Above: Larry working on the balcony decking and Felix cutting wood in the yard.

Oh, final story. Felix told me the house had a visitor yesterday. Some guy just walked in the front door, picked up the workers' water jug, and started to chug. Felix, thinking the guy might be a subcontractor of ours, yells for the guy to stop and tells him to use a cup if he wants a drink. The guy takes the water, goes outside down to the street and starts shouting to the sky. He then pours it over his head drip by drip. Then he walks down the street. Now, the guy had to have trespassed somewhere else or done something, because the police pulled up at just that time. So Mr. Oddball b-lines back into the house. At this point Felix tells him to get out or he'll brain him with a hammer. They guy is not keen on getting brained but he's not keen on going out to meet the police, either. So Felix invites the police in, telling them if they don't get this guy outta there, Felix will crack him in the head with a hammer. So in come the police to drag this fellow out and give him a ride downtown. And so ended the visit. I bought Felix a 12pack as payment for his security duties.

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