Drawings Approved, Permit in Hand

Well I went into the permit office this week and walked out with a permit. I showed up super early and was the first inline. You would think that would mean that I would be the first to meet with someone. It’s just like the DMV, I received my ticket and waited for my number to be called, but everyone else seemed to be getting called ahead of me. After a few questions back at the reception desk I was given a new number. This time I’m waiting in front of the DDOE station window and I see the guy moving papers around, sharpening his pencils, tapping away at his computer, but not calling my number. After staring at him for almost 15 minutes (keep in mind I’ve already been waiting for 40 minutes with a number and another 30 minutes before the place opened). Finally, I hear my number and I sit down with the guy and explain what I’m trying to do and show him my drawings. He starts asking me questions about the forms I was given as if he’s never seen them before. For example he says to me “what do you think an ‘existing dwell units’ means?” I say it’s a single family home, so it’s 1 unit. He says “you don’t think it means the number of bedrooms?” I mean isn’t this your job? So then he starts drawing all over my drawing (thankfully I brought a bunch of extras in addition to the 4 sets I need to get stamped and signed). After 15 minutes of this he finally realizes that I’m the homeowner and not a contractor and suggests that I talk to someone in the Homeowner’s Center where they are more helpful. At this point I’m a bit frustrated that I wasn’t directed here in the first place since that’s exactly who I asked to speak with, but I’m just glad I’m headed in the right

The Homeowner’s Center is a breath of fresh air. The guy here is straight forward and just asks me to show him my materials and what I’m trying to do. He tells me to go wait in the lobby and he’ll have everything in order in a few minutes. 5 minutes later he hands me a receipt and say go pay this and when you come back ill have your permit ready. Sure enough, 10 minutes later I have my permit in my hand and jumping for joy.

The next thing I do is call my contractor and send him the approved drawings and our detailed work items. We're ready to move forward. Next up, we need to get a revised quote and sign on the dotted line. Then the contractor needs to get the plumbing and electrical permits (they don't give those the regular folks like me).

Detailed Work Items

The Plan: Basement Renovation

We are endeavoring on a major renovation project that is beyond our capabilities, so we have found a contractor to help us renovate our unfinished basement. The plan is to clean out the basement (currently our catch all storage area) so we can add a full bathroom, a few closets, and a new living room. In an attempt to save money on this project we are planning on acting as the project manager and have decided to handle the designs and permit process ourselves. Wish us luck.

We haven’t signed a contract yet with the contractor, we’re waiting for the permits to be finalized so we can them included in the SOW. The hope is next week I can go back into the permit office and pay some exorbitant fees and walk away with a beautiful permit, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.