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Monday, December 19, 2011

Phase F#$*ing Two!

This blog has been dark for a while, not because we've taken any time off from the Coat Shop.  Rather, we've been bringing new meaning to the phrase "DIY." 

As it turns out, DIY doesn't just mean tiling your own shower or sanding your own floors or making cute little sconces out of wood chips.  DIY also means shuttling your own blueprints to the city building department, taking copious notes on the detailed reasons the city is rejecting your plans, and then crying a little in the bathroom of City Hall. 

During the past few months, Jon and I have become intimately involved with the City of Eureka.  We read fire and building code at night on the couch.  We got to be on a first name basis with the Fire Marshall and the Chief Building Official.  I'm pretty sure they finally approved our plans because at some point they were just ready to see other people.

Once our plans were approved by the city, we brought our business proposal (written on the beach in Maui by Jon on our honeymoon) to our local credit union.  We were terrified that they wouldn't approve our construction loan due to the economic climate.  But the credit union's VP came to the Coat Shop and took a tour.  He said he was really impressed and has since helped fast-track our loan.

Now things are moving at light speed.  We're lining up sub-contractors (because at this point neither of us is willing to turn the project over to a general contractor, we're still steering this ship ourselves) and tenants and re-drawing plans and begging friends to join our demolition crew. 

We're doing a week of major demolition and then two weeks of framing and floor laying and then HVAC and electricity and plumbing.  We're moving in at some point after the floor is in but before the basic utilities are hooked up, because we like urban camping.

We have a hundred decisions to make.  We need to figure out where to put the heating vents and how to remill the redwood and whether to spend $4000 on the gas fireplace Jon is currently obsessed with. And amidst that chaos, it feels like things are working out. 

We have been preparing for doomsday since Day 1 of this project.  What will we do if the economy collapses? If the walls fall in? If the basement floods?  We have laid in bed and mapped out worst case scenarios, along with second-worst case scenarios.  We have meticulously planned for doomsday and and it has not arrived. 

While that worst case scenario might still occur, I will be surprised if it does.  As opposed to opening the door, sighing, and saying, "Oh, there you are.  Come on in.  I've been keeping dinner warm for you."

Happy New Year!

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