This past Monday we FINALLY got approval for our renovations from the NYC Department of Buildings. It was almost exactly a 5 month process – one month to get the first plan review and then a plan review every 2 to 4 weeks after that for 4 months. We got approved on the 5th plan review. This time we were tired of getting rejected and decided to go to the plan review this time to see what was happening. It was good we did because the plan examiner literally said “I’m only approving the plans because the owners are here”. Apparently the plan examiner and our expediter had gotten to the point where they really just didn’t like each other very much. Luckily for us his objections were minor this time and he was willing to overlook them. For example, our architect had spelled out all the R values in the wall, but didn’t show the calculation converting from R values to U values that were input into the energy calculations. And we hadn’t submitted a “street tree worksheet” to document the fact that we have a tree outside our building – that he put off ’till we pull permits.
Anyway, it’s over and we’re now on to getting a final bid from our contractor, and getting everything ready to apply for the mortgage. Hopefully, after all this, we’ll be able to afford the renovation we want to do. Knocking wood…
I know I’ve neglected the blog lately, but the last 3 months have felt like purgatory. We were just sitting and waiting. Honestly, I didn’t want to focus on it too much because it would have just been frustrating. It’s a good thing we weren’t buying the building with a rehab loan. If we had closing would have had to wait until all of this was done. As it is the house isn’t costing us that much to maintain right now – just taxes and paying a guy to keep it clean so we don’t get violations.
The benefit of the wait was that our architect had time to do more detail drawings which will help clarify things with the contractor. And the biggest change was that we decided to swap the floor plans for two floors. We’re going to have the home office one flight up from parlor and the master bedroom two flights up from parlor (instead of the other way around). It should result in less stair climbing and we get a laundry shoot in the master bedroom, which will be nice. When we get the electronic versions of the approved plans I’ll post them here.
In the future one or both of us with go with our expediter when he needs to get changes approved at DOB. Lesson learned. 😉