We got our Christmas Wish. Five months to the day after our stop work order was first issued, it has finally been fully lifted.
The process has been frustrating to say the least, particularly the last 5 weeks. Having appealed all the way up to the Manhattan Bureau of Excavations, we got our final OK — but then the process for formally removing the Stop Work was the whole thing in reverse, with a week required to schedule each meeting along the way.
Our Christmas Day movie was “The Money Pit.”
However, all has been signed off. The reinforced stockade of the temporary retaining wall is in place as demanded (it was the inspector who told us we had to do it in steel that spurred the appeals up the system), and we can move forward. Pouring the foundation is going to go a LOT slower, since the workers have to move around the forest of beams you see above, but at least it is going forward.
So, we are now roughly where we thought we would be at the end of this past July. Our move-in date, at one time projected for right about New Year’s, has been moved to Memorial Day.
Under the partial lifting of the stop-work, we were able to reconstruct the front steps and porch. This was necessary to re-establish the waterproofing, and we took advantage of it to dig out under the steps — only partly excavated before — and create areas for bike storage and garbage cans.
While it was nice to walk inside the house on which we are paying a mortgage for the first time in two months, I would rather see workmen in there than me! Fingers crossed for the New Year.
P.S. Our contractor was approached by someone wanting to do a similar renovation in the next neighborhood. He turned them down. He also told them that their estimate for the cost of the work was way too low, no matter what their architect said. I remember being at that point and thinking, “it couldn’t possibly be that much!”
Hopefully this blog can help as a reality check for people who don’t understand what they are getting into, particularly if the DOB becomes heavily involved… if so, we will not have suffered in vain!