Archive for August, 2006

Of Engineers & ICF Construction

August 11, 2006

Apparently, unless you get an engineer that specializes in ICF construction, a regular engineer will cause many delays and possibly cost you money.  Due to the price difference ($6,000 vs. $500), we went with a regular engineer, the un-knowing kind.

The engineer first thought everything was okay, then realized that we have a 2nd floor exterior wall ending right where our 1st floor kitchen begins.  This caused him great distress.  Woody, who has built with ICF many times, went round and round with the engineer about this.  He knew he could make it work, and finally, after much argument and back-and-forth, he convinced the engineer and got him to sign off on our plans.

It  would undoubtedly have been easier on him & on us if we could have found a reasonably priced engineer who was at least somewhat familiar with ICF construction, but such is life, and such are the risks entailed with building with a strange, new form of construction.

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To Permit we go

August 11, 2006

Finally, finally, we are ready to apply for our building permits.  Apparently Lake County has a fun process whereby our builder shows up, and they turn him down because he’s missing something.  He gets that something, returns, and they turn him down because he’s missing something else.

They have a list of necessary items, which they only dole out bit by bit, to prolong the process as much as possible.  Fun, fun, fun!

So we think, we think, that…  drumroll…  today is the day.  The (supposedly) last thing we were missing was a site plan that included the location of well & septic tank, both of which have to be 75 feet apart from each other, as well as 75 feet away from the neighbors’ tanks. Our plan is to have the septic tank on the back west boundary of the property, and the well in the front yard.  We could probably have put the well in the backyard, but Woody said that, had our neighbors put their well in their backyard (thankfully they didn’t), we would not have been able to build.  He doesn’t want to put our other neighbor, who hasn’t built yet, into a similar bind.

Woody tells us that we can get a well that isn’t very large, then plant some bushes around it to cover it, so that is what we will do.

We are keeping our fingers crossed now that everything else goes well (no pun intended!)