Dining Room Progress Update – We Have Permits!

September 25, 2019

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With all of the little projects and planning we’ve been sharing lately, some of you may be wondering, “What’s going on with the dining room?” And while things never move as quickly as you’d want on a big project like this, we did want to give you some exciting updates and share where things are at. since the last time we talked about it it was looking like this:

Demolition of the sunroom

First and foremost, we have our permits! The permitting process can be a bit of a bear, and while we had our sketches done and turned in over a month ago, someone over at the permitting office pushed the wrong button or something and a bunch of applications (not just ours) were deleted. Good thing our Contractor was checking in with them so much, otherwise who knows how long it would have gone undetected. So that put us a bit behind, but we were able to get our application expedited.

Chris Loves Julia dining room construction

Even after all that, there were a few changes required. A few things with footing locations, some tweaks to HVAC – nothing major, but delayed the approval another week. But now, finally, we have permits in hand and are ready to go!

Chris Loves Julia dining room construction

Another fun discovery is that our back patio is actually about 6 inches of concrete poured directly over top another 6in layer of concrete that used to be the original back patio. They went in to cut it out and found that the concrete saw wasn’t going all the way through. They had to come back with a bigger saw and cut all the way through it so it could be removed.

Chris Loves Julia dining room construction

Some may wonder why we’re going through all the hassle to completely remove the old structure – why not just fix what was already there. We’ve touched on this before, but this addition was not permitted, and it shows. For one thing, you can’t use 6in of concrete poured over 6in of concrete as a substrate to an addition of a home. There were no proper footings around the foundation for the walls of this room, and the chimney was just sitting on top without proper support. We decided that, since this room will now fully be part of the house, it needs to be right. And where we’re putting a balcony above this room, the foundation becomes even more important (if a foundation can possibly become more important than it already is). 

Chris Loves Julia dining room construction

So the team spent the past week breaking out the old concrete. They used a skid steer with a jackhammer attached to finish it off and even that part took a couple days. The demo part of this project is the most expensive line item, so having that handled makes the rest feel easy. The goal for this week is to get the excavator in here to dig for the new footings, and have the footings poured so they can cure over the weekend. Here’s to hoping, and we’ll keep you all posted!

Chris Loves Julia dining room construction

To see live updates as they happen, be sure to follow us on Instagram @chrislovesjulia

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What do you think?

  1. Sandy says:

    Hi there! Exciting work you have started on your home! I look forward to following the progress.

    quick inquiry. did one of your little ones have a hanging chair in their bedroom by chance? If so I would love a source for one for my grand daughter. I can just see her sit-in gin it reading for hours! I am not having much luck with a google search so thought I would try you all!
    many thanks and good luck with this and future projects!

  2. I know the content of your article and your article skills are always good. Thanks for sharing this article This content is very important to me, I really appreciate you.

  3. Julie Rossman says:

    You City still sounds better than ours. I went to check in and they said “you’re two inches down in the stack.” What?!? I can’t wait to watch your progress!

  4. Elyse says:

    I’ve found the permitting process to be the worst part of renovation no matter what locality I’ve been in! I am so glad you have a great contractor who is on it and they were able to resolve it so you can move forward! That makes a HUGE difference. Not the most fun speedbump, but thanks, as always, for keeping it real!!!! (The second worst part of reno IMO? PUNCH LIST. But again, it sounds like you have a great contractor so hoping the rest of the process is smooth sailing!!)

    • Michelle says:

      punch lists are so so aggravating. Everyone just wants to be done, but nobody wants to do anything any more. Our town turns around permits within 1 week, so I guess they have a pretty good process down!

  5. Jen says:

    Hi Julia! It’s going to be amazing! But how are you all handling the noise? I get aggravated when there’s someone outside with a leaf blower! I don’t know if I could handle all the racket from jackhammers and excavators! Time to leave town for a little peace and quiet??? It will all be worth it in the end, but I hope you are all surviving!

  6. PJ says:

    We moved out to the country to “simplify” and restore an older home. Long story short, it was going to cost as much money to fix the foundation and remodel as it was to build a new home. There were two additions done to the house and none of the footings were done correctly. We think the homeowners did the work themselves. The back of the house was an old porch and they just enclosed it (with the floor slope and all) to add the laundry and second bathroom. Needless to say, we are building a new house!!! So we’re super excited. We are planning to keep the older home, remove the horrible additions and convert it to a small cottage for my in-laws. Pray for me!

    Everyone has a right to their opinion but I get a bit annoyed when people assume that we just WANT to build a new house. It’s taken us 2 years of research, speaking with various contractors and considering EVERYTHING before we made this decision. I’m excited to follow along with your remodeling projects.

  7. Molly says:

    Did the fact that this became a much bigger demo than predicted cause you to stop and reconsider your whole plan? It’s one thing to rebuild/remodel an existing room but once that room and footprint is completely gone and you’ve got a blank slate…that’s where I might panic and wonder….should we consider changing the size or shape of the room, should we consider doing a bigger (or smaller) addition, should we push pause and meet with an architect again to completely rethink this? Maybe your goals for the space were already so clearly defined that it didn’t matter, but I myself would be freaking trying to consider all the possible ways I might reconfigure the space and what I might want from it in 5, 10, 20 years. Wondering if that came up for you and how you handled that.

  8. Corine says:

    It just feels very Octobery. You guys are always the best at decorating for Halloween and this vibe is working for you perfectly! Ha! Love seeing the progress! Getting a strong foundation will be worth every ounce of work. Cheering you guys on always! And loving your love letters!!

  9. Wendy says:

    This is one of the things I love about home blogs! Your house has this recorded history of why you are making certain decisions. It’s so fascinating to see how different people handle different problems since every situation is so unique. Thanks for sharing, it’s so helpful to see different considerations.

  10. It never ceases to amaze me the types of home remodeling surprises you can find like your concrete on concrete! But yay for permits and doing it correctly the way you want it.

  11. Casey Mock says:

    So happy for you!! We have been doing permitting and are still stuck between permits and engineer changes. We were supposed to move in mid-August and now are hopping from friends house to friends house til maybe December???? It is encouraging to hear it isn’t perfect for everyone else. Helps me feel like I can do this and it will be worth the wait!

  12. Amanda says:

    You’ve advanced so much in your truck/digger knowledge! My 3 boys act like watching construction projects is better than TV so I know all the names. We’re adding on to our porch and their “worker man” dreams are coming true.

  13. Kid says:

    Good reminder for anyone buying a place with unpermitted work or renovations: there’s a reason the work was unpermitted and it’s NOT because it was done well or correctly. Factor that into your plans/purchase.

  14. Joanna says:

    Got to love the unforeseen things like another patio on top of patio! I’m sure the peace of mind that you guys will have knowing that everything is built correctly and structurally sound will be worth all the headaches along the way.

  15. Juliet says:

    Oh my goodness! I had to have bigger footings that than to re-build a (one-story) two car detached garage. The shortcuts that some people take ( as I found out when re-building said garage years ago and had a similar issue with the existing underlayment.) I’m so glad that you planned to re-do that process rather than try to work with what was there. It would have been a nightmare long term. It’s also a strange comfort to know that the permitting process is pretty much time-consuming and fraught with problems in the process everywhere.

  16. Arica says:

    So exciting!!! Can’t wait to see how it comes along once they switch from demo to building. :)

    Question: when do you start buying decor for the rooms you’re working on? Do you wait until you’re a certain percentage done? Or just base it on whether you have the space to store it?

    We’re moving in a few weeks and I’m so excited to buy some new pieces for our new house but I’m trying to hold off until we get a feel for the space it it’s so hard when there’s been so many good sales recently.

  17. So exciting for you guys, Julia! I have a newbie question, how do you know when you need permits for home renovation things? Have you gotten permits for other projects in your houses? Thanks for sharing!

  18. Maya says:

    Yay!! Good luck, guys! We moved about when you did and it’s so comforting to see that other people’s renos always take a little longer than expected or hoped too.

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