We Got Hit With A Doozy

Sorry for the lack of posting these last few days. Part of it is do to the last bits of on-the-job stressness and another part is the shellshock I’m suffering over our latest renovation revelation. Read on…

So our architect left an email message for Susan prior to this past weekend. He’d taken the plans down to the city permitting office and wanted to know what might be a good time to come over Saturday to “digest” the results of the meeting with her and our contractor. There was something ominous in his choice of  “digest” as a term.

I was off watching the seventh stage of the Amgen Tour of California so I missed out on all the fun. But I heard aaaaaaall about it when I got home.

“It’s not good,” Susan told me.

But before I get into what exactly wasn’t good, let me give a nutshell about our original plans. Essentially it involved taking the rear dormer (previously divided into a tight bathroom and an even tighter galley kitchen of the apartment it used to be) and widening it by about 2 feet on either side to create a master bath, replete with a massive 75″ tub big enough to fully submerge me, a big shower, along with dual sinks.

Not a simple job, by any means, but seemingly doable, yes?

Uh, no. Or at least, according to the city’s building and safety geeks, not without first installing a series of 17 (maybe 18)  4″ x 4″ structural reinforcement posts from the top of the second floor down to the foundation at strategic points along the outer walls of the house as well as within the new dormer — and the ones in the walls of the dormer would need to go down and be anchored into concrete footings under the house. And let’s not forget double butting each floor joist from the south side of the second floor to the north.

That kind of WTF hellacious additional demolition would involve the opening up of basically every interior and exterior wall at the back of the house, which in turn would cost a helluva lot more money. A ballpark estimate of  the additional work from the contractor takes our $60,000 project and doubles it.

All for about 20 square feet and a bathtub.

Thankfully cursing out the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety don’t cost nothing because if it did I’d have run up a big bill seeing as how I’ve been doing plenty of that.

Needless to say, Susan and I are exploring options such as leaving the dormer dimensions as they were and losing the tub — that we already bought, by the way. Saying goodbye to the tub is a bit of a bitter concession for me to make because all my apartment-living adult life I’ve never had one big enough to just fully soak in and it was the one must-have thing I wanted as part of this project.

Fuck you, City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety — with your choice of a double-butted floor joist or a floor-to-roof 4×4. Seventeen times. Maybe 18.