Every year we do one house project. Some of the projects are planned, like when we redid our dining and living rooms. Other projects, like retiling the master shower, happen because someone who owned the house before us did a crummy job. We had to redo the master shower because the tile started falling off the walls. Why you ask? Well, a previous owner put the tile directly on drywall. What, you've never heard of such a thing? Neither had our contractor. You know it's going to be bad when your contractor says, "I've never seen tile put up like this before." Sometimes do it yourself isn't such a good idea, you know?
This year we're going to put in a new patio and add a roof. It's called an outdoor room, except that it doesn't have any walls. We have a picture of what we want to do, which makes it much easier to explain. We thought about starting the project last year. After all, how hard can it be to put down a slab of concrete and add a roof?
Of course, you know the answer is that is was a lot more complicated than we originally though. First, we discovered we need to move some power lines. Given the placement of trees in our yard, we decided it was easier to just bury the power lines. Easier doesn't mean cost effective, though. It's really expensive to bury power lines. Plus it requires a construction permit, electrical box upgrade, air conditioner move, furnace upgrade and other activities.
Basically we've spent seven months planning, saving, meeting with different contractors, buying stuff and waiting for winter to pass. Finally we see some progress. The electrical permit paperwork is being processed at city hall. Today the electrical company is coming out to give us the 2011 estimate for burying the power lines.
It's the first step in what will be at least a six-month project, but at least we're underway.