Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MHT Deadline Redux

Okay, so it's been 45 days since the last deadline to hand our plans in to the Maryland Historical Trust, so that means it's time to do it again.  We've spent the last two weeks going over our previous, unsuccessful application, editing our words, adding stuff they wanted us to add, removing stuff they didn't like.  Gone is any mention of ripping out the kitchen ceiling.  Added in is a stipulation promising not to get rid of the wall to the left of the kitchen doorway.  Still in is my bedroom closet, which they didn't like, although we were pretty much assured it wouldn't stand in the way of approval.  Iffy is our plan for exterior insulation: they wanted us to rip off all the exterior shingles and apply a vapor barrier, but they thought the shingles were going to be removed anyway.  Now that they know we're only replacing the few shingles that went bad, we're hoping they're going to be okay with blow-in insulation from the inside.

But here's the kicker: we've removed any mention of the roof.  Argh.  They asked us to explain how we were going to insulate the roof without raising its profile more than a few inches.  At the walk-through, Rory said that wouldn't be an issue.  They asked for a mock-up of what he planned to do-- first one made of plywood, but later saying we could just send an architectural drawing.  So last night, less than 24 hours before we have to drive out to Crownsville to deliver the application, he calls us and says it's not do-able, and that we should just fill out the form however we like, because there's no way to get the profile to go up less than five or six inches.  Our stomachs dropped like we were on a bad roller coaster.

We spent the entire morning texting, emailing, and talking to Rory; leaving messages for and finally talking to Renee at MHT; printing and reprinting new versions of our application; debating what to do about the roof.  All the while, Abby delivered Isaac to school, then sat outside my office for a while in the car with Lola, then spent the whole morning at McDonald's so Lola could play on the playground while Abby figured out the application.  Oh, and I was at work.  Needless to say, we were both stressed out.  Did I mention Abby had the beginnings of a migraine?

Finally, after noon, Renee called and told us we should submit the application sans roof, and write a note alongside our submission noting we weren't eschewing talking about the roof altogether, but rather needed another few weeks to discuss our options.  I find myself constantly saying "fingers crossed" about this project, but our fingers are definitely crossed now, because we were basically told if we did everything according to plan this time around, we would be fine.  Now?  Who knows?  Regardless, Abby drove the hour back out to Crownsville, headache and Lola and all, got lost along the way, but finally delivered the packet.  Luckily, on the way home her medication kicked in and her head felt good enough that she was able to pick Isaac up after school and catch a play date at the zoo.  I think we're both going to have a bit more Kahlua with our ice cream tonight than we usually do...

So that's that.  Now we wait.  The Easement Board meets next Tuesday, after which we should hopefully get a nice, quick answer from our friends Amy and Renee, regardless of how long we have to wait for the paper answer.  We'll have to have a serious conversation with Rory about the roof, because I don't know that I want to have absolutely no insulation in my roof, and I don't know that I want this situation to happen again where we have all our ducks in a row, yet are held back at the last minute by what seems to have been a miscommunication we could/should have resolved at least a week ago.  As Abby drove off this morning from my office, en route to McDonald's in Falls Church, we looked at each other and said "Here we go again."  Hopefully, this time, this will be one of the bigger bumps in the road.  (After all, we're just now getting the electric upgrade on our current house that we were permitted for back in 2004.  No one can accuse PEPCO of jumping the gun, that's for sure...)  *sigh*

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