Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Progress and Plodding

So it's been nearly a month since my last post.  That about sums up how much progress we've had in that time.  *Opening Sigh*

The last time I wrote, we had just gotten the official news that we passed inspection for Maryland Historical Trust's requirements, for everything except our roof.  We were on our way!  Well, not so much.  That was the last major step, but alas, it was not the last actual step.  Historical permitting is just the opposite of a sporting team in the playoffs: once you win at Nationals, then at States, you have to go to Districts.  For us, that means we still have to get the blessing of Montgomery County.  And what do you know: they have a periodic process just like Maryland does.  So we have to submit a new set of paperwork, detailing everything we detailed for Maryland, and have it ready by November 16, in order for them to gather on December 7 to meet and discuss it.  Well, we don't have to detail everything-- actually, just the exterior changes.

It's all just so frustrating.  But then I have to calm myself with the understanding that, when it's all over with, there's a reason for all of this paperwork.  Sure, it's so all the historical homes remain consistent with their roots blah blah blah blah...  But it's also because these organizations are going to give us MONEY.  When all is said and done, Maryland will give us back 10% on everything we spent to make the house livable-- for instance, redoing the plumbing and the electric, but not necessarily on upgrading the tiles; and Montgomery County will give us back 20% on everything we spent to bring the exterior up to historical standards-- again, on replacing rotted porch wood and taking lead paint off the shingles, but not on landscaping or buying a new American flag for the pole up top.  So it's all gonna be good.  But for now, it's supremely frustrating.

However, the one good thing about having to wait for the Montgomery County meeting is that today is Maryland's deadline for their next meeting, which just happens to be next Tuesday, November 15.  (Are you writing this all down?)  In a nutshell, since Rory and Mohamed finished the plans for the roof, we submitted them today, will hopefully have them okayed next Tuesday, and then can turn around and submit them with the entire already-approved plan on Wednesday to the County.  Therefore, MontCo's December 7 meeting may very well be the final hurdle for the historical stuff.  And we've been told that the County hardly ever says no to plans that have already been approved by the State.  So, one more month.  Hence the sighing.

After that, it's just running to two places in Montgomery County to get the plans stamped (which I've been assured takes hours, not days) and to get the permits.  Theoretically, we could have work starting by the beginning of the week before Christmas.  But I'm not going to plan on anything happening until after the New Year, just because I don't want to be disappointed again.  That means, basically, we will have owned the house for seven full months before we were legally able to do a thing.  Maybe.

I say "maybe," because, although I haven't checked, I'm pretty sure that once the State and the County say we can do certain things, we can go ahead and do certain things, even without the permit.  Certain things like, say, tearing down all the paneling in the basement, or pulling down drywall on walls that are getting the ax.  We'll see, because that will be a lovely day.

In the meantime, we've been window shopping.  We think we've found a dining room table, at CB2.  Abby's been looking at dining room chandeliers, and she's focusing in on simple, modern ones with Edison bulbs (the ones where you just have a bare bulb with an exaggerated filament).  We're narrowing down our choices on bathroom cabinetry-- we're going to have cabinets that are furniture, rather than built-ins-- and have discovered we pretty much like the second-cheapest kitchen cabinets at every store, from Home Depot to Lowe's to IKEA.  We've picked out our bathroom tile and wood flooring already, we think, and have chosen the shingles for the roof-- dark gray, mottled shingles that resemble slate.  Once things are finalized, I'll put pics up of our choices for you all to denigrate, er, I mean, enjoy. :)  In the meantime, though, Abby's driving to Crownsville again to drop off our roofing application to MHT, and after that, we wait. *Closing Sigh*

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