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Waiting, waiting, waiting...now the smart thing to do is postpone

Indeed it is better to postpone, lest either we complete too little by hurrying, or wander too long in completing it. Tertullian
In earlier blog posts I talked about how I was trying to hurry along the planning process of our new inner city Calgary home so I could try to get it into the ground last fall. I was hoping to have the framing up by xmas. But alas it was not meant to be. When things don't go the way we want it is tempting to force a solution that may not be the best for the new circumstances...patience and experience help us make tough choices and thoughtful solutions.
Building in the winter has special considerations. There are two rules I am unwilling to bend when I put in new foundations. First that the footing is placed on undisturbed soil and the second is that no frost gets under the footing, this is the rule I am a little worried about now. We have built custom homes in the winter before, but we had enough time in the fall to get the foundation in and a source of temporary heat on before any risk of frost getting under the footings.
Construction Photo 2015081115.15.12
We still do not have our permits from the city. After the eight week process for a development permit the city decided to ask for a slope stability report, even though our slope was under their threshold for requiring one.
Construction Photo 2016010411.25.43
This report took another 5 weeks to have completed and then we resubmitted to the city. We were also asked to take any permanent landscaping (our retaining planters) off of the city land on the front setback and show it on the plans as natural landscaping. They also wanted a financial deposit to ensure that we take out the sidewalk cut that was existing from the previous front car parking pad. Seemed like a funny condition...but I think the city would prefer all future development on our street to have rear garages off the alley instead of the front street, which I tend to agree with. The report and the changes have added about $15000 to the cost of the build.
Construction Photo 2016010410.48.00_2

Now we will wait and see how much longer the city will be and how long winter will be. Fortunately we have had a warm start to the winter and only had cold overnight low temperatures for a couple of weeks so the ground is not frozen as deeply as it has been in other years in January. I am now waiting and hoping for an early spring so we can get started.

In my job, it seems, that unforeseen obstacles and expenses can pop up at any time. I have learned over the years to stay flexible in my approach so that I can solve the issues as they come up without forcing the outcome by ignoring the realities of the situation.
Contact Me if you would like to start discussing your project.

Winter is coming, why aren't we building yet?

What are we waiting for? Permits...how long does that take?
Behind the scenes and the timing of a custom build.
It is important to know the timing you can expect when planning your Calgary custom home. Even after you have taken the time to design a home that will fit your needs, there will be some waiting. But what are you waiting for?
At the very minimum 6 months are required from the start of design to the start of the build. But in order for you to get out of the ground that quickly you would need your financing and connections with a designer and a builder that you trust, in place. A custom home takes into account the details of your specific lot and location. So, a more realistic time line for a custom design to the start of the build would take the better part of a year.
When I talk with clients about their upcoming custom homes I can hear their anticipation. What are we waiting for? Why can't we start? It takes time to get a design that works for them...but after they have the plans they are ready to go!
Then there is the permitting. In Calgary's defined inner city there are two permits required. First, the Development Permit which assesses your plan and how it fits into the neighbourhood, privacy issues, bylaws, etc. The DP usually takes a couple of months and then after the DP is issued a Building Permit is required. The Building Permit assesses the structure of the building to make sure your house will be built following the Alberta Building Code and includes the permits for the electrical, plumbing, HVAC and others as well. The BP takes a few weeks. You can track the progress of your applications through the Calgary planning department with their VISTA app.
After the permits are issued the building can begin!
Photo of construction
I will admit we are pushing the timing with our upcoming project...every day that goes by I know will be another day, out in the cold this winter getting the house closed in.
Contact us if you are thinking about building a house. We can get things moving so everything is ready when you are. At Durango Developments we work with you to get you the home you are hoping for.