Time for reflection

Well, if I have had anything over the last 1+ week, it is time.  I am sticking to my word with the medical team and not doing anything at the build site for a 2 week period (possibly more).

My only activity at site last week was to move some backfill sand with Alfie on Wednesday as Diamond was nice enough to drop off three loads from an excavation they are doing nearby and I needed to make room for the loads.  I continue to be amazed at how different the soils are throughout my neighborhood.  The sand below came from about 4 blocks away and is pure sand with some small coble and a bit of gravel mixed in.  Sure wish this was what we had had to work with!  It will make great backfill and will compact easily and drain well.

Close to pure sand excavated from a lot very near my jobsite.

Close to pure sand excavated from a lot very near my jobsite.

I have spent parts of my days updating my AutoCAD model to reflect the actual dimensions of the poured foundation.  The small differences in location of the poured vs. the planned have large repercussions throughout the model including beam placement, point loads, floor truss and sheathing placement, and internal wall layouts.  And of course changes in any of these also effects the HVAC ducting and plumbing drain layouts.  I am about 75% of the way through all of the edits.

The rest of the time has been occupied with medical appointments and just resting.  It is during this resting, that I have had time to reflect on the last 1+ years of this process.  I am pleased with how things have been done, but not how long they have taken.  I am going to have to really push hard in the new year to start making reasonable progress on this build.

I also have had time to analyze some of my previous responses to adversity.  One that I feel badly over is my reaction to the District inspector who game me a chewing out for not having my safety fencing up before I started to take down the old structure. In my July 2014 posting I indicated that “I also expect parents to supervise their kids and not let them walk through other peoples yards.”  I have often since that day thought about this and realized I was in the wrong – so it is time to fess up.  While the inspectors behavior that day could have been improved (she should have only ranted at me and not the neighbors), I should have taken safety a lot more seriously at the beginning and had fencing in place prior to deconstruction of the original dwelling’s exterior.

A second item I think about often is the action by WorkSafe BC that forced my hand on installing the welded wire mesh on my banks (see Bank Blanket Complete). While I definitely felt safer during the prolonged time this site has remained a ‘hole’, and I agree that the mesh was the right thing to do, I still cannot believe what other builders seem to ALWAYS get away with.

Close by build site west wall is very close to vertical. Vertical lumber is supporting temp drainage connection to neighbor property.

Close by build site west wall is very close to vertical. Vertical lumber is supporting temp drainage connection to neighbor property.

Same site - East wall - Totally vertical AND very close to a neighbors house (less than 4 ft)

Same site – East wall – Totally vertical AND very close to a neighbors house (aprox 4 ft)

A more recent site in neighborhood - totally vertical

A more recent site in neighborhood – totally vertical

My frustration is not that I was forced to be safer, it is more at the disparity I continue to see between what I am required to do on my job site and what other builders seem to continually get away with.  Why is there two standards???  Another example is the lack of side yards I see on some new construction in my neighborhood.  We have a very strick zoning bylaw that requires a side yard min of 4ft BUT that both side yards must also occupy 20% of the lot width (so one side yard has to be a lot bigger than 4ft on average). So how does the following dwelling get away with only having a 2ft side yard.  And I got grief because my roof peak was a mere 8″ too high in order to accommodate a clear storey??  Again – where is the consistency?

The combined side yard between two dwellings is only 4ft (2' each yard)

The combined side yard between two dwellings is only 4ft (2′ each yard)

What I have happily reflected on as I visit job site after job site is the quality of my construction compared to that I am seeing everywhere else.  I may not be fast (far from it), and I do not always get it right the first time.  BUT – In the end, my house is being built right and to a very high level of quality.  And for that I can be proud.

For the rest of the week, I will still be taking it easy.  My only site tasks will be to replace the blue tarp with a new tarp I bought back when I installed the white half.  I have been letting the wind blow down the blue tarp over the last week to get it out of my way, but now I need to prep for the significant rains coming this weekend.  Other than that, I will be working on the computer model and also proceeding on the medical front.  My shoulder has actually gotten a lot worse since I stopped working (I know – go figure!).  So I have set up a second opinion consult with Dr. Chin at the Cambie Surgical Centre.  But as this is not till late September, I have also elected to pay for a private MRI Arthrogram in order to get an idea sooner as to what is wrong and to what level of activity would be prudent.  I go for a test fit tomorrow (MRI standard bore is 24″ and I am about 22″ should to shoulder – so will be tight fit) and hope to complete the actual MRI scan on Friday.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for visiting.

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2 Responses to Time for reflection

  1. hylomar says:

    Excellent post. My observances regarding 2 standards is time. They have time to cause you grief. With a commercial builder, they know they can go fast and get away without many things because the inspectors are busy.

  2. theenclosure says:

    Thanks for the post.  I buy some of that but most of my grief happened prior to permit issue (as far as setbacks were concerned).

    How is your build going?  Did you start yet or are you already done?

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