Earth Sheltered Timeline, 2013
January: Finalized the design of the Storm Room, which meant we finally had a good idea of what the house would look like. I also worked out some details of the mechanical room, etc. with 3D models.
February: I shared the architectural plans with the building inspector who then contacted the architect directly to discuss some minor changes that would make things easier to approve. Got a set of engineering drawings and had a lot of concerns, set up a meeting for March 1. Finally settled on a set of windows, also got quotes on things ranging from ICFs to a glass floor between the storm room and the rotunda below (it was too much). Sherri met with some kitchen places to get some quotes. I had a google hangout with the architect to discuss water drainage and other issues.
March: Met with architect and engineer to try and get things back on the right path and fix some aspects of the design, especially simplifying the structure at the front of the house and fixing some thermal issues. At the meeting, I mentioned the high cost of the glass floor and the architect suggested a steel grate instead… At this point the hours of work remaining seem few, but the weeks stretch on… I also met with the Shotcrete contractor to make sure things still looked build-able to him, he seemed very comfortable with the whole idea and that made me a little nervous, but not as nervous as if he looked nervous ;^). I also got quotes on the large precast ribs from several precast companies.
April: Perhaps as an April Fools day joke, the architect/engineer sent a bill stating they were 100% done… and the Engineer was asking for more money beyond the agreed amount for “scope creep”. Instead of paying, I wrote out an itemized list of the issues along with dates of emails sent on each topic. Basically, I established that the things I had asked for were in the very first emails and the later emails were just trying to get them to pay attention to the original emails. Instead of forwarding the letter to the engineer, the architect decided to continue working on everything else so he would only need to go back to the engineer once at the end. In April, I was sent the “penultimate update” of the drawings, but I still found many issues (many I had already mentioned, but some were new). The neighborhood where I am building also had a “work day” to trim and remove trees that were too close to the road. I went out to help out
I will come back and fill in the missing months when I get a chance…