It’s been a minute since I last blogged and a lot has happened! After a few fits and starts, I finally found a contractor who is willing to work within a defined time frame and who is within my budget. I’d really like to open in September of this year. It is amazing how hard it is to find a contractor in New Orleans who will actually keep showing up to the job until it is finished, and who can give an accurate estimate of how long work should take. I finally got a referral from a friend of mine, and I hope they work out (I ALWAYS hope it will work out, but you would be surprised what happens. Once the initial money has been spent, they kind of drift away, and I end up with a half done job and no more money to complete it. I have been doing this for almost 20 years now, and it never gets any easier.) I also found an electrician and heating and A/C company I feel good about, so off we go!
After the slough of getting The Fire Marshal’s approval, I figured it would be a downhill slide to get the building permit. Unfortunately, since I was changing land-use from residential to commercial, they really piled on the requirements. I won’t bore you with all the ups and downs, but after 5 months of finding and sending the city more documentation of this, that and the other, I finally got my Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historical District Landmarks Commission, and the building permit pretty much at the same time. What a relief! Truthfully, we had already started working on the demolition of the walls that needed to go, and other, non-building sorts of things, like putting down the pavers for the rear “catio”. Technically, we weren’t building, so didn’t need the “building” permit until we started putting things back together. We got the permit about 2 weeks after our initial projected starting date (6/10), but it seems like things are going fairly smoothly. Renovations are never easy: everything always costs more than you expect and takes twice as long to complete, so one just has to keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other.