The Reality of the Project…

Today is our 5th day on the project and the completion of our first week. We are not professional construction workers and only have a couple of hours a day but the work is rewarding, we are building our dream as a family.

This project has had so many road bumps. It is all part of the story. There were years of research and possible buildings. When we finally found the Tavern we did all the expected surveys and checks, including a very expensive environmental survey. All the scans. surveys and signing all the right papers caused delays however nothing compared to the big delay we were yet to discover. It turns out the sellers falsified facts on the listing and they hid it well because all of the professionals did not find the issue.

You see the seller listed the property as connected to sewer so when the surveys showed no septic on the property this was an expected result – it is connected to the city sewer after all…

We had all our plans for the construction and renovations at the Town for approval. Lawyers, engineers, architects all paid. Everything was going well. The plans were reviewed and adjusted and everyone seemed happy until the day before our meeting in front of the town planning board.

Interesting coincidences: The Tavern used to be called Morgan’s Tavern, The engineer our lawyer recommended was Morgan Engineering and then a friend introduced us to a wonderful guy in construction and his company name… Morgans.

It turns out not only is the property not connected to town sewer, but the septic that should be attached to the property was also previously subdivided and sold separately. What? How? It seems mistakes were made in all kinds of places and somehow, a property with a septic was able to sell the portion of land that has the septic on it and effectively render the Tavern and property it is on useless. We have spent the last year in conversations with township engineers and private engineers trying to figure out how to turn a 100% coverage lot into something that can have septic or how to connect to existing sewer lines. The talks continue. We are hoping to have a solution soon.

In the meantime, a global pandemic hit and it seems appropriate that this project takes a slow steady crawl rather than a rush to the finish line when the future for commerce is so uncertain. We take each hurdle as it comes. Nothing seems to be a sign that we are on the wrong path but just that we need to be patient.

How many trips do we have to make to the hardware store??

We do not have the town approvals for the full renovation and remodeling yet (Tavern side). We will patiently keep moving forward on that.

In the meantime, we have made it a family project to start fixing up the apartment side. We are pulling off drywall and carpets. Exposing and fixing the beautiful old wooden floors. We plan on getting in a professional to run fresh electric and air ducts etc but that is a long way off.

We need to tear up the carpet and old linoleum. Expose walls so we can add insulation, air conditioning, and modern wiring. The bathroom needs some attention and some of the windows need a little sealing. The wooden outside of the house beneath the more modern siding is in great condition and there is no water damage anywhere other than the one upstairs window and the roof in the Tavern. (Which eventually will be completely stripped anyway).

If anyone knows of a place that could put a pool table to use let us know. We would love it to go to a rec center at a sober living facility or somewhere for teens.

Today was spent pulling up all the little carpet nails from the attic room floor and filling in holes so the floor will be ready to polish and stain.

Zac managed to fill up some more trash bags and pull off most of the “drywall” in the second attic room.

We pulled off some of the drywall downstairs and discovered that there is no insulation downstairs either. Glad we decided to strip down and start fresh.

We did not get enough window sealant and forgot nails so yet another trip to the hardware store was required and that seems to be the place where the family loses their patience!

This project is more than just a building to us.

Many of our family members battle with mental health. This consistent get up early and do a few solid hours of real work with our hands is important mental health work for us. I am sure we are not the only ones that found the recent standstill of the globe a little difficult to process. Everything got very changed very suddenly and it was a lot to process. This project has become our way of keeping a routine and helping us feel like we are doing something productive rather than sitting around and worrying about an uncertain future.