My 45th Birthday

[Update: March, 2016. We are now in a contract dispute with Ridgewater Homes and cannot recommend them. For more on this, click here. This post also mentions Custom Precision Homes, the other company we considered, but they cannot be contacted and information posted here does not sound good.]

Today is my birthday. I’m 45 years old today. Hooray for me.

Leanne is having a birthday on Sunday.

For Leanne’s birthday I got her a sign. It’s a nice sign outside our house that says, “Ridgewater” on it.

Me with Daryl and Chuck from Ridgewater. Good guys.
Me with Daryl and Chuck from Ridgewater.

It cost $10 000 but I think she likes it.

Just kidding, we bought the sign together (just kidding, the $10K is just a deposit) and it means that we have finally found a contractor. Daryl and Chuck from Ridgewater Homes are working with us to get all the stuff done that we can’t do ourselves (which is a lot) and oversee any work that we can’t afford to pay them to do.

We secured our Heritage Revitalization Agreement, but, since we are renovating, we need to apply for a Heritage Alteration Permit. That should breeze through City Council on April 28th (2 Councils have already examined it). After we have our Heritage Alteration Permit, we can apply for Building Permits just like regular folks.

It reminds me of when we first spoke to a contractor about making the bathroom a leeeeeetle bigger. The question then was, “Do we really need a permit?”

Finding a contractor wasn’t easy. I could say that it took four years, but the truth is we weren’t ready to hire one until now. Things have a way of working out, and my latest search, when the HRA was on its way to council for the last time, resulted in two companies I felt comfortable with. That is a good position to be in.

One was Ridgewater Homes Ltd. whom we hired and the other was Custom Precision Homes whom we didn’t.

In another post I want to share how we reached our decision to sign a contract with Ridgewater, let them put up a sign, and pay them a $10K deposit.

Preserving, restoring, retrofitting and renovating has proven so hard to navigate that I would like to make it easier for anyone else who is so inclined. There are a lot of contractors out there and it seems they vary wildly. After the selection process I followed, I’m confident that both of these companies do excellent work.

On Tuesday, Chuck is coming out to dig some holes to determine how deep we want that storm sewer connection the City is insisting on. This is starting to get real!

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James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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