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About inthehotsun

  • Birthday September 10

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    Ever since I bought my little bungalow, my interests have centered around home repair, gardens, paint colors, ... I'm too young to be this boring.

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  1. Can anyone give me a good recommendation to a company that helps with getting permits with the city? And assist with finding someone to do the plans? Thanks.
  2. Okay. Okay. I know. I should have known better, but I've been contemplating adding a room to my itty-bitty house (pier and beam) for a while. Due to work being crazy (and me needing to be in Austin for the next five months), my unemployed sister moving in to go to school and take care of my dogs, I just said, "Yes," when someone I know said they knew someone..... Well, I got caught. I'm pretty sure a neighbor called on me. But now I'm totally confused as to what I do. I need to get permits, of course, but I need to all the "stuff"...but since we already started to build the room, I am totally lost as to what to do next. It literally is adding on a tiny room (13 x 14)...however, since it follows the line of the existing wall of my house, I need a firewall on one side. Anyone know of someone who can help do all the plans and stuff that I can take to get a permit? I'm just overwhelmed...and don't even know what to ask for, what to do...and now that the darn thing is somewhat built,...how does all that work? (We have the foundation...which I think needs to redone since they used 2 inch thick concrete blocks and i read somewhere that only 4 inch can be used)....so just....lost. HELP!
  3. I have several overgrown trees on my lot in the Heights, including bamboo that has crept into my yard from the neighbor's jungle. Anyone know of a good licensed people/companies that will trim trees at a reasonable price? I'm also giving up with the dream that I will have time to keep up with my yard. Anyone use a good person(s)/company that (again) is reasonably priced? I have a tiny lot (~2500) and most of it is taken up with my house so I'm not even sure what a reasonable price is to do yard work.
  4. Unfortunately, the Texas Senate backed down and NOW will vote for the idiot again to be head of the State Board of Education. On a funny note....check out this link in The Onion about Texas...hilarious.... http://www.theonion.com/content/news/texas...ource=a-section
  5. I have an itty-bitty house with an itty-bitty yard and I bought one of this energy efficient HVAC systems. Sounded great on paper. It appears that the unit that goes outside is too wide to get through my doorways inside the house and too wide to get to the back from the side of the house (I have little room on the sides). The guy mentioned that he could disassemble the unit (including draining the freon) and then reassemble it in my backyard. I worry about what this would mean for my warranty. Any suggestions? My neighbor on one side of me is crazy so it's not possible to use her yard to get to mine (we would have to take down the fence) and the other side of me, he has a little bit of a junkyard (too much crap). The joys of living in the Heights. Help.
  6. i keep seeing direct buy advertisements -- cheaper than retail, save gazillions of dollars. has anyone used direct buy? what's your experience with quality and prices of the products they sell?
  7. I'm back in Houston and took out my survey. How do I know what the set back line is? Is it marked somehow? I see a line with double slash marks that is different from where the property line is and different from where my house is built. Is that the set back line? I don't have a scanner so don't ask for me to download my survey.
  8. Thanks to everyone who responded with ideas and useful information! I definitely feel more "empowered" to make a decision now and consider options (fire-rated wall! who knew??) than I was 24 hours ago. The HAIF community is GREAT!!
  9. And is the $35/40 for just land? What is the average price per square foot for the "improvement" on the property in the Heights? It's probably hard to get an average given the two-to-three story monsters that are being built around me going for $300,000+ on itty-bitty pieces of land.
  10. My home was built in the 20's so no clue what they did. I doubt they had to worry about things like that. And what's a setback line? Is it clearly marked on the survey? How can I tell what is the setback line?
  11. good points that i didn't even think about. and for the record, i do plan to live here for about 5 more years and then I see myself moving to austin. so, while not an immediate concern (resale value), i know in five or so years, I will be thinking about it and don't want to do anything stupid now that i will regret in the future.
  12. And before y'all think I am/was completely stupid for buying such a small house,...probably right (I didn't think about needing more space. Again, I have been living in the East Coast so it seemed HUGE to me).... I bought it for $137,000 almost five years ago and going thru the refinancing process now and it was appraised for $185,000 so..... It's a really cute house, lotsa charm and character, and in the Heights close to the new bike trail on Nicholson.
  13. To answer Sidegate's question, due to the house currently sitting quite close to the property line (i guess when they divided up the land who-knows-when, they didn't care that it sat a foot from the property line), the top on the left would have to be pushed back at least 3 feet...and that would cut into the proposed bedroom. Ideally, that's where I would want to build but I can see a bedroom with 16-18 feet x ~18 ft. being an okay size, particularly for the size of the house, but 12ish x 18 seems a little small and weirdly long and skinny shaped to me. And if I just tear down the wall, I can still preserve the little backyard I do have, too. If I build the bedroom in the right-hand corner of the L, I basically wipe out my backyard.
  14. the yard behind the kitchen is not big enough to build anything. Ideally, I would like to build the bedroom in the area inside the L but again, with the limitations I have with that side of the house sitting a foot from the property line, if I had to push it back, it would probably be....maybe 12 feet...whatever ever it is...believe me, it would be small and I'm just not sure if I could justify spending that much for an addition that most people would come in and say, "wow. that's really small" when I can get that same reaction by just knocking a wall down and spending a lot less. I'm in austin so cannot run outside to measure so I apologize for the estimates.
  15. My house is itty-bitty so 10 feet from the front and you'll be in the common area, but your comment is exactly my concern about this plan. i have attached a very basic drawing in Word.... top drawing is current plan; bottom drawing is what I have in mind. The little hash-marks are my "attempt" to show where the entries are. House_Idea.doc
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