since we can't actually move in or start work yet (still haven't closed, waiting on seller's attorneys), yesterday thabo and i went to the brooklyn dept. of buildings (DOB) to see what we're up against. this is the place we will have to go to get approval for work, permits, inspections, c of o, and basically permission to breath. definately seems like a confusing place, with harried staffers who don't take crap, people running around trying to get signatures, the smell of fear in the air... we did manage to make friends with the information desk lady, who piled us up with forms that we need for permits, etc. i wrote down her name so that on future visits, we can continue to build good relations. we saw her in action, turning away people that she didn't want to help. yikes!
in the hallway, a friendly architect/expediter approached us and gave us a crash course on expiditing. her advice was that we could do it ourselves, and that we should apply for expediter licenses ($50 fee), pull files on other building projects, and learn from them. she also told us that an earlier quote we had from an expiditer was way too high. we got her name and number too. thanks, evelyn, for at least being positive.
we've also been doing a lot of web searching, to see what other folk's experiences have been. this site has a lot of interesting stuff about reno work, homeownership, etc. in brooklyn. most people seem to suggest using an expediter and not messing with the DOB in person. but, most people might have more disposable income, too...
the interesting thing about this part of the process (permits and DOB), is that every person we talk to has different advice and different information. the only common thread is that apparently everyone agrees it's a giant headache to deal with the DOB.
we also met with the architect again this week, to talk about terms of work, fees, scope of the job, etc. that went pretty well.
since we haven't posted any pictures recently, and i don't have anymore of the house available, here's a picture i took of my brother when we were backpacking in glacier national park in summer 2006. that was a good trip.