Our house was moved to its current location 17 years ago. All the houses in my neighbourhood have been relocated in order to save them from being demolished during the construction of a highway. We didn't move it, the previous owners moved it and did some basic restoration to the house before they sold it in 2005. When we bought it, we did some internal cosmetic work (like removing all the popcorn on all the ceilings!!!! Houses built in 1855 SHOULD NOT HAVE POPCORN CEILINGS!), painting, added the rear single story addition, remodelling of the interior so the addition would flow properly. Now its time for the front porch. You see, when the original owners moved it, they did not build the front porch. Instead, they kind of built a deck like structure. Its quite the eyesore, but we had to wait until our finances had recovered from the addition. Now, after 17 years its crumbling.
Here is a photo of the front of the house (anyone miss snow?):
See the eyesore deck thing? This house deserves a beautiful front porch! Only problem? The Heritage Committee has a photo of the original front porch and insist its replicated.
See the original gothic porch? Pretty right? Guess what? You can't get a building permit for it! In fact, that porch didn't last very long originally. Well, 'thats a no brainer' you may be thinking, 'build a different porch!' Well we would…but…The Heritage Committee is saying "NO, YOU CANT BUILD A DIFFERENT PORCH" in that deep, imposing voice bureaucracy has. So now we are stuck between the building department and the heritage department in our town government. One branch won't approve another porch, and one branch won't approve this porch!! PULLING MY HAIR OUT NOW!
Being ever so resourceful, I found one of the two remaining houses built by this architect back in 1855. Its my houses 'high maintenance sister house' and its got a great sturdy porch that any building department would approve! AND its original to the structure, and the house looks like a fancier version of my house.
Perfect, right? Sturdy yet architecturally in tune with the design. No brainer, right right??? Please just agree with me cause I'm crying into my keyboard now! "NO WAY!" says Heritage bureaucracy!!
So until the right hand and the left hand of our town government can come to a decision as to how WE are going to spend OUR money, we are stuck with this crumbling deck! It kills me that WE have no say as to the type of porch we can build!
While working with Heritage committees and departments is frustrating and time consuming, I have to admit its worth it. My red puffy eyes will heal, and I will have a great porch to enjoy for years to come (God willing). I love my house and feel lucky to have it.
Have a great day!
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