There has to be an upside to being married to an architect – right? For those on the inside looking out (i.e.spouses) I would have to say one major upside is that most architects have created drawings of their own houses, even if they didn’t designed them. Architects call these drawings “As-Builts” which are exactly what they sound like – drawings that reflect the current condition of a building or space. Having as-built drawings is really important to people like me because it allows us to figure out long term solutions to current problems. Having these types of drawings allows me to look at the bigger picture before I make a small design gesture because I hate the idea of spending money on a problem only to have to rip it out and re-do it a few years later. This is called “
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” planning ahead, and that’s what I like to do.
So, to the point of things. I made as-built drawings of my house once I moved in almost 5 years ago and they have come in handy yet once again. As it turns out, due to the latest batch of Texas storms that have come through town, my fence needs some attention … and by “attention” I mean “it’s threatening to fall over”. Soooooo, we have a fence guy coming out and while he’s there repairing the fence, why not take advantage of the situation and make some additional modifications.
So I drew up what I wanted the fence guy to build, just to make sure that the scope of work is clear, and he goes down to the city to get a fence permit (’cause I like to follow THAT particular rule) … aaaaaand we hit a bit of a snag. The guy down at the city tells him:
“If you do any work at all – new OR repair – you have to build a new 3′ x 5′ trash enclosure off the alley”
… and of course that means it’s going to cost me an additional $Whole Lotta$ – gotta love the building department [no you don’t].
See the red square in the drawing above? That’s the area that is going to get my extra special attention. What you see in the plan drawing is what I currently have – which is nothing much to speak of. The fence is old and not bringing anything to the mix as far as the ambiance of my backyard is concerned. I should also point out that I have a carport at my place with two small closets that are currently storing 3 closets worth of awesomeness. I have things (like a wheelbarrow) that don’t really have a home so it currently lives propped up against that rear fence.
But I have a plan … as in I literally have a plan
Here is an enlarged plan of the area in red in the previous diagram. This time, I have drawn in the fence plan that
I will my fence guy will be building. The goal was to provide a screened in rear yard that would give me a place to store those pesky bags of mulch, my wheelbarrow, even possibly my bikes (don’t be alarmed, they’re not that great). The new fence facing the yard will have an opening right in the middle because I already have planting beds running running along both edges and I don’t want to have to walk through them to access my new service yard. I have placed another fence 4′-0″ behind this center opening so that you won’t be able to see into my service yard unless you basically walk right up to the opening. Finally, I have also dealt with the 3′ x 5′ city required trash enclosure by placing it in alignment with the other new fence opening.
How would you solve and convey this solution to your fence guy without having as-built drawings? The other positive to having this drawing was that I was able to effectively communicate my design intentions to my lovely wife without having to rely on standing out in the yard pointing and gesticulating … even though we did that as well, mostly because it’s more fun. But it was the drawing itself that sealed the deal!
I sent this off to the fence guy and he shortly messaged me back saying that the city signed off on everything [because the drawings were so awesome] and he would be back in the morning to start work.
Gosh darn it I love me some as-built drawings! You should seriously consider getting some done of your own house.