Here We Go….

After what has seemed like weeks and months on end of insurance adjusters, fire inspectors, county permits, architectural meetings and decisions, decisions, decisions we are FINALLY getting started on the rebuilding process. I am so glad to have an update on The Linger Long-er Cottage and I’m glad you’ve stopped by to read all about it. I am determined to post updates every week or so from this point on and I hope you’ll tune in. I promise you’ll be entertained and no doubt, you’ll have a few good laughs along the way.

At one point during this process, I thought I was going to loose my mind with the permitting demands. It can take absolutely for-ev-er down here and even though I was warned; I couldn’t have possibly imagined what it was really like. Of course, the folks in the court house are a delight and were so nice to work with but there is so much development going on right now they simply don’t have enough hands or eyes to move everything through as quickly as one might like. When Walton County asked me to have the fire department sign off on our address (to make sure they would be able to service our area) I laughed a little. Clearly–we’ve had the entire department there and obviously they are more than able to service our area. But I was happy to pay any fee that goes toward keeping those folks fighting fit with whatever they may need! If they hadn’t been fast on their feet the night of the fire our whole block would have gone up in smoke.

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Unfortunately, the fire caused a lot more damage than we first expected–a whole lot more–and that coupled with the fact that our 1988 fish-camp-cottage was completely and totally out of compliance with the current building codes caused us to loose everything except the foundation.

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The good news is, we were able to keep the original footprint and it made things much easier to build back right where we were before. As we all know, it’s the view that matters most– and thankfully there’s nothing that could damage that.

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Over the last several months I have spent countless hours with my amazing architects at Fifth Dimension Architecture and Interiors.  Dan and his entire team are imaginative, talented and creative (as architects tend to be) and I have had a difficult time letting them spread their wings and fly. They keep asking me if I am absolutely sure I’m not an interior designer and I have assured them I am nothing of the sort. Only a Southern girl who loves pretty things, who’s been reading Dorothy Draper books since high school, and who still has back issues of the original Southern Accents magazine that showed up in my my mother’s mailbox each month, then in my very own mailbox for years and years…..before the yankees took over and closed up shop.

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We’ve battled over windows (I don’t want any on either side of the house.) and stair placement (I didn’t want to move them, Dan did.) and closet size (He thinks I need a big one and I say I’m getting rid of over half of my clothes before I move.) but overall, I think we’ve been having a great time–and I hope the 5D team all agrees! To make up for the craziness I have put them through, I regularly show up with fresh peach preserves or basil infused olive oil or cookies or whatever I’ve been cooking up that week to persuade everyone that I’m not all bad…. only semi-difficult and mildly stubborn. It drives them crazy when I snap pictures of the big screen showing works in progress (before they have put finishing touches on everything) but I can’t help myself.

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The entire team there is amazing but I really can’t say enough nice things about Andy Olds, who is the lead on my project.  Andy took the time to take my hodge-podge drawings and magazine clippings and countless rambling emails and cobble them all into a beautiful home that I can’t wait to call my own. Clearly the cookies helped.

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In the end, the drawings we have are exactly what I have always wanted, a nice little white house with black shutters. And while I am sure I will make a few changes along the way I am more grateful than I can say to the absolutely fabulous team of folks who are helping us rise from the ashes. We still have a few months to go but we are definitely moving in the right direction…….stay tuned!

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