Signing paperwork in an MRI waiting room

It had since been week 5 from when we originally engaged the architect. After a series of emails where he totally didn’t get that the house needed to be renovated by February 8 (you’ll definitely get the permit long before February I promise. No, but the project needs to be done by February. Dont worry, you’ll have the permit before then. No, we need the permits by November so the whole house can be built by February! Ooohhh, okay, well that’s the reason I draw the plans quick and fast because they always get rejected the first time. (He’s lucky I didn’t further comment on his actual pace for getting the drawings to us.)), he finally gets the paperwork back from his supervising architect and three days later, gets them to my expediter.

I call her. When can we meet?

Well, I’m in Long Island City but I will be in the city around 6:30. Upper east side.

Great, I can meet you!

Okay, it’s an MRI office, I’m just getting my shoulder scanned so we can sign the paperwork there.

(um) Okay. Cool. I’ll see you then.

We meet outside the office and she ushers me in. She goes to register and I find us two seats.

When she comes back, I ask her, is it supposed to take this long? The drawings?

No, it’s not. Listen, like I said before, this is the first time I used him and I made a mistake. I know the time constraint now and we will get this in as fast as possible.

I nod and we start going through the paperwork.

$20,000 in total renovations? That’s really low.

She said she thought it looked a little low but that’s what the filing fee is based on.

Well, do the renovation costs include everything like floors, paint, fixtures, or just building up the structure?

I think just the structure.

Okay then that is probably okay.

Her name is called. She waves at me to keep signing as she goes back up to the registration desk.

I finish signing and notice the plans are stuck in the back. I look up and she is deep in conversation with the receptionist.

I open up the plans and begin to scan them. I wanted to see what could have possibly taken him 5 weeks.

Then I noticed the 2nd kitchen was marked as a bedroom.

And there were no markings for the existing bathroom in the basement.

And no second office like we talked about.

And no dimensions on half of the walls.

She comes back and I show her.

Theres no second kitchen. There’s no bathroom marked in the basement. Theres no second office like we talked about. There are no dimensions on these walls.

Okay. We will have him fix it. He has to fix it.

Will it take him another three weeks?

No, it won’t. It better not.


How long will it take to file once we hear back?

I don’t know, I can get it through pretty fast, but you never know. Honestly, I’m not an architect, but the drawings should be way more detailed than this from what I’ve seen.


Okay, so what can we do? I dont have time for this guy to take another three weeks to get this right.

I’m sorry. I’m so embarrassed. Believe me, I gave him two other jobs, I’m worried about those too after seeing this. I will fix this.


She has an idea. You can get the drawings professionally certified. Then the dob will issue the permit the same day you submit the drawings.

Let’s do that! Wait, so how does this work? Why? Why didn’t we just do that in the first place??

Well, the issue is it will probably cost you another $1,000.


Usually, the process is, an architect does the drawings, then they are submitted to the dob to review. With a professional cert, the architect basically puts his stamp of approval that the drawings are perfect and don’t need to be reviewed.

It’s usually really expensive to do, most people charge more than $1,000 and will only do it for small jobs. They are basically putting their license on the line with this. The dob will be the ones to come inspect the house at the end, not the architect.


She nods.

Hmmmm okay. Well find out if your guy will do it.

I have to take care of your current architect first. You sure you don’t want to use him?

I’m sure.

She calls him (right there!) and they have a back and forth while I play with my phone and turn the extra $1000 around in my head. If this means we get to start next week instead of in the next 6 weeks, it could be worth not paying two rents and a mortgage.

She gets off the phone with him. She says that he said he was just trying to get something out so we could submit it…

Then why did it take 5 weeks? And also there is a difference between not perfect and just leaving things out entirely. He left out a kitchen!

I know, I told him all of this. This guy has been all talk, that’s what I realized.

Okay so what else?

He told me it was gross inside your house. She laughs. That was part of his excuse. He probably just wanted to get out of there.

We warned him about that! We weren’t joking about bringing in a flashlight and mask!

I know, I know. Listen, I told him he couldn’t finish the job, that there was too much of a time crunch on this project. He’s not going to be working on it anymore. I’ll call the other guy tonight.

Okay thank you. I leave her to her MRI scan and go have a bacon cheeseburger for dinner.

I call my boyfriend and he says, $1,000, we get it in one week? Fine let’s do it.

Okay good. I realize we are greasing some palms here, but at this point, whatever.

My expediter call me back the next day and says her guy will do the professional cert.

Okay good.

He sends one of his guys out to take measurements the day after. Its a saturday. I can come to this one. This is the first time I’m walking into the house since the first time I walked into the house.

The guy doesn’t flinch when he walks in. He tells us he used to live in this neighborhood and asks us what kind of deal we got. We tell him and he says, wow, that’s great.

He verifies all of his measurements and asks us relevant questions about what we want to do with the space (apparently the other guy had one of those laser measuring things and told my boyfriend while he was doing it that it’s never accurate).

We spend almost an hour wandering around and passing ideas back and forth. Thank goodness we had an exterminator pass through already.

He says he can get the drawings to us in a week at the latest.

So that’s how long it’s supposed to take…

Well, it’s Wednesday now and I haven’t heard a peep one way or the other. So we will see. At this point, I don’t trust anyone’s timetables.

Plus I have an overdue water bill for a house that doesn’t have water to worry about next.

Next time, remind me not do to the hardest version of buying a house ever.


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