We are the Lewandowski family and we're building a new house from the ground up. Our goal is to build a comfortable and efficient green home that works for our family. We want to prove that building green is the right choice for the environment, our lives and our pocketbook.

We invite you to come follow us during our adventure and learn along with us, how to build and live green.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh No!!!!!

Small heart attack today. Everyday on his way home from work Tony drives by the house. It's good to check on things. Today there is an ambulance, firetruck and 2 police cars in front of our house. All kinds of craziness runs through your head... I HOPE NO ONE FELL IN THE HOLE... DID SOMEONE GET HURT... PANIC... OH NO... WHAT HAPPENED? Turns out it was a downed power line at the back of the property. It was a freak thing not related to our construction. Thank God no one was hurt. It cut out the power in the neighborhood. I've had more emails from people asking what we did.... Honest, it wasn't us! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It Keeps Getting Better!

We actually got shut down this afternoon. After the soil boring incident this morning (see previous post) they came back and told the guys they have to stop until the permit is displayed on the job site. If you read the permit it says "...must be placed on the street side of building..." We get that... BUT THERE IS NO BUILDING! So it is now in a Ziploc bag zip tied to the fence. Maybe we should have duct taped it to the port-a-potty! Let's see what they find tomorrow.

Right Out of the Gate

We had a little hiccup in the beginning, but it's been taken care of. I'm glad to say things are rolling now. We feel we have all our 'i's crossed and our t's dotted', as Tony likes to say, and we're looking forward to all the activity coming on the days ahead. The crew is there today to form out the foundation walls. YEAH! Then there was the first inspection.... not so yeah. Apparently the Village inspector was going to stop the job because he didn't have copies of the soil baring test. Thank God our GC called us and we were able to email them out asap. Soil test are not required, but we did them anyway to make sure we could deepen the basement without future water issues. Better safe than sorry. We gave the Village copies with one of our many reviews. How can they stop our job based off of information that isn't required anyway? It boggles my mind. Tom, our GC, explained that we supplied this information already and they let the guys continue working. I know I've posted this before, but I really feel this is going to be an ongoing problem. From my point of view it seem the rules change as we go, except they forget to tell us what they are. Thank you Tom, Tony and the Internet for your quick work! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Going, Going.... GONE!

At 9:30 this morning the bucket came down on the house. It was so exciting to see it finally happening and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Tom (our General Contractor) has the schedule moving so it won't be long now!

Demo Before the Demo

Last night we let the kids and their friends destroy the house. How fun is that?! They had a blast spray painting and busting holes in the walls and throwing rocks through the windows.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


After much to-do, and I mean much to-do, as of 4:00 this afternoon we have a building permit! This is a good thing because we scheduled demo for tomorrow morning. The big truck will arrive at 8am and the hammer should fall around 9am. It's been quite a process to get us to this point. We have an agreement that we will build the dissipation system as outlined by the Village if we fail to come to an agreement on a greener option by August 15th. That seems reasonable. I'm just upset about the fact that they left things to the final hour. At least we have a permit and things are ready to go. What I've learned throughout this process so far is that I'm not sure I trust that there will be a timely and fair evaluation of a greener system. I'm also a little afraid that we will have many hiccups along the way that will be met with unreasonable requirements. We are going to try to trust things will go well. We'll see how it goes. For now, we're just going to celebrate that we are moving forward!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


The fence is up, all permits are applied for, we've got an agreement with the Village, had our pre-construction inspection and we're still waiting. What for? That's a good question!
Last week we worked out an understanding with the Village. To get things started we would get approval to proceed using their dissipation system but continue to negotiate a greener alternative. We need to trust each other. Tony worked everything out with their engineer, we got a verbal "OK, looks good" and then our Jack (16 with a new drivers license) drove to Tony's office to pick up plans and then delivered them to LG'S Building and Zoning so they could forward them to their engineer. We are going to trust each other, work as a team and get this project going! Guess where the drawings were yesterday morning.... still sitting in their office! My understanding is they wanted to see how much more we owe them, get us to pay the bill and then they will give the drawings to the engineer for his approval. Except they neglected to tell us. So another week go by waiting. We've already paid them quite a bit and isn't the understanding that the bill be paid in full before permits are issued anyway? That's usually how it works. When have we not paid our bills? So much for trust.