Tuesday, August 09, 2005

One Step Closer

We're one step closer to getting our spa installed. I received my approval from the Architectural Review Committee, which means that I am "legal" to proceed.

Celebration has a reputation as a town full of "Porch Nazis" who strictly enforce a long list of ridiculous rules. In reality, our covenants are no more restrictive than those in any other planned community. They're aimed at maintaining our property values and keeping the town looking good.

If you want to make a change to your home's exterior (for example, major landscaping changes, a screen room, fence, pool, whirlpool, etc.), you must submit your plans to the Architectural Review Committee. They make sure that what you're proposing falls within the rules and fits in aesthetically. If so, you get your blessing; if not, you may need to make some modifications.

Friends of ours recently added a screen room, patio, and whirlpool, so they gave me some pointers on what I'd need to submit. Since we're only putting in a patio and whirlpool, my plans didn't need to be quite as elaborate. I stopped by before a previous ARC meeting to get a preliminary idea of what information to submit. Then, I worked up my plans and submitted a packet at the last meeting. Tonight, my proposal was scheduled for a vote.

Technically, you don't have to show up in person, but I wanted to be there in case there were any questions. I had turned in a survey, drawings showing the current and proposed state of Duloc Manor, and photos of our existing yard, indicating where the changes would go. I also snapped a picture of my neighbor's yard, which is an exact mirror of my own. Last year, she had pavers and a garden put in, so the photo illustrated what a similar yard with a patio would look like. The triplex model has a concrete patio almost identical to what I'm putting in, but it's long since been sold to a private owner, and I didn't think they'd take too kindly to a stranger skulking about with a camera, snapping shots of the back of their house.

I also attached brochures from the two spa manufacturers I'd been considering when I turned in the paperwork; since that time, I had narrowed down my choice to a Vita Cabaret. In essence, my proposal was pretty simple...lay a concrete patio of approximately 15 x 16 feet and slap a big ol' spa on the slab. Originally, I was planning on a smaller slab, but the workmen I consulted suggested that it be larger in order to make it more symmetrical. The larger size will work out very well, as it will border our mulch beds in a nice, big, tidy square.

The only thing I was missing was a calculation of how much "coverage" there would be on my lot. In a townhome/triplex, the total cannot exceed 75% of the lot. Being mathematically challenged, I had missed that part of the proposal. Fortunately, the committee allowed me to work out the calculations while they considered other proposals. There were six on the agenda, but I was the only resident who showed up in person.

I did some fast multiplying, tallying up how much space my house, garage, driveway, and sidewalk currently occupies. Then I added in the proposed concrete slab. Fortunately, I was still well below the maximum. The board voted its approval, and I headed home to tell my husband the good news.

Now I'm in the final stages of preparing for the new spa. It should be ready for delivery at the end of the month, so I'm busily coordinating the concrete and electrical work. With any luck, we'll have our slab poured this week, and I'll be speaking to the electrician very soon.

Every time I gaze out the family room window, I picture a blissful, bubbling spa. I feel like Chevy Chase in "Christmas Vacation," peering out into his yard and fanasizing about the swimming pool he was planning to buy with his Christmas bonus. My little corner of East Village isn't quite large enough for a pool, but the spa will make a worthy substitute. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll be blogging about the joys of soaking in my long-awaited tub.

Learn more about Celebration on my website: www.celebrationinfo.com

1 comment:

Two4Disney said...

We're enjoying reading your blog. We moved here about the same time as you did but after 2 months in Orlando, we found ourselves in Tampa Bay. We keep asking ourselves if we want to find a way to move back to be closer to Disney or stay where we are and enjoy frequent overnights. Such a decision! Reading your blog is part of our research. :)