In August we decided to build a detached 2-car garage in our backyard. We thought we had a pretty good idea of how much it would cost, so we hired an architect and engineering company, and along the way found out it'll actually cost more than twice as much as we had originally thought. But since we had already paid for the blueprints and grading plan, and it won't get any cheaper if we wait to do it in the future, we decided to go ahead with it.
So we gave our contractor a deposit and applied for a permit. We've had all kinds of trouble with the city because apparently we have a deed-divided lot instead of a sub-divided lot (more than 80 years ago our lot was part of the lot to the north of us, and the owner sold part of the lot to someone else.) Also, our lot is "non-conforming" because it's only 40 feet wide, and the city requires all lots to be at least 50 feet wide. We're going before City Council tomorrow in the hopes of making the "lot consolidation" process that the city is requiring less complicated, but either way it has already added a large additional cost to the project.
But on Wednesday we finally got our permit, and on Friday our electrician raised our overhead power lines by several feet to provide enough clearance over the driveway extension. And today the concrete guy came over and dug up the ground where the concrete slab will go: