Project Update: Hyde Park Condo

As a neighbor, the Hyde Park condo is the first project that I open up in the morning:

There is something so calming about a sunrise over water.

We have had so many great projects this year and Hyde Park is living up to its expectations. Remember that my clients are living abroad and so we are coordinating this process through emails, weekly video blogs, and carefully timed phone calls accommodating an 8-hour time difference.

Oh Hyde Park Condo, we love you so – your traditional, high quality construction combined with a modern aesthetic and a freestanding tub make us anxious to start finish carpentry. Apparently, the City of Chicago doesn’t feel the same way.

We know where this is going, don’t we? BLEEDING HEARTS OF THE WORLD UNITE.

Here’s the deal:

Once upon a time, there was a bathtub.


This bathtub has a 1-½” drain and piping. One day, this bathtub decided that it wanted a new home and so it left for new adventures in order collaborate and allow a 4-ton air handler and laundry unit to be installed in its place.  


Now, after demolishing the walls to prepare the plumbing to accommodate this laundry unit and air handler, we found a problem.

See these pipes?


They belong to the high rise building. They are 1-½”. City Code requires that these pipes be 2”. Unfortunately, we have no control over these pipes because they are owned by the high rise building and…y’know…run from the foundation up about 30 floors. This means it’s physically impossible to meet Code. However, we know that City Codes are in place for a reason and the reason this size piping is needed is so that the laundry can operate optimally. So, we checked our specs and found that our laundry unit is an all-in-one due to the limited electrical load and, therefore, only needs a 1-1/2″ pipe – perfect. 


Then, I walk into the Buildings Department to run this by the inspectors to make sure we’re on the same page so we don’t end up in front of the Board of Appeals and 4 months delayed.

City: “…Yep, okay fine.” (I’m paraphrasing)

Ally:  “Will you please note and sign off on the permit to eliminate confusion?”

City:  “No, not necessary – just call if there’s a problem.”

Ally: *Remembers calling on another project and them recalling and approving* Well…okay.”


Ally: “I mean, can’t you just sign it?”

City:  “No.”

Ally: “Okay.”

So, inspection day comes – lo and behold, there’s a problem. The inspector doesn’t like the Laundry area – that’s okay, call your boss because I spoke with him about this. He calls, we all get yelled at (quite literally) on speaker phone, and then it hangs up. I then ask the inspector to call again. So, he does, and ultimately we are told that we are approved to move forward – we “just have to install a laundry sink”….

Ally: “Well, the current laundry unit is the correct size for 1-½” piping.”

Inspector: “Yes, but if they sell this place and someone else moves in and puts in a regular size unit, then it won’t meet code so…”

Ally: *Blank stare*

Inspector: *Blank stare*

Plumber *Sniffs*

Ally: “Thank you.”

Inspector: “You’re welcome”

The End.

Epilogue: We are now trying to figure out how on Earth we are going to add a 17” sink to an area already housing a laundry unit, an air handler, a sink, a toilet, four walls, three doorways, and two access panels while still meeting Code for distances on everything that’s not the Laundry.

It never fails, SMNG-A to the rescue! Out for in-person measurements and idea exchange, back to us in 2 hours with a new drawing. I don’t know how they do it.





Oh, also, we had to carry an air conditioner up almost 25 floors because it didn’t fit out the back door. Then, we suspended ourselves almost 25 stories in the air to install it.


Then, I locked myself out on the fire escape doing a video blog and had to walk all the way down and ultimately jump off a small roof to get back inside.

Next Steps: Finish Carpentry

Want to see more projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!

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