so another day has come and gone, full of new adventures. it began with an early morning drive to take my dad into work (remember? i'm carless and have been conquering austin in my dad's large white truck) and a planned meeting with Ray at home depot (if i didn't go there at least once a day i think i would feel lost). i had a bit of time in between and so i decided to sleep some. i haven't been sleeping much. remodeling a house, especially remodeling a house on a very sparse income, can do that to you.
Ray and i were supposed to meet at 9, which he moved to 9:30, which ended up meaning he was there at 9:30 and i didn't have to come until the end to hand over the credit card. i was, however, there at 9:30 because sometimes i am annoyingly punctual and so i ended up sitting in the truck for about 45 minutes. fortunately i had my dog, monte, and my 11 games of words with friends to keep me busy.
once i was summoned to pay the large bill i walked inside, running shorts, tshirt, boots, no makeup and unbrushed hair. but from the looks i got you would've guessed i was all dolled up. the men at home depot can stare with the best of them. i paid and left and went back home to resume my daily search for a full time job. why am i doing this? i guess the best answer is, to use two words i hear more frequently than anything, "the economy", and in the design world this translates to......THE ECONOMY!!!!!!!
the rest of the day was relatively uneventful aside from delightful midday text from Ray that said, "take a look at this bare wire that is under the bathroom area. do you want me to take care of it?" oh the joys of technology, my contractor can text me images! i replied, "sure what is it?" he said, "it is your electrical wire that is shocking my guy. it goes to the plugs in the dining room." uhhhh a wire is shocking people and is underneath my house? my house built on wood? and wood is flammable? hmm
he solved that by turning off a breaker which ended up shutting off all electricity in the house. my sweet friend and renter Ashley sent me a text about it and understandingly said, "but i'm guessing that's for safety sake and such?" no, luckily the whole house does NOT have to be without power during the remodel. i described the breaker box and how to fix it and blessings upon blessings it worked!
that's how i title my journey through the past couple of weeks. and rightly so, for if you give a mouse a cookie...he's going to ask for a glass of milk.
this post is a little different from the usual ones, for instead of interesting things i've discovered here and there, this is a continuing lesson i am learning about being a *gasp* grownup.
it all began with an email; an email from my renters to look at a piece of swollen wood in the laundry room of my early 1900s hyde park home. this swollen wood was actually a few floor planks that had popped out of the structure. i'll admit it, i cried. i loved this little room with its delicious floors.
this led me to look at the dishwasher, which had been leaking due to a bad gasket (which apparently was common in the style of dishwasher i had bought from the year i bought it and yet the company had managed to avoid paying for a recall). this was quickly but not freely fixed in a day. the leak, however, had bubbled up the linoleum in the kitchen. not good, but not harmful...yet
i then proceeded to look into the bathroom and its old steel tub that had rusted straight through. i mean, really?? this could be a serious detriment but i took a deep breath, called Gnu Tub, and prayed that a patch could resolve the issue. one hole was patched, again, not for free, is anything? but the bits around the drain were not fixable. (lacking an image, on my mother's camera) which meant........RIPPING OUT THE TUB!!!! and if you give a mouse a cookie.......or in my case rip out a tub. i'm going to want a brand new bathroom. hey it's logical, tile is ruined anyway, why not go all out?
unfortunately this long awaited remodel was not planned to happen during the time i had rented it out. but waiting was not an option. i called a repair man, picked out every delightful detail (bathtub, subway tile, 1" hexagon tile flooring, new toilet, etc, all white of course) and paid the large bill. it was an exhausting day.
work began the next morning. met with the repair man at 8am....no he meant 9am.....no he meant 10am......only to learn that i had gotten this, that, and the other thing wrong. i headed back to home depot with my head swirling with shower trim, drain heights, flanges and arms. thinking in home depot is difficult, almost impossible due to the movement, sawing, beeping, and overall hum of the store. it didn't make it any better that the lady who did my one.....two returns was around 80 and appeared never have used a computer in her life, "so then what do i push? f6? what is our code? and then what do i click?" etc etc
my repair man met me, showed me what i needed, and more money was spent. sigh, all was well..
until the phone call later in the day. the mouse had gotten his cookie, glass of milk, and now needed a straw and napkin. in construction terms the subfloor (simple plywood) and floor joists (because it's an old house, pier and beam was beneath) were rotted straight through. and i had a little possum friend who had made his home in the delightful rot. this meant :: more time, labor, and $$. i was then introduced to claims adjusters, deductibles, and filing claims. why wasn't this taught in school?
because it was more expensive i would be paying over my deductible and could claim insurance but needed a claims adjuster to come out before any work could be done. ie work was again halted. fortunately my mom (yes my mommy and daddy still step in now and then!!!) was able to get an adjuster to meet me and Ray (my new best friend and contractor/repair man) at the house the next day. which was today.
my head was filled with rotted wood, replacement of entire floor joists, questions of where the rotted subfloor stopped under the house, and (my two favorites) timeframe and how much MONEY i could get back. fortunately Heidi the claims adjuster and my pal Ray saw my confused, terrified, and emotional 23 year old face and were very calm and reassuring. steps could be taken, work could resume, and the claim would be filed. we skimmed over the kitchen and laundry room because they saw from my stricken face that i had reached my limit of information. Ray awkwardly patted me on the back while Heidi shook my hand briskly.
a new day begins tomorrow where i will meet Ray at home depot to buy the next items needed. who knows what the day will bring. oh and did i mention my transmission is shot and must be built anew?
to sum up i've gotten my cookie to about my pencils and crayons. hopefully i'm reaching the end of the bad news. all in all i love my little house, but maybe not so much this week.
My newest fixation is letterpress (Kate's is the typewriter). Combined we would be quite powerful. Unfortunately, finding letterpress equipment is difficult and pricey, the equipment from Bespoke Press was gone by the time I came across their site, but my hunt continues, and hopefully my savings will increase.