Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May 7, 2014 – Well Hello Little Lady a.k.a. New Home Saga

If this were a car that we bought it would be a slightly used one.  Well ok maybe that is an under-exaggeration.  Let’s just say used, but a lovely home with a fantastic view.  Alas, as with many things, despite our best efforts to make informed decisions things happen and you discover that there are unanticipated costs.  Which is the nice way of saying we have some things that need to be fixed which caught us unawares.
Last week there was that lovely rainstorm that dropped 6+ inches of rain in the area.  I can attest with a fairly high degree of confidence that there was at least that much rain, because I capture 4 inches of it in a bucket that was strategically placed below a light fixture which was doubling as a fountain for the evening. Maybe I should step back a bit. I was home when it started raining and I heard this “tink, tink, tink” coming from the kitchen.  To my dismay it was not the chocolate fairy asking for shelter from the storm.  No it was water coming out of a light in the 1st floor kitchen.  Needless to say I did what any rational human being would do; I panicked and called my Dad.  Once he assured me that if the light switch was off it would not cause a fire I was able stop freaking out.  Then I pulled the canister out of the ceiling so that the water could drip unhindered.  Hey my logic was, better it come out of the hole versus traveling across the ceiling causing more damage.  Then I called a roofer, promised him my 1st born dog, who came by and took a look.  His 1st guess was that it was the overhang near that window causing the issue but did some investigation in the room above the kitchen to make sure there wasn’t water coming in from that floor as well.  However, he needed to come back after it stopped raining to take a better look.

Turns out we do have a minor-ish roof issue which we need to repair but unfortunately we also have a wood and window(s) issue.  Which brings me to the, “Well Hello Little Lady’ part of my title.  So far, I’ve had a couple of General Contractors come in to take a look around and try to determine what the issues are and the best way for fixing that problem.  Monday’s contractor is proposing an expensive solution that I think will fix the problem although it will be somewhat painful as an unanticipated expense.  He was polite, professional, and spoke to me as if I was not an idiot.  You go dude! 

Today’s contractor was polite but he’s proposing a solution that would mimic the problem, which is pretty much that the replacement windows that were installed by the previous owners (or someone paid by them) were not really installed in the best way for the area (high winds, rain, and coastal conditions).   He would cut away the obvious wood rot, replace a few pieces of wood and caulk the crap out of them.  Now I’m not saying that wouldn’t work, but when I expressed concerns that we might end up in the same boat we are now in just a few years the guy said:  “Well you do realize this is a wooden house and there will always be maintenance on it.”  He refrained from verbally adding “Little Lady” onto that sentence but I heard it loud and clear and only had a passing moment where I wanted to pop him one.  I did point out that I was aware of the concept of maintenance and that I was all for preventative maintenance.  Just like I periodically have the oil changed in the car, so that, I don’t know the engine doesn’t seize up randomly one day forcing me to be rescued on the side of the road by John Wayne.  Somehow however, what’s going on with the house right now doesn’t qualify as maintenance to me, it qualifies as repair work.  Big freaking expensive repair work because someone else didn’t do MAINTENANCE. 

There is one more contractor coming this afternoon and I just can’t decide if I should put on my frilly lace dress grab my parasol and hope I’m not overcome with the vapors.

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