Anyone bought a house lately? I'm pretty sure I felt like Miranda from Sex and the City when she bought an apartment and had to explain 3049 times that it was "just her".. Unlike her though, I have my roomies! We moved into our new home on May 8th. When I found it while searching on the interwebs, I fell in love. I didn't even have to paint! It was a little bit of a fixer upper (I wanted to redo the kitchen eventually), but it had the space I wanted. It wasn't a cookie cutter house. Good location. Back yard for the pups. Everything was perfect.. famous. last. words.
Of course during the flipping hottest summer ever, we had air conditioning problems. The air guys came out several times and "fixed" the problem. Then we noticed leaking around one of the door casings.. assuming it was the air ducts, I call the and get the air guy out there. this, of course, takes several days.. When he arrives, our conversation goes as follows:
A/C man: Ma'am, you don't have an air problem, you have a plumbing problem. Do you have a bathroom upstairs?
me: (insert sad puppy face) yes...
We go upstairs, he looks at the bathroom and determines that it has to be coming from the toilet. So he immediately called the home warranty company (THANK GOODNESS FOR THIS THING! I recommend it to everyone!), said there was an active leak, and we needed a plumber ASAP. I was shocked when he was able to come within 30 minutes. While we waited for him to get there, the air guy said that it was "boo boo" water in the ceiling. Boo boo water?! WOOF. (He was wrong about that, thank goodness.) The plumber gets there, takes the toilet off the ground, and says: yep, looks like some home repair husband put this in and didn't do it right. (Awesome, thanks home repair husband!) He gets it fixed within 10 minutes, comes downstairs and says now the water repair people need to be called.. Okie dokie.. This water guy gets out there pretty fast too, but my day is already shot, and I won't be making it back to work (and it was July birthday day at work.. I MISSED THE POPSICLES!) But, clearly, I had bigger problems.. Water damage guy brings in his moisture reader. Puts it on a regular wall, 19 is the reading, which is average. He puts it on the ceiling downstairs.. 87!!! 8-7!!! HOW LONG HAD THE TOILET BEEN LEAKING TO MAKE IT 87?!?!? (insert dramatic sigh). He tells me we have to get the ceiling out before mold starts growing. I'm sure everyone has heard the awful stories about "sick houses" with mold, so this was SRSLY SERIOUS. The mold would start growing within 3 days.. EEK! He pointed to the top of the ceiling, and it was already sagging! The water was also coming out of the kitchen cabinets. Awesome. Oh, what's that at the end of the hall? Water damage on the hardwood floor? Great! Water guy explains to me that they will have to put a pod in the driveway, take ALL of the furniture out, and refinish the floors. Sorry roomies!! Everything was going to have to be packed up as if we were moving, and we were going to be put in a hotel. Now the insurance claim stuff had to be done so they could get started..
This is the point in the story where I wish I could tell you that I walked upstairs to my folders of important paperwork that I have so nicely organized.. but that would be an awfully funny lie, because not only have we only been in the house 2 1/2 months, we have not finished unpacking. In the extra room upstairs, boxes have been stacked and shoved against the wall waiting to be unpacked. Where is my insurance stuff? I have no clue. I couldn't find it. I spent forever digging and searching. I called my mortgage guy to ask him (of course, no answer) and I ended up calling insurance companies asking if I had a policy with them. None of them knew. Why not call my mom? Oh, she was out of the country. Of course. During this day and a half process of finding my insurance info, the DOWNSTAIRS tub decides to clog. Being the dude of the house that I am, I break out the ol' plunger and get the tub water to go down.. oh wait.. what is that bubbling noise?? Oh, it's just water coming out from underneath the toilet. On a Friday night. While people were over. WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS PEOPLE! After a few minutes, the toilet started working normally, and the shower was draining, so problem solved! (yeah right..) After this, I went on another insurance form search. On the verge of tears, low and behold, miracle of miracles, I found the packet with the information in it! Demolitian could begin!
They came on a Saturday morning. The main guy, Michael, is awesome and funny. He told me I was lucky it wasn't gameday yet, because he'd be pretty mad to be missing football. I told him if it was gameday, we would all be drinking beer, so it would've been a win-win situation. Instant BFF! He and his crew started taking down the ceiling. They cut the sheetrock out, and water had just been sitting up there. Of course it came dripping down. It didn't take long at all to get everything out, so that was a bonus. They brought in several loud fans and dehumidifiers to dry everything out for three days. Didn't seem too bad.. until after a few hours, the air quit working. Did I mention it has been SUPER hot outside? Like 110 - 115 heat index? The temperature in the house got up to 95. IN THE HOUSE. Something had to be done. It was assumed that since the ducts were exposed, that they were just over worked, so it caused the air to quit working. Michael came back and put plastic wrap up where the ceiling had been ripped out. This seemed to help a bit, and the air temp slowly began to fall..
Oh what's that up there? Water? Sitting in the plastic wrap?? IS IT STILL LEAKING?!? I call Michael. He says to call the A/C man. It takes them 4 flipping days to get back out to the house. By this time, the water has collected so much that the plastic is saggin. Of course the a/c man doesn't know what the problem is. He says he's never seen anything like it in his 13 years of working.. grrreat.. He calls his supervisor. The supervisor comes out. HE doesn't know what's going on. He tells me it has to be plumbing, and there has to be a leak somewhere.. He even tells me to call them to let them know the problem "whenever I get it figured out". Thanks, jackhole. Just leave me in the trenches, taking grenades!
Now it is round 72 of having home repair people come out! Such a treat!! The plumber comes back out. He says there is NO WAY it is plumbing, it is definitely the air conditioner. (insert me ripping my hair out). He asked me who my air guy was. Apparently they are not a very good company.. not good at all. The plumber tells me to call the home warranty people and tell them I want another air company. (I have to go through the warranty to get home repair people, or else it isn't covered. They pick who they send out to me). By this point, we have had no ceiling for a couple of weeks. The air conditioner has been on the fritz. Pots and pans are catching water in the hallway..
Stressed yet? The new air people contact me, and can come out that same day! I can already tell this company is going to be a bajillion times better than the last one, and they are. The new A/C guy is very knowledgable, and explained why all this stuff was happening, and told us what he thought should be done. He also sent his supervisor out to check everything, and he came at 6:30 at night! You know you're air company is awesome when they come out after hours to help. He was going to get an estimate and talk to Michael about the construction process. Yay!
Don't get too excited about the progress, everyone. The weekend after this joyous news that the problem had finally been solved, the downstairs toilet clogged (remember the downstairs problem from earlier?). No big deal. Plunged it. Oh wait.. water came out from under the toilet at the floor AGAIN. We had a guy friend fix the toilet because we assumed the seal had been broken, so that was the cause of the water. Well you know what they say when people assume.. After we took the toilet off the floor and put on the new seal, water still came out from underneath it. We tried AGAIN. No dice. We did have a lovely treat while 3 of us were crammed in the bathroom working on it: sewage water came up into the bathtub! Yay sewage water! Clearly the pipe needs to be snaked. I call the home warranty people to set me up with a plumber. They send one out, and he tells me that it does need to be snaked, but it is only covered by the warranty if there is an above ground inlet pipe. I cross my fingers, you know, because my luck has been SO good lately.. There is no above ground inlet pipe. He tried explaining to me the problem about the pipe, but I know this ol' song and dance because it happened at the Payne Street house in Auburn.. Old houses have old pipes. Old pipes are commonly made of terra cotta, and sometimes even reinforced cardboard/newspaper (paper pipes?! really?!), both of which make it extremely easy for roots to grown into. Judging by the way this pipe comes out of the house, it runs directly under the trees/bushes in the backyard. Problem solved. How to fix it? Bring in a bulldozer and dig up the old terra cotta pipes and lay new PVC pipes with an above ground inlet. They got there that afternoon with the bulldozer and began digging up the pipes the next day. They were finished by lunch time! The pipes were FULL of roots, so it clearly needed to be done the right way, but you would've thought the ol' house would've given me a couple months between repair jobs.. At least I'll get a tax credit on the pipes, and there is a 10 year warranty on them. Woohoo!
Have you forgotten about the water damage? Because it's still there! Michael has come over so much that there is now a lock box on the outside of the house so he can come and go whenever he needs to, although he does not appreciate all the doggies! Since part of the kitchen had water damage, I decided this would be a good time to go on and do the renovation that I wanted to get done. I want to take out two walls to make a bar/island and open up the den to the kitchen. I have been working for weeks on what materials I want to use, and I have ALWAYS wanted to use 3-form. (Check this stuff out, it is AWESOME: 3-form.com) I want to use Chroma for the countertops.. Who has used this material before? In the color I want no less?? My dad. He did the new signs for the airport in Panama City, and they were made of 3-form. I call ol' dad and ask if there is any extra. He says he thinks so, but call up to the shop in Dothan to make sure. I did, and they did! They told me to send in the measurements. I was SO excited. Finally a break in the stress, because I might get these FREE countertops! Amazing! I drew out elevations and floorplans in AutoCAD and made a 3D drawing in SketchUp (thank you, interior design degree). I sent the measurements to the shop. They said there was enough! I went to the cabinet store, showed the guy all my drawings and said there was no need for countertops, I had it covered. Later, I was on the phone with my mom, and she was at dad's shop in Dothan. I was telling her how excited I was about the 3-form, and she said she saw it, and it was silver.. Silver? No, no, it's supposed to be blue/green and sort of see through.. after several minutes going back and forth, I find out that there is not any of the 3-form left.. Goodbye silver lining on my big black cloud! Looks like Corian will step in and be the countertop now.. sigh.
We are at the point now where we are about to move to a hotel, since all the furniture has to be moved out to redo the floors, and the dogs have to be boarded as well. Insurance pays for all of this! How nice! Everyone is very excited about the hotel. We'll have a pool, and maids, and continental breakfast!!! I hope the construction is smooth sailing.. I'm not even going to say it can't get any worse, because we all see how the luck has gone so far! I will update every few days, and hopefully get some pictures up, especially of the new kitchen!
The whole situation has been quite stressful at times, but it's gotten to the point now where it is humorous at all the stuff that keeps happening.. At least I have a place to live, right?