Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ten Years and Two Weeks - Part 2

It is surprising what a man can do when he has to, and how little most men will do when they don't have to. -Walter Linn

Although the ten years was the longer portion, I was blogging for at least half of it, so I do not really want to rehash that part of the story in detail, which included me making a gripe website where other people with complaints about the company could post their pictures and stories; the company filling a lawsuit against us for five counts including trademark infringement; the news of the lawsuit went viral all over the Internet; news people trying to find us for interviews and offering to fly us to New York, which we did not do; finding a nonprofit law firm to take our case; the company not paying their own contractors and salespeople; an attorney looking to file a class action lawsuit against the company, but there was no money; the company president/owner arrested for cocaine possession; the company closing within a year; and no one gets any restitution to fix their houses, but the trademark infringement complaint is still debated in law schools today! The company really shot themselves in the foot by filing the lawsuit against us and the only real good that came out of it was that the business could no longer scam any other people.

Now we are in the "two weeks" portion of this story.

Have you ever watched the 1986 movie Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long? If not you have missed out on a comedy that will stick with you the rest of your life. I cannot count the times that some portion of that movie has been replayed in my mind. Throughout the movie there is this horrendous renovation and whenever the contractor is asked how long it will take to finish, the answer comes without hesitation: "two weeks."

Homeowner Walter: When I do get the permits, how long will the job take?
Contractor Curly: Two weeks.

Four months later (at the end of her rope)....
Homeowner Anna: [yelling] All right, that's it! I've had it with you, and the house, and Max, and the orchestra and everything! How long will it take to put this house together?
Contractor Curly: Two weeks.
[Walter and all the workers start laughing]

You get the picture...so imagine what went through my mind when we asked for a time estimate and our contractor said it could take just "two weeks," depending on the weather. We signed the contract in March, but it rained nearly everyday in April so they understandably were behind in finishing some jobs before getting to us; it began in May.

Two weeks...I knew better than to expect that one, but overall we were sure that the Lord led us to this company, which I wrote about at This Must Be a God Thing. We still did not expect everything to go perfectly, but we had hoped it would have gone just somewhat better than it did, especially when all the subcontractors were Christians--some were even church leaders and pastors--with families who had lived in the area for generations.

Taking one side at a time, they ripped off all the old, damaged siding, carefully collecting nails as they went, and began installing the fiber cement planks that had a grey primer coat. The windows with frames were also taken out. The trim around the window on the inside was removed. I knew that there would be some damage to the walls around the windows and to the trim itself on the inside, but it was more than I had hoped, particularly in my bedroom which has a lovely, subtle faux pattern that I did not want to repaint. I have to say that first window was the most difficult to get to so I hoped things would progress better with the others and being an artist, I knew I could match the wall paint to blend in, but I also knew it would be work to do it, so the less damage I would need to fix, the better.

It was when the man began putting the trim back on--the trim he had just taken off--that I knew we needed to rethink the plan. There were chunks of wood on the sides missing from the trim and it just did not fit well. By the time he did three windows with a few broken and one of the trim pieces had nine nails in the corner--my husband counted--we decided to ask him to leave the trim off and we would replace all the trim with new ourselves. We felt it would be money and time well spent.

My husband was not satisfied with how they alternated the siding planks...rather how they did not. It was not randomized enough where the joints were and the patterns of the planks also. He even asked them about it as they were working, but it did not change anything. They were pretty good as craftsmen but not as artisans.

The south side of the house was the worse. The siding was just about to fall apart, especially the siding on the chimney. When they removed those pieces, it was obvious that we needed the chimney to be completely rebuilt. The chimneys of houses in our neighborhood are not made of brick but are made so that they hang above the ground on the outside of the house. They are not ideal, but functional when in good shape. However, the materials used are no longer available and not to code, so it was a good thing to replace them with better materials. We already had it in the contract to replace the chimney cap which was rusty, but we had to approve of the additional cost for the rebuild. Unfortunately, the subcontractor crew had high paying commercial job schedule to start the next week in a city about three hours away, so they hurried to get the chimney done, which ended up not being as straight on one side as it should have been, and to install our new back door, which was not cooperating.

I just have to say a huge thank you to my Lord here. Termites had set up home on the south side of the house which had been treated about a year ago, so we were relieved when the workers saw nothing active that way and the load bearing wood structures were secure. Termites were bad enough, but the one thing we really feared with all the moisture problems was mold. There might have been mold inside of the siding, but there was absolutely no mold on any of the wood or walls or even the sides of the siding! That had to be a God thing!
 
The backdoor had issues even though it was supposed to be new. It is one of those window doors with blinds on the inside of the window, so necessary with it being on the west side. After the guy worked on it for two days, it had a lot more issues than when he started. He had actually removed the hard plastic bottom under the metal step to get it to fit but that would have been a great way for bugs to get in too. At that point, the only solution they offered was to pull back the carpet in my dining room and plane a hump in the underlying flooring. I looked at it when he got it in, to secure our home for the night, and told him it was warped. My husband actually put a straight edge to it and...it was warped!

My husband knowing he was going to be working away from home the next week and wanted us to be secure, looked for a door himself. That morning he told me he was not sure what to do because he checked that night and Home Depot did not have any in stock, but since I have a friend that works for Home Depot, I know they stock the store late at night and looked online again to find they had five available. So, off he went to buy one and then he had to install it by removing a plank of wood on the door header that was there just to make the door fit better, plane it down, put the top of the door frame flush with the top instead of the bottom, and then we had a door that actually could open all the way into the house, the first time since we had replace the carpeting when my daughter was a toddler that it was not rubbing significantly.

With the doors, windows, and siding replaced, then it was time for painting and that is when things began to go south...but that will be in Part 3.




My Lord, thank you for protecting my family and our house against mold. Thank you for helping us all get through the "two weeks."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.