Monday, March 31, 2008

The siding is so close to done it's painful

Hansen Construction has been absolutely amazing. Anyone in the VT, MA, NY corner of the world looking for contractors, this is your guy. He's picked up where the other jerk left off and brought the job in on time at the projected cost. What a novel concept!

W2 and I were both there last Thursday to see the last piece go up on the back of the house, 40 ft off the ground. Tom had borrowed/rented a man lift from the guy down the road in order to do the peak. It was rather impressive.

Sheerah is cruising on the interior stuff. I believe she was actually priming the kitchen this afternoon. She had repaired the huge crack between the sheet rock and ceiling in the blue bedroom and was planning on touching that up as well. I should be able to vacuum and dust and put that room to rights in preparation for our visit from the Canadian Diva this weekend!

We may have a household with Rigger coming back to help on Saturday and Sunday. I should really try to clear some space in the officery in the event we do have more than one houseguest.

We have finally decided on the five year plan for the kitchen. We will create the apartment for now, so we have the income. At the end of five years (ish), we will reclaim the entire first floor, expanding the kitchen to include a sitting room or conversation area that leads out onto the deck. This will allow us the additional income for childrearing, when we have a child, and allow us to have a project for the future.

We picked out the five year floor for the kitchen and I have someone coming out on Wednesday to measure and quote the install. Sheerah will be done by then, so then it will only be a matter of getting a date for the floor installation and then I can call my cabinet installers!!! And then I CAN HAVE A KITCHEN!!!!! I could pee I'm so excited.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It just keeps getting better

So our contractor, JTP Construction, was arrested this morning, or that's the word anyway. Tom of Hansen Construction called me at 1pm to let me know that he had heard from Jay at 8:30 this morning. Mind you, Jay was supposed to be at my house at 8 a.m.. But anyway, he calls Tom to tell him the folks from his other job are pressing charges against him and he needs to go to the police station to straighten things out. He'll be out as soon as it's all squared away. He then calls Tom at 11:30 to tell him he and two other guys are on their way out to my house. Tom called me at 1:00 to let me know they weren't there yet and he'd had it. He would finish the house but anything from that point forward would be done between us and him, leaving Jay out. While we're on the phone Jay calls. It turns out, it's one of Jay's guys telling Tom Jay had been arrested and he was on his way to bail him out. Whether or not this is true is irrevelant. The guy is a total bullshit artist and we fell for it. Fortunately he doesn't have any of our money. We will pay Tom of Hansen Construction to finish our house. He is bringing 4 more guys out tomorrow so he'll have 6 guys there to finish the job.

Ren, of Bison Contracting, will be at the house taping the kitchen and sealing the heinous gap between the wall and ceiling in the spare bedroom tomorrow. So the house will be a hive of activity. I am tickled to have her working on the house and anxious to see the rapid progress she has assured me of.

So now I find myself in the situation of having to fire the first contractor. Thank god the guy I work with is a legal genius and knows all of the ins and outs of the law. So I've typed a lovely letter of termination giving him 24 hours to fix his misdeeds and at the end of that I will terminate the contract. I fear getting dinged to pay two contractors, but guy I work with tells me the two letters make it legal and he won't be able to claim any $.

We'll see.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The contractor our contractor subcontracted is back

Our contractor sucks. I have stated this several times, in several ways. But the guy he subbed us out to was great. Unfortunately, he only subbed it out for two weeks. Two weeks was up and Tom left. And Jay didn't come. It's been two weeks since Tom left and only 12 feet of progress has been accomplished. Yesterday I very calmly told Jay that I was done. That I was not going to be patient anymore. That he had better get his ass to my house and finish my siding pronto. I made it clear that I did not care what else was on his plate, that he now needed to deal with me. He stuttered, made excuses, apologized and then let me know he was bringing Tom back on the job.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!!!! That was the best news I could have heard.

So I spoke with Tom last night and several times today and my house should be done by tomorrow. Phew! Then we can have the inspector out and get a draw on the rehab loan.

Oh, and speaking of the loan. My mother in law had the audacity to say to me on Friday that she wished we hadn't gotten the extension that way my Father in law would be off the hook.


It's not like he's done much up to this point, why would it matter. and can you imagine saying that out loud to someone?! The loan is $25k, it's the difference between us finishing this project or living in a construction zone for a very, very long time. And W2's mother, his very own mother, is wishing we didn't get it.

I am in awe.

Friday, March 21, 2008

And still we wait...

It's been 5 days since we've had any activity on the contractor front. Note to anyone who cares: Do not hire a contractor without getting references and looking at the work he has done in person. Also do not sign a contractor unless is includes the codicile that no work will be subcontracted out. These have been two very big lessons learned.

Our contractor keeps thanking me for being patient, so apparently I have him fooled. I'm not patient! I was ready to fire him last week. W2 wouldn't let me. Here's my complaint:

1. Did not start working on agreed date...and it wasn't weather related.

2. Started working, put up wrong J-channel...lost almost a whole day correcting the problem. Why did they put the wrong J-channel, you may wonder? Because the contractor we hired wasn't on site, he had subcontracted out the job and sent one of his minions to supervise, without giving him all the details.

3. Did not finish job within agreed timeline. Must have hired subcontractors for a certain amount of time, that ended. So did the work on the house.

4. Lies to me on a daily basis. Tells me how long it took "him" to do the peak of the house. He wasn't even there. I was. I was there every day. He'd know he was up shit's creek if he'd been there.

5. I call everyday to hear the woe of the moment. Which I could give a rat's ass about, I just want him to know I'm waiting...and not very patiently.

So now we wait. We've told him he has until March 30th to get it done. He told me he'd be working on Sunday, as if that would get him sympathy. I would never tell anyone to work on a holiday, nor would I ask. Holidays are for family and friends. But don't tell me you're going to work, when I know damn well you are not.

On another contractor note. I've had contact with the contractor, we will call her Sheerah, who will most likely be taping the kitchen. She's coming out on Monday to check it out, give us an estimate and have dinner. She's a former colleague, potential friend. It'll be nice to have progress on the kitchen, but equally nice to have someone over for dinner. Someone who understands the chaos of living in a house under construction. So this is a positive note.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

We at Casa su Rehab will be taking the night off. Not that we haven't been doing that lately, but officially this time!!! To raise a pint and sing along to some Irish tunes!

In the meantime our contractor SUCKS. He's done nothing but lie and tap dance since we hired him. He promised no subcontractors, then promptly contracted out the job. He assured us it'd be done in 14 business days. We are on day 17. Promised he'd work Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Worked Saturday. It'll only take a day and a half to finish. It's not done.

We will hire the guy he subcontracted the gig out to if we need work in the future.

Waiting to hear back from contractor I used to work with who will/may do the taping in the kitchen and stairwell. Then we'll see if we can get the cabinets installed, for the love of God.

I'm dealing with a herniated disc. So I'm out. Down for the count. Not contributing nothing to this project. Only to the bank account of my chiropractor.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

and then they f'd up....

Our siding guys are slamming through this project. Working in some pretty unsavory conditions. Doing their best to get the job done.

In their attempt to be conscientious, they were throwing all cardboard in our burn pit and on Friday they lit it. Unfortunately, one of those boxes of cardboard was full of vinyl siding scraps. Vinyl siding scraps make a sticky black soot. Can you picture where this is going? Yup, that sticky black soot became stuck to the side of my brandy new siding.

Isn't that great?!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

I don't get the all

So here we've been racing racing racing to get things done by March 3rd in order to not lose our rehab loan. We've obviously passed that date and accepted that the money was no longer available to us. Today, they get in touch with W2 and say he needs to file an extension. From all of the documentation they have sent us, we were led to believe that as of the 3rd we were done. According to them we had not shown enough progress therefore no due diligence, no money. We knew this to be wrong, but also understood that since we had only had one inspection equalling one draw on the loan that they could view our progress as lackadaisical in nature and would pull the loan. Whatever! They're the bank vs. us the frustrated and tired Rehab Warriors. We can't win.

But apparently the loan has not been pulled. Filing an extension will allow us access to the loan. Or that's what they would like us to believe. My skeptical self fears that this is just another hoop to jump through that will lead to days of waiting to hear, and waiting, and waiting...
Essentially adding up to more frustration. No thank you, is what i have to say. We have enough frustration. Thank you very much.

But then again, it could allow us to actually get the bedroom done, and maybe even the kitchen...

Nah, that's too much to hope.

We will once again load up the Rubbermaid tote with dirty dishes for W2 to load into the dishwasher at work tomorrow. I've switched to paper products, but you can't cook in them. And I'll suggest to anyone who finds themselves in the situation where they don't have a kitchen: Spend more on plastic silverware, less on paper plates. Cheap plastic silverware sucks.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

siding and's a good day!

The siding guys are at the house working feverishly in our freakishly Spring-like weather. It reached 50 degrees today. I am anxious to see the progress they made. Instead of driving to the house on lunch, like I have been, I took the dog for a long walk through the fields at work. It's so beautiful I can't even do it justice with words. While we were out a red tailed hawk flew by, it smelled of moist earth, the trees are losing their winter wear and getting ready to bud. The whole thing is amazing.

Granted tomorrow we are expecting another snow storm. Whatever! I'll enjoy the Spring-like moments whenever we get them.

W2 took some time off today to go tub shopping with his dad. It seems they may have found one. I never realized how hard it is to pick these things out. When you rent, you take what you get. You don't give a lot of thought to the color of appliances, toilets, tubs, vanities, countertops, floors... You just roll with it. But when given the responsibility of picking all of these things out, it becomes a tad bit overwhelming. I like the color of white in bathrooms, but we have water that is very high in iron, so it would leave an orange hue on everything. I don't like that look. My mom always had bisque or almond colored appliances so I lean in that direction. But then I question, is it because it is what I know or because I actually like it?

I really just want a kitchen. But anyone who has read my blog knows that.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Furnace blower dies

Can't get a break at Casa su Rehab or maybe this was a break and we're ungrateful. Furnace blower died this morning, or so we thought. After a service call we learned it had just overheated. RGN Heating and Cooling took care of us and left us a used motor and parts in the event it happens again before we can install the new heating system. We just need to limp through this next 6 weeks. That's all we need. Then we'll be able to move forward with the new installation.

In the meantime, we're shit out of luck with the rehab loan. It's over. We lost the $25k. So now we do everything out of pocket. As is my nature, I can't help but think it will cut down on the length of time we will pay our mortgage!? I don't know, but I'm looking for the silver lining.

Contractors worked for a bit yesterday, but the weather was hellacious so they had to quit early. Weather continues to do what it does here in our neck of the woods, so they didn't work today either. Can't blame them, it was 50 degrees at one point this morning but is now 28. We've had torrential rain, sleet and It's lovely and we here in the northeast refer to as Spring.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Siding goes up

The contractors have been good to their word. Working when they say they will work. With the exception of the day we had subzero temperatures, they've been there everyday. The front of the house is sided up to the part where there will be contrasting shakes. I imagine they will get that part up today. Our neighbors have commented that they like the color and the contractors have also said they like the color. It seems we've picked a likeable color. We'll see how everyone feels once the shakes are up. I am anxious to see what it looks like.

I've been tired, tired, tired lately. The kitchen is a total drag. Or shall I say the lack of one. I have a stove and a refrigerator. No counters, no sink. Just a stove and refrigerator. In order to cook, I must go upstairs to the bathroom, fill a five gallon bucket with water, haul it back downstairs and then find the pot or pan I need. You see, up until this point we have eaten out, every meal. It gets old. At this point, it is well past old. I look forward to cooking. I want to cook. I miss baking. All of it really. I have wonderful pots and pans, and cooking tools. I miss them. They are stacked in boxes in my dining room. I cannot get to them.

We were supposed to get the sink and counter top that are leaning against the boxes in the dining room, down to the basement and out of the way over the weekend. That didn't happen. W2 doesn't realize how much of a pain it is to prepare a meal in our house. So it's not that important to him to help with these things. But IT IS SUCH A PAIN IN THE BUTT TO PREPARE A MEAL IN OUR HOUSE!!! I just want to get out a couple more pans, maybe a measuring cup. I can hang with the best of them, honest. Hauling shit up and downstairs, to wash dishes, to get water, to water plants. All of it. It's like camping inside. But even when you are camping you have access to your stuff. Not here.

This too shall pass. I know. Just tired and a tad cranky about the kitchen.