Ok, the real subject of this post are the home improvements that have been going on around our house for the past year:
- The Great Leak of ‘11
- Tore out our old wood floor that had gotten water under it during the Great Leak of ’11
- Added windows to our balcony to make them more functional year-round
- Fixed a leaky shower
- Got an air conditioning unit installed (yay!)
As I mentioned in an earlier post, getting repair people to come out to your house here is nearly impossible. For example, the Great Leak of ’11 started about 4 days before our wedding. My parents, my brother and I were staying in the new house the week before the wedding. Everything was already getting pretty stressful, then a phone call came from my soon-to-be husband one night after everyone had checked in – the neighbors had called him to say we were leaking on them and could I go downstairs and check it out. I was sleeping in the living room, so I had to wake everyone up just to find some clothes, and went downstairs. Yep. We were leaking. We called the guy who had done our bathroom remodel every day for the next three days, but somehow he just couldn’t squeeze us into his schedule. To me, this was an emergency. We could not take showers. We could not do laundry. I was getting married. He finally got around to coming while we were on our honeymoon. My in-laws (they aren’t reading this, but a big shout-out to them) came and took care of it while we were gone. My mother-in-law told me after the fact she actually broke out in cold sores after seeing a three foot high pile of rubble in what used to be our bathroom, and all of the new flooring torn out. When we got back the house looked exactly the same as when we left, and the leak was fixed. Turned out it wasn’t the bathroom guy’s fault after all. Faulty furnace pipes.
Our wood floor didn’t take too nicely to all of that water, though, so we finally decided we should replace it after my MIL and also my best friend who was visiting fell through the floor a little. Having guests falling through the floor is something to be avoided, if you can. So, in March sometime we had the floor replaced in the living room, which meant clearing out all of the furniture, paying a guy to come tear up the floor, re-plastering the bottom of the walls ourselves, painting the room, then getting the new floor put in. We decided not to do the floor ourselves since it didn’t cost that much more to just have someone else who knew what they were doing do it. It took a total of about 4 days. My father-in-law saved us by coming each day to let the workers in and supervise them. He also came when the windows were installed on the balcony, and before we even moved into the house he came to supervise the bathroom , new windows, and new furnace projects. He’s a life saver!
Here's me enjoying the new floor before we moved in all the furniture!
I repaired the leaky shower myself finally after the shower guys flaked out on us five times or so. I felt like quite the handy woman with my silicone gun and fixity powers.
Our most recent project is the A/C unit that came last night. The guys were an hour late, and we started panicking and calling them every 10 minutes. Turns out the delivery guy’s phone ‘ran out of battery’ and that’s why we couldn’t contact him. My guess is he was eating dinner, which is fine, but I just wish people would tell the truth. Two installation guys came, and they decided that the best way to install it would be to lower it with a rope from our upstairs neighbor’s house. Wait, WHAT? Is this normal? Why do I ask if things are normal anymore? So, I was assigned the lovely task of going upstairs and asking our neighbors who we’ve never met if we can lower our air conditioning from their balcony with a rope. At least we got to meet our neighbors! They said sure, not problem, and we gave them some cherries as a thank you. They didn’t actually lower the a/c. They tied a rope and one guy pulled it up out of our house and positioned it from their balcony. We were a little disappointed at the end when he told us that we were all set – and we would just have to get an electrician to hook everything up now. Um, what? I thought that was your job. Anyway, we’ll try to get an electrician tonight and hopefully sit in a blissfully climate-controlled room tonight. You just never know what will happen here. I’m trying to roll with the punches.
Has anyone in other places had unreliable home improvement people? I am starting to realize why the DIY movement is so big in the US. If want something done right…DIY!
Pictures to come!