Friday, August 24, 2007

Week One con't - Sunday thru Friday


I don't have any pics today because I forgot to take them. But really, there wasn't really anything picture worthy. We got up around 7:30 and went to work on building the fence. This project was long overdue, as someone had removed the rotting gates that were there and exposed our back yard to a main street and therefore any straggler who wanted to check out the back of our house. The fence only took about 2 hours. This was good practice, since we have to build a much larger version around our yard.

Next, I went to Lowes to buy a lead test kit. Before we started taking down the green plaster, we wanted to see if lead was present. It was. No picture, so visualize a bright pink stain on old green paint. Not great news, but expected. This meant we got to procrastinate further on taking down that wall. That was great news.

Poor Chuck wasn't feeling so hot, and upon taking his temperature, found out it was 102. So we both took a nap.

Around 1:30pm, T the handyman showed up. We were hoping he was coming to work, but when he arrived in non-work clothes, we figured out that wasn't the case. So we decided to map out a plan to continue, now that we had some of the walls down. I didn't mention this before, but T isn't very easy to talk to. He has this non-stop talking, one thought goes right into another, cyclical thing that he does, and never quite gets to the point. Or arrives at a completely different point. We were starting to wrap up what I believed to be a productive conversation, and we asked him about his availability.

T: "Well, I don't know if I'm going to be available because I have this big project in New Orleans...." this story goes on for 20 minutes.

We politely listen, as he tells us about a historical renovation that he was hoping to do. I guess it was mildly relevant because we have an old house too. Or it proved his passion for working on old houses. Or something like that. I was just trying to get along. I glanced over at Chuck at one point, and saw the whites of his eyes. I don't think he noted the relevancy.

At the end of the monologue, I asked, "So you may not be available to do our job because you're leaving soon to do that project?"

T: "Naw, it probly won't happen for a couple of months..."

OK, because you just something about leaving next week.

So then we went into the bedroom to talk about what we were going to do in there. Out of nowhere, T announces that our floor is sloping (about 2 inches total, starting from the middle of the house), and we should probably jack it up. I felt waves of panic emanate from Chuck's direction. I think he actually feared that I would be on board with this.

Emilie: "But T, won't jacking up our floors crack our walls and floor?"

T: "No because you see... (here begins the cyclical explanation that ends with)... well, it probably would crack the drywall. And the molding. And the floor."

WHAT?!?!?!? Old houses settle dude! If we were walking downhill to our bedroom every night you might have a point, but we're going to do thousands of dollars of damage to raise the back half of the house 2 INCHES? You are insane.

Needless to say, we shut that down quickly. But now that I think about it, he got us so off track, I don't believe that we even talked about the thing that we went into the bedroom to discuss.

T asked if he should show up tomorrow for work, and we said we would talk about our schedule and call him later. What we needed to discuss is if we would actually be using T. After T left, Chuck told me that a lot of the info. T gave me differed from their initial conversation. We were becoming a little wary, but we had committed to using him, so we decided to give it a try. He seems to know everything there is to know about carpentry, he's just really hard to talk to. We don't have anyone else in our back pocket, and we really want to get moving on this.

I called T to see if he could work next Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

T: "Whoa, that's a long time from now. I don't know if I can commit to that..."

Good lord.

I asked him to let us know by Wednesday. So we may or may not have a contractor next weekend.

Chuck took the truck back to his mom's, and I stayed home to bust up the tile floor. It was much easier than when we had to take up the same tile in the other bathroom. All in all, it only took me about an hour, and the only sucky part was the clean up. That tile is heavy! 8 contractors bags later, I was worn out and ready to call it a night.

We were hoping to have all the demo done this weekend, and because of our brick and plaster obstacles, that didn't happen. We thought we would try to get the lead paint removal done one night this week, but that never happened.


T called to tell us he couldn't work because he was participating in a dart tournament. Shit.


T left Chuck a message that he could work after all. Which is good, because I'm starting to stress about how long everything is taking!!


At 10:22 AM, Blogger freakgirl said...

So, is T crazy, or just a typical contractor?

And while I have you here, since ya'll have been doing so much work, do you have any ballpark idea what it might cost me to have an electrician put in an extra line in our garage?

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Emilie said...

I think a little bit of both. T has a little bit of crazy going on, but definitely knows what he's doing. However, he's proven himself completely unreliable, which is so irritating. I get so frustrated that I don't know how to do this stuff and we have to rely on other people who can't be relied on, even though we're paying them. How do you run a business like that?

The number that popped into my head for the extra line is $300-500, depending on how much additional wiring he/she would have to do. We got a brand new box installed when we moved in for around $1000. He did a substantial bit of wiring as well. It was kind of a favor, so I don't know what the book rate is, but I can't imagine a garage is nearly as big of a project. It's probably something that a skilled handyman could do, and they usually charge btwn $20-$25/hour. But they're unreliable!!!!!

At 6:35 PM, Blogger freakgirl said...

I'm nervous about using a handyman rather than an actual electrician, as I know there are issues with certifications that can screw up the sale of a house. Not like we're looking to sell anytime soon, but I'd rather not have to deal with that.

Anyway. I went to high school w/a guy who's an electrician now and lives on my parents' street, so maybe I will give him a call.

Everytime I think of unreliable contractors, I think of that movie "The Money Pit" (which RULZ, by the way) and how they were totally at the mercy of their general contractors. "Two weeks."


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