Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Contractor?

I'm meeting a potential (general) contractor for my house at 4pm today, on the property.

Y'all wish me luck.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A River Runs Through It...

Water Leak (Number 2!)

I think with home renovations, just as with life, at the turn of every year you look back on the progress you've made and look forward to your plans for the future. Since my time line for last year's progress was not even slightly, ever-so-kinda, maybe, there at ALL, I just knew that in the new year I would make great strides to catch up and even make the house livable. Hope is a great thing, yes?

But as I've known for a while, my house definitely has its own personality and comedic timing. You may recall that the first day I went to the house, as a homeowner, to begin Demo Day 1, that we encountered a water leak outside by the water meter (but of course on my side). So why shouldn't we start out the new year with an even better, bigger water leak?

The first week of January we had some really cold weather here, for South Georgia, at least. two or three days in a row where it got down below freezing. To put things in perspective, I recall a few years back everyone wearing shorts on Christmas Day. But back to my story... Of course I have those thoughts of worry that somehow magically begin flashing in one's brain when they buy a house, especially now that mine sits vacant and waiting (not my mind--- my house sits vacant and waiting).

So I even had the thoughts come to my head= Freezing Temps. Vacant House. Pier Foundation. Hmm. This seemed slightly menacing but I consoled myself with the thoughts that the house has had the same exposed pipes for years and under the previous owner's mismanagement and neglect they hadn't burst before now. But, you see, I forgot a little something. My house doesn't have insulation, but it did have interior walls. And ceilings. And closed windows. And now it has mostly studs. A few rooms have no ceiling at all. And one window I know of is stuck open, with about a 3 inch gap at the bottom...

That Thursday I was driving home from work and I went by my house. Odd. Around the neighbor's house there was water. It's too cold to be washing cars, but I knew that my neighbors washed their cars every week it seemed. But it was also late. I slowed to a crawl and peered studiously at my house as I crept on by. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I even let down my window.

Two hours later my Dad comes in and says for me to come down, there's a water leak at my house, we have to turn the water off. He went to go put gas in my mother's car and saw the same scenario I did. But he's had slightly more home ownership experience than I have had. True, the water was around my neighbor's house. But my house sits higher than hers. My lot is about 4 or 5 feet above hers, as the end of the street goes downhill.


He had stopped, gotten out, walked up into the yard of my house and heard the water running. Then came and got me. I was off in a rush, finding my old tennis shoes and yelling for the necessary tools (where's my camera?) that I knew we'd need to turn the water off at the street. When I finally got to the the back door, my father stood there waiting, patiently, with the proper tools already in hand.

We stopped in front on my house and hopped out to inspect the leak. As I walked up the front walkway to the house I heard the sound of water running growing stronger. More like the actual sound of a shower running. Except times two.

Along the side of my house, where the bamboo was (see the stumps of the shoots in the corner?). This is looking DOWN into my neighbor's yard. See how the water has run downhill and around (and slightly under) her house? Not good.

First glance at the leakage. It hadn't rained in a few days (or a while) so everything wet you see... well, let's just say I'll pay for that.

Water doesn't like taking pictures. This water was streaming down. It's in an area under the house where the kitchen for Apartment B was, right under the sink. This kitchen backs up to the back porch.

And next door is the back porch. Inaccessible from inside the house, you remember? But upon which lives two hot water heaters. To me most of the noise was coming from the back porch, but the water was coming from the kitchen area.

Kind of hard to see, but you can tell where the water was spraying and running on/down the siding. Not really a great thing. Ever.

See, my friend. Remember he introduced himself to me early on when I had the first water leak? Well brother-in-law prepared me to be able to handle such a situation. My father held the flashlight while I pried up the lid and dug out the dirt and mud to find the lever, which I turned with pliers to stop the flow.

We did go inside, too, but there was no water IN the house. All the action was under the house in the kitchen, except for the back porch, but that was outside, too, and we couldn't get to it in the dark.

Here's some pictures of the water feature I paid for my neighbors to have this night:

Neighbor's side yard, OPPOSITE side of the house from the leak. It's pretty... wet.

Curb/road shot. Hey, I had the camera, why not? Yeah... the whole street here at the intersection is wet. *sigh*

And the rest, slowly trailing off down the street, toward the park and cemetery.

All in all, it wasn't that bad. No one wants to have a leak in their house, and it probably could have been prevented, but it occurred mostly under or outside the house in areas that I was going to completely gut and rehab, anyway. And the plumbing I had already been planning on replacing 100%.

I guess it got the year off to a good start! I guess the house was getting lonely and wanted some attention. Hopefully I'll be able to get it being worked on again, soon.