Saturday, October 24, 2009

Six months go by fast...

I met with a new contractor down at my house two Fridays ago. The on again, off again guy I had been using for small projects is currently busy, and the Flu Contractor, if you remember him (he's the one who did the blitz week of work) has basically been unreachable. And when I can reach him, he's nice but I think him not showing up says a lot more than what he may actually say. Bear in mind that I owe these men no money, nor do they owe me work. Contractors can be a strange lot to deal with.

But on to the New Guy, I met him down at the house because six more months have passed and my house, she sat. Within an hour an a half, me and the New Guy had walked the property several times, and he had a clear idea of what I wanted and what should be done, and he said he'd get back with me with estimates. And he actually did, a few days late, but that's with any contractor. I specifically asked for an estimate to get the foundation work done.

Only I couldn't believe the outrageous price. After he left and I'd had a few moments to process the printed estimate number on the paper, I called him back. And said, "There's no way. I have a long way to go, and this is not the number I had in mind". I cut back the scale of foundation work to what absolutely had to be done, and should be done, which is replacing every foundation pier under the house. That's it. Nothing fancy or pretty, but what had to be done for a solid foundation. His first estimate included vents, a foundation wall closing around the entire house, access doors, and a brick veneer on the front of the house's foundation.

The second price was right on target, and about $4,300 less. He and his men start Monday.

The work has to be done. I can't wait any longer to finish this house. It doesn't need to be rushed, but it needs to be done. No more sitting and waiting on anyone, or myself. We're moving forward from this point on.

About three weeks ago I bought a mailbox and a post and the stick-on numbers and everything. And after my first failed attempt (the metal post I bought was dead on arrival), my father helped me get the new one in the ground. And so I now have my own mailbox. I haven't gotten any mail there, yet, but I'm slowly forwarding and transferring all my mail there and I go by and check it everyday. It's an incentive to get the progress happening, and it has me going by the house and stopping everyday. And it's my first mailbox! Which I am excited about in a very first-time homeowner kind of way. It's just one more step to making the project a reality.

Also things to be noted:

*Wasps love empty houses, especially ones without back walls.

*Two of my windows have fallen down and jammed themselves open.

*Three of my floor joist are gone. Vanished. Stolen? No sign of them. Gone.

*I have, in my possession, my grandmother's kitchen cabinets. They will be re-purposed for the space. I wrote about them on Jean Martha's blog:

"I was lucky enough to inherit the kitchen cabinets from my grandmother’s house. They’re not fancy, and may be a little country, but they are solid wood, actually solid pieces- 8, 9, 10 foot long spans of cabinetry- built back when every kitchen was a custom kitchen by default. This saves me from buying cabinets of a lesser quality just to stay in budget with my home renovation, and I get the joy of being creative, reusing the cabinets, adding molding, sanding, painting… They are worth the extra time to me, both in cost efficiency and to be able to say that I cook in the same kitchen my grandmother did. She may not be here with me to tell me the secrets of making her homemade chicken and dumplings, but I can preserve her memory, her kitchen, and maybe even her recipes, with a little sweat and a lot of love."

This was in response to a comment contest. Go check it out

More posts and pictures to come, soon. I have a working computer again and have found where my camera was hiding.