Friday, October 5, 2012


This is ridiculous.  

I hate that the last few posts have been about how we've been sitting around and waiting.  I've been putting off writing because nothing has happened, but then I started thinking today that I was going to write this blog to show what was really happening (or not happening, as the case may be), so I might as well fill you all in on the non-events.  (What a lead-in, folks!)

No, seriously, since I posted last time, I wrote at least four emails to our contractors, asking them little stuff like "hey, just wanted to make sure you remembered about moving the upstairs toilet over," or "hey, just wanted to make sure you remember our fridge has an ice maker," since I saw no plumbing holes cut near the fridge when I went over the weekend.  Nothing.  Not until Monday afternoon, when I wrote an email specifically saying that I was pretty freaking nervous, and that we were supposed to be moving in in a month, did I get a response.  Not a satisfying response, but at least one that made sense to me.  But WTF? Why can't you just write to me like you said you would and let me know what's going on, even if NOTHING is going on?  (Which brings me back to why I hadn't been writing... hmm...)

So what has been going on is this: the inspector came out to take a look at the electric and plumbing, and immediately informed them that the gas lines had to be finished before he could do his inspection.  They weren't, so that apparently started a mad scramble to finish them up.  And I'm guessing they're done, or almost done, because the gas inspector is coming next week-- or so I've been led to believe.  Once that's done, the original inspector can come back, and once he's okay with everything-- and seriously, he had better be-- then the drywall can go up and all the dominoes can fall.  Until then?  Nada.

Well, not nada exactly.  Abby went by the house this week and saw that they've started working on the Great Room ceiling, which is good, since that needs to be done before we move in, since it's probably not in our best interest to have our stuff and our kids living somewhere where old paint is being stripped.  I haven't seen how they're doing it yet-- I'm guessing with some sort of scaffolding-- but it heartens me to know something's actually happening.  Hopefully, I'll go by the house in a few days for a different inspection and inspect it myself.

That different inspection is one for our loan.  You know, the loan that needs to be closed out by November 18.  All of the work doesn't need to be done by then, but all of the work to make the house livable does, because it's all been planned out by HUD.  Got an email today from Patty, the administrator of the loan, forwarding concerns from HUD itself wondering why we haven't had an inspection lately.  Answer: nothing's been done that's worth inspecting!  Or rather, that's my answer.  Who knows the real answer?

Well, here's what actually has been done.  My bedroom closet has been built.  It intrudes slightly into the Great Room to the left of the window on the right as you walk in, so it's pretty much mirroring the bump-out from the bathroom.  Only problem is that they built the door to the closet opening into the Great Room.  Mind you, this is my bedroom closet.  With a door that opens into the Great Room.  See the issue?  They did that, supposedly, because we said we had wanted a pocket door as an entry door to our bedroom, but we had only said that because they asked "do you want a pocked door there?"  We assumed that, since they asked, they understood that we understood that their asking was based on the understanding that the BEDROOM CLOSET WOULD OPEN INTO THE BEDROOM.  Argh.

Honestly, I feel bad.  I feel bad because these are nice guys, and this is a huge project, and the nice part of me feels I shouldn't be so peeved.  But then I feel bad because this is my freaking house!  If I want a bedroom closet that opens into my bedroom, I shouldn't be made to feel bad about asking for it!  Similarly, the fact that I've been pestering them about moving the damn toilet pipe six inches to the left for MONTHS now makes me feel like a nag.  BUT IT'S MY HOUSE.  So I go in and notice they've laid the base to the shower.  Great.  Now the shower is small, because they based the dimensions on where the toilet pipe is.  THE TOILET PIPE THAT HASN'T BEEN MOVED.  Now I feel bad enough that I didn't bitch enough about the toilet pipe that I'm just going to drop the whole issue, because I don't want it to set us back any further in time.  No, we're not going to drop the fact that the downstairs toilet is also poorly placed, but this one I'm willing to take for the team.  But again, this was MY bathroom.  And I have always wanted a big shower with no tub.  And now that shower is going to be six inches smaller than I wanted it to be.  And I feel bad, because it's only six inches so I should just shut up about it.  And I feel annoyed because IT'S MY FREAKIN' SHOWER.  Argh.

The bathroom itself now has a lip coming out above the entry door, which I think I wrote about last time.  Don't think that's a big deal, although it looks weird now when there's no reason for the lip to be there.  But once it's finished, it'll be fine, and they're supposedly going to run the trim all the way around it to make it blend in.  But what if that doesn't happen?  What if I walk in and the bathroom bump-out is all painted nicely and the trim ends on either side?  Will I complain?  Will I feel bad about complaining?  Will I feel bad about not complaining?  Seriously, how many "arghs" can I put in one post?  Argh.

Oh, and some pipes are done in the kitchen, and there are working water pipes in the showers.

So Abby calls me one afternoon this week-- Wednesday?  Thursday?  They all run together...  Anyhow, she calls me after having met with the contractors and sounds defeated.  She tells me what's going on-- more things we're either losing or "will have to see" about.  No more instant water heaters, for instance.  Sure, they were more expensive, but they're really ecological, and when you're on vacation you don't use a lick of electricity because no water's going through.  So it looks like we're going to have a standard old water heater.  Not a complete loss, but one less thing that we wanted.  I guess a bunch of people took a look at the house and said there's no way we can use them.  I trust that-- I do.  I'm just annoyed because it's not the only issue.  Another: the damn toilet downstairs.  Some crap (ha!) about the angle of the pipe that feeds out of the toilet, and how if it would be moved, that angle might not be sharp enough.  Without the toilet where we want, not only will the toilet pretty much be facing straight out the back door, but we won't be able to use the bathroom how we wanted at all, because it won't be splittable into a bathroom and a getting-ready room.  "Good news" on the fireplace and the fridge, in that both are definitely still in the works.  But annoyed that the "good news" we have to report is that something we wanted to have done, and planned all along to have done, is still going to be done.  Argh.

All in all, it still looks like a good two weeks before drywall goes up.  Remember, we bought appliances on our vacation in London so that we could buy cabinets on our vacation in London so it could all be done in time to have everything done in time.  Now, the appliances are sitting in boxes in the Great Room, the cabinet installers are writing me weekly emails to check up on when they can come out and measure, and we've already paid the $13,000 bill for it all.  

Worst of all, I feel horrible because I'm screwing my friend Jamie, who's set to move into our house the moment we leave.  That was supposed to be October 1.  Now?  If we can't move by the end of the month, which is a definite, what does he do?  We're actually thinking of moving all of our stuff either into boxes or just straight into the basement and setting up shop there for a few weeks, letting Jamie move in upstairs so at least he can live normally for a while.  But we can't do that until at least October 26, for reasons I will NOT be going into in this edition, because that's a whole 'nother story...


My bedroom closet.  Notice how the door, at left, opens NOT into the bedroom...

The overhang at the entry into the upstairs bathroom.
The beautiful wood behind it will be concealed by the air conditioning. :(

My shower.  Not nearly as big as I wanted it to be.
And the infamous poorly-sited toilet pipe at left.

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