Friday, May 16, 2014

Housemageddon


Today was the first of 3 days that my house will be under construction to fix the foundation. I’ve been slowly learning about what a lemon I purchased 5 years ago. The electrical is spotty, the A/C is dying by the day, there are plumbing issues and the foundation has already been worked on 3 times before I purchased. Now, I’m paying through the nose to have my yard annihilated, the interior of my home to have 5 big holes dug and to hear sounds I’ve never heard a house make.

At 9 am a big truck rolled up and 7 men came pouring out. They quickly set to work, digging holes all around the exterior of my home. The guys were super-fast and before I knew it, there were holes that seemed to go all the way to China. Being the good southern girl that I am, I went outside and offered all of them tea and crumpets. Not really, I offered them ice water but it was better than nothing. As the guys were digging outside, I was inside frantically trying to move all of my furniture out of the way.

If you’ve never had major back surgery let me just tell you that trying to move sofas and dressers and tables is not good for the body. I found that out really quickly. The nice foreman for the foundation company saw me struggling and jumped in to assist me. Thank gosh for him because I would never had been able to move everything. I’m sure he helped me (get all of my crap the hell out of the way) because he was an honorable gent.

I spent the first day watching in horror as my yard was transformed into a dirt pile and the interior of my home went from cozy to chaotic. The furniture was moved to one side of each room and the carpet was rolled back to expose the most f---ed up foundation I’ve ever seen. There were cracks and at least 15 concrete patches of varying sizes where previous work had been done. Seeing how I’m no foundation expert, I couldn’t begin to understand where there was anywhere else to work that hadn’t already been touched! Unfortunately, the guys who knew what they were doing found plenty of areas to manipulate.

Lunch time arrived and the workers took a break at my patio table to enjoy their lunch. I say enjoy because those dudes had their meal break down pat. While I was eating my dry, flavorless turkey sandwich those guys were hooking up a microwave and fixing a lunch I would have paid good money to eat. Yes, I said microwave. The men brought their own kitchen! They made the yummiest looking and smelling tacos I’ve seen in a long time.

The break from the noise and activity didn’t last very long and they were back at work before my nerves had a chance to settle. To my surprise, more men showed up to work and what I had thought was chaos was simply a prelude for what was to happen next. As I was sitting at my kitchen table working I began to hear pops and creaks and all of a sudden, I felt the house lift then drop. I can only equate the feeling to what an earthquake might feel like. It was sort of a rolling motion and it almost made me feel kind of dizzy. I knew I wasn’t moving but the ground beneath me was. All of the time I thought the men outside were digging, they were actually placing pilings under the foundation. They had already dug to China and back again and had placed piers in the ground. The outside work was almost complete. Finally by 7:00 pm, the men stopped for the day and left me to revel in the dirt and mud and holes. I found my place in the one room of the house that had not been destroyed and fell into a deep, tortured slumber.

9:00 am the following day all of the workmen reappeared and started in with a vengeance on the interior of my house. One minute it was peaceful and the next, jackhammers were tearing through the concrete. The whole house was shaking and I felt like I was sitting in the middle of a storm. The men chopped out a total of 9 holes inside of my poor, decrepit house. Even though being worried and getting upset was of no use, I couldn't help but wonder what I had gotten myself in to. I watched as wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of concrete and dirt was rolled through my living room and out the front door. By the time day two was over, I felt ready for a beer or 12. I somehow managed to kick back, have some beers and watch TV. It wouldn't do me any good to try to clean up because I knew that the next day was going to bring more chaos and dirt, so once again I feel into a dead sleepless sleep.
Day 3 finally arrived. I was hopeful that the workers could miraculously finish what they had started and put my home back together. Extra men arrived and before long my home looked like an anthill with hundreds of workers scurrying about. I was beginning to get used to all of the noise and conversations I couldn't understand a word of. I hid out in the one room that wasn't torn up and willed myself to be patient. I was told by the foreman that the job would be complete by the end of the day. He was right...his job was done, but mine was just beginning. I had 2,500 square feet of dust and grime to wash away. I had what felt like thousands of piles of dirt to smooth and grass to replant. I had rooms of furniture to rearrange and clean and carpets to shampoo and attempt to re stretch. Pictures on the walls needed dusting and straightening. I'll bet that my house has not been as thoroughly cleaned since I purchased it. The cobwebs that had been happily collecting dust and bugs were all swept away and my vacuum got a total workout. I'll bet I emptied the collection canister 5 times.
I've been told that my house is now sitting level and is safe and sound. I can no longer see the outside where the floor had separated from the walls so that's a good thing. The cracks in my walls that had grown over time are closed up and I can begin the long process of repairing sheetrock and painting. I've about decided to do what I need to do and then sell this money pit and move somewhere else. I can guarantee that the next home I purchase will be gone over with a magnifying glass before I sign on the dotted line if I ever buy again. I absolutely do not want to go through any kind of home renovation or foundation repair adventure ever again. Not in a million years. Ever!

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