Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On the eve of September...

It is hard to imagine we closed on the house two months ago and we haven't moved in yet.  It took five months to purchase 1910 Dream Street and now weeks and weeks have passed in order to make progress on the plumbing.  However, I do believe in patience and I do know that good things indeed come to those who wait.  As evidenced by the pictures below, new pipes are going in!  The pictures are from day one and today is the second day of renovation.  When I drove past the home this evening there were three company trucks in the driveway.  I decided not to stop.  Silly, I know but I just didn't want to know if something was not going as planned.  I figured if it was horrible, the plumber would call as he and his company have been fantastic. So I will wait until tomorrow to find out the status of the project.

Day one of plumbing renovations

The new pipes make their debut!

I don't even want to know what that is
A massive cast iron pipe had to come down on the
outside of the house.  I believe this was the sewer line.

Monday, August 30, 2010

When the walls, come crumblin' down...

Well, not the walls but definitely the ceiling!  In order to save on labor costs on the plumbing job, we bought a jagged, sheet rock knife and then had a round of stress relief sawing this weekend.  Most of the ceiling under the pipes was water stained and in dire need of replacement, so we where thrilled when the plumbers wanted it all gone so they could do their work.  My husband and I took down half the ceiling to expose the pipes.  It was a bit of a chore and certainly a huge mess but certainly a great sense of satisfaction once it was all down and in the trash pile.  Even our plumbers said we did a really good job! 

I owe you some pictures as it has been awhile, so here you go! The first is of me cutting away from the ceiling fan which my husband took down shortly after this shot was taken.  The second photo is the original cut that the first plumber made to find the infamous leak.  Next is a picture of our handy work to expose the pipes.  We then decided we should really go ahead and cut down the half of the ceiling that is water stained so it can all be replaced at the same time.  You can see my husband attacking that plan with a vengeance.  The last picture shows the ceiling after demolition.  Success!  More tomorrow as the plumbing job has started and I have new pipes to show off!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

When He hears you cry out, He does listen...

Once the news came through from the warranty company about the plumbing and what they would/would not cover, I had finally hit a wall.  The representative I spoke to boiled my frustration level to a point where I just couldn't stand it any longer.  There are days when you just have to close your office door and let the tears flow.  There is no sense in keeping them locked up any longer because all it will do in the end is ultimately add to your stress level.  I remember putting my head on my desk and crying out, "Lord, please help," several times.  I did not ask for anything other than help from Him and eventually found a way to calm down. Thankfully, it was almost time to leave work, so I hit the restroom, splashed my face and headed to the gym for a spin class with a dear friend which is always a great way to pound the stress out and clear your mind. The days after this were certainly much better.

God has a way of reminding you all the time that He is in charge and that He will never give you more than you can possibly handle at any one given time.  He does things to humble you.  He does things to make you happy.  He does things to make you laugh or sometimes cry.  In the end, you have to have faith that everything you go through, His hand is in it to make your life better.

On Thursday, I happened to be teleworking.  I had just dropped the dear daughter off at school when my cell phone rang.  It was the warranty company.  I hit ignore and let it go to voicemail.  I did not want to talk to them at this point.  If it was important enough, they would leave a message. BEEP.  A message had arrived.  I continued to ignore my phone and ran a quick errand.  When I got back in the parked car, I decided I would give a listen to the message.  I had to play it twice to believe what I heard. "I received a call from my supervisor today that they are going to cover the cost of your plumbing job..."

Later that day (after I am sure I called just about every one I know who was praying for a miracle for us regarding this project), I caught up with the warranty company.  We are going to "cash out" the amount and use our plumber, not theirs and the job starts on Monday.  Tonight, hubby and I will be taking down the ceiling fan and cutting the remaining dry wall to expose the pipes in the ceiling.  This will save us some labor costs and it will allow the plumber to start immediately on the pipes rather than trying to get to them.

Never lose faith is the motto here.  Also, make sure you have a great realtor who is willing to go to bat for you in cases like this.  I know all of his hard behind the scenes work and arm twisting made the warranty representatives see the validation of our claim and ultimately why the job is being paid for now rather than just a fraction of the cost.

God is good, y'all!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ink well dry?

I should be blogging and I haven't been.  It isn't that I haven't had anything to write about that is for certain.  The comedy of errors called our journey with a warranty company could hit the drama best seller list I am sure if I just put my mind to it.  At times it has been overwhelming, depressing and down right disappointing.  After 31 days of submitting information, waiting, having second and third estimates done, then waiting again, we were given a final answer from our company.  They will not cover the job but out of pity (perhaps?) they are going to give us $500 towards the job out of the supervisor's discretionary account.  I am trying to be positive about this.  Some is better than none, even if the job is much more than that.  My husband has now taken on the task of dealing with these oh-so-wonderful people.  I wish him the best.  I personally cannot play with them any longer.  They have briefly sucked the enthusiasm out of me and I really don't appreciate it at all. His chapter with them begins tomorrow. 

In an effort to close my eyes and turn my back on the exposed pipes in the office ceiling, I have turned to shopping.  Well, window shopping rather than actually buying.  Until we lose one of our two house payments, it is a necessity to be even more frugal than we typically are on a day-to-day basis. However, I have found some really great bargain stores and potential steals in my midst.  This is a new, fun scavenger hunt.  From the "free" section on Craigslist to the church thrift stores that line the road leaving the Marietta Square, I have found some great places to shop without sinking a small fortune into things such as curtains and the rods that hold them.  Whoever came up with the pricing on curtain rods should be shot.  What a complete rip off! Over $50 for a pole that may or may not be wood.  I need to come up with a scheme such as this to help fund my renovation projects. Of course, you have heard me rant about curtain rods before...sorry!  At an antique store that is downsizing, I discovered some custom window treatments for the kitchen eating area.  The day I scored these beauties I was on a bargain high.  Three treatments for less than $35.  They were marked down from over $140! I knew God was looking after me that day and my sinking spirits when He placed those bad boys in my path.  I saw them, measured, then rushed home to measure the window and french doors in question.  When they were a perfect match, I was elated.  If I can keep finding things like that, the plumbing issue won't seem "as" bad...for now!

Today was a bit bittersweet as my daughter started preschool.  I really wanted to be moved into the new home by the day she started but alas, some things are not meant to be.  I am looking forward to the weekend ahead as my husband and I have decided to start painting the kitchen and dining room as well as my daughter's room if all goes well.  Labor Day is just around the corner and we plan to start moving some things from the old house into 1910 Dream Street.  This lull will pass and our excitement will return.  That warranty company is not going to steal my joy for long!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Power tools rule!

While we continue to wait on our warranty company regarding a decision as to if they are going to cover our plumbing or not, we used the weekend to work on the outside of the house.  The insurance underwriter for our home policy didn't like the limbs on the roof so we continued our efforts to get as many cut down as possible.  I think we can put this in the done bucket.  The stack of limbs that we hauled to the curb was as tall as me by the time we were finished! If you ever need to cut something down that is a tad out of reach, I highly recommend a chain saw on a 15' extension pole.

After we hacked up a portion of the tree, I used the blower to move unwanted wood shavings, leaves and even a rotting rug from under the deck and underneath the magnolia.  The paving under all the debris is beautiful.  I absolutely love the old bricks and the round pavers.  I was wondering what to do under there once we got all the mess cleaned up.  It is nice to know it has already been handled for us!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Window dressing...

I've decided to not worry about the plumbing.  Another week has passed by and we have made no progress on that subject.  I thought about stressing but why bother?  The problem is still there and who needs a migraine, mouth ulcer or fever blister? Nah, it isn't worth it.  Maybe the warranty company will make a decision on Monday regarding what they will or will not cover.  We'll see.

The heat over the past few weeks has been unreal.  My husband works outside all week so by the time the weekend rolls around, he is physically exhausted.  I am extremely sympathetic but we both know that the aftermath of heat exhaustion pushes progress to the wayside at the house.  In an effort to accomplish something on Saturday, I managed to get some curtain rods up in the living room and put up some of the drapes that the former owner was kind enough to bring back to the house.  I knew curtain rods could be expensive but my goodness!  When it is all said and done, we are going to need a lot of curtain rods: three in the living room, three in the dining room, two in the office, two in the spare room downstairs, one in the downstairs bathroom, one in the mudroom, three in the kitchen (would have been six but I found some window treatments to put in the kitchen eating area), three in our bedroom, two in the master bath, one in the upstairs bathroom and four in my daughter's room. Whew....that is a bunch of curtain rods!  Right now I am trying to find inexpensive solutions for the plethora of windows that need some dressing.  When I am rich and famous one day I will splurge for the historical replicas I have been drooling over listed on a few of the Web sites I have found courtesy of my girlfriend who also owns a historical home.  Until then, Tuesday Morning and thrift stores will help me stretch the Benjamins.

It is amazing how a curtain and a rod can transform a room.  Yep, I am ready for some furniture to go in this bad boy!

I still need to get tiebacks but this will do for now.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My favorite place...

I have always wanted a home with a big, front porch.  I grew up in a home with a screened-in front porch and it was always a place where we spent a good deal of time, especially on summer evenings.  The porch on our new home is one of the many things that drew us to it.  My husband has cleaned up the two ceilings fans that are installed and they are in great shape.  A few afternoons when we have been at the house working, a summer storm has crept up and watered the parched lawn.  That is when I immediately take a break, flip the switch on the fans and sit on our new wicker set.  The breeze cuts through the pillars perfectly and makes for an awesome place to relax.  After searching on Craigs List, I found a wholesaler in North Georgia to get this incredibly comfy seating that I can tell is going to be used daily.