Monday, September 14, 2009

Sh@#...and cavities...happen

It's been a week of exploring some inner sanctums. First I got to see a cavity. You know your inner peace is really on the skids when a trip to the dentist to fill a cavity is a nice little respite from remodeling. I was downright giddy to grab an opportunity to numb my entire face during the day since it's just really not appropriate to drink at your desk. My dentist showed me just what a cavity looks like before it's filled. Kind of brownish, very small but really a crater in your tooth. And great motivation for diligent flossing diligently which, as for most, will last for another week and then drop off the radar for four months until it's time to get back to the dentist.

And far too quickly the novocaine wore off and I got to have the undiluted, unedited, unbelievable joy of watching a camera snake through my sewer.

So, Chris, the #$%@ plumber--remember the one who disappeared--reappeared long enough to inform us that we had a sewer line leak that was preventing him from pressurizing the kitchen lines and passing inspection. He declared we needed to scope the sewer lines. So, out he trotted with a camera, shoved it down my toilet and showed me the inside of my sewer pipes. Nothing terribly interesting to report, other than the point at which the camera was completely submerged in water. He quickly pulled the camera out of the toilet, rolled up the cable with the camera and his friend hustled it out of his house. He then proceded to give me a song and dance about what was causing this and, of course, how much it would cost. Either $2000 to put on a band-aid so he could pass inspection or $6000 to tunnel under my house and replace the entire sewer pipe.

The next day Bennett, Tom and I realized we had more questions than answers. And, we started comparing notes that Chris was wearing an Olshan's Plumbing shirt and the camera arrived in an Olshan's plumbing van. We deduced a few things: 1) Chris had taken a full-time job which explained his absences. 2) He was full of...nah, it's too easy...baloney. 3) We needed a second opinion and real answers.

So, Chris the plumber has been officially fired. New plumber arrives today to put on the "band-aid" and give us a legitimate sewer scope. If only fixing the sewer was as easy as filling a cavity--or I could at least get full-body novocaine that would last until we could move back in.
The good news: I discovered a decent yet inexpensive wine-in-a-box (the closest I can get to the whole-body novocaine to get me through the next month without going totally broke) I'm still flossing, the sheetrock is up (see pics below) and cabinets start going in today!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Searching for the light

It's been a painful and dark few weeks on the Sandlin remodel. We have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for our plumber to appear from the wilderness to finish the last 5% of his job and let us get reinspected and begin the sheetrock. I guess we should have known he was trouble when on the first few weeks he claimed he couldn't work until he got more money because there were so many supplies required for the job. And then there was the crazy story about his cousin getting run over by an 18-wheeler. Then child custody issues. Then some other plumber showed up to "help Chris out." Funny, but he always managed to appear Friday at 3:00 pm for a check and a beer.

He's spent the past 2 weeks dodging phone calls and outright lying. I think he might have a serious pathological problem. Turns out I have the power to fire him. Got to lob that threat twice that week. And really wanted to follow through, but Tom was super antcy to get him to just finish the last 5% of the job and not loose any more time getting a new plumber lined up for the permitting. I drove by the house on Wednesday night at 9:30 pm and he was there trying to finish up. Of course he didn't have any lights....serves him right the lying sack of pvc pipe.


...we sort of passed inspection on Thursday--10 days after the initial inspection failed with just 2 things to fix. Of course the &XX**$#@ plumber STILL has things to fix. But we have the go-ahead to start putting up sheetrock everywhere but the laundry room.

All this delay has put Tom in a bit of a financial pickle...but I can't do much until this part of the job is done and the bank inspector signs off. Tom and I had our first very heated conversation yesterday. I think we're back on the good foot today (the bank released some money so he can make payroll), but it was a dark day yesterday indeed.

Everyday I give myself some degree of solace by looking out my beautiful kitchen windows. And six months from now I'll look out these windows while in my beautiful kitchen, enjoying the sunlight, looking at the outdoors (hopefully without the resident sawhorses and random mound of concrete)....and not even thinking about the plumber working in the dark.

So, for now, enjoy the view and look forward to a sunnier outlook next week.