Friday, July 12, 2013

If it isn't one thing it's another

I have heard said many times that there are two great days in a boat owners life; the day they buy the boat and the day they sell the boat. The longer I own my own home I think that saying should apply to homeownership as well. At least owning a house is more useful than a boat.

It is probably apt to say that our house is a bit of a money pit. I mean the AC died the day after we signed for the house. We were literally not home owners for 12 hours before we were having to suffer through costly frustrating repairs on this house. That first day seemed to set the tone for the past seven years of owning the house.

Since we bought the house we have completely replaced the entire AC and heating system. We have had to have a good portion of our electric re run (which involved an electrician actually laughing at the wiring job done in our house before he said he didn't know any electrician who would wire things that way). We have had our foundation jack hammered so that they could replace pipes. We have had to deal with a carpenter ant infestation. We have replaced the floors in 80% of the house due to flooding from incredibly old pipes that broke. We have had to replace six ceiling fans due to various issues. We went 9 months without use of the kitchen sink due to costly plumbing issues. Those are just the things that I can think of off the top of my head that we have had to fix.

So in the great tradition of having to replace old broken things in our house, it is time for the roof to be replaced. Honestly it was time to replace the roof probably when we bought the house. As far as we can tell it was nearly 15 years old when we bought the place. We actually tried to get it replaced two years ago but then we had to deal with other pesky issues like the husbeast losing his job.

We finally are in a place where we can focus on fixing the roof though. Plus we have started to notice some water damage around the chimney so we figure we have to fix it now or else we will probably flood out come the next good rain. Hey we have insurance, so you know this shouldn't be too bad right?

Yea right.

I had a roofer out earlier in the week to get an estimate. When he called me back to tell me the cost I was more than a little surprised when he told me he couldn't work on my roof. He told me that he was very sorry but it looked like my foundation was shot. He said the roof was sloping in because the beams had all pulled away. I asked him if this was possibly leftover from when the previous owners had the foundation repaired, but he insisted it was too severe for that to be the case.

Now thankfully when we bought the house, the warranty on the foundation transferred to us. It was actually one of the bright spots in the purchase. I dug through about 10 pounds of paperwork to find the name of the foundation company and gave them a ring. Apparently it was none too soon, because the warranty runs out in a couple of years.

The next morning I had a very nice foundation man come take some measurements with the biggest level I have ever seen. He walked around the house making mummbling noises as he checked to see if my house was sinking or not. I was really pretty terrified he was going to say that it was going to either not be covered or be really horrible.

Happily he said neither of those things. He told me that in the 17 years since the foundation was fixed it had only sank 1/2 an inch. I am assured that this is a good thing. He said it would be easy enough for them to raise the back and side of the house back up and it was all going to be covered.

What a huge relief.

He also told me that there was no way that 1/2 an inch was going to cause the problems the roofer was talking about. He told me that most likely I was right in assuming that the beams had pulled away before the foundation was originally fixed and they simply did not realign perfectly. He said they pretty much never did. He also told me he had a good roofer he would be happy to recommend to me if I liked.

I don't know who is trying to play me, or if they all honestly think they are right. I mean I have no idea how much a roofer knows about foundation, or how much a foundation guy knows about roofing. For all I know there is some sort of professional rivalry between the two professions where they like to blame each other for things that have gone wrong. Sort of like waiters who like to always blame the cook for order mishaps even if it is their fault.

All I know is that my foundation is mostly fine and will be fixed quickly and for free. I also know that I have roofing options and someone will be fixing my roof by the end of the month, and the insurance will be paying for that headache.

I dare say this might be the cheapest major home repair for us thus far. It is though one of the more frustrating ones for certain. I suppose I shouldn't really complain though, it could be expensive as hell and frustrating. I just don't have the energy for that just now.

I would just really like to go a while without having to worry about things like this. I suppose it has all been a learning experience though. Next time we buy a house I know much better what to check for and hopefully will never be in a money pit again. Then again I am pretty sure that money pit and homeownership really do go hand in hand.

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