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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Contractor - I found a good one.

My house has never been so strapped down.  It has been seismically retrofitted, with monster brackets tying the whole thing together.  That and the posts and beams are new should make this all more solid.  Should.  I notice my south wall is moving.  I notice this because the previous ding dong owners built the stairs so they don't all touch the wall... it looks like a floating staircase at points.  Yes, in architecturally significant homes they do this purposely and it is quite a feat, in my house... an accident because what - they ran out of wood?  I dunno, but it has always been this way and I have called it "charming" in my mind. If I think "charming" and "original" that allows me to be more generous of spirit than if I focus on the words "idiocy" and "cheapskate".  Some days it is a toss-up. 
The staircase is becoming more and more floating.  As in, the wall has moved a quarter inch away. 
Guess we aren't done in the basement. 
I will have a structural engineer over to confirm, but I will have my contractor do the work.  Because even if I question how he supported the south wall, the bottom line is I can call him up and say "Walter, seriously, this wall is moving because of what you did". He does not argue, get all blustery about it and grumble that it was like that before, or he did it all correct it must have been something I did (can you tell what sort of people I have had do work previously?) He just says something like : Sue (the project manager) differed in opinion on how to support this but we ran all the numbers (and boy did they run numbers) and I thought this would work but I guess we need to revisit this, or yeah, we didn't know (blah de dah), let me come over and figure it out.  Other than this, they stayed in budget and did phenomenal work. The ease of working with them all on a plain old farmhouse is worth it.  And, with this house, nothing is ever simple.  And no, I don't want a new cookie cutter development house which would take no brain power to own. Because for me, I need to have a challenge.  Oh, you say, having teenagers, being a single mom, health adventures, a geriatric horse or two,  acreage, gardens, aging cars, chicken eating coyotes is not enough of a challenge for you?  No, no, it isn't.  I need an old bug chewed, slightly tilting, story-filled, farmhouse thrown in the mix!   And yes, I should probably plan on being buried in the backyard because all my money is sinking into this landboat. 

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