Tales of the crappy house

So, I’ve been kind of quiet recently, in case you hadn’t noticed. That’s partially just sheer busyness and partially that my mood’s been kind of up-and-down. I continue to feel somewhat rootless and vaguely unsettled. A feeling which doesn’t seem to be going away particularly. I’m not entirely sure what to make of that, or what to do with it. It nibbles away at me in a way I’ve not worked out how to address.

Anyhow, so. In other news, I went to CES for Transport Evolved.

A week in Las Vegas*… yay?

CES was incredible though – lots of interesting tech, must be great if you have time to just wander… Anyhow, I had fun, learned loads, had the pleasure of my good friend Nikki’s company and also of meeting Brandon, our epic camera man. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to do it next year too :)

The house, though, is the main thing that’s occupied our time. First up there’s the roof – which has been a tedious experience. The roofers are crap, that’s basically the summary. They’re careless and rushed. Which means that the quality of their work is really, really poor. They came back today to fix the mistake they made last time – where they put the skylight in the wrong place – because they “didn’t measure it”. That seriously was a component of their excuse, and I don’t think it’s half-as good an excuse as they seem to think it is.

In the process they damaged the brand new guttering.

They’ve also left seams that are very poorly bonded.

So they’ll be coming back again (more’s the pity), but we can’t really afford someone else to fix it.

On the plus side, the guttering is up and looks nice (except where they scraped it), and the catch pits for the rain water drains are in place front and back. We concreted them in, and it looks a lot nicer than the old bit of plastic tube sticking out of the ground. Our dry-well is still laughably far from dry, and we’re planning a much enhanced drainage system involving a rain-garden at the back.

We have also started work on framing – framing in the old back bedroom window and the kitchen window. The window was pretty simple**, the kitchen window was such a shoddy bit of wall that we decided to rip the whole thing down and reframe that entire section.

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Unsurprisingly, since the house is car-decking*** basically stacked on a ring foundation of concrete, the edges of the floor are hideously damp (has no one heard of a damp proof course?). Hopefully it’ll improve with the new (improved) drainage system (the pump being connected and the water being transported away from the house). Also, having functional gutters may help.

We’ll see.

We’ve also started framing up for the new windows – which we are doing without actually cutting out the old siding yet. We haven’t got the windows yet because we haven’t heard from our window supplier (who I really should call tomorrow)… but it’s fun to start to imagine it.

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We’ve also started replacing the rotten car-decking and removing the old plumbing. Discoveries:

– The bath leaked because the drain pipe had corroded through. Their solution to this had been to wrap the pipe in a plastic bag and fill the space with expanding foam sealant. No, really.

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– The floor was rotten underneath the bathroom wall because the bath leaked.
– Apparently it was considered perfectly acceptable by the previous owner / contractors to use the tongue-and-groove bit of the flooring to support the floor when they cut through the floorboards not above any beams. There was a three-floorboard stretch which was just floating in mid-air.

Mainly we’ve repaired that front section using salvaged bits of floor. They’d used short sections of car decking in the walls and ceilings, and by sorting what we found we’ve ended up with enough to do a chunk of floor…

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There’s still an enormous chunk that needs new flooring, but we’re currently leaving that open so I can go and play in the rat poop do the new plumbing. In the mud and ick.

Anyhow, tomorrow I’m off to work, then Thursday I get the joy of taking our new (used) car to the dealer to fix the 3 faults that appeared between us buying it and the end of the week after we bought it. I’m glad we sprung for the painfully pricey warranty.

Our Rav 4 EV has also been to the dealer this week for it’s 4th iteration of a door lock repair. Here’s hoping this one works.

* ugh. I am not a fan. My main Las Vegas memories are rude people, the stench of stale cigarette smoke, and general grottyness. CES was interesting, and I enjoyed the stuff I saw, but the place itself I’d say I can take it or leave it, but really I’d just leave it.

** apart from me buying the wrong sheathing, us nailing it in, then having to remove it and replace it with the right stuff. Meh.

*** 3cm thick floorboards, for those not in the US