Saturday, October 27, 2007

My own developing country

If I said I spent my time dealing with the health and financial impacts of failing infrastructure, bureaucratic delays, critical shortages of technology and a flagging morale as a result of these failings, you might think I do some sort of development work with an underprivileged nation or perhaps have my fingers in a NGO of some sort. Sadly, you'd be mistaken. At current, I use all of these terms to describe my own home.

I had not really been prepared for the day to day reality of living in a fixer upper when I made an offer on our dream home, 1906 Victorian farmhouse converted to a duplex, with a beautiful double porch, original windows, and a failing foundation (to start the long list of necessary repairs). While the house is livable in its current state, it does seem to be sprouting an ever growing list of required repairs. In addition to the work required on the structure of the house, the appliances seem to be playing a series of nasty pranks on us as they go out one by one. So far, we've replaced the dishwasher, the washer and dryer, the hot water heater for our unit and the rental unit, as well as the refrigerator for the rental unit. Now on the repair list is the oven, the heating element has spontaneously broken igniting a small fire, happily fully contained in the oven itself.

In addition to the larger, more obvious failures, we have a bevy of small stuff to sweat. Currently we have no central heat and are forced to rely on space heaters to keep our home above arctic temperatures. Fine, that's a reality that will change eventually. The frustration that comes with that situation is that the electrical system in our home is set up in such a way that tripping circuits is almost unavoidable. Lots of fun when you put some water on to boil and suddenly are plunged into darkness because you forgot that you had the heater in the living room on.

Top that off with the odd selection of light switches the previous owner installed. They are some sort of dimmer switch that is near impossible to figure out. Even frequent visitors to the house don't know how to simply switch off a light when they leave a room. Better yet, the light switch in our bedroom has decided it is even more fun to work about 60% of the time. If it decides to stop, punching the wall next to the switch, ala Fonzie, will usually solve the problem, but that is kind of an annoying workaround

My most current gripe is the state of our brand spankin' new gas fireplace. I had anticipated it would be installed on Monday, inspected Tuesday and running Tuesday night. Well I was so wrong. The gasline needs to be reconnected before it will work, and the gasline can't be reconnected until we put the house back down on the foundation. The house can't be put on the foundation until, well, until it is poured. It can't be poured until the forms are all up and we have help hired to help pour and we can't do that until we review all of the bids and select one, hopefully one more ready to work and less of a gas bag than the guy we hired to put the house up on cribbing in the first place. Oh, and we have to deal with him to get the house back down. I expect to be toasty warm by this time next year, but that may be pushing it.

1 comment:

Mamikaze said...

you've got the scope creep!

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