Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Expecting Disaster

We've been in the process of having a house built here in Richland. There are days I feel our house has been built by Lemony Snickett - it truly has been a series of unfortunate events.

They broke ground in late March. The first disaster occurred when the builder began to build with the wrong interior plans. Unfortunately, we did not know this until after the house had been plumbed, which wouldn't have been an issue *if* we hadn't changed the way the master bath was laid out. (Our real estate agent, if you must know, did not forward the plans to the builder. But that, dear reader, is a sad story for another day). and the slab foundation was poured. The concrete was ripped up, the bathroom re-plumbed. Until just over a week ago, the hole remained, as a reminder that we should be wary.

You should know we have really wonderful builders. The work is very good. Also, they're all either Central or Eastern European, so it's kind of like having your house built by Tom Hanks' Viktor Navorski, though it's possible that Hanks' Navorski moved a bit quicker.

(It should be noted that one of our builders in particular has a very heavy accent, and has difficulty with his vowels. Particularly "e" sounds. "Beat" becomes "bit." So when he talks about sheet-rock and sheeting, read into that what you will.)

We've had to pick out carpets twice, bathroom flooring three times. The carpet was back-ordered, as was the first vinyl for the bathrooms. The second vinyl was simply not sent by the manufacturer - twice. The wrong laminate floors arrived. We picked out a new stove (first was back-ordered). Afterwards, we volunteered to pick out a new microwave hood and dishwasher, all of them in-stock in Tri-Cities, for the sake of avoiding disaster.

At this point, I find comfort in the fact that it is difficult to find back-ordered sod; likewise with paint (the paint was ostensibly applied earlier today. We shall see). All of the light-fixtures, that I know of, have been picked up and/or ordered. When I sent the list, I sent pictures,  item numbers, installation orientations, website links - basically everything short of a store manager's personal cell phone number. So far, so good.

We shall see.

Did I mention that while we've been doing this, we've also had a post-spay surgery dog in the house? A dog who doesn't care that the vet wants her to stay calm? Who isn't particularly worried when she starts bleeding from her incision site, or when said mess winds up on the carpet? Who, before we got her, trained herself to be immune to Xanax (it was deliberate, I'm sure)? Who has *literally* been climbing the walls?

Well, we do.

I've gotten to the point that when I see that I've got an email, I freeze up. I think, "what has gone wrong now?" This happened earlier today when I received an email from the builder's agent that simply read "Give me a call."

Did the carpet catch fire? Difficult to say. I called. I expected the worst.

"When they paint the walls," she asked, "do you want the doors to be painted too?"

Um, sure.

I realize I may be a bit overly twitchy.

So, should you ever decide to build a house, my first word of advice is to expect abject disaster.

My second word of advice is to keep a sense of humor about it. Because at the end of the day, it might be all you have left.


  1. LOL! Well, if this comment lands in your Inbox, don't worry...no disasters. :) Sounds like a busy summer!

  2. I confess that my phone blinked and I had to remind myself that I'd just posted a blog, and it was likely to be blog-related rather than fire-flood-drywall-incident-related. It has been busy - can't wait for ACFW in the fall!

  3. haha! That's funny. Makes me think of the time my parents had a house built. I was around for part of it. Dad, knowing a good thing or two about building himself, was there every day to chat with the workers and check on the work. As with you guys, mistakes were caught. Imagine if you weren't nearby and the mistakes/disasters compiled and then you moved in and discovered them all...

  4. Oh, poor dog! Er...I mean, poor you. We had our Golden Retriever puppy fixed in June. She didn't get the memo about post-surgical lulling either. But the sedative worked for the first six hours each day, at least. The second week we boarded her at the vet and went on vacation. She reportedly went nuts barking whenever she wasn't sedated, while we enjoyed the Oregon Coast. Very peaceful week.


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