Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Diary of a displaced homeowner

On February 6 my upstairs bathroom sprung a leak. One tiny hose between the water supply and the toilet tank finally gave up the ghost. I heard the water running from my studio at the other end of the house and ran to shut it off. I ran through a waterfall at the foot of the stairs and found an inch of water on the bathroom floor and a damp patch spreading out into the bedroom carpet about 3 feet. In just those few short minutes, many thousands of dollars of damage were done. But most of the cost will be due to my house's age -- back in 1953 builders put asbestos EVERYWHERE, and now removal entails the words "containment" and "friable" and "hazmat suits".

I will be blogging my adventures from now on but here is a bit to catch up to today --

  • Feb 7, 12:45 pm -- @ 5:45 last night -- upstairs toilet sprung a leak. In 5 minutes 3 feet of bedroom carpet was sopping, water came through the ceiling and that carpet was sopping too. Timing is everything -- 5 minutes later I'd have been on my way to dinner and theater. Of course, the TV room *would* be a nice location for an indoor swimming pool ... :-)
  • Feb 7, 5:53 pm --OK. The salvage and restoration guy just left after spending 4.5 hours inspecting, testing, mapping and setting up huge dehumidifiers all over the house. For 3-10 days, I will be camping out in the guest room. *Then* the restoration can start ...
  • Feb 8, 7:17 am --Pretending to be a guest in my own house ... so many things the guest room needs! Hook behind bathroom door, shower caddy, more comfortable place to sit and read ... my apologies to Hannah and Julie who last spent time here. It will be better when you visit next.
  • Feb 9, 1:56 pm --The asbestos testing service has come and gone and I should know by tomorrow if the flooring and drywall repair is going to be a medium or a large pain in the butt.
  • Feb 13, 7:00 am --everything but furniture has been removed from my bedroom. 4,723 (at least) trips up and down stairs carrying clothes, shoes, toiletries, bedding, "stuff" that had been stored there ... ruthlessly culled bags of clothing and shoes (where did they all come from??) for Goodwill.
  • Feb 19, 11:00 am -- Michael's daughter, Elizabeth, is advising me on colors for painting the kitchen, hall, stairs and bedroom and on flooring material for kitchen, stairs and bedroom. She is a wonder: so knowledgeable about materials and such a good color sense. Once the demolition is finished, she is going to be my most valuable asset for the renovation!
  • Feb 23, 8:11 am --The salvage company is here, packing up my bedroom for the duration of the demolition and restoration. Sob. My lovely new mattress is being sent off to storage. Sigh. The bedroom *will* be beautiful. The kitchen *will* be beautiful. And there will be no asbestos anywhere.
Which brings us up to today. Stay tuned kiddies, for the further adventures ...

[photos at will be updated as new stuff happens]

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