Hotel Life

Tuesday was pure chaos.  The movers showed up at 10am and got to work.  I set out a box of snacks/drinks I planned to take to the hotel, and informed the project manager that those were to stay out.  They got packed away lol.  That was really the only moving blip to complain about, not a big deal.

The flooring company (2 guys) showed up an hour after the movers arrived.  They told us they would have to postpone until Wednesday since the movers weren’t done.  I admit, it wasn’t my proudest moment, but I completely lost it.  Why couldn’t they start?  The movers were done in the room that needed the flooring torn out.  The flooring company is the one that set this ridiculous schedule to begin with!  Why am I being delayed for a 5th time?  After walking outside to make a call, he came to inform me they would begin today.  Haha, I guess losing your shit is what it takes to get things done sometimes.

So while all of this is going on, DH isn’t sleeping, he keeps having to assist with things while I wrangled the two kids.  He hit 24 hours of no sleep.  We played phone tag all morning with the adjustor.  Finally got a hold of him and he seemed surprised we needed a hotel right now…really?  We’ve been trying to get this booked for weeks?!  We told him we needed to check in ASAP, he told us 3pm is the earliest.  DH works at 8pm.  So he got 3-4 hours of sleep.  Super annoying when people can’t understand how a nightshift schedule works!

We got our hotel reservations.  Right down the road.  It’s a fully stocked kitchen and living area, with a separate bedroom that was said to have two queen beds.  Well they are definitely not queens.   Full at best.  Fully stocked kitchen seems to me 1 burnt pot, 2 broken glasses, 1 spoon, and 3 knives.  That’s it.  AC in the bedroom doesn’t work.  And the back door to the balcony doesn’t latch shut or lock.  Needless to say, we weren’t happy.  Then as I went out to the parking lot, we were harassed by some guy (drugs? maybe?) telling me he needed to talk to me, needed a favor.  No, go away.  He followed me back into the hotel.  He was there when DH left just hanging out in the lobby.  Why is the staff allowing that?!?!

Then we’re in our room and the people next door have 3 small children and keep their TV on a full volume.  On the other side, the people have two vicious sounding dogs that bark every time you walk by their door.  I’m just not comfortable here!  We put in a request to move hotels, but every thing is sold out.  I hope to hear back today, because no way I’m putting up with this for two weeks.  :/

On the plus side, I was able to pick out a new stain for the floor.  I’ll share that picture later.  I’m very happy with it, and it’s completely different than what we had!  Wifi here is too spotty to upload an image.

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Constant Delays

Two more contractor no shows since my previous post about that.  Another one told us to call him back in a week, because he’s going on vacation.  I guess we have to do all the chasing.

Yesterday we experienced our 4th delay with the flooring/moving company.  I was left a voicemail on Friday at 5:01pm stating that the movers would be here Monday morning, and floor repairs would begin Tuesday.  My phone never rang, and of course they closed at 5pm, so when I tried to call back I got the “we’re closed” recording.  We prepped for movers and cleaned/decluttered all weekend.  Seven bags of toys made their way to Goodwill – that’s a huge win!

Anyway, Monday came, by 11am we hadn’t heard from anyone.  I tried calling, left voice mails, nada.  At 5:10pm we get a call letting us know the movers will be here at 10am Tuesday morning and flooring repair starts immediately after.  Super inconvenient!!  Moving our stuff a day before repairs would allow us time to clean up and pack.  Now we have to rush and do all this in just a couple of hours.

As for a hotel, we still do not have that situated!  Left message with the adjustor last week, he called DH’s cellphone at 8am today.  Why!?!  I left MY number!  DH sleeps during the day!  My number is the primary number too!!  I called back immediately, got his voicemail.  We were suppose to be in a hotel Monday, and we don’t even have reservations yet!  We have to use one of their “corporate partners” or we won’t be reimbursed.  But they’ve yet to tell us what chains are approved!!  I tried calling the 800 number for insurance company, but once you provide your claim number, they automatically forward you to the damn adjustors voicemail.  Ahh!

I had every thing lined up Monday – kid 1 at camp, kid 2 at day care – and now they’ll both be home for the chaotic morning.  I’m not happy about this.  I guess it can’t all go smoothly!

I did email the adjuster my electric bill.  Our usage was more than double in June due to the water mitigation equipment.  Almost $600!!!  According to the fine print (which they probably don’t expect us to read lol), we can submit proof of usage increase for reimbursement.  I sent our current bill ($600), last months ($340), and last Junes ($335) for usage comparisons.  Hoping for a $250 reimbursement.

The next couple of weeks will be busy.  Moving out for floor repairs, our anniversary (hopefully a dinner alone), the boys birthdays (the “big” party), basement repairs, school starting, etc.  Keep your fingers crossed we can find a decent contractor soon!!

Home Advisor Fail

We are still having trouble finding a contractor or company to help with basement repairs.  The insurance company and water mitigation company suggested we try Home Advisor.  I was hesitant, because we’ve used sites like this before with terrible results.

Front Porch, for example, we reached out to about 2 years ago to inquire about a bath tub replacement.  Our jetted tub is older with broken jets, we wanted a larger jetted tub.  Five companies contacted us, two no shows, one didn’t service our area, and two showed up and told us they do not do jetted tubs.  Waste of time.

But what the hell.  We’ve had no luck as it is, surely Home Advisor couldn’t be any worse.  I filled out the requested information and I was very specific:

We are looking for a company to remove our granite countertops, demo existing kitchen cabinets, replace with new cabinets, and reinstall existing countertops.  We are keeping our countertops and already have cabinets ready to purchase.  We just need the labor to remove and reinstall.

Is that easy to understand?  I tried to dumb it down as best I could.  Within seconds of submitting that request, my cellphone was blowing up with phone calls.  The lady went over all the information with me and set up an appointment to have someone come out to bid the project today at 11am.  Awesome!

Ha ha ha.  So the guy gets here and seems genuinely confused about the entire project.  DH and I explained no less than a dozen times what we’re looking to have done.  Then the guy informs us that he’ll have to custom make the cabinets, and we’ll have to replace the counter tops, and since the custom cabinets won’t match the upper cabinets, we’ll need to replace those too.  Again we informed him that we’re not looking for a quote on cabinetry or countertops, but simply on LABOR for removal and installation.

He had to “make some calls”.  He comes back in and says he needs to take measurements.   We’re now going into hour THREE of this guy taking measurements and all of a sudden he tells us that we’re going to need “an entirely new kitchen.”  And we’re probably looking at around “$20,000-$30,000”.  What the hell?  LOL.  That kitchen didn’t cost anywhere near that to begin with.  It’s base cabinets from Lowes!  Again we tell him we need LABOR, not MATERIALS.

He’s still working up a quote.  This is a complete and utter waste of our time.  And his!  But he doesn’t seem to grasp what this project entails.  I’ll update when I have the quote, I’m sure it will bring out many laughs!  I don’t understand what is so hard to understand or why hiring help is this difficult.

Edit:  LOL!!!  $24,000!!  Told us to resubmit to our insurance for approval, but will not provide a copy or email of the actual estimate breakdown.  Told DH to “take a picture” of the computer screen that just says, $24,000.  LOLOLOL!!!!

Contractor Chaos

Happy July!  Hope you all enjoyed the 4th.  I stayed home with the kids, since DH had to work.  Our little one has some ongoing medical issues and is on a GI diet that makes going anywhere very difficult, so it was a low key holiday for us this year.

We’re still waiting for all the house repairs to begin.  I’m expecting calls for that today.  The flooring company and pack out company are already booked, but we have to figure out the hotel stay, and find a contractor to handle downstairs.

Finding a contractor has been a complete pain.  They either never call back, never answer the phone, or my favorite – never show up for the appointment they scheduled to bid the project!  Very frustrating.  It’s hard to find good workers, people are unbelievably lazy.  Four no shows, FOUR!  I have a list of 14 companies/contractors we’ve been in touch with.  Four no shows, 3 we left voicemails for, and 7 we actually spoke to someone and they took down our number/email address to get back to us and we haven’t heard from them at all.  Going on week 2 of waiting, and that’s not including last week at all, since there was a holiday.

We’re on a time crunch for getting the upstairs done.  The kids start school in three weeks!!  (Where did summer go?!)  I’d rather not be living in a hotel during the first week of school.  Downstairs we can delay a bit if need be, but I know my mil would like to have her kitchen back.  So I’m trying to get it all done at once.

On top of this, boy kids birthdays are coming up.  I always make the food and cakes, since my youngest has extreme food allergies.  Hopefully things start moving along soon!

A Much Needed Lazy Sunday

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of chaos.  Insurance adjustor, contractors, calls, appointments, it seemed never ending.  I’m thankful for this lazy Sunday.  No plans!  Just enjoying some downtime with my youngest, who has stayed busy creating homes for his Lego lizards.  I love the imagination of little ones!  This summer hasn’t been much of a break.  We’ve only been in the pool once this year!

I made an appointment at the Apple store (nearly 2 hours away!!) to get my MacBook checked out.  It was a battery failure.  I googled battery replacements and every thing said around $100.  Much cheaper than a new laptop.  Except I guess their repair policies have changed.  Apple now does a “flat rate” system for repairs.  That flat rate is $100 labor and $375 parts, so $475 + tax.  $501.25 later, my laptop was shipped out for repair.  I am able to track the progress online, and it looks like it’s been repaired, and is on the way back to me!  Thankfully they are shipping directly to me instead of the store.  The closest one is 2 hours away, such a pain.  While expensive, I must say their service is top notch, and quick.

We had the HVAC company come out to check our two AC units that are acting up.  I thought for sure we’d have to replace the primary unit, it’s original to the house (2003ish.)  After a few hours of cleaning, filter changes, and defrosting, both units are working perfectly!  $390 bill for that.  Much cheaper than a replacement.  I went ahead and signed up for Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save Subscription” for the filters. We have changed them recently, but since the units were frozen, I guess they got wet and gunky.

Our insurance claim for the water damage has been a breeze – knock on wood – and I keep waiting for something to go wrong.  But every thing is being handled and going smoothly, I am shocked.  Our adjustor has been wonderful.  The only bummer was the $650 repair for the pressure valve into the house, is not being covered, I guess that falls under basic maintenance.  Out of pocket should be the $950 deductible and $650 valve repair, every thing else has been covered thus far.  Monday a moving company comes to give a quote on moving our belongings into a temporary storage pod, once that is approved, we’ll move into a hotel for 9-14 days, and our floors will be repaired and refinished.

Downstairs is a bit more work.  We’re going with vinyl planks instead of laminate (which is what was down there when we bought the house.)  Unfortunately all the bottom kitchen cabinets have to be removed, and we’re on the hook for finding a contractor.  It’s HARD to find people worth a damn these days.  Dreading that part.  My MIL has been surprisingly easy going about the whole process, if not a tad bossy with moving her belongings.

DH has been working on that car he bought so we can sell it.  The title arrived in the mail yesterday.  He’s having to fix the AC before we list it.  A car with no AC in the south is never going to sell, so $150 in parts later, hopefully he gets it done.  I’d like to recoup as much money from this as possible!!  ($3600 purchase + $165 registration + $174 insurance + $150 AC parts + $250 fluid changes – definitely won’t get all of it back.)

Off to get on our swim suits and hang in the pool for the second time.  Work on my tan.  Just kidding, I’m 100% Irish, I just burn lol.  Happy Sunday!

A Depressing Summer

My laptop died, and typing this on a tablet is super frustrating.  I have an appointment this weekend to get the laptop looked at.  Hopefully it’s repairable, because I don’t want to purchase another anytime soon.

The car DH bought with “original” low mileage was too good to be true.  The car was not original, the engine had been swapped, among other issues.  You can’t trust anyone these days, I knew it was a bad deal, but when DH has his eyes on something, he jumps.  Patience is not his strong suit.  We’ll be selling that car, probably at a loss now.  Sigh.  I already paid to register, insure, and get an oil change for it too.

Our homeowners insurance has been amazing during this flooding debacle.  They’ve approved all repairs.  The flooring alone is nearly $20,000 is damages upstairs!  We’re still trying to figure out a repair timeline, because we have to move out for 1-2 weeks.  I’m thankful for our $1,000 deductible.  I sure do hate that this is how the last month of summer is going to be spent though.  We’re rushing to get it done before the kids start school.  Mostly, I’m just ready to be done with these loud fans from the mitigation company.

A close family friend passed away this week after battling cancer for the last six months. While I had a feeling she wouldn’t make it, waking up to the news was still shocking.  She leaves behind a husband and 9 year old son (my son’s best friend.)  Things like this always put life into perspective.  Life is short.  Our problems do not compare to what that family has been through.

This & That

Lots of things happening this week.  DH found a car.  Our budget was $4,000.  It was listed at $5,500, but DH was confident he could negotiate, since it was missing some cosmetic things.  It’s a 1999 with 30,000 original miles!!  DH talked the guy down to $3,600!!!  I am thrilled.  And it only cost $165 to register.  We have to buy about $250 in parts for a tune up, but otherwise it’s smooth sailing.  Next up we need to get my car repaired and we’ll be done with the car drama.

Insurance adjustor came out to the house to inspect the floors and water damage.  I was dreading this, since the last time we had a water damage claim (rental house), we were screwed over by a nasty lying adjustor, and dropped by the insurance company.  Today was way different!  The guy was super nice, noted every thing, agreed with what we felt was necessary, and even pointed out additional damages we hadn’t noticed.

End result is: we have to replace a good portion of our flooring and subfloor, and the entire house will need to have the hardwoods refinished.  They will also cover movers and a storage pod for our belongings.  Downside is we have to move into a hotel for 2 weeks.

The damage downstairs is worse.  Ceiling and insulation needs to be replaced, flooring throughout, and – here’s the kicker – all the kitchen cabinets are ruined!!!  So those are to be replaced as well.  Thankfully our upstairs kitchen cabinets seem okay, but they’ll double check once they start pulling up trim and boards around them.  That would be a long, expensive, and stressful renovation if they needed to be replaced upstairs.

We have to get a water mitigation company out to dry the floors before we can begin repairs, and have a plumber come check the pressure valve to the house.  (We’ve called four companies and not one has called back!)  It will definitely be a stressful few weeks when it all begins.  Best to knock this out during summer, before school begins.

I’m not sure how the hotel situation will work.  They’ll either need to get us a suite with a separate bedroom, or connecting rooms, because DH works night shift, and we have two small kids.  They’ll also reimburse us for the cost of food if it goes above our typical grocery budget.   I’m not sure how this will work, but imagine I’ll pay every thing, and submit receipts for reimbursement.  My deductible is…$1,000!!!  Thank goodness!!!!

My youngest son went in for his annual check up today and failed his eye exam.  He tried so hard too, broke my heart.  He received a referral for a pediatric ophthalmologist, but after 25 minutes on the phone, they informed me they only see patients over the age of 7.  Same bs we ran into trying to get physical therapy.  Frustrating.  I made him an appointment with my optometrist instead.  Figure we’ll see what she says and go from there if need be.  I wasn’t in the mood to be chasing down specialists today.