Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kitchen Pics

It’s done!  The basement kitchen is finally done!  We’re one step closer to closing this claim.  I snapped some pictures late last night, and found a few older ones to show the transformation of a plain basement.  MIL picked the paint color, which is a painfully bold green lol.  One day I’d like to redo all that!  But that’s not important for now.

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The was the basement “kitchen area” before we bought the house.

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Here’s the kitchen we installed in 2016.  Before the backsplash.

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The new vinyl flooring.

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The completed new kitchen!

It’s obviously an identical kitchen.  It’s a basic set up using off the shelf cabinets from Lowes/Home Depot.  The original kitchen had the beveled/grooved cabinet fronts, but those have been discontinued.  The new kitchen has the shaker panel cabinet fronts.  I like the look better with the shaker panel.  I’d still like to add crown molding to the top of the wall mounted cabinets and repaint, but that’s certainly not a priority.  Not bad for a basement kitchen.  The only downside is we weren’t able to install a dishwasher down here.  We were quoted $4,000-$6,000 to do so, because they’d have to break up the foundation to run the plumbing.  The sink was difficult enough to maneuver, but we couldn’t get away with a dishwasher.  At least it was pre-plumbed for a bathroom!

Insurance gave us $5200 to do all repairs outside of flooring.  This kitchen cost us $4,150 to replace.  $1600 in labor, $2200 cabinets, and $350 for a dumpster.  I think we did really good staying under budget!!  I can’t think of anything else we need to do at this point.  It helped getting the cabinets on sale and finding good, but inexpensive, labor.

The flooring was paid directly by insurance, minus my $950 deductible I paid.  I pulled up the invoice but can’t make heads or tails of the numbers.  All I know is insurance paid out $13,866.01 for flooring, basement (vinyl) and main level (hardwood).  But I can’t figure out how much per floor, the uploaded invoice is very messy.

Also, can anyone explain “recoverable depreciation”?  I have a lot of those numbers, in the thousands, on my claim notices.  I need to research that.

I pulled up our claim portal for the flooring invoice and noticed that insurance has paid out a lot more recently.  $5,300 for moving company (absolutely ridiculous!), $2,100 for hotels, $4,000 water mitigation.  Wow!  I never got copies of invoices for any of these.  I feel like I should have after our last water mitigation experience with the old house.  (They charged about $800 for things they didn’t do!)

That’s all for today.  Almost ready to close out this claim, woohoo!

 

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Pallets of Cabinets

Getting MIL’s kitchen installed has been a pain in the butt.  Trying to find a contractor took nearly two full months, then ordering the cabinets, and the subsequent delivery.  The cabinets were scheduled for delivery on Saturday, and they were, kinda.

They sent the cabinets on two pallets on a flat bed truck.  The driver delivered the pallets in the backyard.  DH immediately noticed there were cabinets missing.  Four to be exact. The drivers paperwork, which was signed off by someone, showed that the entire order was present.  I love how people don’t do their jobs.  The driver made notes of the missing pieces and DH signed off on that.

Then we were like okay, these need to go into the basement.  The door is 20 feet away.  The driver informed us he’s not authorized (?!) to unload the pallets.  What are we suppose to do with the kitchen cabinets?!  DH and I can’t carry them in!  They were suppose to be delivered on a box truck and brought inside.

DH called the store to go over the missing cabinets and discuss the delivery.  The girl said “well I didn’t know they had to go inside”….  Are you kidding me?  LOL!  Kitchen cabinets!  I don’t understand some people.  Then she informed DH that two of the missing cabinets weren’t in stock, and it would be 3-4 weeks.  These are off the shelf base cabinets by the way, nothing custom ordered.  DH went up to the store himself and found all the cabinets we were missing and arranged delivery.  Meanwhile the pallets of cabinets sat in the backyard overnight.

Delivery came Sunday and kindly moved all the pallet boxes into the house.  Contractor arrived this morning to install and we discovered that five of the damn cabinets aren’t the ones we ordered!  DH ran up to the store, bought the cabinets, came back.  Only to discover another cabinet was damaged.  DH ran to store again, brought another back.  So we’ve just dropped another $700 on cabinets just to get this install finished.

Poor DH got home from work at 8am!  It’s now nearly 1pm and he’s just getting to bed.  Hopefully no more problems pop up.  We’ll return the other cabinets later this week.  I definitely want all my money back!!  Of course we spent more this time, because when we ordered the cabinets it was during a 20% off sale.  Sigh.

After all this is done, I can upload pictures of the finished kitchen and floors, and invoices, to our claim portal.  This will help with the “diminished value” the adjustor mentioned, I guess we’ll get back another $1200 once they confirm it’s brand new again!?  I don’t really understand it.  I haven’t heard back about our electric bill reimbursement, and I still need to add up our food totals while we were at the hotel.  Adjustor is still MIA, so I’ll upload all these documents, wait a few days, and go above his head.  I love that he’s mad at me for reading the fine print of my claim and policies LOL.

I’ll get some pictures and post them tomorrow.  I better go prep dinner since I’ll be on my own this evening with the kids.  Both of them have homework now, so our evenings are busy busy!

Creeping Costs & AT&T Lies

I wish salaries would increase as frequently as our bills seem to.  So remember how DH’s cellphone was eating data for no explicable reason, and AT&T converted us to the unlimited plan with discounts for $199/mo?  Saving us about $20/mo?  HA HA HA.  I logged in to pay our bill and it was $271!

Used live chat to figure it out and apparently we don’t qualify for certain discounts that we were told we’d receive.  At first they denied telling us we would get that deal, but I was able to provide screen shots from the previous live chat!  (Thank you DH!)  After that they tried to say too bad, so we said to cancel our account, we’ll go elsewhere.   The agent asked us to please hold while they looked into something.

They came back and said if we enrolled in autopay, we’d be able to get the $219/mo unlimited plan including all fees, taxes, and discounts.  HA.  I know this was BS, but fine, we auto enrolled.  In the meantime they credited our account $51 and I paid $220.  Can’t wait to see what they auto deduct next month.  I used my Ebates (ugh, Rakuten…) credit card for it.  No way are those idiots getting bank account info from me.

Next up are our insurance policies.  I received all our renewal notices over the weekend. I was fully expecting our homeowners policy to increase due to the latest claim, but it wasn’t bad at all.

Our homeowner’s went from $1,133.60 annually to $1,137.79.  I can handle a $4.19 increase lol.  I wonder if the latest claim wasn’t accounted for, since it’s technically not closed out yet?!

The biggest increase is our auto insurance!!  It went from $1,271.64 for six months, to $1,631.70!  That’s bringing our monthly payment up to $271.95 for two cars with full coverage, and they’re older vehicles – 2005 and 2008!!  Not too happy about this.  We have the multi-car discount, and multi-policy discount too.  I’ve also called twice to remove the “reduced by at-fault” clause from our policy, which will mean a slight increase as well, but the reps have no idea what we’re talking about.  It’s literally right here, front page, on our policy renewal statement!

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IT SAYS IT RIGHT HERE!!!

Then there’s the rental property.  I don’t understand why this keeps increasing.  It went from $758.88 annually to $871.25 this year, and as of October 2019 it will now be $934.39.  We only have rental coverage on it, covering the structure and liability, but limited belongings.  My full coverage when we lived here was only about $800/year.  This goes through the mortgage escrow account, but still, it will likely mean an increase in monthly payments after October.  I cannot wait to get rid of that property!

I forgot to mention we had a realtor friend look up the stats and comps on it, and said we’d be in the $150,000 listing range!  We only owe $52,134.69 on the mortgage.  That will be a wonderful payday if/when we can sell it.  Sure will help with a potential out of state move!

Late Post, Demo Done, Sick

What a crazy week.  DH took the week off from work, which is always great.  Except we haven’t tackled anything on our to do list, because our youngest and myself are sick!  It took a few weeks, but the school year germs finally made their way into our house.  Ick!  I’ve been miserable.  Sore throat, cough, congestion, heavy chest, on/off fever with chills.

Every time we plan a yard sale, someone gets sick, or injured, or whatever.  I hope I feel better soon, because we have a ton to do!

Dumpster was delivered this morning.  $344.86 for a 14 yard.  Prices sure have gone up on those things.  I pulled up my receipts from the last two times we had to rent a roll off, and they were $175 in 2011, and $225 in 2016.

The contractor showed up a couple hours later and began the demo.  He came to the door to get paid for 50%.  50% is not demo, the demo was $450.  We should have only had to pay for what was actually done today, right?  DH doesn’t think things through, especially when he’s tired, so he wrote out $800 without batting an eye.  I was in bed at the time, or I would have said something.  Hopefully these guys show back up to reinstall after flooring is completed!!  Flooring is scheduled for Friday.

I got up not long ago and took a peak at the dumpster.  It’s not nearly as full as I expected.  I went downstairs to check out MIL’s area, since she’s out for the day.  The kitchen is gone, but the two large pantry cabinets are sitting in her living room.  She told the guys to keep them.  Ugh!  That woman.  DH already told her NO.  She’s a hoarder.  She’ll just fill these water damaged cabinets up with junk.  The woman has more crap downstairs, than the four of us have upstairs.

Demo Day

Remember how I almost hired the first contractor on the spot?  He was the one who actually showed up on time, and gave an estimate we found reasonable on the spot.  Just under $3,000 – I believe it was $2,850.  We had two more guys come to do an estimate and tell us they’d get back to us in 1-2 days.  It’s been 2 weeks, no estimates.  I’m not chasing them around.  Either they want the job or they don’t.  I’m tired of wasting our time.  We had three no shows.  And then the last guy that came out, he rescheduled on us once, but did show up.  We liked him.  He said he’d get back to us the next day with a quote, and honestly, we weren’t holding our breath.

5:15pm the next day he called DH apologizing for it being so late in the day, he had been held up at a job.  And his quote came in at $1,600!  For the exact same job as the first guy. What a crazy difference in pricing!!  Actually, his quote even included redoing the kitchen backsplash, the other guys didn’t.  He also sent over an email with the invoice and copies of his business license and insurance policy.  Very professional.  We hired him and he starts Wednesday.  I know my MIL will be happy to get her place back together again.

This guy will do demo, saving the granite counter tops.  Then the flooring company needs to come do the floors.  Contractor will return to reinstall entire kitchen and repair ceiling.  Now the fun is getting the flooring company to schedule the install in a timely manner.  Apparently they only do business via text.  I also need to call and have a roll off dumpster delivered.  I know our HOA guy will love that!  Last time we had a dumpster for 3 days, the old man was at our door to let us know that neighbors were complaining about the eyesore.  (Our HOA is a joke.  No fee’s, no covenants, nothing that we can find.  Just some old guy claiming to be president of the HOA!)

I’ll be happy to have all of this behind us.  And under budget would be ideal.  Our adjustor is still MIA since I requested reimbursement for our electric bill.  This was in the fine print of the paperwork he provided us when the water mitigation company set up fans/equipment for two weeks.  I guess that ticked him off.  Just wait until I send over receipts for food while we were hotel living, he’ll really be mad then!

Life Feels Good (Knock on Wood!)

I am feeling great lately.  A nice break from being down in the dumps, which I feel has lasted since fall!  School starting back has been a life saver.  We’re back into a routine.  I’ve worked out a decent schedule for myself, and every thing is getting done.

I’m up at 6am during the week.  Get the kids ready and dropped off at their schools by 7:25am.  When I get home I’ll eat and work on a to do list.  Check emails, Indeed, county website, etc.  (I still haven’t heard back from the admin position I applied for.)  Then I do dishes and/or laundry, neaten up a bit.  I’m also finally getting around to unpacking boxes from the brief move last month.  And three days a week I attend the fitness class that is kicking my butt.

This last two weeks have been very busy.  We’ve had contractors coming and going.  Most are to offer bids on mother in laws kitchen downstairs, we’re hoping to get that started next week.  Only one guy has been able to provide a quote on the spot, the rest say “1-2 days”, but we’re on day 4-7 for a couple of them.  We’ve also had two no-shows.

I’m also dealing with contractors for upstairs as well.  This time to repair our floor where the movers damaged it.  And for our kitchen cabinets that were also broke during the move in process.  The flooring company assessed the floor damage (gouged quite badly) and said they would be back today to repair at 9:30-10:30am.  I hope they follow through!  I told them I’m not available for the rest of the day after noon.

We have a cabinet company working on getting a quote for custom cabinets to replace the broken ones.  Despite the moving company claiming they could be fixed, the cabinet makers say they cannot, and will need to be replaced.  That’s what we’re working on right now.  I don’t have a clue what to expect, expense-wise, but the moving company will be covering that cost.

I’m back to meal planning and cooking.  This saves us so much money!!  We’re eating dinner at the table together, I’ve missed that.  The boys are in bed by 7:15pm (DS2) and 8:30pm (DS1) with no issues.  They are sharing a room still, as I slowly unpack the disaster the movers left in DS2’s bedroom.  It’s working out well.

I’ve started working on a stricter budget.  Now that the truck loan is paid in full, I want to get back into the habit of following a specific budget, and throwing the extra money freed from a car payment, towards our last remaining debt(s).  The main one is a credit card (0% APR until Jan. 2020), and the mortgage on the rental house.  Ideally we’d sell the old house, but another deadline has come and gone, and renter is still there.   There’s actually more to that story, but I’m too tired to get into it right now.  Let’s just say it is what it is and we’ll deal with it later.

But overall, life is good right now, and I’m content with that.   🙂

Another Debt – GONE!

After nearly a year of making payments on an auto loan for a truck that was totaled in an accident, the loan is paid in full.  That saves us $258 per month!  Woo!  That took way too long and was such a burden to have to pay every month for something we haven’t had in our possession – due to no fault of our own.

It’s bittersweet.  Sweet, because it’s a debt paid off and gone.  Bitter, because it would have been much nicer to have the truck.  But DH has his cash car and all is well.  No more auto loans for us, fingers crossed.

I’m hoping this account pay off reflects on DH’s credit soon.  I’m trying to boost his score.  He’s in the 650s, I’m in the 800s, but he’s the one with the income.  So if we ever needed to have our credit run again (home buying if we move), I need his to be just as good as mine.

Other updates:  The new gym class is kicking my ass.  I am so sore!!  My back nearly gave out during the last one.  I need a brace or something to help.  I hate it so much, but I’m forcing myself to go, it’s good for me.

House update:  We finally have contractors calling us back.  Two already came by and gave us an on the spot quote, about $3,000, which was very reasonable.  The second guy said he would email us an estimate within 1-2 days.  He was more focused on the condition of our roof!?  Which had nothing to do with the project we need complete.  And we had a no show Monday afternoon.  And two more scheduled, one today, and another on Wednesday.  After that we’ll pick on, schedule every thing, and get the ball rolling.  I know I’ll have to go back to insurance for more money, because what they paid out for labor, is no where near what we’re being quoted!  Adjustor is still MIA.