Tuesday, June 12, 2007

House of the Damned

You know how they say most things come in three's?? Well, today, we experienced bad thing # 3. Bad thing # 1 was the water heater. The breaker on it kept being tripped somehow and we wouldn't know until we wanted to take a shower. So, everyday, we've had to go push the red button on it to make sure we had hot water. Jeff replaced the heating elements and that didn't work..so he replaced 1 of the thermostats yesterday...the other one wouldn't come out and so far, it's been working...but it's only been 12 hours...we'll see.

Bad thing # 2 was a septic line. It had been broken for some time and we didn't know it, but we found out about it after the water heater. Basically, it was pumping sewage to the surface of the drain field instead of running it through the other pipes underground. It didn't smell and it wasn't wet, which is why we never knew. The county inspector has to come out every 3 years for our system and she's the one who found it. She said the line had to be fixed in 30 days, we needed to have dirt brought in to cover a couple sections of exposed pipe...which explains why one got broken. The exposed sections were covered in grass and weren't found until after we'd dug around a little. Oh, and one of the conduits in the septic pump electrical box had never been caulked. We had to have someone come out and dig it up to find the break and replace that section of septic line, Jeff fixed the electrical box and we still have to have dirt brought in to cover the lines and level out the field...which means an entire dump truck load of dirt and either the renting of a bulldozer or the hiring of someone with a bulldozer. Sigh....

Bad thing # 3 was discovered this morning. I was up late last night since I have to work again tonight and when I went to the fridge at about 2am, I heard water running, but didn't think anything of it..I just thought the icebox was being refilled. When I went to bed around 4:30am, I noticed it running again and thought it was strange to be refilling so soon after the last time...but still dismissed it and went to bed. This morning around 8, I heard what I thought was the blender and just rolled over. Little did I know that when Jeff heard it running, he pulled out the fridge and water shot completely across the kitchen. He vacuumed up about a half inch of water under the fridge. The water line had a split in it...and the bad part is that it had been dripping for quite some time by the looks of it. The baseboards are rotted (complete with mold and mildew), you could see the water line up the wall...the side of the cabinet was soaked through and even the baseboards on the other side of the wall were soaked through and puffed up. We'd noticed that long ago but since it's right by the sliding glass door, we thought it was from humidity from opening and closing the door. We also throw wet towels in that corner after wiping off the dogs when they come in from the rain...so we'd dismissed that and just made a mental note to look more into it later.

So..as you can imagine..that'll be one hell of an expense. We have no idea if the floor is rotted underneath the linoleum, if the wood is rotted behind the sheetrock or how far out into the floor and up the wall the damage goes. MAJOR expense. At the very least, the sheetrock and baseboards will have to be replaced and since it's behind the fridge, we don't have to worry about appearances. If the damage goes higher up the wall or further out into the floor, the floorboards and linoleum will have to be replaced as well as ripping down the walls, and replacing the wood and sheetrock..and lets hope the damage stops there and didn't affect the wood framing for the house. Also, depending on how bad the damage is, the one cabinet next to the fridge will have to be ripped out and if we can't find a match for the rest of the cabinets...we'd be left with replacing all the cabinets as well. Sigh...I'd love to go back to bed since I have to work tonight...but I just can't sleep. Jeff's calling Dan..our agent for homeowner's insurance to see what the deductible is and who we're supposed to call for repairs. A carpenter??

Another reason this sucks is because we wanted to switch insurance companies this year to Allstate. Farm Bureau is overcharging us...Allstate would charge us HALF of what Farm Bureau is. We didn't switch before because they couldn't accept us since we've already made one claim. We lost power in a ice storm for a week just after buying $300 worth of groceries and couldn't afford to replace them. At the time, we'd only been here 2 years and they have some equation factoring in length of time in the home and number of claims and didn't accept us. Now, we've been here 5 years and thought that'd be plenty of time so that we could switch this year..but no more. We're screwed into keeping Farm Bureau for God knows how long. They're not bad..they're just expensive. They're charging almost $900 a year for homeowners because they insured the land as well. Who cares about the land!! If my land catches fire..it'll grow back. No biggie...but they say they have to insure it. Um..ok.

If anyone would like to donate to the Lane Home Renovation Fund, send me an email and I'll have my people call your people. I also accept Paypal and Wendy's coupons. Or, if you prefer, I will also accept nominations for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. If they need a sob story...just say that our house is falling apart and that due to repairs and various medical bills, we are unable to afford in-vitro after trying unsuccessfully for 4 years to have children. I make light of it because I've made peace with it for the moment..but at least you wouldn't be lying! Maybe they'd give me an awesome house and pay for IVF. And throw in a pool. And a hot pool boy. And a vacation to the Cayman Islands where I can lie in the sand licking the salt off my Margarita. And a hot pool boy..........mmmmmm........ok..sorry..back to reality.

Right now, I find this extremely humorous because only all this stuff could happen to us all at one time. I'm a little depressed about it, but laugh at the irony of it all because otherwise, I'd fall into a funk. Seriously though, if you pray, please pray that nothing else goes wrong and that we'll somehow have the money to pay for all this. If you don't pray, please send good thoughts and happy vibes my way. That makes me wonder though...maybe this isn't the House of the Damned after all. Maybe it's just karma telling me I need to change my ways or suffer a damned house. Hmm..something to ponder over as I take some Tylenol and head off to bed....goodnight all.