spectating participant

June 12, 2008

homeowner hell?

Filed under: house, life — suzanne henderson @ 9:37 am

Yesterday, Chris called into work saying that he was in homeowner hell and wouldn’t be in that day. This is after staying home Tuesday morning, and then working form home in the afternoon, for our annual termite inspection (no termites, the annual inspection is just to keep the warranty on the $1,000 treatment that was done before closing on the house). It seems this hasn’t been the best couple of weeks for home stuff.

Earlier this month, I mentioned an invasion of bird mites. That was a pretty horrible experience, but I’m excited to report that we are finally free from mites and can use our upstairs bathroom again. Having the bathroom available is a huge plus, in my book, and not stressing over mites is a huge relief. We’ve not opened the bathroom window up just yet because we want to be very, very sure they’re gone on the outside too because I do not want to go through that process again.

Before, this problem was solved, we ran into yet another problem - our boiler stopped working. You’d think that having no boiler in the summer would be no big deal, but it also supplies our hot water. Chris has spent hours working on it and finally discovered the actual problem yesterday afternoon. But, in this process, we ran out of fuel oil (but this isn’t why the boiler isn’t working). We’ve been working on running out of oil since January because we wanted to switch out tanks. But, we weren’t quite ready to make that switch since the ‘new’ tank still needed painting and because it was 100 degrees outside. We decided to get the tank filled, partially, and wait until fall to make that switch.

We’ve had oil deliveries on hold to switch out tanks, so I call to get a delivery but they insist the tank must be inspected. I argued that it’s the same tank they’ve been filling but they insist and I don’t push it. Well, of course the old tank fails inspection and suddenly we now have to change them out - great. We get this news Wednesday afternoon, so Chris stays home yesterday to make this happen and did. Today I wait for it to be re-inspected and hopefully we’ll have oil again.

In all of this, we’ve even had a service fellar come out to help solve the boiler problem. Over the phone I’m sure he’d said he works with fuel boilers and well pumps (to address yet another, non-serious issue we were having) so I was excited about killing two birds with one stone. Of course, he gets here and then we find out that he doesn’t really do anything more than routine maintenance on boilers and can’t help solve that problem - crap! - but does trouble shoot our well pump problem. So, we send him off with $75 for the visit and still have no working boiler and the same well pump problem (the solution will be several hundred dollars and he even suggests living with the problem would probably be wiser). Chris talks to another plumber that I’d called as well, got a better lead on boiler problem and eventually found the actual issue. Of course, we don’t know how to fix what is broken, but hopefully he’ll call the other plumber back and get some good advice and we’ll have hot water again soon.

In the meantime, Alex is getting the pool bath method while Chris and I went up to the gym to shower last night. Guess there are some perks to gym memberships. tried the cold shower thing and it may be super hot out but the well water is damn cold and I couldn’t force my body to walk under the stream of water. In all of this mess, we’ve had another round of serious storms roll through and again all our neighbors lots huge limbs and some lost entire trees, including the apple tree I kept pretending could possibly be ours (its right on/over the property line). But, our sad maple still stands and this time just lost one dead branch that I’d already foretold to be coming down soon.

I guess the house saw fit to gift us all of these experiences in honor of our one-year anniversary of buying the house (June 7th). Someone remind me why I wanted to buy a 140 year-old house…