It Has Begun…

Yep, I’m doomed. It has begun. I don’t know how far it will go. It’s awful hard to stop. This could be bad. It will certainly be expensive.

You guys do know that it’s all connected right? Damage. Repairs. Houses. Stuff. The whole thing’s connected. Seriously, innocent homeowners have simply started out to install a new towel-bar in the guest bathroom and by the time they managed to complete the project there was foundation work involved, the plumbers union was protesting the mandatory overtime, and they only wrapped up the project when they completed resodding the front lawn.

Here’s a primer on the subject. I recommend checking it out first.

Done reading the primer? Great. See? It really IS…all connected. Oh, my friends Dean and Cindy know this all too well…they started out to simply lighten up their living room by taking out the paneling. New doors, stud-grade lumber, a termite invasion, a truck load of sheetrock, and a new shower and toilet in the master bathroom were eventually involved.

They’ve been at it over a year. I think they’re tiling the laundry room about now.

I am NOT making this up.

Sooo…your only hope is to avoid all appearances of projects or maintenance. I recommend a 1000 foot exclusion zone around any home improvement store just to be on the safe side. Don’t even go there to buy lightbulbs.

Unfortunately, the world cannot be fooled forever. It will eventually catch up with you. There’s kind of a “homeowner’s karma” thing. Somewhere, sometime, one way or another, you will pay.

Oh, and you renters or apartment dwellers…don’t think for a moment it can’t get you too. It does. I’ve seen it. It’s not pretty.

Anyway. It has begun.

We got very thoroughly rained upon last weekend. Something on the order of 10″ of rain fell in under two days. At one point about 4″ of rain fell in a single hour. That’s a LOT of water. It was actually quite a shock…as we haven’t had any significant rain since last spring.

Fortunately I have a rule when buying homes (or renting them for that matter). It has to be on a hill. Not a big hill, mind you. But a hill nonetheless. When a flash flood gets anywhere close to me, it will be the least of my worries (ya know…the portals to hell and such that would have had to open up to cause such an event would probably hold my attention more than a measly flash flood). Suffice it to say, although hundreds of homes were flooded in the region, mine wasn’t one of them.

But I digress.

What did happen is that the massive dump of water damaged my gutters, taking one of them nearly off the house. Since they are the seamless variety and run the length of the house, this is something I would like to avoid. Ya know…further damage, massive cost, city demolition permits, portals to hell and all that.

So, I had to work on the gutters. I know better, but I hoped to just replace the big nails that hold them up with some even bigger screws that do a better job of the same thing.

Heh heh. Yah, right.

Unfortunately the trim board is damaged. That’s why the nails let loose. It needs repaired…and painted too while I’m at it. Oh, and some calking would be a good thing before I paint it. And, oops is that a ruined stud? Crud. What the hell? Is THAT a staple barely holding the eaves on? MY HOUSE IS STAPLED TOGETHER?

Sheesh. I didn’t need to know that. Guess I’ll have to fix that too.

What should have been a trip to the homeowner hell store for 7 bucks worth of gutter screws ended up costing over $180. Tubes of caulk, a couple gallons of paint, some 12 foot “cement board” trim pieces, a bunch of 1×2’s, and a roof wind-vent turbine are involved.

That’s just the beginning. I’ve only just begun on one side of the house. Oh, and I already know I need to pick up a 2x8x8 piece of treated lumber in the morning. The frame around the garage door is damaged. The door itself needs painted too. Sigh.

So today I painted, nailed, caulked, painted some more, replaced some bad lumber, and worked on repairing a bunch of trim.

Accomplished something, yes?

Heh heh…that’s not how it works. I worked all day on it…the gutter is now laying on the ground. Worked all day…and the house is MORE apart then when I started.

I’m just stupid enough to try again tomorrow. Maybe I’ll gain on it.

I’ll let you know when I get around to sodding the front lawn.

Daniel Meyer

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5 Responses to It Has Begun…

  1. WordFaery says:

    Probably why I’m putting off messing with that loose curtain rod in the downstairs bedroom.

  2. Phil Cooper says:

    god can I relate.

    I am tooling up [well, tooled up- just waiting for delivery, now] for laminate flooring. I’ve got this crappy carpet– cheapest stuff ever- that I want to get rid of, and then the wife wants to put a door into the back yard. Get this– there’s a window where she wants the door– and near as I can tell, it was originally framed for a door- so that oughta be easy

    [yeah right]

    then there’s the gutters- they only installed gutters on the front of the house- none out back- and there’s NO drainage for the gutters- they just dump on the ground, which becomes marshlike with any sort of rain. So I’m putting french drains in the front and side yards, and installing gutters AND french drains out back.

    wouldn’t be such an ordeal, but every time I call the public utilities “experts” to come mark the lines so I don’t take out a large portion of the city electric grid or, worse yet- a sewer line- they mark the lines in different places. WTF? So I’ll end up digging about 300′ of 24X6″ trench by hand.


    did I mention that it keeps raining whenever I’m off work and rested enough for the job? I work odd hours, see- and my sched stands on it’s head about every 4 days to keep things interesting and keep me from knowing what day it is.

    then there’s the fact that the side yard has been so soft, and the jeep’s tires so aggressive, that even when I try to baby my rig into the street to get to work, it digs trenches– so I now have two pieces of undulating singletrack to contend with there– that’s going to end up being a 7’X30’X6″ pit I’m going to dig, tamp, fill with 2″ of gravel, rebar, 4″ of concrete, and finish the surface of. I’ve never done concrete before– luckily, there’s the garage side door’s stoop– which is cracked in half thanks to the previous owner’s dog’s habit of burrowing under it. So I’ll practice my concrete foundation laying there- oh, let’s not forget, that new door I’m putting on the other side of the house will need a stoop too– better do a pour there as well.

    Remember– it’s all related.

    Then there’s the fact that, upon agreeing we should buy a house, my lovely wife said “the garage will be yours and I will not comment on it”, she’s constantly on me about how messy it is. In truth, I have to agree- -I’ve been bad about “just putting these tools here on the floor– I’ll need them in the morning when I get back to that project on the blazer [dear god, do NOT talk about the blazer around the wife!!]” .. and then leaving them there. I do need tool storage room– to that end, the wife and I have agreed to set aside a 20X20 area of the back yard as a workshop area for me- complete with concrete pad, garage door, lighting, network, 220 drops for my welders, CATV, and a loft arrangement in the joists for miscellaneous storage.

    I have to wonder if maybe I should just run a freshwater and sewage line out there while I’m at it… :^/

  3. Dean and Cindy says:

    I wish that I had progressed as far as the laundry room….

    Unfortunately, I am still trying to recover from the last major project. It truly is a never-ending battle. What did I learn in school about the second law of thermodynamics???? Something about entropy ever increasing…

    And while perusing the exterior of my home the other day I found some areas that are in need of attention. Like your house there are those areas that need repair before they turn into something even larger. Or, perhaps it’s already too late… who knows what is lurking beneath the flaky area where the paint is beginning to peal. Most likely the scraper will go right through it then I will be headed to the home improvement store yet again.

    Looks like I may escape the soding process for a while yet, since as we all know, the sod is the last task in any project. There are many more tasks to be accomplished before the sod can be considered. In addition to the exterior trim there is also the shed that needs residing, the fence to repair and the sheetrock that is coming down in the garage to repair…. not to mention my own section of gutter laying on the ground.

    So, I’m thinking, how about a movie? There is more to life than home repairs and anyway, all of these projects will still be here next weekend.

  4. Mike Frye says:

    You have my sympathy, the fall down the slippery slope has begun. Several years ago my wife decided to start a small remodeling project while I was staying at “deer camp”. She found termites. Before it was over I had replaced the 8″ by 8″ timber sills, all the floor joists and poured new foundations. Replaced all the studs in one outside supporting wall and moved the location of our front door about six feet North of it’s old location. Also put in three new windows. Worked on it every day off, 12 to 16 hours a day for 9 months.

    That was several years ago, my alcohol consumption is still way up, I need Prozac to drive by Menards and I’m attacked by flesh eating termites every time I fall asleep. Now we have one really nice room and all the rest of the house is still “early poverty style”. Run while you can, apartments can’t be that bad.

  5. Brent Hoovestol GA says:


    Home improvement projects look MUCH better in the rear view mirror of your motorcycle, as they appear to get smaller and smaller, then gone. Check on progress in this manner at least once a week.

    Brent in Ga

    Now it is back into the attic for me to put in some flooring to try to store part of the christmas from hell. Yes I know it is almost Easter. Good advice re: hill & flooding.

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