Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Big News and Assorted Minutiae

I had no idea how to spell 'minutiae'. You probably didn't either.

Anyways, some updates:

Al Medina, General Contractor has been back at the house working. He's almost finished with his first contract (original estimate) and his second one (fire stuff). He really is a great contractor. Here are some photos of his handy work:

Exterior Door:

It's brand new and it's red.


As you can see, he and his employees fixed and painted the cabinets, installed new doors, replaced some broken glass and cleaned up. It looks kind of great by comparison.

3rd Floor Master:

Busted ceiling? Fixed.


Most importantly, the exterior of the house is almost completely repaired. The burned siding is removed and replaced, new windows are installed, and everything should be painted by the end of the day today.

Also, Al spent a few hours making a fake window overhang thing to match the other, original ones. He's really good at being my contractor.

Over the weekend, Amanda and I got back to work. I cleaned up the yard, which had all kinds of fun new trash in it (thanks neighbors):

It was not fun at all, as there was plenty of broken glass, and even some buckets of concrete with poles in them. They weighed a lot and made me very sore. I am too skinny for things like that.

Once the trash cleanup was finished I spent the next four hours cutting and placing vinyl tiles in the third floor bathroom. It was a lot of cuts:

While I was cleaning and sticking tiles for hours, Amanda spent her time sorting through and lugging all kinds of our crap from Dan's Guest House to the third floor apartment. She got a pretty good amount of crap up the stairs:

In other house work news, Joe Merritt, Plumber worked and remains working in my basement getting that enormous water heater installed. That should be finished up today and he will move on to pressure testing the plumbing (making sure nothing explodes when the water is turned on) and removing the old useless baseboard heaters.

Also, the electrician will be going by there today to get back to work. He's got a lot to do in order to get those meters installed. He's going to probably cost me a fortune.

All of the work outlined above was done with the idea of moving into the third floor this weekend. So far so good. The biggest problem will likely be the electricity. There is none for any of the floors (only for the house meter - hallways, etc). There are two option, provided that the meters aren't installed by the weekend, which they will not be:

1. Have the electrician hook up the third floor box to the house box. This will run the third floor, obviously, off of the house meter.

2. The second option, which makes me laugh and thus, I hope it happens, would be to run super long extension cords from the basement outlets that work (and are hooked up to the house meter) up to the third floor. Plug everything in to those extension cords and enjoy redneck/ghetto life for awhile.

Lastly, National Grid is supposedly coming to my house tomorrow to hook up the gas line. This will make sure we can heat up water to shower and do dishes with. Ho hum.

Enough minutiae, time for the big news alluded to in the title of this post: The Travelers news.

As I mentioned last week, Richard Who Hands Me Money has been trying to squeeze some more money out of the insurance company on my behalf. Last week, he was not able to get in touch with the insurance agent at all, despite numerous phone messages and emails. On Thursday of last week, the agent finally responded to Richard, via email, asking if I had accepted the latest offer ($68k). Richard was dumbfounded, as he had been calling all week to not agree to the offer. Regardless, Richard sent along another email saying that I didn't accept and we waited to hear back.

Yesterday, I received an email from Richard that said the following:

We are up to $69,471.23. Blah blah blah.

I mulled it over for about 35 seconds and, considering both the estimate I got from Al for the work (which I have yet to reveal and won't until I get the check from Travelers), as well as the fact that Al will be completely finished all of his work, without payment, today, I accepted the offer. I am still waiting to hear something, but as far as I know, a huge check will be mailed out and I can start paying people, then finish paying people, then pocket a nice bit of cash.

I am super excited to not only get back to regular work at the house, but also to get an enormous check because some neighborhood vandal decided to light garbage on fire. Soon enough...

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