Wednesday, February 22, 2006

High Anxiety

I'm not ordinarily the anxiety type, BUT... I've got to get this out of my system.

This house thing is making me jump out of my skin. There is too much to do. Too much to coordinate. Too many unknowns. No help.

I don't trust general contractors. Too many bad experiences with them. Same with carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, and the like. One upon a time, there were a few people I trusted in a few of these professions, but I can't find them anymore. I've gotten some names from friends, but apparently these people are in such demand that their voicemail boxes are full. If you can leave a message, no one returns calls. So, just keep trying until you get a human. After much frustration, I'm finally scheduled to get my first roof estimate this week.

I need the house leveled again, (which I just did 2 years ago!) before I can really get going on the rest of the work. If I can get the interior gutted before March 5th, the city will haul off the debris for free. But once I do that, there's no turning back. And what happens if I can't get the house leveled soon after? We might be able to live in the house if it has walls and ceilings and hot water and heat/ac. But not without them. And not with all the furniture piled up in one or two rooms or in a storage pod. House shoring/raising/leveling is one of the services most in demand right now (and one of the most expensive, and NOT covered by insurance!) and if I have to wait a long time to get that done, that means a longer time before I can get to work on the interior (because leveling usually causes the walls to crack) which means longer before we can move back in. That means more time living out of whack, more time of the wretched double morning kid-commutes and more burden on mom, who would really like her house back. I want a normal life again and I want it now. But nothing is normal here and nothing, nothing is now.

It's all simply too much.

I hate to complain, because I know that there are people who are worse off than we are. I just don't do well when there are so many variables that I cannot control and it is affecting other people. And then there's the financial side of things.

I met with my adjuster for the third time yesterday. The damage estimates are now just under $100,000 and expected to climb once the latest problems are added to the tally. And this still does not include all the things that the insurance company will not cover and I have no estimates for at this point -the things I mentioned in the last post. I just learned yesterday that, contrary to what I was previously lead to believe, not all of my walls and ceilings will be covered. Now they say that some of the cracks and buckling may have come from the wind torquing the house because there is no water stain above them on the ceiling, despite the fact that water behind the plaster will make it crack and buckle even when no stain is visible. Now, to fix the walls their way, I'll have rooms with half the walls in plaster, the other half sheetrock. You can tell the difference. How is this making me whole?? I though about trying to restore the plaster myself, but reading about this process has convinced me that it's not something I can do without having someone give me a few hands-on lessons. It's a much more complicated process than you'd imagine and it involves chemistry. But I have to do as much of the work as I can myself because every penny I can save of the insurance settlement will have to go toward the many things not covered. I figure that the uncovered losses will probably be in the neighborhood of $25,000, and my guesses have been pretty close so far.

Thanks for letting me vent. Now, I will refrain from thinking about this any more tonight in the hope that I'll sleep rather than writhe in bed all night trying to figure out how to pull it all together. And please forgive me if I visit your blogs but don't comment. It doesn't mean I don't love you!


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