Sunday, December 4, 2011

Broken House

So, the cold water supply under the kitchen sink failed. It dripped all night right around Halloween. Bob and I thought the floor seemed a little strange in the kitchen one morning. What was strange was that water was coming up between the planks of our laminate flooring. Upon further examination, we found that the water was every where. Or at least it was almost everywhere important in our house. Specifically, the kitchen, the laundry room and the (one) bathroom. 

We wondered what to do about it for a day or so before we realized that this is why we have insurance. I don't know why it didn't occur to us to call them right away. We kind of thought, "Well, I guess we're just going to add this to the Things We Have to Live With While Living in a Partially Remodeled House list."  Little did we know that once we got the insurance ball rolling, we would begin an adventure that mainly consists of not living in said partially remodeled house at all. At least not for now. 

Pictures to prove it:

Ugh. Something's not right here.

Here's our kitchen with all the wet parts removed. Big, loud, green fans aid the drying process.

All the contents of our kitchen, bathroom and laundry room are in our family room.

Since we had no kitchen, bathroom or laundry room at our house, our insurance company put us up in a hotel for about a week. Despite Mercy's look of boredom here, it was a pretty sweet deal.

We did have to eat a few meals on the floor since there wasn't a table big enough for eating in our hotel room...

And we felt a little cramped doing our school work. On the bright side, the weather was beautiful that entire week and we took walks and played outside between calls to the insurance company, the general contractor, the ServPro people and the temporary housing coordinators.

(If your baby can do this, he is too big for a bouncy seat.)

After everything dried out at the Broken House, and after it was determined that the first layer of vinyl on our floors had asbestos in it, the best course of action was to take all the floors out. Completely.

And why not? It sure makes it a lot easier for the city inspector to see that our floors lack a certain structural soundness. Or insulation. Or proper drainage beneath them. (A few days after this picture was taken, the space beneath the kitchen was under 6 inches of water because we live on a swamp.)

This all starts to sound pretty crappy, I know. And never would we have chosen this route if we could have. And there have been some pretty stressful moments that I didn't choose to memorialize here because I'd rather forget them. But the list of benefits to our situation is much longer than the irritations we're facing:
1. New floors in 2/3 of our house
2. A week's stay at a hotel with free hot breakfasts and dinners (Something we've never done with our kids)
3. A very comfortable rental home 
4. Fees waived and rules bent to accomodate our family specifically
5. The discovery of yucky mold growing in our house and the clean up of that mold 
6. An opportunity to put fresh paint in the kitchen (I did this last night. YES!)
7. Generosity shown to us by family and friends
8. Time spent more purposefully with our kids 
9. A room in our rental house entirely devoted to ALL LEGOS. ALL THE TIME.

For now, we're still in the Upstairs House waiting for the Broken House to be fixed. Currently, Bob and Daniel and Michael  and Reuben are building lego cars and spaceships. Josiah and Mercy have been chasing eachother around the house and James is coloring next to me. We're about to have our 2nd Advent Evening and we have some hot chocolate to drink. 

Despite all the changes and upheaval, I think we're feeling pretty cozy.

The kids and Great Grandma Veda at Thanksgiving


Stacy said...

Um, WOW.

And HOORAY for insurance! I'm thinking the hotel sounds like a pretty sweet deal, too (meals! provided!) I love it that there are new floors for you to look forward to... :)

And I am wondering if I should have considered calling insurance when this happened under OUR kitchen sink and all the water drained through the floors (and hence: dripped through the ceiling in our basement). ??? Hm. I kind of forget about the insurance thing, apparently, too. :)

((hugs)) to you, flexible mama!

Dwane Zelinsky said...

It's a whirlwind of activity and repairs. Thankfully, you guys got to stay somewhere comfortable while the work was done to fix the iffy areas in your home. It would have been quite uncomfortable to have stayed there while the repairs were going on.