This is getting complicated, huh? Yowee!
Long-story-short … We’re not having the contractor tear the house down. And we’re happy about it. (Because we have to be?) We’re going to move the fifth-wheel up there, put it behind the house, move into the RV and cabin, save the $10,000 demolition fee, and start taking the house down bit by bit ourselves. Things got complicated when the contractor (who, I maintain, is a stand-up guy) complicated our time table. Bottom line – He can’t have the house down by the end of the month, let alone May 22.
Regular readers might remember that the point of hiring a demo contractor was to have the house gone by the time we got there. It was all about convenience and timing. If the house is not going to be gone, then why spend $10k? Could we use $10k? Uh, yeah.
This was a phone call I dreaded making – taking a $10k gig away from a guy I like and respect. He refused to let me reimburse him for the permits he filed for us, apologized, and accepted our decision beautifully. This all happened because his usual asbestos inspection company went out of business, and he had to go with a new company … a new company that has a 30 day turn-around time, non-negotiable.
If we’re going to be off schedule, we’re going to be off schedule sensibly. We’re going to save the $10k and take the house down by hand. It’ll probably cost half as much. Needless to say, an extra $10k in the bank as a start makes things much, much easier on us.
I have a phone call in to deliver the RV. It will be a tight squeeze in the area behind the house, but I think we can get it in. Our neighbors have been more help than I could imagine, which is par for the course. They all said they would have done the same. And all three – without being asked – offered to park the RV and hook us up at their place. And they offered names of rip-and-tear guys. And they offered to pitch in. One neighbor is calling a friend who owns a hauling and disposal company to try to get us a cheaper rate. Another neighbor told me not to bother with hiring a grader. “That’s too expensive. You’re country now. Be cheap.” He’ll do the work with his tractor.
It’s funny. Yes, everything is back in order. But the biggest thing I am taking away from this mess is a sense of community. These are some of the most reserved people I know, but when someone needs help, it doesn’t even need mentioned. Northeastern reserve and staunchness combined with hardy small-town spirit. Last year, when an un-insured neighbor needed an operation, our village had a fund-raising dinner and concert to pay for it. It’s an amazing, amazing community, and you would never know it to just look at the ramshackle little place. At any rate, I am once again reminded that these are the type of people that I want to live next to. The type of people who jump in and do what needs done when there’s trouble.
Packing and trashing the city house goes well, and I am actually encouraged. We’ll be in the Adirondacks off and on starting next week, setting up shop. We have a lot of rough work ahead of us, but we will save a ton of money. Ah, well. Now I can buy me one of those fancy Old Town Canoes, a few more mature trees for the front yard, and I can have a few more nice lunches at The Dancing Bears! I have nothing to complain about.
It’s a good day. You have a good day too!