Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pick a Plague, Any Plague

My Fix-it-Up Feller is putting new flooring in my sunroom today. This linoleum represents much more than just an easy-care, scratch-resistant, simulated stone tile finish with a 15-year warranty. It is the final stage of recovery from my leaky skylights problem, which I started dealing with two days less than two years ago. I know this because I blogged about it (See? Blogs are good for something!), and also because my insurance agent has reminded me multiple times that Thursday is the last day that he can pay out on my claim. With a little luck, I’ll just make it.

Here’s a play-by-play of what has happened in the months since that storm back in October 2005:

A “Preferred Service Provider” contractor guy, recommended by my insurance company, came to my house and pulled down the ruined drywall, only to find that the leaky skylights had caused quite a bit of damage. The wall and part of the ceiling and part of the subfloor would all have to be replaced, and maybe the roof, too, which the insurance company might or might not pay for. An adjustor would have to get up there to inspect the roof to be sure, but by that time, there was snow up there, and the adjustor wouldn’t be poking around on any roofs until spring. So I stapled plastic sheeting over the rotten studs and exposed insulation and waited.

In the spring, an adjustor climbed up on the roof and said that the insurance company would pay for most (but not all) of a new roof. A few weeks later I hired a roofer guy, and soon had a fresh layer of shingles, a skylight-free sunroom, and noticeably less anxiety every time it rained.

Because the sunroom is adjacent to the kitchen, I decided that when the new sunroom flooring went in, I might as well replace the flooring in the kitchen as well, so it would all match. But the kitchen was in serious need of some love, which I figured should probably happen before the new flooring. Thus, last spring’s kitchen-painting project.

Another insurance adjustor paid me a visit, inside the house this time, and said that the insurance company would not be paying for the necessary repairs to the walls and ceiling and floor, since that damage had been caused by the ongoing skylight leak and not the October storm. They would, however, pay for new drywall and new vinyl flooring. Which could not go in until the damaged walls and subfloor were replaced, at my expense. By then it was fall again.

More plastic and a long winter of angst later, in the spring I found my Fix-it-Up Feller. He repaired the walls and ceiling, replaced the drywall and installed two new sliding-glass deck doors. He also removed the giant wasp nest that had been hiding under the rotten portion of the subfloor, and magically eliminated my ant problem (Huzzah!). All this, he did for considerably less than the “Preferred Service Providers” quoted me two years ago. (“Preferred” my arse.)

Over this past summer, I painted the new walls and ceiling (because I just can’t get enough painting), installed new ceiling fan lights in the sunroom and in the kitchen (again with the matching), and then spent the last couple of weekends ripping up what was left of the vinyl flooring and the damaged underlayment from the old sunroom floor. It turns out the Goddess is a real badass with a pry bar and a hammer. Consider yourself warned.

Which, finally, brings us to today’s flooring installation. Everything that used to be in the sunroom is now in the garage or the dining room or the living room. It’s all a major mess at the moment, the worst part being that I had to dis-assemble the computer, cable modem and router, so the Goddesses are 100% offline at home today. (I hope it’s just for today.)

When this process began, my insurance company informed me that I am only allowed to file a claim once every two years. At the time that seemed very scary. But now, suddenly, I’m in the home stretch, two days away from that two-year mark.

Bring on the hail, fire, frogs and locusts.

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