Sunday, January 24, 2010

Things are looking slightly upish

Am very surprised to report that the snow removal person who I gladly parted ways with called up after he picked up his payment to smooth things over. He wanted to talk about taking another go at my driveway and walk, and I was completely stymied as to the right response. I'm all for second (third, fourth and beyond) chances, but there was something so off-putting about his work and his reaction to my view of it, I haven't been able to get up the gumption to call him back.

Gumption has been a rare and wonderful thing these days where my own best interests are concerned, so I'm guessing I just don't have it in me to try, try again on behalf of someone else.

Perhaps the right thing to do is to not call him back. I feel that he just isn't a fit for my humble home. As I wrote on the note that accompanied his payment, "Enclosed is your first and last payment, which is probably all for the best for both our sakes."

I think that about sums it up. Besides, I have the another snow remover, one who comes highly recommended by a woman at church, coming by to check out the house. So, here's hoping.

On other fronts, the toilet that resisted repair is now behaving itself, and my favorite home inspector of all time, "Uncle Gordon," came by and gave me a helpful report on the house. Gordon saved Linda and me from any number of bum houses, and is a certified character to boot. When he came by on Saturday, he proudly referred to himself as a Cranky Yankee.

But he's a Cranky Yankee with a soft center, which means he's my favorite type of person (crusty on the outside with a creampuff center). I had him over to provide me with a proper "to do" list for the house, which, for obvious reasons, had been left to its own devices for the past couple of years, and could use some work.

There was good news. I should be able to keep the old siding going for as long as I live here, as long as I give it a proper scrape and patch and paint in the spring and on a regular basis thereafter. Also, the roof may not need to be replaced after all, though I may want to do it if there's only one layer of shingles (if there are two, it's best to drag it out as long as possible, as that's when the job gets expensive).

There was some not-so-good news. I need to get some topsoil and regrade portions of the outside of the house, so the water heads away from the foundation, not toward it. Also, my hot water heater is getting to the age when it could fail spectacularly, and I would be well advised to get a new one sooner rather than later.

And there was some sorta good, sorta not-so-great news. I have had water in the basement near my furnace that was a mystery to me. While Gordon thought at first it was the hot water heater, that wasn't what my handyman thought after doing his own investigation. The handyman thought I had water coming up from under the house, and would need to take some extraordinary (read: expensive) steps to get that to stop.

Gordon, bless him, decided to snoop around inside the furnace, which is a high-efficiency forced hot air type, that due to how it works, creates water. This water is supposed to go down a tube and into a pump that sends it on its merry way, but that apparently hasn't been happening. Instead, water has been dripping down inside of the furnace, and going to the floor, where it has been collecting and occasionally making a mess.

So, my furnace isn't working, but I don't need to have the yard dug up to waterproof the whole house. Happy day!

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