Monday, June 9, 2008
So much has happened in the past week it’s hard to know where to begin, so I guess I’ll just start where I can. This is not a very vivid or beautiful rendition of what really transpired, but I guess it’s better than nothing.
We closed on our apartment in the first week of May, and since then have been working hard to get started on our renovations. Amanda had gone away for two weeks for work and play and we got a little stalled while we were waiting. I went with our contractor to meet with two members from the board to show what we were planning on doing, and it was agreed that I needed to get copies of the contractor’s insurance, plus that of the plumber, and electrician as well.
We had run into a bit of a hold-up as our building had wanted our contractor to have Workman’s Comp, which he didn’t, although he did have liability insurance and has each of his employees sign an indemnification waiver in case anyone gets hurt on the job. There was some contention as to whether this was enough to adequately protect the building and it started to cause some hold up.
IN the meantime, we were trying to firm up our date to start construction, and were in a holding pattern as the building’s attorney and one of the tenants worked out the details. Valuable days were lost as our lawyer failed to contact the one tenant who has been a little bit of a pain. He’s a nice man but very anal and overly-protective, and on more than one occasion our contractor was not too happy.
We ran into problems b/c it was not clearly laid out before us what the rules of renovations were. In the beginning we were basically listed five bullet points, with no details and no information stating that we needed board approval on the work done. Amanda and I have always operated on a trust first theory, especially in something like this where we went through such a serious vetting process to get approved by our building, they basically know everything about us and our life situation. So it was frustrating that it appeared they didn’t trust us, and that we had to hold things up to get approval on work that was mainly cosmetic in nature. Now in retrospect I realize we could’ve been more organized, and I think I might have even dropped the ball on a few things that I promised, but none-the-less, the whole process almost got derailed last week.
I have to commend my neighbors for coming together to work with us to get approvals on our plans and accommodate us in a way that everyone felt comfortable and there were no hard feelings. After all, we do have to live with this people, right?
Wednesday night was our breaking point when we still didn’t know if we had approval or what they exactly needed from us, and the contractor is sitting there wondering what the hell was going on. We still needed to provide our board with the licenses from our electrician and plumber, and although we got the electricians, we couldn’t find the plumber, which just made us look shady. (Luckily we found out the next day he had just had dental work done and couldn’t get to the phone). Our board was getting uncomfortable and our pesky neighbor began to get offended by our insinuations that his obstinacy was the problem at hand. I had a nice chat with him on Wednesday night, settled everything, and agreed to come up with a plan to move forward.
By Friday everything was in good shape and we all agreed that if all the proper documents were signed we’d be great.
As of today, our contractor will be moving in his tools and equipment and tomorrow we begin demolition.
There is a much better story here to be told, but that comes when my book is written, as right now it’s a bit too painful to relive the past week.