Monday, October 15, 2012

Diary of a House Leveling (Abridged Version)

Crack in front bedroom.

If I had kept a daily diary of the process of leveling my house it would look something like this. I didn’t, so I’m making some guesses on the actual days/dates, but you get the idea.

Day 1: The fence came down, the stucco skirting was removed. My house is being supported by orange jacks and there are holes being dug.

Days 2-5: Rain delay.

Days 6, 8, 12, 14, 15: The holes get deeper and the pile of dirt in the yard gets bigger.

Day 16: Concrete supposed to be poured but the pump truck breaks. I am beginning to get stressed which causes me to develop a spasm in my lower back on the left side. (*spasm*)

Days 17-22: Sub-contractor scheduling delays. (*spasm*) 

Crack in front bathroom.

Day 23: Attempt at concrete pouring. Hose keeps clogging. Pump truck guys accuse concrete guys of using the wrong mix. Concrete guys accuse pump truck guys of having low-powered pump. It almost comes to blows. They empty all the concrete onto my front lawn. Part of it washes into my neighbor’s driveway. Concrete is remixed, pumped and poured. I’m promised the concrete in my yard will be removed. (*spasm*) (*spasm*)

Day 24: The dog escapes. I have to insist that the concrete is cleaned out of my neighbor’s driveway. (*spasm*) (*spasm*) 

Day 25: The dog escapes. (*spasm*) (*spasm*) 

Day 26: The dog escapes.(*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) 

Day 28: The beam work starts. Most of the concrete is removed from my lawn but there is a thin grey film over 1/2 of it. (*spasm*)  (*spasm*)  (*spasm*) 

Day 30: A worker cuts the gas line with a sawzall. Luckily there were no sparks so neither the workers nor my house were blown sky high. A plumber is sent out to repair it. (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*)  

Day 31: A worker cuts the water line. The plumber comes back out and repairs it. (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*)  

Day 32: Rain delay.

Day 34: Beam work continues.

Crack in kitchen. There used to be a window here. It wasn't framed in properly when it was removed. My laundry room is on the other side of the wall.

Day 35: First day of actual leveling starts. I watch HUNDREDS of small and several DOZEN large cracks appear in the walls. (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) 

Day 36: The dog escapes.

Day 37: More leveling. More giant cracks. (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) (*spasm*) 

Day 39 (today): As I get ready to leave for work, the final beam is being installed. Later today the leveling is scheduled to continue. There is a chance it will be completed today or tomorrow.

After the leveling is done, the inspector will have to come out. Then the skirting replaced. Then work will move to the interior. I had hoped the cracks would be small enough that some mud and a can of texture would do the job. No such luck. Entire pieces of sheetrock will need to be replaced. The texture sprayer will have to be brought in. Major repainting will have to happen. There is going to be dust and mess in my house for quite a while.

The bottom half of the same crack.

I know it will all be worth it when it's done but this has been a major pain in the ass--literally! At this point I think my left leg is shorter than my right and I will probably limp around like the crooked man in his crooked house on crooked lane for the rest of my life--only my house will be perfectly level. (*sigh*)


  1. I kind of want to fly to Austin so I can deliver a cocktail or nine to you. I'm stressed out just reading about it.