Candlesticks make a nice gift

No, we're still not done with the house, but thanks for asking. We have reached the part of construction where nearly nothing gets done and what does get done is about 75% wrong. I haven't been posting many updates about it because honestly it's a little depressing.

In the first week of this project my father and I butted heads a bit. I was trying to let the contractors do their thing and he was following them around for everything with an intensity usually reserved for invading other countries. But as time moved on, I realized that while Dad is a bit rough around the edges, he's usually right about the construction things.

About two weeks ago on the day after the HVAC guys had installed out air handler, our contractor Bill called me to tell me my father had to leave the construction site because he was causing trouble for everyone. I laid into that poor contractor with a fury and earnest that startled him to say the least. Bill picked the absolute wrong time to tell me my father wasn't being helpful.

The night before this phone call we had discovered that the HVAC installers that we had met with and coached on exactly where to install the air handler, duct work and registers had failed to follow simple instructions. They had put the air handler all but in the middle of our walk-in closet and commandeered all of our paltry attic space for their giant distribution box. They also had used two different returns so that our house will have three different air filter sizes when they're done. Their final act of defiance was to make a half-assed attempt to drill for the refrigerant lines and get a 12" screwdriver completely wedged in the floor joists. That was when they called it a day and went home. High fives all around.

My father and I debated all the possible scenarios for how to fix the air handler until about 1am. And then he sent me home and stayed until 4:30am removing their screwdriver from the floor and cutting the space for our HVAC lines. He even left a light on under the house so it would be obvious the holes went through to the crawlspace.

Bill later told me that I have a bright future in cross examination because I let him finish his side of the story and then I went through all my points on how he was wrong and my father was the only one who gave a damn about doing this job right and that none of their workers have done a single thing well despite constant supervision. And I only said motherfuckers once. Miraculously, all the things on our list are getting fixed.

So I'm trying to get over things being wrong like the missing nails in our headers the fact that our porch leaned to the left or that their second attempt at a dormer in the guest room looks like a fun house. I'm just trying to focus on the bright side that we're catching these things before they're done and Bill is straightforward enough to fix them. But I wonder if they'll ever make any money off of this job if they have to keep taking things apart and putting them together again. Maybe the third dormer attempt is the charm.

Rich and I have said we feel like we're all standing out on the pitchers mound in Bull Durham where everyone lists off their problems. The plumber is a sensitive soul who can't take a joke and gets fretful about my father, the electrician is depressed because his wife has been sick, and Bill has had lady-friend troubles and is overwhelmed by the workload. I told my father that we don't give to charity, we just hire wayward contractors. I hear candlesticks make a nice gift.