Projects Awry

shed support 1119
The shed balanced precariously farther off the driveway than it was intended. From this we learned why it’s called a “mud room” in our house.

It may be beyond my genetic make-up to put in a full day at work, and it is beginning to look like I will never be done abandoning work to tend to new-house projects.

Yesterday morning I spoke with the tow truck driver who was going to move our shed, and he was going to get to it “within the hour.” When I hadn’t heard from him by 1:30, I drove past the shed location on my way to lunch. The shed was still there.

On my way back to work, I tried again, and this time missed the house I was looking for, because there was no shed to serve as a marker. I was going to turn around to make sure when I realized my shed was making a turn up ahead of me. So I cancelled my appearance at work for the remainder of the afternoon and headed home to await the shed’s arrival. Why work when I can do a house project?

Here is how I thought the afternoon would go: the tow truck guys would drop the shed off, and maybe Lynn and I could put stuff in it, possibly even making enough room for two cars in the garage.

Here is how the afternoon went: the shed got inched and inched and inched off the tow truck on the eight-foot fence posts we now proudly own, purchased by the driver as ancient Egyptian rollers in lieu of the skids the shed doesn’t have. And it turns out we may be the proud owners of a city lamp post as well, since one was broken moving the shed from its previous location.

I still remain stubbornly convinced that what I should have purchased was casters. I am not talking about the little casters under your coffee cart at work; I am talking about industrial casters six to eight inches high. And while many people have assured me wheels would likely not roll, I spent part of my lunch hour moving cinderblocks with a 100-year-old wheelbarrow with a rusty iron wheel, navigating the same terrain a shed would need to go over. A WHEELbarrow. With a wheel. That rolled.

Once the shed got placed, farther from the house and more on the slope than I had anticipated, the downslope proved problematic. We are two cinderblocks high on the west side of the shed, and only one on the east, and not only are we not quite level, the shed isn’t even resting on some of the cinderblocks.

It may be time to invest in the casters and try the location we initially requested, in the trees. I feel I can do this because the HOA attorney is either sloppy in his work or left this door open for us on purpose, by offering written approval “at the location discussed below.” Since both locations were discussed below, I feel this is a viable option.

But I imagine the cost of my “value” shed doubled yesterday with the move. It’s still probably only two-thirds the cost of a new shed, and we would have the same foundation issues, although moving a new shed probably would have been far less of a production. No lamps would have been harmed, for instance, and Lynn and I wouldn’t be trying to figure out how to repurpose fence posts.

So now we have a shed, and as most of my projects go, it cost twice as much as anticipated and remains unable to be used until we can shore up the foundation or move it to a more level site.

Let’s compare with other house projects still in the offing:

* The new microwave is in and working, with Oz only barking at it some of the time. But we still have no instructions for its use. I located what I believe is the correct model on-line, and found the installation instructions we were given, as well as the instructions for use that weren’t included in the box. Except they’re in Spanish. I checked multiple times, and went through all 20 pages, sure that somewhere around page 10, the words would start making sense. But no: 20 pages of Spanish, and that’s the only option you get when you click the PDF for usage instructions.

To recap, then: your installer will need to speak English; the user needs to know Spanish. Que problemo, which I’m sure is authentic Spanish.

And you’d forgotten about my bathroom vanity, hadn’t you? Well, I haven’t, even if it’s never going to arrive. The owner of True Value called, perhaps it was last week, although it doesn’t really matter, to tell me good news: the vanity had made it to Colorado. Bad news: this was during a snowstorm, and the delivery driver was not interested in going beyond Denver.

Mike did offer up his son, who lives in Denver, to go get the vanity and ship it over here before the cabinet rep gets here in the middle of the month (until he can’t come up because it’s Veterans’ Day), but I didn’t see Dusty rushing over here to install it, so I figured it could wait. Why not? It’s only been on order three months now.

My steamless shower remains unsteamed, even though my sinuses would dearly love to be giving this a try. I haven’t heard Word One from either Dusty or the electrician. I keep wondering if I shouldn’t just give up on the both of them and turn to my work electrician for his assistance. It’s only money, right? [I did, however, today take a shower while listening to classical radio. At a tolerable volume. Look at me, without even instructions in Spanish.]

My new tool box remains untouched, but I did, because I had piled all the tools in one location, manage to find a level yesterday to see just how lopsided the shed is (you hear it all the time, but it’s really about half a bubble off plumb).

It only took the electrical co-op representative 10 days to respond to my e-mail questions, so that’s another positive, right? Her advice that I waited a month (from my initial inquiry when she wasn’t in the office)for: don’t buy a plug-in system from us, because you can do better on Amazon — although the prices on Amazon for the brand she recommended are more than the price I can get from a different company that comes recommended by electric-car people on the internet.

And I can use the charger in Almont for free if I call some phone number and get some code and something else that sounded way more complicated than just charging at home before I go.

SunPower, maker of my solar panels, finally seems to have fixed my interface report, and we are still coming out ahead in the solar gain department. And our afternoon solar heating power (translation: windows) is overdoing its job: our house sits at 73-74 degrees (F) all through the evening.

This sun is finally coming through windows that are sparkly clean, since the window washers made it here on Monday (not in the morning as scheduled, but half an hour after their revised afternoon scheduling — and then they paused to eat lunch). Dusty’s idea of a “deep clean” left our windows still with the outlines of the brand stickers, but now they are Crystal Clear, just like the cleaning company calls itself.

And now I am headed to work, where we will see — but I doubt it — if I can manage to put together a full work day. Wish me luck.

Lynn wants credit for her photo of window washers at work. We can see clearly now.

window washers 1119


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