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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet

Droplets on the bushes
Welcome to rainy season, mudslide season, and power outages caused by falling trees, their roots ripped loose from the saturated ground. Let no one say life is dull in these parts. We are very glad that snow, ice, and avalanche seasons are relegated to much higher elevations. I like the rain. There’s something exhilarating about cycling in the drizzle, or the roar of rushing water during a downpour. Except when you don't have a roof over your head.  

Framing the deck / porch roof
"I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in". . . 

No, we're not homeless, just roofless. The condo roof is being replaced, very slowly. We spent the dry season waiting for the roofers to begin. They waited till the rain started to fall (and once it starts, it hardly stops for months). They tore big pieces of the old roof off and then disappeared for days on end (skipping several dry days to go fishing, no doubt). They screwed two by fours onto the roof to keep their tools from raining down on us (only after I complained about falling tinsnips). These also function as little dams that hold the water back. The water then runs down the screws that penetrated the waterproof membrane and the plywood, and spills into the units below. So far we've had a stain on the carpet, a soggy sleeping bag and a camp stove full of water, and some very near misses with my violin and electronic keyboard. Some of our neighbors aren't that lucky.

"Raindrops keep falling on my head". . . 

Meanwhile. . . at the building project, we don't have a roof either. Most of the windows have been delivered and installed, the steel support is in place and. . .  the roofer that was lined up to do the work bailed out at the last minute.

Windows, steel, but no glass door.
Even if a new roofer started immediately, there's a two week wait for the materials. The backordered glass doors are also causing delays - the siding folks want the doors and windows in place before they get started. The schedule is a mess because interior work such as drywall can't be done until the building is weatherproof.  Right now, it’s even leakier than the condo. Every delay means more expense.

Tubing for the underfloor heating
“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” 
― Bill Watterson
On the plus side, the plumbing has been roughed in, most of the electrical work is done, the underfloor heating is in place and the framing for the walls is done. They're running out of things they can do inside. The longer we wait for materials and subcontractors to finish the exterior, the worse the weather gets, it's a vicious circle. At this rate, we'll be lucky if we can move in by Chinese New Year. Given that the painters want ten days of dry weather before painting the exterior I don't expect the house to be finished until sometime in mid-July. We watched Grand Designs for years, and thought we knew how to avoid the worst of the home building pitfalls. At least we had enough sense to laugh at their first estimate of being finished by Christmas Eve.

“The rain to the wind said,
You push and I'll pelt.'
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged--though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.” 
― Robert Frost

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