Wednesday, July 9, 2008

House Destruction

About three and a half years ago, Mr. Cowboy and I set out on an adventure. We started building a house. I was so excited when the first dump truck and backhoe drove up onto the property. We decided it would be cheaper to use our own dirt. They dug half acre pond and we used the dirt to build a small hill for our house to be built on. We wanted to be sure to be higher than the flood zone. We were so excited when the slab was poured, and then the studs started to go up. Our house was just about completely blacked in when Hurricane Rita knocked it all down. Our house looked like a big pile of pick up sticks. The mobile home that we had been living in had been picked up and thrown back on the ground. My family was homeless. I was heartbroken. But we got back on our feet and kept tracking on. We moved into my in law's house. It something along those lines. Nothing would stop me from moving out of my in law's house. I remember the day my FEMA camper arrived. I was so excited. I have never been so excited to see a 24 foot long camper before in my entire life. But that soon got old. Eleven and a half months later, our house was finished enough for us to move into it. It took so very long because Mr. Cowboy wanted to do it all himself. He contracted out a few things, but he did the rest. It still isn't finished, but that is a whole different post. One thing Mr. Cowboy contracted out was the imitation stucco on the front of our house.

This stuff was supposedly indestructible. It would not mold, rot, break, tear, fall of your house, it was perfect. So, we ordered us some to go right on the front of our new house. About one year later this is what the front of my house looked like.

Some how I think that is not the beige color I chose? It looks a little like...uhm....well.....MOLD!! I know I live in the south and things here tend to get a bit green, but the contractor said it was not supposed to mold. And then there was this little part down by a window.
Yeah, it's totally falling off! I could not believe it. Then something even worse happened. My windows started to leak. When it would rain, the water would drip inside my house and all over the window and my curtains. It was bad. So, what do you do? Call the contractor right? We would have if he still was in business and already have 27 law suits against him from other angry home owners.

After a long time of talking to the company and trying to get someone out here to look at our house and being denied insurance money, we finally bit the bullet and paid someone to fix it. It had to be done so whether or not we got any money from the contractor was not worth waiting for. I was so happy when the crew showed up.

It didn't take them long to get started. Mr. Cowboy is in the white shorts watching to see if the wood underneath was rotted or not. But you see the guy with the red circle around him? I have a story about him, I will tell you later, it's a good one.

They got almost all of the "junk" off the house and the contractor came by to look at all the rotten wood. He is our friend from down the road. And no he is not holding Mr. Cowboy's hand!!

This is one part of the window header that was getting a lot of moisture.
You could take your finger and just pick out the wood. It was very soft. We found out the the crew that put this product on our house did not put it on right at all. They missed a bunch of steps and didn't seal the windows. I could have told ya about the windows leaking. It was a mess.

This is the other side of the leaking window. I mean, come on, it's only a window header right? You don't really need those right? Termites won't want to live there do they? Who cares if a little thing like moisture gets in there.
Below the window you can see how some of the wood there turned black too. It was a mess. But good things always come from the bad right? See all those metal wire things. I think they are called "conduit". That is probably totally spelled wrong. But they hold all the wires for our television. Mr. Cowboy is an electrician and he never ran a high definition wire. So, with the front of the house ripped off, the did that. He also added an outlet for me. There wasn't an outlet in that corner, and that is where I wanted the Christmas tree to go. He was so sweet. So, you see, now we have a new outlet and high definition cable for our t.v..

This is what the house looked like after all the rotten wood was torn off.

You can see how soft that wood is. That would have been termite heaven. We have bad termites down here. Now this is what the front of the house looks like with all the new wood.

A lot better, huh? This wood was pulled from a treasure pile that is inside a shed. A delivery guy dropped off this wood right before the storm and he actually covered it so it survived the hurricane. Good thing because we ended up needing it. Thank goodness for those treasure piles, you just never know when you might need it.

This is what our house looked like after three days of work. It has the base coat on and is drying for the finally coat. It looks so much better. Those guys really knew what they were doing. Oh, yeah, remember that one worker with the red circle? He was so rude. He would just walk into my house and get himself some water. He told me he stuck his head in my backdoor while I wasn't home. He asked if he could ride my husband's dirt bike. And he had no sense of personal space. Needless to say his boss got a few calls and my house alarm was on from then on out. Creepy!.

This is the final product. I think they did a wonderful job, despite the one worker being totally creepy. I am so glad it got fixed. Our chimney is done in the same product and when they tore off the old stuff they said there wasn't even a base put on. So, it's a good thing that got replaced or we would have had a rotten chimney too. I am happy with the results. It looks better than the before picture. Which I don't really have a good one. My photoshop is acting weird and I couldn't get a good before picture. But that is okay. It's late here and I am going to go to bed.


The Wades said...

WHat a story! That is unreal. I cannot imagine what you went through during that time. Your house sure looks nice now.

What did the guy's boss say about his rude behavior?

What's moisture? ;)

Grey Horse Matters said...

Some people, right? You can't trust anybody these day to do what they say they will. Glad your house is all better now, it looks great.

Amanda said...

I kindof liked the green tinge. It gave the house a country look. :) I'm glad it's all fixed now. Hopefully that creepy druggie won't come a visitin' later!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

These days a person just about has to know as much as the contractors and then stand right on top of them to make sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to step by step.

Ewww-the rude dude would have set me off. Helping himself and asking to ride the dirt bike ranks right up there with people inviting themselves to come ride your horses. Ever have people do that? It drives me crazy. I let a friend come over once with her little girl to ride and it was a wreck. Never again-LOL.

And yes-Honey and I got "in the wind" on my Colorado trip. I love riding with him.

KD said...

I love your term "treasure pile". :) Glad you got every fixed before it was too late.

Jenn said...

How awful, I would have been so upset! Glad you have everything all fixed up and I think it looks great!

gwen said...

Andrea, what a nightmare! Glad it's over! Your house looks great.

Karen said...

First, your house is just beautiful!

And wow, what a nightmare. Thankfully it's fixed without termite invasion, but it's awful that you had to pay for it.

Pony Girl said...

What a nightmare! I think that is fairly common, poor contracting work. Ugh. I am glad you caught it before the damage was even worse. I know it can be really pricey to redo those things.
And creepy guy, that was not nice to make himself at home!
And yeah- new high def cable and an outlet!! ;)

The Wades said...

No new post? I expect you to stay up until all hours of the morning like my foolish self! ;) totally kidding. good for you having a life!

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Wow! You have been through housing HELL. I'm glad you survived this whole train wreck!

It does look beautiful now!

Twinville said...

I'm actually surprised with all your moisture and humidity tat anyone uses stucco there. We lived in South Carolina for 7 yrs and I don't remember ever seeing houses with stucco.

Here in the dry arid southwest, that all anyone uses is stucco. No mold here.

It's a good thing you found the leaks so soon, though, so the damage wasn't even worse.
And good that you had that 'treasure pile'.

I love how you are so positive and find the good in a bad situation, too.
You'll be reminded of how you survived this ordeal when you are enjoying your beautiful Christmas Tree this year.