Archive for December, 2005

Long time long post! Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

Ok so it’s been a LONG time since I posted last.
Here’s a quick…. nah scratch that…. LONG recap of what’s gone on….
Electrical is done.
Plumbing is a good ways along, if not done.
HVAC (Air conditioning) ducting is done.
Framing is all done.
Roof is ready for the shingles to be attached. The felt paper is down.

I’ve also wired the entire house for sound. We’ll have speakers (or the capability of having them at least) in every single room of the house, including the garage and back porch! Pretty sweet. It took me quite a while to get it all wired. We’ll have volume controls in each room, also we’ll have the ability to control it via remote control with infrared! Pretty slick, huh?
All speakers used 12/2 wiring. Volume control used 14/4 wiring. CAT5 to each for IR.
I had the electrician run two CAT5 lines to every phone jack. Also we ran RG6 and CAT5 to every TV/cable jack. And all of that runs back to one distribution center which we will hide in the front hall closet. Awesome!

We had a BIG BIG BIG problem with our mortgage company. So the way it works is… Insurance cuts a check that has our names, the contractor’s name, and the mortgage company’s name on the check. The mortgage company owns the title of the house, so they have the final say. So we all sign it and send it to the mortgage company. Once they get it, they are supposed to send third of the money back immediately, to pay the contractor. The checks they send back to us have our names, and the contractors name. These checks will be mailed to us, signed by us, then turned over to the contractor and he can go cash it. The second third is sent when he is 50% done with the house. And then the final amount is sent when it is completed.
So anyway… The contractor’s crew started probably the day after the fire. He’s really been working hard and doing a great job. This has all been out of his pocket, b/c he will get reimbursed when he gets the checks. Wellllll he STILL hasn’t been paid.
…. The mortgage company got the check and approved it on Nov 17. I gave them the address for our apartment at this time, since we are not getting mail at the house. They ran it through their channels and supposedly mailed it out on Nov 28 to the WRONG address. UGH!!!!!! I called at the end of that week to find out where the check was and they then told me it was sent to the wrong address. They said they would overnight me a replacement. Well I didn’t get it the next week. Called several times that week. I was promised, I think TWO more times, on different days, that they were overnighting it that day. RIDICULOUS. Come to find out, the girl who was handling our account was out of the office for a week, she didn’t change her voicemail to indicate she was out of the office. She didn’t transfer any of the issues she was dealing with to a coworker. Nope. NO indication she was gone. So we wasted about a week, leaving this girl voicemails. Whenever we called, it would be a 45 minute hold, then you’d get someone, and then you’d get voicemail once they sent you to the people supposedly handling the issue. We got the girl’s manager. Well.. His VOICEMAIL that is. Several weeks and we still had not actually TALKED to someone handling the case. The contractor was getting itchy, wondering where his check was, and with good reason! We’d been promised several times that it had been overnighted! SO yesterday I got a call from insurance and they said that the contractor was going to have to stop working b/c he had not been paid yet. He is also filing a complaint or suit or something against the mortgage company. The insurance company urged me to file against the mortgage company as well. So enough is enough, I had to take the afternoon off from work so I could deal with the (*&^*^&$ mortgage company. I called. On hold for WAY too long. I called the local office. They said they’d have to get me someone from the department I needed. Fine, I will hold. They finally got me someone. I think, b/c I was so irritated, they sent me to someone who handles pissed off customers. He said he was not in the department I needed (loss draft), but would help me. Well I told him I needed to SPEAK to someone in that department and I was not going to settle for voicemail. We started calling…..
He’d put me on hold while he tried the girl handling the case.
“Ok, call her manager”
“I’m sorry, sir, we got his voicemail”
“Ok, fine, call HIS manager NOW.”
“Great! Let’s call HIS manager!”
By this time, I could tell the guy was getting pretty high in the chain of command b/c he was actually having to go to some company directory to look up the names of the people we were calling. We must have gone to 4 or 5 levels of management. I was expecting to have the president of the mortgage company on the phone soon!
He finally told me that he would give me HIS manager. So I got the manager of the department that deals with angry customers.
He was not helpful at all. I told him that I don’t care if I have to hold, I want to speak to someone in the correct department NOW! He started to say that all he could do is send me to voicemail. Oh HEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NO.
No way in hell was I going to play voicemail again. Nope.
So I told him, not acceptable and I would hold as long as it took. He then told me that *HE* would not hold as long as it took. WHAT THE HELL?! All I wanted was to speak to someone in the right department that could tell me why it had taken over 2 weeks to get a check that they had OVERNIGHTED to me.
He said he was going to transfer me to voicemail of the manager of that department. I started screaming at him and told him that he had BETTER not send me there or I would be filing a complaint against him for not assisting a customer. I asked for HIS manager. He said his manager was gone for two days. I demanded to speak to his manager’s manager. He said he would and put me on hold. I half suspected he would drop me into voicemail at this point and was ready to completely lose it. I was already so frickin angry I was shaking.
So then the guy comes back on the line, and he has the manager of the group that I needed to speak to on the other line. I dunno what happened while I was on hold shortly, but I think it dawned on him that he had better help me (or feel my wrath), or maybe his manager told him to deal with it.
Anyway, I get the manager who we have been leaving COUNTLESS voicemails for. He said that they had to issue a stop payment on the check that they sent out to the wrong address. Because it is such a large amount, their system requires 5 days after this to cancel the check out and allow them to cut a new check. He assured me that they would have a new check issued on Thursday and overnighted to me on Friday. He said he personally would call me with the tracking number. He said he would call my contractor as well.
I asked him if it was their policy for an employee to leave the office and not change voicemail or transfer active issues. Come to find out, the girl who was handling our case, her house burned down last week. It took everything in me to not say “Good! I hope she has y’all as a mortgage company!”. Evil. I resisted.
I asked him why he had not called me, Andrea, or the contractor back and he denied getting any voicemails from the contractor. I know for fact that he had left 6 voicemails on Monday and 2 on Tuesday for this same manager. Absolute BS. Liars Liars Liars!
I don’t think I have ever been so angry in my entire life as I was on that call.
Anyway… So today (Wednesday)… We get the check in the mail. It was dated Dec 12. It was shipped out on Dec 13. So…. Another proof that these guys are COMPLETE dumbasses. The new check had already been cut when he spoke to me yesterday. It was cut on the 12th. IDIOTS.
Ok.. Endive then get this. It’s supposed to be a third of the TOTAL. The check we received is for $105,774.05!!!! The FULL check we mailed to them to begin with was for $114,000! There are also some holdbacks in there… Like $40,000 worth. So TOTAL is like $154,000. Or somewhere around there. Now, correct me if my math is wrong, but $105K is NOT a third of $154K. They are supposed to do a 50% inspection before issuing the second third. So I really do not understand how the check got this big. I have a call into insurance to ask them about this. To see if we need to hold any back, or just give it all to the contractor or what. It seems like an awful lot of money to give out. The contractor asked me to schedule the 50% inspection already b/c he thinks they are there. Personally, I don’t think they are at all, but if it took this long for the first draw, I don’t blame him for jumping the gun. They still have all the masonry to do, shingling the roof, sheetrocking the walls, texture and painting the entire house, laying laminate wood floors, putting up all trim (baseboards, window sills, etc), reinstalling the kitchen cabinets and appliances, installing finish trim like doorknobs, etc, installing bathtub, tiling shower surrounds, tiling in the bathroom and laundry room (potentially), finish installing the windows, install front doors, build workbench/shelving in garage, build bookshelf in office room, installing ceiling fans, thermostat, etc, insulating the attic and in walls, install hardi-siding on the outside of the house, hrmm. Probably a lot more that I haven’t thought of. But needless to say… I think they are only about 25% done so far.
Anyway. That’s where it stands. Our contractor will be paid. And they’ll get back to moving through the work. They are still thinking March.

This is NOT our house 🙂 It’s a house that we like the limestone on.

Another shot of the limestone. We’re going to get similar limestone for our place.

The house is coming along. The roof is ready for shingles.

THAT is our old pergola.

That is the dryer vent ducting.

Why I haven’t been posting, Because it would ALL be pictures of this. Notice the wiring. Not really too exciting eh?

And more wiring. That is the CAT5 line.

One of our splurges. A Jacuzzi jet tub for the master bath.

And the master bathroom is now missing a bathtub.

A big giant window for the big giant hole in the front of the garage.

These are the windows not yet installed.

And these will be the “French doors” in the back, instead of sliding glass.

The old windows.

Shingles atop the roof…not installed yet though.

Another shot of the stack of shingles.

New windows installed. Pretty sharp, eh? They’re gonna make a big difference in appearance (and hopefully in energy BILLS!)

The old bath tub.

Far away shot.

The new electrical, where it enters the house.

Not something you see everyday. A check, with our names on it, for over $100K!