Sunday, March 26, 2006

Still No Power or Gas

It is Sunday 26 March and we still do not have power and gas. The permit snafu at the city was even worse than we realized and the builders either missed it or were unable to fix it through back channels. So while all the construction inspections now show as passed on the city Web site, there's one missing inspection: the sewer cleanout. The sewer cleanout inspection that should have happened (and almost certainly happened) a year ago now has to be redone because there is no record of it having been done even though even the inspector who did the companion rough plumbing inspection agrees that if he did one he would have certainly done the other. So they had to dig out the sewer connection at the street so the inspector can see it. This inspection better happen on Monday (and early Monday) or things are going to get ugly. But even if it happens Monday, the soonest we can then get power and gas is almost certainly Tuesday.

I discovered this part of the snafu on Thursday morning when (from the conference I was attending in North Carolina) I called the gas company to find out the status of the service order and why the hell wasn't it connected yet. They said the city hadn't sent them the info indicating the inspections had passed. What the #$*@%!? So I called the city and they said, yeah the construction inspections have passed but there's still the water and sewer inspections. Say what? I don't see that on the form on the web site. No, she says, it's right there at the bottom--there should be a "Y" in the little box with the cryptic notation. That's the sewer inspections. Oh. You have to call the water and sewere people. Fine. So I call the water and sewer people. No record of a sewer cleanout inspection. The water inspection isn't needed because there's already a water meter there (I've been paying that bill personally at commercial rates for a year so there must be a meter there). So now I'm on the phone to the construction supervisor saying "What the #$@*%? Get this fixed now" and the builder calls me back and says we're on it and so on. This was Thursday. Suffice it to say I was angry. I'm calmer now, but like I said, if the inspection doesn't happen on Monday and we don't have power and gas on Tuesday, it will get ugly (did I mention that one of Julie's uncles is a high-powered attorney in Dallas?).

We are now into our second week with only partial power. Having no heat would have been a big problem given the weather this last week--we've been affected by the same cold snap that's put the rest of the country in a deep freeze. Daytime highs were in the mid 50's all last week, with lows in the high 30's and 40s. However, the house never got below 62 degrees inside, and the upstairs actually warmed up slightly over night as heat from the ground floor migrated upwards. Yesterday the high was close to 80 so we were able to raise the interior temperature to about 70 by opening some windows.

Our friends Sasha and Ash got moved into our old house, which they are renting, and let us use their U-Haul truck to get the rest of our stuff--mostly stuff from the back yard like the bikes, smoker, and Dada's outdoor toys--as well as the couch and chair which were so nasty that Goodwill wouldn't take them (tip to Bassett owners--go with leather which will resist the damaging effects of having dogs on them all the time [and I don't want to hear any "why don't you just keep them off the furniture" crap--they're bassetts, they will be on the furniture]). Julie and her mom put in really hard work to get the old house ready on short notice (I was out of town on a trip that had been planned months ago).

So at least the moving stuff from the old house part of the move is pretty much done and we can concentrate on trying to make the new house a little less chaotic, although we can't fully unpack because we're not sure what additional things need to be done that we would get in the way of by unpacking. We'll get that clarified on Monday.

Still, despite the stress of living in a box-filled, underheated house with no hot water we do really like the house itself. We've been here for a week now and haven't discovered anything that is just wrong wrong wrong and why did we ever put that in design. Which is good.


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