Chimney Disaster: Rebuilding Rome

In our last episode, the chimney tumbled and the homeowners were victorious! That was three weeks ago… Ready for the contractor to show up on Monday morning to get the rebuild under way…

However, there is a phenomenon that occurs in the construction world that I have not seen in any other industry where there is no such thing as deadlines or follow up.  It happens whether it’s a woodworker, plumber, electrician or other, they just show up whenever it suits them and many times don’t really pay attention to what the project entails.  I won’t bore you with the depressing list of screw ups we’ve had over here (though my poor friends and family have heard it all!) but I’ll catch you up on some highlights…

The gentleman we hired to rebuild the walls/ceiling/roof was not the project manager we had been told he would be. He built the fireplace platform incorrectly which had to be redone, then forgot to build the overhang which had to be redone, and then he built the firebox 2 feet too short because he wouldn’t wait for the fireplace to show up.

wellscituated chimney build1
This was the original box for the fireplace
wellscituated chimney build2
Here is what had to be added, take the roof off and raise the whole box by over 2 feet

I beg you, do not let people start your project until ALL of your components are there! I’ve learned this the hard way!

He did tear down the ceiling panels, which were nasty with mold, but they got it all and after Hubs bleached it out so they could rehang the ceiling. At this point all seemed to be finally getting buttoned up, we even had the plumber over to see the site… which is where our progress hits a wall.

Despite his promises and logical rationalizations, I could not get the plumber to show up to install the fireplace. Big trench in the front yard?

Open holes in the walls to the outside? Evenings dropping to 40 degrees and we can’t close the walls till you’re done!? Nothing could get this guy here.  Unfortunately, EVERYONE is busy this time of year as people turn on their furnaces. If we could have started this project in August we would not have had this problem, but some things could not be helped.

I won’t get into the electrical… it’s just too much.

So three weeks later…we still are waiting to close up the walls.

But there is hope!  The electrical and plumbing is almost done.  The original guy SHOULD be here tomorrow morning to finish the sheetrock.  Fingers crossed, we will be able to get the walls finished, the gas installed and the electrical done this week.  I know that’s wishful thinking, but I hope so, I’m exhausted.  I have hounded people, spent hours finding supplies and solutions, and made dozens of phone calls trying to push forward. My mailman even offered to get me his plumber’s number! He said he’d leave his number in my mailbox…  I must look that desperate.

If the chimney take down was an action packed WWE throw-down, this rebuild has been the depressing 12 hour English drama where not much happens and there are a million commercial breaks to drag it out even longer.

the moors

slogging through the moors sounds about right

Alas, that is the story so often with renovating.  However, I have good news coming in my next post!  Turns out, just because the contractors aren’t making head way doesn’t mean we don’t have to!

2 thoughts on “Chimney Disaster: Rebuilding Rome

  1. I feel your pain Jess – hopefully things will look up soon. On the bright side, at least it’s not snowing (yet) 🙂

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