Saturday, August 16, 2008

Are we there yet?

One week from today I will begin my drive to Maryland. I'll swing through Louisiana and pick up my Mom and we'll go from there. It's almost 1,500 miles, so I'm anticipating a three day drive.

Yesterday, I picked up a AAA guide for traveling with your pet, so we should be able to identify pet friendly hotels (we'll have kitty cat with us). I've told her (kitty cat) all about the move and that she'll like the new apartment, but I don't think she's really excited about it.

To be honest, I'm not excited about the packing, the driving, or the unpacking, but I'm looking forward to basically starting over. I thought my return to Texas would be my last move, but God frequently has other plans for us. While this is hard, I think it's for the best. I just wish I didn't have to pack up my whole house and drive for three days.

And, moving, well, it will be expensive. But, since the distance is so great and I am moving to a 4th floor apartment and it's just me and my Mom, I felt it was best to get folks who know what the heck they are doing. Cause, while I can pack, hauling stuff from the truck to the apartment is not something I would do well. I think I've selected a decent mover, but things have certainly changed even in the almost two years since I last moved. What I will say is a) if they don't come to your house to give you an estimate, keep looking; b) if the estimate is non-binding, keep looking; c) if you're comfort level is off, keep looking.

The mover I eventually chose did come to my house, gave me a binding estimate/quote (which includes a stop at a storage unit) and delivered boxes and packing paper, which none of the other movers even offered, not even used boxes. Also, this mover will arrange for debris pick-up, also something none of the others even offered, and pack my mirror and large pictures, mattresses and do the wardrobe boxes the day of pick-up. So, while his estimate was higher, at least I know what I'm paying. There are horror stories about the cost being upped by thousands of dollars after pick-up and delivery and there is really no choice but to pay it.

My last day on the job here in Texas was yesterday. This has probably been the easiest job to leave. I will miss a few people, but really, there is nothing about this job that I will miss. Actually, there was nothing to get overly excited about, but that was more because the job was not the job I interviewed for. But, that's another story.

Now, we're packing and getting ready to hit the road.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Geotechnical Survey...

Which is probably a fancy term for getting soil samples, which is what took place at my house yesterday. I could have termed this post Vindication times 2. Originally, Head Warranty Guy told me they would go by the soil samples taken from the neighborhood for the driveway issue. I didn't think that would be good enough and since at least two other homes had soil samples taken from around their foundations I was a little puzzled as to why that wouldn't be the case with me. Turns out I was right. Last week I got a call from Warranty Guy to say those samples weren't good enough and they would need to get samples, though they probably couldn't get me on the schedule until next month. Sigh. Then I got another call. Lo and behold, they could do my house this week. Yesterday as it turns out. The company said they'd need access to the garage and the yard. Okay, no problem, I was scheduled to be off anyway. Access to the garage was to actually drill a hole through the garage floor to get the samples.

They arrived right on time yesterday morning - 8:30 am. The driller didn't leave until after 5:00 pm and he worked straight through. Builder really ought to be better coordinated as Head Warranty Guy called yesterday morning to tell me they would be doing this this week. I told him they were already here. He paused, then asked if he could talk to the guy. Sure. End result. They wanted a sample from inside the house as well. My master bedroom to be exact. That's the picture above. Yep, they pulled back the carpet and drilled a hole through the foundation in my master bedroom. Kudos to builder guys for getting the carpet guys out this morning to properly tuck the carpet back in.

I was totally fascinated by this process. Most of what they are finding - fill dirt. And, apparently there is a clay around here that expands tremendously when it gets wet. Which would explain my problems. Also, it appears that one of the other houses that got tested about a month ago has a lot more problems than mine, including windows that have cracked due to the movement. Thank heavens I've not had that yet.

Today, a guy shows up and says they are doing more testing - apparently testing the moisture levels. So, I've got strange guys running around my house taking more samples. I'll be interested to see those results as the outside soil sample taking accidentally nicked one of the sprinkler lines, so it's been turned off. Of course, they'll fix it, but in the meantime, I can't run the sprinklers. And, we are in Texas in summer when here lately threats of rain are just that - threats. Not a lot of rain to speak off and it's been hot.