Monday, April 6, 2009

The Concrete Crisis

Or another title: "The Really Weird Week",
Or, better still: "Do-It-Yourself Home Improvement Projects Really Are the Only Way to Go"

We've been wanting to build a porch onto the front of our little home, but the concrete front step (which really makes the house look dated), was always keeping us from actually doing it.
We've always done our own home remodeling and improvements.....putting in new flooring, gutting and redoing bathrooms, and kitchens, etc. But we've never done concrete removal.

My husband wasn't excited about renting a jack hammer and trying to take it out himself, so I called around and got a few bids. Let me just say, we have NEVER hired anyone to do anything.....we've always done it ourselves, so, we just took the lowest bid....that may have been our first mistake!

They didn't come the day they were supposed to show up, but came unexpectedly on another day. That was fine, but then the hammering commenced! The entire house was shaking, things were flying off of the shelves. Which, I guess is expected when they are jack hammering so close to your front door.
This went on for an entire week. It probably shouldn't have taken that long, but here is what happened:

It was day three of the jack hammering earthquake, and we weren't getting very much school accomplished with all the noise, so we left the house and went on an errand.

As we drove up to the house, I noticed that one of the workers was gone with his truck and the other was still hammering away. Once we were in the house, I look out to see the other worker with his truck was dumping our concrete in the canal that is near our home! Of course this is illegal, so I called my husband and asked if he was on his way home. I popped my head out to tell the other worker that his friend shouldn't be dumping the concrete in the canal, and as I did a couple stopped in their car to talk with the worker who was dumping the concrete.

I'm still on the phone with my husband, he is driving home, and since he doesn't work too far away, he arrives fairly quickly. He talks to the guy that is jack hammering and asked him what is going on, and about the same time, the police arrive! The jack hammer guy runs over to the canal to see what is going on.

The police talked with the worker who was dumping the concrete and to the lady who stopped earlier. We watch the guy turn around and the policeman puts handcuffs on him! We find out later that the concrete dumping guy evidently got in his truck and bumped the lady as she was trying to write down his license plate number after she called the police!
So, he was taken to jail and the concrete removal was put on hold for the day. The other guy came back and had to work alone for the next few days.

It is finally done, but not without some lessons learned....hopefully by the guy in jail, and it may be awhile before we hire out anymore home improvement jobs!


Julie said...

Hi Suzanne, Don't you just hate it when you have to learn a lesson that way. We do most of our own home improvements ourselves too. I hate it every time we have to contract something out, I swear it nevers goes right. Thanks for sharing,Julie

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Oh my!! What a story.

sewprimitive karen said...

What a nightmare! Did you pay them? Are they gone? Well, I guess the guy in handcuffs is definitely gone. Wow.

Naija said...


ohmy what a your art..add you to my artbloglist

bayrayschild said...

Oh My Suzanne!
What an experience!

I bet you are glad that's over with.
What a shame that worker didn't have enough sense to know that what he was doing was just wrong!


Slawek said...

I am sure you might be able to laugh a little now and it sure wasn't funny while it was going on.
Anyone hiring a person or company to work on their home should get a couple of estimates and always ask for referalls as well as proof of insurance. Always protect your home and trust your instincts.

Lana said...

Sorry for laughing Suzanne. I know it was a nightmare when it was happening.


Are you going to hire someone to build the front porch?

Amy Sullivan said...

~thank you for your visit~ & sweet comment~

i have spent some time here~ & love your work~

~well, all i can say is ~i am looking forward to seeing your new porch~
~i am quite sure that your husband will make it all pretty for you~ & just think~ flower pots~ & maybe a rocker or two~

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

What an amazing experience, Suzanne! We used to, in our younger days, do our own improvements too. Not so much these days. It's hard to find folks to do little around the house fixups!

The Burlap Owl said...

That sounded like a Hollywood script. I hope you are able to laugh now...what a story!

Take Care,

Jacquelynne said...

Just remember- usually, our most aggravating and stressful experiences make the best blog posts- haha! Glad that part is over for you!

the pleasures of homemaking said...

Wow! I hope he learned his lesson! What a story! When we had a concerete patio removed in our backyard the guy we hired didnt even come with a jackhammer! He came with a sledgehammer! I asked him why he didn't just rent a jackhammer and he said he preferred doing it the old fashioned way - can you believe that! At least it wasn't noisy but I'm sure he got quite a workout!


Anonymous said...

Hey Suzanne! OH my heavens- Wowie. I guess your new front porch will now have it's very own tale!

I hope that you and yours are well!

Take Care.