The latest victory of my new, organized self: after putting up with quite bouncy floors in this house for the four and a half years that we’d been living here, we finally got it fixed!
The barriers here were was psychological as much as organizational: my brain was imagining all sorts of possible causes that were either too serious or too expensive for me to want to confront them. Having said that, I’d actually finally faced up to the fact that that behavior wasn’t doing me any good and begun dealing with the issue several months ago; at that time, I looked through the phone book, found a house inspector, learned that house inspectors didn’t (in general) do termite inspections, decided that I wanted a termite inspection first, had that inspection, and paid for treatment. Which was a big step.
But not big enough: I still had a bouncy floor! When I took my first GTD steps, I decided that I didn’t have any reason to not be doing some house work, but that floor repairs weren’t actually the highest priority: getting the dryer vent replaced was. So I got that taken care of. (And stopped feeling guilty about not looking at the floor: I’d made a conscious decision not to do it then for a good reason!)
Once the vent was replaced, though, I did decide to launch on the floor repair project. The next step was easy: I’d already found a candidate by leafing through the phone book, so when I had some free time at work (which took most of a week), I called and arranged for an inspection. Which cost more money than I expected, but was worth it.
And the news was actually as good as I could possibly have imagined: yes, the floor was bouncy, but it was bouncy for a reason, the reason wasn’t a structural problem, and the reason was something that could get fixed without paying an arm and a leg. Basically, the floor under the house had dried out and compacted in the three decades since the house was built. (Incidentally, having it be dry was also good news, since I was a bit worried that water had gotten under the house.) So now some posts weren’t touching beams that ran above them. This meant that if you stepped on an area of the floor supported by the beams, the floor would sag until the beam touched the post. Which is easy to fix: you just shim up the beams.
The inspector gave me a contractor recommendation, and they both seemed like reasonable people, so I went with that. And he cleaned out various other things under the house while he was there: aside from shimming the posts, he put in some earthquake straps, cleaned out some lint from the dryer problems, moved some cables off of the floor of the crawl space, and even cleaned up some beer cans that had apparently been left there by some prior worker on the house. (I’m not sure I want to know the story behind that one…)
And now the floor feels a lot more sturdy, and I have one fewer low-level worry: huge success!
Unfortunately, our house work isn’t over: we’d been thinking for a while that there were certain aspects of the kitchen that we didn’t like, and recently the stove has given us more problems than we’d like. So it’s time to replace the stove, and if we’re doing that, it’s not going to be a simple replacement: there’s an electric stovetop in one place (above some cabinets) and a pair of electric ovens in another place, and we want instead to have a single gas stove/oven combo located where the stove is currently, with cabinets where the oven is currently. Which sounds like a reasonable amount of work; we will, I think, work hard to have it not turn into a complete kitchen remodel, because while I don’t, for example, like the tile countertops, I also don’t want to have my kitchen unuseable for a long period of time. But some significant work is unavoidable, and poor Zippy will have to be shut up in our room again while people are working downstairs.
I’m not starting it just yet, though: we have other things coming up over the next month or so, so right now just isn’t a good time. We should probably start in May; hopefully Sun’s Q3 bonus will be a good one this year…
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