I Blame Joanna Gaines ;0)

It’s official! ¬†I blame Joanna Gaines. (Insert sarcasm here) ūüėČ

If y’all are a fan of Joanna and Chip Gaines’ show, Fixer Upper, like I am, then you know the magic that happens when they get their hands on a junky old mess of a house. ¬†They basically turn every home they renovate into my dream home. ¬†In the opening credits she says, “Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?” ¬†And before the red house, I did, for sure. ¬†It was an actual bucket list dream of mine; to get my hands on a neglected and forgotten old farmhouse and transform it into my own personal fixer upper dream home.

So, we did it. ¬†We had the guts to take on our little red house fixer upper! Now the question is, “Do you have the guts to continue on with a fixer upper?” ¬†We are 6 months into the project and there is STILL no end in sight! ¬†All five of us have been crib crashing at my mom’s for just about a year now!!! ¬†I know! ¬†It’s mind boggling. ¬†Josh and I were talking the other day about how hard it was to move the kids away from the only home they’ve ever known in Rolesville, NC and now we are looking at the same challenge; in the sense that we, at some point will have to move the kids, again, from this new home they’ve known for the past year! ¬†We’re not sure what new emotional difficulties this will stir up in the kids, but we’ve recognized that they will be there in some form, so I think we’ll be more prepared for them when they show up.

The current financial/project payout deadline we have with buildPros and our lender is January 22nd. ¬†Our estimated project deadline given to us by buildPros was in early October! ¬†Although, it took our contractor that long just to apply for permits! ¬†Josh and I have come to a point of complete desperation and disappointment. ¬†We are ready to move on! ¬†This probably means pushing back our move in date even further; but we can’t give this guy any more time, money, or benefit of the doubt. ¬† Although, we’ve seen some work happening ¬†since contacting our advocates, it is moving along at a snails pace. ¬†They’ve never even put in one full day or full week of work! ¬†After I drop Jaxon at school, I usually stop by the house, pick up our mail and hang around until 9:15 or so, to see if anyone shows up. ¬†Never. ¬†Not once, has anyone been working at our house before 9:30 (maybe later) or after 4 pm. ¬†Also, some the recent work they’ve completed is not up to code and has to¬† be redone or adjusted.

The biggest visual change so far is thanks to Josh and my step-brother Justin! ¬†Last weekend they took down the wall and chimney dividing the dining room and the kitchen. ¬†It looks awesome and awful all at once! ¬†The possibilities beam through the openness and at the same time, its got a looooong way to go. ¬†Excitement and terror fight for attention when you see it in person!¬† There’s no turning back now.

Check it out!

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With every challenge life throws my way, I try to look at it through biblical eyes…try being the optimum word there. ¬†I’m having trouble seeing God’s plan in all this, and trusting He’ll have a way to see us through. ¬†I have to remind myself that even though God is there, it doesn’t mean mistakes can’t be made. ¬†Wrong turns can be taken, but I can lean on Him for strength during and after the wrong turns and mistakes. ¬†And, if we allow it, every mishap or misfortune in life can be used to make us stronger, wiser,¬† and equipped with more and more fortitude. ¬†It’s the oh so familiar, “God, how, why,¬†did you let this happen?” ¬†Our money is running out, our time has run out long ago, and our family is displaced and frustrated.

¬†Yes, I know, this is not the absolute worst thing that can happen. ¬†No one is sick or dying, we are not homeless or in a refugee camp. ¬†I realize this is small potatoes on the scale of things that could happen or go wrong in a drastic, life changing way. I also realize we are incredibly blessed in every corner of this life we’ve built together. This acknowledgement, however, does not detract from the helplessness we are feeling.

So, back to the drawing board! ¬†We are interviewing a new slew of contractors…hopefully honest, trustworthy, reliable, and competent people who care about their business, reputation, and the families they work for. ¬† Is that asking too much? ¬†If only I could get Chip and Joanna Gaines to take over!! ¬†Is that asking too much?…probably on that one it is. ūüėČ

Til’ next time, be blessed!

Tales From the Contractor Crypt: Part “Duh.”

We see some movement!  At last, some progress in the right direction!

Roofing supplies!

Roofing supplies… and a truck!

Josh and I were at our wits end! We were there, ready to cut our contractor loose.¬† I called the bank to see what would happen if the deadline mapped out in the contract wasn’t met, which would be around the end of January.¬† I was told, basically nothing… they would just have to request an extension.¬† Sounds like junk right? Why even have a “deadline” at all if there’s no penalty or incentive to keep their word?¬† Why not just say, “as long as you get to it at some point”?

The bank representative also told me that we should utilize our advocates in this situation.¬† Advocates?¬† What advocates? The Lynch brothers that do all the inspections¬†on properties for these types of loans and initial the ok for the contractors to get paid.¬† Apparently, they are not just the inspectors but also our advocates.¬† I had no idea and this information was definitely not effectively communicated during the loan/closing process.¬† If we had known, we might have involved them a lot sooner!¬† DUH! I explained to the bank that practically no work had been done at all and we were concerned about the progress and trustworthiness of our contractor.¬† She seemed concerned also and told me to contact the¬†Lynch brothers.¬† If that didn’t seem to help,¬†we should¬†call her back.

The next day, Josh called the brothers… our advocates, to explain our complaints and dissatisfaction with buildpros.¬† They sent buildpros an email saying that the customer was not happy with their performance or progress.¬† When we heard from our contractor, he said, “if you think I like having $13,000 already invested in a project without payment, you’re wrong.”¬† ¬†Is this guy a bozo or what?!¬† Josh chose to ignore it since they promised “guys would be there the following week”.¬† So, would you be surprised to hear that we waited, on edge all week as usual for someone to show, and nothing!¬† The next week, we were promised again.¬† That Thursday night, Josh was positive the roofers or their “guys” (these mythical¬†creatures we had yet to see)¬†would be there on Friday.¬† He said our contractor was pretty adamant that they would be there.¬† So, Josh stayed at the house until 3am making sure every last bit of demo was completed, getting ready for that big commencement of work we’ve¬†been waiting and praying for.¬† And… would you be surprised to hear that it was a no show, AGAIN?!¬† AGAIN?!

Josh called me to tell me the news.¬† I was down in NC for my sister-in-law, Piper’s baby shower for baby #6!¬† I was seething when he told me! Josh was trying to figure out how long to wait this time and I was DONE!¬† “That’s it!¬† He’s out!¬† How many more chances to take advantage of us can we give this guy?¬† Not to mention he just got a check for $14,000!¬† He’s out,” I shouted.¬† I was freaking out.¬† Josh said that he was on board with the decision to end our pain and frustration with this guy.¬† We sent text messages back and forth to each other, devising exactly what to say in the formal “heave ho” letter.

Josh thought he should probably call the Lynch brothers and let them know we were done with¬†the buildpros bull and that we¬†wanted to fire them.¬† When Josh called, he talked to Ken, ¬†(one of the brothers) and was livid in explaining our mental state and desire to get these people out of our house.¬† Ken told Josh to calm down and assured him that he’s heard all of this before.¬† He’s been doing this job for 25 years and asked Josh to hold off on firing buildpros and to let him take care of it.¬† I don’t know what he did or said, but do you know that the “guys” showed up the very next day, on a Saturday?¬†¬†There was work going on¬†Monday through Thursday of that week;¬†¬†then also on the following Saturday and Sunday! ¬† I almost don’t want to say anything out loud, afraid of jinxing it!

So, things are looking up!¬† Our spirits are higher and there seems to be an end in sight, which makes the whole situation a bit more bearable.¬† Please pray that the work continues at a steady pace and we can move in soon!¬† My Thanksgiving hope for the red house is dashed, and I don’t think I’ll put any more expected, arbitrary move in dates into my mental calendar… it doesn’t do me any good!¬† My only hope now is to see consistent progress with the project.

Til’ next time, be blessed!