Monday, November 4, 2013

Home Ownership Is Not for P*ssies

Or maybe it's just ownership of old homes.  Old homes with odd renovations performed by a previous owner.  Let's hope so, because if I have to go through half the trials and tribulations with our new house as I've gone through with my old house, I'm renting a condo.  As soon as my 14.5-year-old dog slips earth's surly bonds.

My girlfriend and I bought a house in August, right around the time I finally got my house professionally renovated in an attempt to rent it.  The renovation's been done over a month now and it's been taking us FOREVER to get the place ready to rent.  Painting went fairly well, but it seems like even the simplest tasks snowball into something much bigger.  We are thisclose to being done.

And yet...

I have a termite warrantee with my pest people and they contacted me saying the underwriter of the warrantee requires the occasional inspection of the structure for termites.  I set it up for today and the good news is that there is no evidence of termite damage.

The bad news is that the pest control technician emerged from under my house and said she startled two Norway rats nesting in insulation under my house.  She mentioned that they startled her as well.

She then proceeded to take me on a tour of my previous-owner-oddly-renovated closets to show me every nook and cranny through which my crawl space tenants can enter the living quarters.  She suggested I replace all of the foundation vents to keep the rats from entering the crawl space.  But here's my question: how do I get them out of the crawl in the first place?  Because if I seal off the foundation vents better, they'll be trapped in the crawl.  And when they want to leave, where will they go?  Up into the living quarters!

I had a similar problem a few years back (Rats!) and was worried I'd trap them in the attic.  My boss at the time suggested I get a cat and just leave it in the attic.  And then I guess I'd get a dog to get rid of the cat and then Tweety Bird would make some sarcastic comment as Granny hit me with an umbrella...

In addition to my new Rat Relocation Project, it looks like I need to get some debris removed from the crawl, have new insulation properly installed, and cover the remaining 40% of the crawl floor that is without a vapor barrier.

I can't afford to have a pro do it, so I'm either going to have to do it myself ("Address the rats."    "Helloooo, rats!") or pay some poor shlub in beer to do it.  Beer, I can afford.  More materials for my house?  Negatory.

Home ownership is not for p*ssies.

At least I had an unexpected cavity in a molar today at my 6-month cleaning and got that filled.  It's been 10 years since I had Novocaine and I had a itsy bitsy teeny weeny anxiety attack as it took hold. I'm not proud.  :)

(It's All an Adventure)


Bert said...

Hey, stranger!

Your "Home Ownership..." story resonated with me. I am up to my eyeballs in that right now. On the up-side, we spoiled ourselves last year by putting on a pretty nice addition. The down-side is that an addition completely trashes the existing house. Now I am fixing all of the cracked plaster and peeling paint (~80 year old house). I will take some pictures of the addition and send them came out nice.

Ratatouille: ugh! I am generally an animal lover...until they enter my home without permission. He gets whatever is coming to him! But you are right to be careful with the poison. A friend saw a mouse in his basement, so he brought in BRICKS of poison. I visited with Buddy-girl, she went into his basement and ate a brick of poison. I caught it immediately, but it was still life threatening and pretty expensive (but she came through it without a hitch).

AJ said...

I remember your Buddy-girl story & that's why I was so reluctant to use poison.
I may answer your emails here so I can use them to satisfy my NaBloPoMo quota. ;)