Monday, December 28, 2009

The Crack in the Ceiling

Well, if it isn't one thing, it's another.  We suddenly had a big, scary crack open up in the ceiling in our Dear Child's room on Shabbos.  My Eldest Daughter's kitchen is directly above and it turns out that water has been leaking from the sink under the base cabinets and I guess the floor is giving way.  Did I say scary?  Very, very scary. The fridge is right beside the cabinets in question and one of our first moves was to Move. The. Fridge.  Because, you know, it isn't heavy or anything.  Luckily a friend's non-Jewish boyfriend and his dad happened to come over and moved it for us.

The fridge is now in ED's living room, which isn't great but it's a lot better than having it in DC's bedroom!  If we hadn't moved it, that would have been a distinct possibility.  Considering that it would have landed at least partially on the bed I'm wondering if we should be bentching gomel!  (This is a short prayer said in shul thanking G-d for having been saved from a life-threatening situation.)  Dear Child was sleeping in there when the crack developed and I was also in there for part of the night because she had a bad dream and I snuggled her back to sleep.  Of course, I didn't see it then because it was dark but it was apparent first thing in the morning.

My son-in-law came back from his parents' place with the girls late Saturday night (the original plan had been to drive back today) and we've done a bunch of preparatory work.  DC's room has been emptied except for her dresser (far enough from the damaged area), one kitchen cabinet has been removed and the flooring pulled up.  Next, S-in-L plans to open up DC's ceiling to assess the damage from below and determine how far the problem goes.  Not that it really matters.  The next cabinet to come out is the sink cabinet and then there a couple of small ones and a large corner cupboard.  It only makes sense to take them all out because they'll never be able to match them.  That means they're going to be doing dishes in the bathroom for a while.

The lucky thing is that IKEA is apparently having a Kitchen Event starting January 4th.  (I'm not sure why they're doing that, as they just had one for the whole month of November, but let's not look a gift horse in the mouth.)  The kids can't even really afford to do an IKEA kitchen right now (plus new sink, faucet, counter, etc.) with the baby due in a few weeks but this is work that can't be put off in any way.

Once the floor and subfloor are repaired and we're sure everything is safe they can replace the cabinets.  Oh yes, and install his parents' gift to them -- a new dishwasher!  And we can fix the ceiling in DC's room.  Maybe we'll finally get around to replacing her light fixture with the one we bought ages ago.  I'm also seriously thinking about ripping up the nasty carpet in her room and putting in Dri-Core and a wood floor.  I mean, everything is out of there.  When else are we going to do it?  I still have some materials left over from when I did the living room, but I'd need some more at least.  It won't cost a fortune because I'm pretty sure the room is less than 100 square feet.  We'll see.  I do want to get the room back in order fairly soon though.  Right now she's sleeping with one or the other of us and her "stuff" is all over the living room and kitchen.

The really frustrating thing is that this is happening just after my daughter and S-in-L finished redoing their girls' bedroom because the roof had been leaking and there was water damage to the ceiling and wall.  It seems like there is always money to be spent somewhere (and big money at that!).  They can't really afford it much better than we can.  As for me, the only money I'll spend is on flooring if I decide to redo the floor.


Grace. said...

I'm trying to understand the lay-out here. Your daughter and her family live above you and your family? So who owns what, and how do you get away with only paying for new flooring? Not that you aren't lucky about that! First the car, and now the ceiling? I'd be tearing my hair out about now.

Rina the Mama Bear said...

Oh no. :( Thankfully you caught it quickly before anything too serious happened!!!!!

Shevy said...

My daughter and son-in-law own the house but we made a significant investment (5 figures) in it (which we will get back at a later date). It's a 1914 house with a major 80s reno. Due to drainage issues in the area, it sits on slab (which I think is unusual for houses of this age). That means our part of the house is right at ground level. We have 3 bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom (as well as all the mechanicals). The joint laundry area and their spare bedroom are also on ground level. The rest of the house is up a flight of stairs and they have an attic level that contains their master suite as well.

I only pay for improvements I choose to make to our living space. Like the new fridge and stove I bought when we first moved in, or my living room floor. They're responsible for fixing things that go wrong.

I'm hoping it gets done *fast*. The girls' bedroom upstairs took about 2 months! Admittedly, S-in-L had 2 walls open in there as well as the ceiling. Plus, he's more skilled at drywalling now. But I'm hoping he'll do it in a week or two.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Sometimes you can save on kitchen cabinets by keeping some of the old cabinets and ordering new cabinets in a contrast color, that complement the old color cabinets. Friends of our did that and their kitchen was beautiful!

Shevy said...

Rivka, that's true. Luckily for the kids they found that the damage is really all in the ceiling and not in their floor. While there was water leakage at some point (2 problems were identified and fixed, including a drainage one) it had gone neatly down, through holes in the vapor barrier made by (uggh) mice, into the insulation and eventually our ceiling. So, they're not going to have to rip out their base cabinets after all. Well, except the one that had to come out so the new dishwasher could go in.

Right now all the damaged material is out, new insulation and vapor barrier in, but the ceiling still needs new drywall and all that goes with that. It's a 2 man job and my Number 1 Son helped with the other bedroom, so I think that's the plan. I need to cost out the floor and see if I'm going to do it but I probably have at least a week before I get access to the room back. I did measure it though, before it got taped off: 75 square feet. IIRC, DriCore is about $1.85/sq ft, plus either engineered or laminate flooring. Maybe $400 all told?

RivkA with a capital A said...

It can always be worse!

Glad the damage was not more extensive.

Hope the new fixes work out well!