We arrived in springtime and the area was in bloom. Daffodils, azaleas, wisteria, dogwoods, honeysuckle, and a multitude of trees reawakening from the winter cold. The property was beautiful and full of inviting color.
With spring came heavy rains and just a few days after our arrival I was horrified to find out that a small river was running directly under the home. Well, maybe not a river, but a large stream!
As with all new beginnings, there is the need of laying of the foundation - and taking the time to create a strong one is the determining factor of the lasting success of what is built atop. From the get-go, we were met with many items needing to be repaired or replaced.
Being new to the area, knowing no one, and having limited resources, we found ourselves quickly becoming very resourceful in finding ways to address the issues. First up was the make shift water diversion created by laying a string of bricks I found piled up on the side of the property to form a barrier to keep the water from going under the home... It worked!
Fixing gutters, rerouting drain pipes, repairing window screens and frames, installing a screen door, repairing the storm door, fixing broken steps, painting the whole house, replacing the dishwasher, replacing the HVAC system and all new ductwork, repairing electrical inefficiencies, replacing lights, replacing the sink and cabinet in the guest bath, tearing out and replacing flooring and bathroom fixtures in the main bath damaged from a long time leak...and on and on. Sometimes it was overwhelming and I wondered if it would ever end. Just when we thought we were finished, something else would happen.
I had to chuckle one day. We kept the windows open most of spring time (once the screens were all fixed). The weather was gorgeous and the air flow was such that the breeze and fresh air would move through the home and keep it quite comfortable. As I worked at my desk I heard a group of people walking by and commenting on the home. As I mentioned in a previous post, the landscape of the property was beautiful - but very overgrown and covered in vines. The people passing by noted that the property would really be a nice one if someone would just take care of it. I wanted to poke my head out the door and let them know that the inside was even worse and if I could ever get it completed I would then be tackling the yard! Sigh. The day would come, but these foundational issues were more important. Believe me, the gardener in me was craving to get outside, but time was limited and these items had to be completed.
Then it happened.
When we had moved into the home the floors were what I would call "spongy". I was told by many that this was common for manufactured homes, and having never lived in one before, I just accepted that this must be the way it is. Some spots were worse than others, but one in particular in the living room was becoming a growing concern for me. Walking across the floor one day, I found myself taking a "big dip" in the floor with my legs buckling under me. Ok, that was concerning. I put some chairs on either side and told everyone to avoid the area until we could figure out what was going on. We had company that weekend and we all laughed nervously about the situation as we walked gingerly around the chairs.
The following week I had a flooring company come out and they confirmed the worst - the subflooring was so rotted from water damage that it was falling out, and yes, we could fall through the floor! To spare all the details, we had to completely remove the subflooring and replace it, put in new flooring and then ultimately had to have the crawl space encapsulated and a dehumidifier installed under the home. In the midst of the work the installer fell through in the living room and on another day I fell through in the kitchen! Neither were hurt and we just laughed about it...what else could we do?
Thankfully, when it was all done, we could finally walk across the floors and feel confident that we were safe!
In this post I really want to acknowledge the contractors that helped us through this time. We were able to build a solid foundation (pun intended) because of their expertise. They were great to work with, were on time, did quality work and were reasonable in their pricing. I cannot thank them enough for being there to help us through. Kudos to you all!