Monday, April 27, 2009

Renovation Quirks

Okay, so not ALL my posts have to be about pictures, right? I figured I'd go for a bit of a giggle in this one...okay, so I'm giggling about this now, but when a lot of this happened I wasn't, not for the first 10 minutes, anyhow!

I moved into my first apartment on June 1st of last year, and shortly after my moving in, my landlord mentioned that he would be having some work done on the building, probably in the Fall which would include changing the ratty old carpet in my entrance hallway. I didn't hear anything more about it until mid November when he called me upstairs to he and his wife's apartment (I live in the semi-basement of a duplex, so there are only three apartments in the building, mine the landlord's above mine and a couple who rent the top floor). He and his wife informed me that they were going to have their whole apartment redone. And I mean the WHOLE apartment. Walls knocked down and moved, plumbing completely changed, wiring redone, floors torn up, EVERYTHING and the work would be starting three weeks from the day I got the news. The couple upstairs and I had two options: move out without having to pay breach-of-lease penalties or accept a month rent-free in May. Yeah right, find a place, pack up and move in three weeks in the middle of November? I took the month of free rent and grumbled all the way back down to my apartment.

I cherished every moment of quiet for the three following weeks and on the weekend before the work was to begin, my landlord and his wife packed up all their stuff, moved out and the work started on the following Tuesday. At first, the major problem was the racket of walls being knocked down and sounding like the were falling on my head, the my ceiling sounding like it was being torn up when they pulled up the floor. Then, one night in mid-December I was woken up at about 2:00 A.M. by what I though was a scraper's shovel dragging all the way down the road. It was horrendously loud and I was convinced that I was going to have to peel my poor cats off my ceiling they jumped so high. The noise stopped after a few minutes and I went back to sleep, but then I heard the noise again the following morning. There were no workers up there, so I crept up the stairs and saw what I later found out through my grandfather was an air compressor. I had no clue what it was at the time though, so I didn't dare touch the thing. I figured that if the workers had left the thing plugged in, there must have been a reason for it, so fool that I am I left it there lol It turns out that the workers routinely forgot to unplug the air compressor, so the next time it happened I called the landlord who in turn called the couple on the second floor and sent them down to unplug the machine once the staircase that led from my apartment to the landlord's was pulled down. After two or three times, the couple on the second floor learned to recognize the compressor and when they heard it after the workers were gone, they would run downstairs and unplug it without my having to make a call.

So that was incident number one: the air compressor left plugged in, which has been repeated so many times I have now lost count...but my cats no longer require disengaging from the ceiling when this happens, nor am I disturbed by it too much if it happens int he middle of the night. I simply roll over and go back to sleep, often while it is still rumbling-rattling away. The couple on the second floor have yet to be trained to run downstairs and unplug it at 2:00 A.M.

Incident number two: the not-so-efficient brand new thermostat. The landlord had a new environmentally friendly fully time-controlled thermostat put in. Only problem was, the controls for it were on his floor and he wasn't living there and to this day still isn't because the work up there still isn't done. So, when the heating turned on and wouldn't turn off in December and it got up to 32 degrees in my place at 11:00 P.M. I had to write to him and tell him that I was sleeping with no blanket in a pair of summer pajamas when I hadn't even had to do that in the middle of the summer. He came over at 1:00 A.M. after reading my e-mail and had to cut the heating to the entire building because the thermostat was non-responsive and I had to write to him the following evening telling him that I'd had to do the same thing before going to bed. And people pay thousands of bucks for vacations down south to escape the winter in Montreal. I should have dumped sand in my apartment and put up a sign for 20$ beach access, I could have made a bundle! Anyhow, the landlord came over the next day, which thanks heavens happened to be Saturday, and went into the furnace room to discover that the wire connecting the furnace to the thermostat was broken. Fortunately the landlord is an electrical engineer, so he knew just how to fix the problem and the heating worked just fine for the rest of the winter.

Incident number three: water everywhere but in my bathroom. Long story short: they pulled out all the old pipes and replaced them with brand new shiny copper ones. However, the plumber accidentally removed the pipe to my washroom without replacing it, so I spent twelve hours having to flush the toilet by emptying a bucket of water into the tank. Looovely lol Luckily, my shower was not affected by this because it wasn't connected to the same pipe, it just conveniently affected the sink and the toilet :oj

Incident number four: power everywhere but in the oven. They changed the electrical panel for the entire building, but when turning the breakers back on, neglected to flip the one for my oven. I realised this when I tried to pre-heat the oven for my pizza and it was still cold twenty minutes later after my shower. The electrician came to turn the breaker back on at about 9:00 P.M....after I had ordered chicken from a local restaurant because I got sick and tired of waiting for him. Hey, at least the TV was working, right?

So there you have it. The work upstairs should finally be finished within two weeks, so hopefully I won't have anything else to report. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with floor waxing, especially with latex-based wax that doesn't stink to high Heaven and back nearly as much as oil-based wax? Let's just wait and see...


  1. Thanks for your visit and your comment ;)

  2. Sounds like the moving out option would have been a good idea.