Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 5 of Construction

Before showing the day's progress on our horse setup, I wanted to mention that I believe all the problems at my old house are now resolved.  The painter who broke my ceiling fan, didn't finish painting, and lost a screw to my door handle said he would return last Thursday to fix everything, but didn't.  I had to start nagging him again.  He said, "Something came up and he'd get to it later," which is what he always says when I need him to finish the job.

I hired this painter back in mid-March and he didn't finish the jobs in our contract until the end of June.  How pathetic is that?  However, he did email me and said he finished everything on my list on Wednesday of this week.  I asked my real estate agent to go check his work, but I think he's going senile, because he just went out to my pasture and felt that it was wet, and totally forgot to see if the ceiling fan is working, the door handle is fixed, and the walls are painted.  So, I'm just trusting that all that was fixed.

Then there's the gardener.  I called him twice and left messages saying I needed to meet with him to discuss the fact that my lawn is dead in places and he's not doing the job that I'm paying  him to do, and got no call back.  When I got back to Arizona I found a bill from him, and I sent him a letter informing him that I did not want to pay for services that he did not perform, and that I needed him to call me to give his side of the story for why my grass was not being watered.  Again, no response.  I didn't know if the guy quit because he thought I was a difficult person to work for, or if he died or was in a hospital somewhere.  I didn't want to assume anything, so my only option was to get the flaky, lazy real estate agent to water for me until we figured out if the gardeners were ever coming back.

On Thursday I got a call from the gardener explaining that he had taken a "short" vacation, (at least two weeks, maybe three from what I could tell), and despite him telling his crew to do the watering at my house, they did not do it.  He also did not know that the automatic timers he attached to my hose bibs were broken, so he went out and bought two new ones and attached them to my hose bibs and set them up to water for an hour each day.

I said, "That's not enough, though.  You have to supervise your crew, because they do stupid things like forgetting to put the sprinklers back on the grass after they mow.  Then my nice, new exterior paint job gets blasted off the house by the sprinkler."

He said, "Yeah, that's the problem.  I have to stand over these guys and watch their every move."

I'm rolling my eyes thinking, "It's your gardening business.  If you can't manage your staff, perhaps you should go back to mowing lawns for someone else."

Anyway, he apologized profusely, and I told him that even though I'm 760 miles away, I have plenty of eyes in Nevada reporting back to me on the condition of my lawns.  So, if I hear that the grass is dying again, I'll be hiring another gardening company.

Now we've just got to sell the house before August.  If that doesn't happen, I'll have to learn how to be a landlord.  My daughter is looking for off-campus housing near her university, and it's been tough because there aren't many good neighborhoods around there.  The campus is inundated with homeless people and crime.  I'm learning that there are people who buy these old, run down homes and rent out every room they can to students, collecting a boatload of money in the process.  The price for one bedroom is reasonable to the students, but if you look at the total income the landlord brings in from having 5 or 6 students living in one house sharing a couple of bathrooms and a kitchen, and charging each of them rent, it's almost criminal.  Then they ding 'em when they move out, claiming they didn't leave the place in the same condition it was when they moved in, and they keep the security deposits.

Anyway, my real estate agent said I could rent out my house for an amount lower than what I would have asked, and I reminded him that it costs $250 to $500 a month to board a horse in that area, and I've got the facilities for three horses.  Subtract the service of having someone else feed and water your horses, and we can still bump up the rent just because of the barn and horse fencing.  Non-horse people just don't see the value in having a place to keep livestock.

Onward to pictures from day 5 of construction.  The concrete trucks arrived to stabilize my barn posts...


Half the paddock has its no-climb fencing installed now...


This is the route the concrete trucks had to take to get around to all the corners of the barn...

It made me nervous because they are such heavy trucks and they had to drive so close to my underground water tank, which is under that cap in the ground.  I'm unsure how far out the tank extends.  I suspect, based upon the mound of disturbed dirt and rock around the cap, that one side of the concrete trucks' wheels did run over it.

This will be the aisle of my barn...

This is a couple of stalls from side view...

As you can see, the roof will be slanted.  I'm a bit nervous about the extreme angle in which it is slanted.  Bombay and Gabbrielle are notorious for rearing their heads up when they get excited, and I can totally see them getting a few concussions on the lower side.  I'll just have to wait and see the finished product.  I'm sure there will be other beams that will raise the roof a bit higher than the tops of these posts.

We finally received my husband's severance pay from his old job, so we were able to shop for some items we've been wanting or needing for the house today.  I picked up a couple of scorpion black light flashlights to help us get an idea of how many there are hanging around our property at night.  We can start stomping on those that are too close to home.

We've had pesticide companies pressuring us to sign contracts with them to spray for scorpions, spiders and termites on a regular basis.  We just want to make sure we need the service before blowing all that money.  We've seen a grand total of four scorpions since we moved in, which isn't too bad.  We suspect that all the digging the construction workers have been doing may have disturbed them and caused a migration.  I guess we'll find out after dark.

11 comments:

Rebecca said...

Once the bug residents realize there is new movement around their area, they will probably move on, except for the termites :p. Four scorpions isn't bad, let us know what you see with the black lights at night! :o)

Reddunappy said...

Fence and barn are looking good!!

We rarely get scorpions here if we do they are pretty small. I have never seen one.

Carpenter ants and termites we have a lot of!!!

Crystal said...

I never knew you could see scorpions with a black light! That would be cool. Im kinda jealous of your barn, I so want one. Why the steep roof, cant be for snow load?? or even rainfall?

lilyrose said...

Don't let the pest companies pressure you. Some of them are very persistant and they lie to you. First off, spiders are mostly resistant to a lot of the pesticides, as are the scorpions. If you have a cricket problem-you will have scorpons. Wait awhile until after all the construction is over. Things will settle down. Also, check with your termite contract. Moving dirt stirs them up so watch closely for termites. We have had them here.
We use an organic pest company. If you're interested I can give you their name and #.
I think your horses will quickly figure out their space and love it!

fernvalley01 said...

Looks good

lytha said...

why do people in the southwest build fences/barns with metal instead of wood? i would think it wouldn't rot like it does in the PNW. i like the metal, it looks like it would last forever. i'm just curious.

in germany t posts cost more than split wooden posts (those ones that look crappy because they're random in shape). also, what i really don't get: i've never seen no-climb fencing in germany. i consider this the very best fencing and if i were rich, i'd have a fence like yours. but i cannot even buy it here. in our whole state i've only seen 3 professionally built wooden rail fences. many fancy stables (riding clubs with memberships) use crappy ugly spare-part fences. (really, like plumbing pipes for posts with electric wire in between!) i must live in the land of the world's ugliest fences.

thanks for showing us your progress. it's really fun to watch.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Crystal - The barn was designed by an engineer in our county who is familiar with the winds and weather patterns, so I'm not really sure why he chose this roof style. I can see that the slope will provide more shade and wind protection since the barn slopes on the east and west sides.

lytha - I'm not saying there aren't wood barns around here, but we do have termites, so wood posts be tarred and surrounded by concrete. I specifically asked for no wood because my horses chewed my wood fence and barn to bits back in Nevada. I originally wanted pipe panel railings and a pipe panel barn, but my contractor said it was too expensive and wouldn't fit my budget. He said that no climb fencing would fit my budget, so that's not the most expensive fencing around here.

sydney K said...

I love no climb fencing; it keeps my donkey from escaping every darned other fence, including electric that goes up. However being a farrier I HATE HATE HATE HATE IT!!! It rips off more stupid shoes when horses paw it than I care to even think about!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

sydney K - That's one of the things I worry about, because my horses use to take chunks out of their hoof walls when pawing the chain-link fence. They are installing the no-climb so that there are a couple of inches between the bottom of the wire and the ground, so that might help.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Looks like things are really coming along. They're making fast progress, too.
Hopefully the water tanks will be ok. But don't you just love it when money comes in and you can buy some stuff you need?

~Lisa

achieve1dream said...

It's all looking so good!! I can't wait to see what it looks like when its finished! :)