Monday, August 1, 2011

So. This happened.

Thursday morning, I received a frantic call from the owner of our cleaning service... "You're toilet is flooding - I think you need to come home."  


That's always an "Oh Shit" Moment {as depicted so succinctly by the above signage in my MIL's guest bathroom}, but, as I sped the 31 miles home, I was imagining more of a "Oh Shit, That New Master Carpet is Going to Be All Wet" Situation and less of a "OH SHIT THE ENTIRE DOWNSTAIRS HAS BEEN CONVERTED INTO A WADING POOL" Situation.  


Apparently a busted toilet supply line can pump gallons upon gallons {upon gallons upon gallons} of water into a home in a matter of minutes {likely about 20-30 minutes in our case}. That stair-step foundation we so adore  played a crafty trick of gravity, directing water downward... into the master closet and bedroom, through the entry way, down to the dinning room, through the walls into the storage closets and the garage, and down once more into the living room.  By the time the water was shut off and the restoration crew arrived to dry everything out, the damage had been done...

Complete destruction of all downstairs flooring {with the exception of the kitchen tile}. 

Hardwood. 

Carpet. 

Baseboards. 

Bottom two feet of drywall in most downstairs rooms.

Toe-Kicks on all cabinetry. 

Can I get another "Oh Shit?"


I snapped a few photos from Thursday and Friday morning as the restoration crew began ripping everything out and setting up fans and dehumidifiers.  I forgot to take more yesterday... just imagine bare slab throughout the entire house, a clusterf*ck of extension cords, gaping holes in the walls, and an inch layer of dust over everything in sight. 

Also Note: Our Sun Friends survived.  OF COURSE THEY DID.  

fare thee well, beautiful hardwood

And now for my PSA Moment... 

Observe: Your Toilet Supply Line. 

Toilet_supply_-_braided

See that plastic nut there?  That is a $2 plumbing piece.  Hardware stores also sell a metal version for $4. For some reason, plumbers rarely offer clients this "upgrade"... which is a shame since the plastic nuts often crack... especially if they are tightened with pliers.  If your plastic nut cracks, your supply line breaks.  If your supply line breaks, you too shall need an ark.  Metal nuts can't crack, thus strengthening your supply line considerably.  $2.00 extra in plumbing supplies vs. $75,000.00 insurance claim... This ain't rocket science, people. 

While I want to hit someone really, really hard in the gonads whenever I think about that little, bitty plastic nut,  I do realize we were very, very lucky in so many respects.  

Had our housekeeper not been there, neither of us would have returned to the house until 8:30 or 9:00 that night - E was in Houston and I had dinner plans.  The restoration company said by then, we would have had a swimming pool with a deep end on our hands. I don't even want to think about what would have happened to The Boom.  As it is, we were able to salvage nearly all of our furniture and personal belongings {I think we're only down a cheap throw rug, 3 feather pillows, and a West Elm console cubby table}.  

We have a great insurance policy.  We still have a long ways to go, but the folks at State Farm and Stanley Restoration have been immensely helpful thus far.  And, since all of this was caused by our old plumber's negligence {they tightened that plastic nut with pliers - a big no-no - and we have the old invoice to prove it}, we're hoping to recoup our deductible when State Farm goes after their insurance company. 

We get an entirely new downstairs!  It'll take a month or so, but I'll get to repaint those 28 foot living room walls on someone else's dime... plus all new flooring, baseboards, door frames, and drywall {none of which we needed - in fact, it was all in beautiful condition - but, for the sake of Positivity, I'll take it}.  

And, finally, it's Dallas Staycation Time!  We're living it up like Eloise at the Hotel Palomar** - where The Boom is enjoying her en suite doggie bed, I am enjoying the Sassy Tiger Robes, and we're all enjoying the complimentary happy hour {and crab rangoons!}.

** The alarm is on and someone's checking the house multiple times a day... Thieves beware. 


As with everything, this too shall pass {in a month or so... wherein I shall miss my kitchen and DVR and washing machine immensely}.  

And we'll be just fine until then. 

33 comments:

  1. Oh, Kate. I'm pretty sure our phone conversation in the midst of your discovery process will be forever seared into my brain as "things my friends do not deserve." That said, I'm so grateful you'll be in DC soon, because if we missed our only chance to see each other due to a damn $2 plastic nut that already destroyed your house I would be inconsolable. So happy you're staying optimistic!

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  2. oh no! That sucks! "the gonads" I love that 'oh shit' and that you asked for a second one - fabulous. WOW - $2 more? That is a major upgrade, no wonder plastic exists. GRRRRR.

    Hang in there!

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  3. Kate, I cannot believe how 'lucky' you were that the cleaning people came that morning! I'm SO sorry this happened to you guys. I hope you take those plumbers for all they're worth. Maybe the restoration people can some how find damage in the sun people - that was seriously the first thing I thought of when you said the kitchen was flooded on Twitter! HA! Cheers to living it up like Eloise!

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  4. this happened to us 18 months ago. as you said, it's a bit inconvenient to be displaced from your home. But I think you have a great attitude - enjoy the staycation and enjoy the new "remodel" :)

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  5. Yep, happened to us last year because a pipe broke and I didn't know how to turn off the main water! I know now! Yes, you'll get new floor out of it and it you can recoup your deductible, it will actually be a great thing! We had to pay $1,000, but got new carpet and refinished hardwoods out of it, which was a great thing!

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  6. My father-in-law had the same thing happen! Damn cheap plumbers. Glad you're looking on the bright side!

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  7. that's terrible! way to be an optimist and at least you're enjoying your staycation!

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  8. The exact same thing happened to us last year in our upstairs master bathroom. When I came home, water was running down the stairs and pouring out of all the light fixtures on our first floor. Our entire house, all floors, all ceilings, all walls had to be stripped down to the frame and rebuilt. Because of a $2 part. We lived in a hotel for three month, mainly because the contractor our homeowners association hired were idiots. We also had state farm and they were fantastic! Have fun picking out new flooring and paint on your old plumbers dime! I also talked to the painters and had them do a few other things for us for minimal expense since they were already there.

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  9. What a mess! I'm so sorry you all are experiencing this. I wonder if you can add that robe to the growing bill...

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  10. Geez... I am annoyed with my crabby little baby at the moment, but this post serves as a reminder that it could be worse! Sorry y'all are going through that. But at least you get to stay somewhere nice that is pet friendly! We spent a night there with Rocky... sharing a hotel room with him took away from the niceness, but at least we didn't have to pay to kennel him!

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  11. my word! the EXACT same thing happened to use 5 years ago and our insurance put us up in a hotel for 2 months thank god! good luck, hopefully its a blessing in disguise!

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  12. Cheers to you and your fantastic attitude about the whole thing! I know it cannot be easy to be displaced from your home and see the place you love in such disarray. Your ability to stay positive is awesome! I'm so glad your insurance is taking care of things and helping to make the best of a crappy situation. And the fact that the sun tiles survived the flood - too damn funny. Perhaps a generous adjuster will find mold in the grout and add it to the "to be replaced list?"

    Enjoy the swanky hotel Eloise!

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  13. Well first of all you two are adorable. So in the midst of the toliet debacle of 2011 at least you look good! :-) So sorry this happend!!! You have a great attitude about it though!

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  14. Yikes!!! At least you didn't have to stay with your in-laws :-) And is that sign really in her guest bathroom? hah!

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  15. Oh. My. God. I am SO sorry! That's horrible! Thank Heavens Boom-ster is okay! That would be my biggest fear too- everything else can be replaced. Way to look on the bright side, girl!

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  16. Where have I been? Only you could make this funny and I have certainly made a mental note about the $2 nut upgrade.

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  17. You certainly have the best outlook during this situation. So bummed it happened to you guys but glad that everything is okay and the little Boom is enjoying her stay at the hotel with you guys! I can't even imagine how much B would flip if this happened to us.

    Long Live the Sun Friends!

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  18. What a nightmare. I am so impressed with your positive attitude! Here's to lots of fun redecorating your first floor on the insurance company's dime. Hopefully the next month will speed by for you!

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  19. Oh no! Thank goodness you were able to catch the problem before you had a full Olympic pool in your living room. Enjoy your staycation. I love Hotel Palomar! ;)

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  20. Glad you have a good attitude about it; I'm sure it's overwhelming on so many levels.

    I think I'll forward this to my plumber (the husband) so he knows not to use that plastic nut. Glad to hear State Farm is treating you well.

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  21. This is awful. We had the same thing happen in our master on my first day of maternity leave. We caught it early-ish, but it was still a nightmare. Enjoy your hotel stay!

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  22. kudos to you, kate, for handling this mess while E was out of town. i would have been a crazy mess. thank goodness for homeowner's insurance. worth every penny! enjoy your staycation!

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  23. Oh my gosh that is terrible! I hope everything works out okay and that it isn't too long before you have your house back.

    Those wall decals seem extra appropriate for this situation!

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  24. Oh. My.

    Hope time flies and you all are home soon!

    (also, this is not making me feel very awesome about the fact that my husband just replaced a very important toilet part by himself.)

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  25. So glad that your cleaning lady s there. My brother came home to my folks'house from my graduation to 3 fet of water in the basement. NOT fun. Good luck!

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  26. Oh Lord. It sounds like it was at least clean water. Not that that makes the whole thing better, but at least there wasn't any actual shit involved.

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  27. I SO admire your ability to find the humor and positive in your situation...I would have *definitely* lost my cool in 0.2 seconds and would probably be spending my time away at a psychiatric hospital or jail. :) Kidding!

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  28. I'm so sorry this happened to you! Eeeek!

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  29. I'm so sorry, Kate! Doesn't being a homeowner suck? Yeahhhh. We had our hot water heater bust and flood our kitchen and bathroom a few years back--luckily we were home when it happened, but, on our way out for the day--stepping in scalding water when I went to the bathroom kind clued me in that we had a problem. Water effing sucks. I'm so, so sorry. If there's anything I can do, let me know.

    In the meantime, enjoy the hell out of the Hotel Palomar!

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  30. Wow Kate. That really freaking sucks. But.. at least you look adorable and Evs looks adorable and The Boom is still dry and clean. Your attitude is awesome. I'd be way more woe is me. Kudos to you girl. Hope it gets figured out quickly.

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  31. Oh my! I just saw this and I'm so, so sorry. Just about a year ago, we had a crisis like this too--a tree fell in a storm, took out a huge piece of the roof, and the resulting rain caused water damage in three rooms. We lived in our basement for four months while it was fixed. But--but! Silver lining: Our house looks WAY better now. We got a new roof for free (via insurance). We got new hardwood upstairs. We got new bathroom tiles. I would not, ever, wish a mess like this on anyone, but a year later, we're lucky it turned out so well. Hang in there :)

    p.s. you're handling a bad situation way better than I did. I was angry at the world for at least a month. And I'm still really jumpy during thunderstorms.

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  32. What's important is that you both smile after all of that.

    Stay Happy!

    Cassy from Guitar Made Easy

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  33. I am so late to commenting, but I remembered this post and all the damage caused by the $2 part. We are moving into a new house and when the inspector noted that the water pressure is extremely high, I had flashbacks! I want my husband to read this because when I mentioned my concern about it happening in the new house - he scoffed. But the comments just reaffirm that this would be a great $6.50 investment in our sanity! Thanks for the post :)

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happy little comments!