Tuesday, December 4, 2007

adventures in home repair

A couple of weeks ago our dishwasher started making this noise like it was going to explode. Needless to say, I turned it off and didn't turn it back on. The FG took a look at it but couldn't see anything wrong. What with Christmas coming and all, we've just been washing our dishes the old-fashioned way until we felt the burning need to pay someone to come out and repair the dishwasher. Merry Christmas, kids! It's a clean plate!

Sunday night while I was at work the washing machine stopped working. It would wash and it would agitate, but it wouldn't spin or drain. The FG took a look at it but couldn't see anything wrong. He called me at work to let me know, which thrilled me no end since I was already getting my ass kicked and there wasn't anything I could do about the washer anyway. (There wasn't anything I could do about getting my ass kicked at work either, but that's another story. At least my washing machine wasn't a manipulative/pain in the ass/ drama queen/ in your face Drug Seeker. But I digress).

So first thing Monday I was on the phone with an appliance repair guy who came highly recommended and who actually was able to come over that morning. Wonders never cease. We already had an appointment with a chimney sweep to come and check out our chimney. We've never had a fire in the fireplace in we've lived here and we want one before snow falls - which is supposed to be Thursday if you believe the forecasters.

And I had to go to work to attend a one hour mandatory class first thing. It was shaping up to be a blistering fun kind of a day.

When the doorbell rang the first time I crossed myself, kissed the checkbook and answered the door. And I've been pleasantly surprised ever since.

The washing machine? A small plastic latch.

The dishwasher? Broken glass in some hidden filter. Nothing else.

The washing machine part won't come until today, so I couldn't even do laundry yesterday. Darn. Total amount to fix both? Parts and labor - $140.

The chimney guy got here later. Went down into my Silence of the Lambs basement and checked out my ash collector. No problems. Climbed onto my steep pitched and high roof to check out the chimney and lo and behold it's in perfect shape all the way up. I got a little nervous when he started making ominous noises looking up into it, but it's tiled from start to finish. I watched him climb (one handed) a double extension ladder that was bending and swaying in the breeze while with the other hand he carried a regular sized ladder. Made me sick to my stomach just watching him. Dragged a vacuum the size of my car into my living room and vacuumed for well over an hour. He even went out to his van and found something to cover the little chute thing that goes to my basement ash collector. And his son sells and delivers firewood. Labor - $135. (With a whopping $15 surcharge because my roof is such a bear). He didn't charge me for the cover or for kicking Surfer Dude's soccer ball off the roof where it has lived since he got the bright idea to kick it up there one day last August on the way to practice. All in all pretty reasonable. You'd have to pay me a lot more than that just to climb a ladder onto my roof.

None of this was money I wanted to spend, believe me. But last night as I loaded the dishwasher I felt pretty good about it. Then I grabbed a huge cup of tea and plopped down in front of a lovely fire that had all the kids (and the dogs) absolutely mesmerized. And as I stretched my toes toward it languidly, I was hard pressed to think of anything I could have better spent the money on.

Let it snow.

P.S. Sorry for the lateness of this post. Sasquatch was on the computer virtually non-stop from 4 pm yesterday until after 1 am, when I finally gave up waiting to get on and went to sleep. All for a paper he had somehow "forgotten" over the weekend. Right. On the plus side it's done and there was no drama attached. None at all. At one point he was having computer issues and thinking about losing it, but he actually let the FG fix the problem and then he just continued on with his business. On the minus side...there is no minus side except for a serious lack of sleep and how late I'm posting. I can live with that.


laurie said...

only you would apologize for posting first thing tuesday morning for your tuesday post.

what good news about the washer, and the dishwasher.

and excellent news on the fireplace. we use ours pretty steadily from october through may.


PixelPi said...

Don't you just hate it when appliances go out in multiples? I've been there and it's no fun at all. At Old House it was dryer and fridge that went out together. At this house, we have only had (all toes crossed) the dishwasher factory recall. But they came and fixed it within 2 weeks.

And when we moved in last year, I called and had the chimney cleaned too. (Oh, and it was $99. I don't have a Victorian steep roof).

But hooray for your toasty fire! We had our first fire this year last week on Mr. Pi's day off, and it was wonderful. It's just not a real snowy day without a fire and kids/pets near the hearth.

Ah. Now I feel all Christmasy.

Thalia's Child said...

My mother-in-law has had to replace all her appliances except the dryer in the last 4 months. I'm living in dread that the same thing may happen to me, as my appliances came with the house and have all seen better days.

And my next house is totally going to have a fireplace.

Kaycie said...

Isn't it wonderful to have good luck? I'm so glad for you!

Eileen said...

You deserve some "good" luck, if you know what I mean. It just could have been so much worse as far as the money and repairs. Enjoy your beautiful fire and know there will be many, many more. Nothing more relaxing.
We are getting hit with major storms. Snow day today!! No school for kids, no work for hubby or me. Yeah!

Louisa said...

Sounds like a cheap round for two appliance breakdowns. :-)

I loooove fireplaces, but they're not really practical here in SA. We had snow in Johannesburg this year and before that I think in 1982. I'm very jealous!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Where have I been? I've missed almost a whole week of your posts. Glad everything's been sorted for you. It always pours when it could just rain, it seems.

Akelamalu said...

It's a bugger when all the appliances go at once - which they usually do! Glad you got them all sorted. I can't remember the last time I saw a real fire - I think Adam was a lad! :)

Kimberly said...

What a lovely reflection - what better way to spend your money indeed. =) Glad it didn't end up in horrendous repair bills. I was worried at the beginning of the post!

Amy said...

Ah, appliances are very jealous of each other. If one goes, you better keep a close eye on the rest because one of them is surely working itself into a snit.

Lucky you that you got off cheap, relatively.

Tea before the fire sounds perfect.

my two cents said...

Seriously hoping your good luck rubs off on me. I have the heating repair man here for the third time in ten days...It may be southern California, but it was 43 degrees out yesterday morning and there was frost on the ground, so I need the heater to work. The washer is leaking, not onto the floor, but when it is turned off, into the basin. I turned the water lines to the washer, but haven't gotten the nerve to call the repair man, yet. One thing at a time. Just hoping for Chistmas I can have the new black wool coat I picked out and not a new furnace. I think the washer is fixable. Famous last words...

Potty Mummy said...

RC, sounds like the Christmas Fairy has visited (are we allowed to Christmas - does it have to be Holiday Fairy in the US?). But, I can't believe you switched the dishwasher off - and DIDN't switch it back on again! That's my first reaction when these things happen.
It's probably where I go wrong.
And your story about the washing machine reminds how only last year I called out the repair man because ours sounded like it was trying to drill through the floor to New Zealand. He fished out the underwire from a bra, and that was it. Amazing how such little glitches can cause so many problems.
BTW - what really scared me was that I hadn't missed the underwire...

auntie barbie said...

Don’t you just love when you think the worst and it really turns out to be not so bad? You were very lucky to get someone out so quickly too!
I love fireplaces too. We’ve been using ours since October as we use it to heat the house as well.
P.S. Glad to hear Sasquatch is handling himself better :)

Stacie said...

Wow, that was an excellent day, minus the tardiness on the post that is. :-)

That fire sounds heavenly!

Willowtree said...

Ok, let me see if I've got this straight...you paid in total $275, and for that you got a working washing machine and dishwasher as well as a nice cosy fire. While I, on the other hand, am now up to $325 and I've still got the same stupid bitch I started with, except now she can only run on three legs.

ciara said...

well, seems fairly reasonable to NOT have to do the stuff yourself and you KNOW it's fixed right.

a toasty fireplace for chilly winters...always a good thing.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

laurie - now you know I normally post at night. I'm like a junkie waking up to all those lovely comments.

pixelpi - They always go out in sets. I was just going to let the DW go until after Christmas, but when the washing machine went too I figured I'd at least get a better housecall rate for a twofer.

thalia's child - that's kind of our story too. We bought the house with all the appliances, so now we get to wait and see. According to the repairman our DW is a piece of crap even when it's working. Great.

kaycie - thank you . Good luck is always welcome.

eileen - I envy you your storm and your snow day. It sounds so nice. And our fireplace is lovely.

louisa - welcome! I love fireplaces too, but haven't had one for years. I'm trying really hard not to burn the house down.

wakeup - I'm telling you, it's a hard week to catch up on bloggers. I've been behind all week myself. What is up with that??

akelamalu - when Adam was a lad?? You crack me up!

kimberly - yeah, I was worried at the start too. I had visions of the kids all getting pencils for Christmas.

amy - appliances can be very jealous of each other. I'm trying to keep the cars from hearing about what's been going on in the house as well.

my two cents - trying as hard as I can to send my streak of luck your way. A new furnace for Christmas is not at the top of your list, I'm sure. Fingers crossed.

potty mummy - underwire! You should see the things I dig out of the washer filter. Not one of my kids gets the concept of emptying their pockets. Aargh.

auntie barbie - the fire is absolutely fabulous, but the lack of a meltdown last night made the fire look insignificant. I seem to expect the worst, so am really grateful to have dodged it.

stacie - darn that tardiness. my one backslide!!

willowtree - you'd better be careful. laurie is gonna show up on your doorstep with a dog crate and kick your ass.

ciara - could we just say that if we fixed it ourselves it probably WOULDN'T be fixed right??

Jo Beaufoix said...

I hate it when they all go at once. The year Miss M was born - 2005 - our gas fire was condemned, the toilet fell off the wall while we were away. The fridgefreezer broke the weekend of M's baptism, the washer died completely and we had a pipe burst in the bathroom which flooded the kitchen below, and the vacuum broke.
So glad all is well, and I envy your real fire. Lovely.