Inspectors General

Dearest Rachel –

There’s a paradox to having so much going on in one’s life at a time (I was going to simplify that to ‘drama,’ but I don’t know how much of what’s going on really qualifies as such. Plus, I think of ‘drama’ as being somewhat self-inflicted, and while I suppose you could call most of this that – after all, I’m the one initiating these travel plans, convention registrations, and home improvement projects – the fact that there’s a confluence of them all within a couple of weeks isn’t entirely my fault) in that, as far as telling you about things, there’s plenty of material, but hardly enough time to write it all down for you. And when there is time enough to write, it’s because nothing much worth writing about is happening – although I can usually come up with thoughts, opinions and memories to fill in some of those otherwise infrequent lulls.

Today is not one of those days, but I’m going to try to keep you abreast of events as best I can, for now and for the time being. Bear in mind, though, that whatever’s going on at the house at the moment, I don’t know that much about. I’m neither a carpenter, a plumber, nor an electrician. Indeed, Tom asked me about my opinion of certain things he determined needed to be done, and I could do little more than wave him through – if something needs to be done, he would know, and I’m not about to gainsay him. To be fair, he made it clear that the reason he was asking because certain clients don’t want the décor in this or that room messed with if at all possible.

Of course, given the unfinished nature of the utility room, that’s hardly an issue for me.

Speaking of the utility room, they did finally managed to get that pressure tank out from in front of the circuit box. The carpenter who was hauling it out commented how it looked like, were the appropriate attachments added to it, you could do a fair amount of welding with it.
And on the subject of electricity, this is what the laundry room looks like now. On the left, how it will look for Daniel; on the right, how it might look for me (although I might turn both lights on should the need arise – sure, it’s overkill, but there’s no kill like it). Either way, the room is nice and bright, and everyone is happy. Thanks again, Tom.

Anyway, after a particularly quiet weekend, the team is here in full force. That’s because the inspectors are coming today; three different guys inspecting four different aspects of the project. Tim sent me a text warning me about this last night, and it occurred to me that I needed to do one of two diametrically opposed things. Either:

  1. Make sure to stick around, and listen to what the inspectors say need to be done to the house in order to ensure that it’s up to code in every and all aspects of the project, or
  2. Get the heck out of Dodge as soon as humanly possible to not interfere with his work (as well as that of the team) – let the professional do his job, and clear some room for him to park while I’m at it.

I was prepared to comply with option 1 if need be, but I won’t lie; I was hoping that Tim would recommend I go with option 2. It’s been clear to me from the beginning that I don’t know what the house needs, and all I’d be able to do would be to smile and nod at everything the inspector might say. Sure, it might be annoying to hear him add this and that task to the team’s already-growing list of things to do to the house, but if those are the requirements to keeping the place up to code, what can I say? “No, I’m not gonna spend that kind of money in order to follow your stupid requirements!”? Yeah, that’ll go over really well.

Fortunately, Tim was merely telling me about the inspections just so I could be aware of what was going on; like with Tom, he’s dealt with clients that have to know everything despite the fact that, well… the clients don’t. But that’s fine; better to have too much information than not enough, right?

Anyway, the point is that option 2 was the right choice. Only, I didn’t quite get out of the house fast enough; just as I got outside and made for the car, a van pulled up and parked on the apron on the other side of the turnaround driveway (which is fine – it wasn’t in my way to leave, and you know he wasn’t going to get cited by the village for parking that way)

“So, you’re the Inspector General, eh?” I greeted him.

He gave me a look that suggested he’d heard that one before more than a few times. No, he was just there to inspect the plumbing (and, if I understand from Tim, the HVAC as well), and matter-of-factly went over to the members of the team who happened to be outside at that moment.

Well. Get out of Dodge it is, then.

Now, I was hoping this would be taken care of in a reasonable amount of time, as I’d already had plans to get down to Rosemont with the boys that I told you about earlier, along with some grocery shopping. So I was relieved to get another text just after noon, telling me that all four inspections – plumbing, HVAC, piping and overall building – were over and done with, and that the house (or at least the project on the house) had essentially passed the rough work.

We’ll actually have yet another inspection tomorrow, regarding the insulation, but that couldn’t happen today because the piping had to be inspected today – and you can’t see the piping when it’s covered in insulation. Then, assuming the insulation inspector gives it a passing grade, the drywall is going to be hung, at which point things start to really kick into gear.

After a day like today, one starts to wonder if there might be an inspection for every step of the process going forward – it would explain the cost of the permit, which even Tim was grousing about (and when the head of the construction team complains about the cost of a permit, you know it’s high in comparison to neighboring communities). But apparently, the insulation inspection is the last until everything is finally said and done, and there’s one final inspection at the end of the project – and heaven help us if it doesn’t pass at that point, and we have to go back to the beginning.

Needless to say, honey, I’d like it if you could wish us luck yet again – we’re clearly gonna need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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