Thursday, May 6, 2010

Operation Basement Complete

This is the after picture.
It is the side of the basement we use as a rec room ( not a wreck room although before the repairs it could have been).
Look at all the lovely supports and the lovely wall.

The men arrived at 8 am.
They had two huge trucks pulling two trailers. The trailers were as big as caravans. They also had a big tipper truck.
Now of course it had to be that a water main had burst on the corner, right outside our house that morning, sigh, and there were already about 3 city (council) trucks all parked there.
The water was gushing out, creating white water rapids that I was expecting to see Venture Scouts kayaking any minute.
The obligatory 4 blokes were standing around giving this a very hard stare.

My chaps, who I think all went by the name "Ace" were totally unfazed, parked further up the street and commenced "Operation Basement".
It was like a military maneuver only better because they didn't shoot their own blokes.

There were about 6 of them. I say about 6 because they moved so fast I couldn't count them.
In through the back door, straight down into the basement and to work.

Oh but the noise. The noise was horrendous. It sounded and felt like they were knocking the house down.
I think they had bought their drills from the guys who built the Channel Tunnel.
Well, it sounded like that anyway.
By about 9 am I was ready to cry.
The house was shaking. I wanted to run away.

Workmen here never expect anything. No tea.......nothing. They just do the job.
I have to admit I did miss having someone say ...."Is that kettle on?"
I always felt more involved in household repairs in England.
Amazingly, by about 12.30pm it had gone quiet.
I then saw 3 of the guys outside looking at the basement window well that needed sorting.
I wanted to see what that was all about and went out.
The boss man was happy to explain to me what they were doing. Basically, they were drilling out a big hole down to the drain, testing it to make sure the water would run away and then filling it with stones.
By now one of the chaps from the burst water main (which fortunately our house wasn't connected to or we would have had no water) came over for a butcher's too.
While they were drilling down he made a few comments about finding oil, then they pretended they had found bones........little buggers.
The biggest puzzle was.............Where was Merv?
He should have been out here by now letting us know what we were doing wrong, what we should have done in the first place and how it could have all been prevented.

I told the water main man that I was surprised that Merv, the guy in the house across the street hadn't been out.
He replied "He has .....twice. There is always one in every neighbourhood. The Sidewalk Supervisor".
I did giggle.
When I looked I realised that the City truck was blocking Merv's view and he couldn't see my chaps working outside or me talking to them.
Phew!!! That was lucky.

By 1.30pm it was all done. They had cleared up, cleaned up and were on their way. I couldn't believe it, still can't really.
The dust is still settling so I will wait until tomorrow before washing all the floors but they have done a marvellous job.
The neighbours and the water main man thought so too. The water man told me he was impressed as soon as he saw them arrive with all their equipment.
He took their card, as did the chap next door. I have a couple to give out.
I think we did the right thing not going for the cheapest option. We would probably have got cowboys who would have taken an age to get the job done.
They are arranging for the building inspector to come in and check their work.
That should be one day next week.

I am so glad it is over with and just want to wash the floors and put everything back in its place now.
Best part is that Merv has an official title.
Sidewalk Supervisor........I like that, it suits him.


At May 7, 2010 at 3:00 AM , Blogger Heather said...

Maybe you should get Merv a rosette with his new title on (I've seen far too much politics this morning!! But is does send wriggle bot to sleep which is very welcome!!!)


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