Friday, April 17, 2009

More clouds and the silver lining....

Here is an update on the flooded basement situation.  At first our insurance was iffy if they would cover anything at all.  The adjuster was really nice and good to us though.  He concluded that the water did in fact come through the windows and all work will be covered by our home-owners insurance.  The Alpine guys ripped out the dry wall below three feet in the rooms and discovered the next problem.  The guy who owned the house before us finished the basement, but didn't do a stellar job with the wiring.  Rather than frame the basement with 2x4's like you normally would do, he affixed 2x2's to the foundation.  Since 2x2's aren't really big enough to put wiring through, he decided to run the wiring along the floor underneath the 2X2's (they don't quite go all the way to the floor).  We are all lucky and glad that we didn't get electrocuted during clean-up.  It is also kind of a miracle the house hasn't burned down.

Alpine has seen sub-par basement finishes before and knew that some home insurance policies include "code upgrade clauses".  Turns out ours is one of those.  Thanks to the restoration people being on the ball, Heather and I get to have all of the wiring in our house upgraded to meet code.  This will probably mean all new drywall and framing on all exterior walls in the basement, new wiring throughout the basement, fix the stupid light switch in the hall that controls 2 bedrooms (putting switches in each room) and put a light in the hallway downstairs.  I think they will even fix the fact that the circuits all have too much stuff on them (outlets upstairs are hot to the touch right now as the fans run in the basement because of power draw).  A couple of the breakers trip when you run multiple things at the same time (the fans in the basement require us to head out and reset the breaker several times per day).  Hopefully we will get a couple new home-runs for the basement instead of just tapping into the upstairs circuits like we currently have.

We aren't excited to have our basement ripped up for the forseeable future.  It seems to be for the better though.  I am really glad that we found the wiring problems.  It really is scary/dangerous having the wiring as bad as it is; it really needs to be fixed.  I probably would not known until the house burned down.  Once they found the bad wiring, I probably would have rationalized and justified my way out of ever doing all the work to fix it if it wasn't being done for us.  It really does need to be done though, and sooner rather than later.

All in all, for how much I was upset at things when I heard the basement was flooding, things are turning out about as good as they possibly can in this situation.  Just to top things off even more, the insurance company is going to count the work we did to take things out of the rooms and vacuum up the first 150 gallons of water.  They taking several hundred dollars off the deductible.  Life is good.

I was pretty happy with all this news.  We are getting all of the wiring in the basement fixed (on the same insurance claim/deductible no less) and therefore my house not burning down.  Heather wanted to sweeten my day a bit more though.  She made me home made corn dogs and churros for dinner tonight.  It really has been a pretty dang good day here in Smithfield.

Here are some pics of the current status of our basement:

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