Comments on possum jerky
commentson 4 August 2004 : 17:05, barbara sez:

justin - so sorry to hear of this renovation hell. doug and i went thru it last year. same kind of shit, only with the contractor running off with a huge chunk of our money. but i will tell you this, things *do* get done, and your place will shape up better than you thought it ever could. the key is indeed calling (harrassing) people all the fucken time. for real. sounds like you're on top of it. but oy!

commentson 4 August 2004 : 21:57, diggity sez:

ahhhh remodeling...

just finished seven months of hardcore home construction.

1. check Craigslist for telecom wiring dudes. we just hired one last week to do cat 5 networking, but the also do cable, phone, etc. this guy was licensed and insured, very professional, and charged half the price that Comcast would charge.

2. check into a "tankless" water heater. we're now on one and it takes up a whole 2 foot by 1 foot space. that's it. it works well and is incredibly efficent.

commentson 4 August 2004 : 22:52, Judy sez:

What happened with the permit? Have the workers been able to continue?
Rule #One: Keep the permit people away. The moment someone says it ain't legal...thank them and find someone else. Purchase yourself and find a handy man to hook it up. Is it gas or electric? Electric you can do yourself.
Have you ever seen where our hot water heater is?
Need I say more?
I feel for you. Hope it all happens soon. Nothing worse then getting bogged down with the utility stuff when all you want to do is make it cute!
What does your Real Estate Agent say about all of this illegal installation? I think she should have been guiding you a little more closely so you wouldn't find yourself in this pickle!

commentson 4 August 2004 : 23:55, roBin sez:

Deep breaths. Envision yourself with that beer, in three weeks. Or in Tokyo in... seven?


commentson 5 August 2004 : 11:34, J sez:

housing struggles, car chases, dead possums, culver city. welcome to la.

commentson 5 August 2004 : 11:38, tony sez:

Wow Justin. I am surprised your house was even able to be sold to you in that condition. I know in many parts of the country, your house must be in condition where it conforms to all local codes otherwise the deal cannot go through. The seller must make all repairs prior to your taking ownership. Anyway best of luck with the new place. I am sure you will make it your own in no time.

commentson 5 August 2004 : 11:55, souris sez:

not to get too hippie on you j, but when all is said and done, burn sage in your home and clear your house of all the bad vibes. you can find sage at whole foods or any of the holistic shops in all of LA.

commentson 5 August 2004 : 12:41, jah2 sez:

Hey J,
Can you post recommendations? If someone works on your house and does a great job, can you say what they did, how much they charged you and if you think they did a good job? If not, I can live vicariously through you and your spending spree while sitting in my house of disrepair.

commentson 5 August 2004 : 16:58, Doug sez:

Justin... been reading your site for years, but first time compelled to write. All of the issues and situations you are having with your "new" house should have been diclosed by the seller, and also discovered by any reasonable home inspection. I know that the California real estate market is crazy, but so is ours in South Florida. Pay close attention to your contract, you might be able to get some scratch back from the previous owner for undisclosed problems. You will find, that in a short time and with no formal training, you will be an expert in plumbing AND electric work! Case in point-I have owned 2 houses and a condo and can change out a toilet in less than an hour!
Good luck with the homeowning "experience"!

commentson 5 August 2004 : 22:25, justin sez:

Thanks for the feedback y'all - nice to see this solidarity in change and nesting. I feel lucky to have a chance to shape this environment; I'm treating it like a sprint, running hard hard and keeping my mind on that idea of a place I don't worry so much about when this is all over.

And in about three weeks, it should all be over. That's overlapping with the start of school and preparations for a trip to Japan, true. But it's about as much lead time as I get with as much as I've bitten off. If I fail out of school and lose my ability to work, at least I should have about three weeks to really enjoy this house before I'm booted to the curb by my mortgage lender.

The electricians were from a respectable above-board business, charging thoroughly and permitting as well. They had legal papers over here within a few hours and smilin' Ernie and his crew were back at it. They even stuck a long copper pole in the ground for me the next day.

The plumbers have come and gone and come and gone and they've invited city inspectors by three times and only once were they here. I'm going to shove my water heater and washer/dryer in untoward outdoor places - Judy I can't remember where yours heater is; mine won't be attractive maybe, but it will be inconspicuous I hope.

Maybe there was more to this place than I knew when I bought. My real estate agent was awesome, a gradeschool friend. I was the first person she got a house for, on her own. This is the first house I've lived in where I really bothered to look at it and imagine it modernized. It's been a learning experience for all of us - we both knew it was an old home (1920s). Did we know that we'd have to trim the bougainvillea off the sides of the house to tent for termites? Did we know that the water heater was not legally placed? No - those are too particular I think.

The scale of the upheaval I describe above is large for me because I wanted to go whole hog here. I could have moved in and lived nicely. But I took the inspectors seriously when they said the electrical system was outdated and maybe dangerous. And I figured if you're going to open the walls for wires, you might as well update the pipes. And if you have plumbers and electricians in the house, you might as well see about installing a washer/dryer. So that's how it goes - feature-creep some might call it.

But tonight the dimmer switch was installed on some new lights in the kitchen and I look at the low glow there and I'm happy. That happiness is in part a projection - I see myself being happy with it in the future, when I'm not surrounded by holes in the walls and pending fixes. When something is cooking on the stove and some music is playing and a friend smiles just after I've taken my hand off a lightswitch. In a way, I'm investing deeply in my home so that it becomes second nature in a few months. It will just be a great place to live, and I can have friends over and work and go to school. And enjoy the company of good minds online in my office! Which needs a desk and shelves. Hmmm. Back to it -

commentson 6 August 2004 : 13:44, Mr R sez:

so what did you learn?

- never ever let someone call the city to see if you are allowed to do something

- when asked if you have a permit the answer is: YES


February 2005 - comments are closed on Thanks.