Wednesday, November 12, 2008

HomeOwner's Club to the Rescue

Today I went down to the basement to get coffee makings, only to find several inches of standing water with even more pouring out of the bottom of the water heater.

After frantically turning off several knobs (we're not even going to talk about the number of nasty spiders webs I had to shove through), I finally stopped the flow.  A moment of panic ensued as I looked at all the water. I took a few deep breaths and ran upstairs.  As our housemate headed off to Lowe's to pick up a wet/dry shop vac, I called the HomeOwner's Club.

Someone from one of the local yahoo groups turned me onto the Club last year, just as we were selling our Montlake house and moving to Columbia City.  As you'll remember, this house has been rather challenging, so HOC is a regular part of our lives.  

Here's the work provided this year:
- pest control (yes, the rats are still sneaking in)
- tree trimming (to keep nasty rodents off roof)
- carpenter to fill holes in siding (where opossums were getting in)
- cleanup of rodent mess and installation of new insulation in crawlspace 
- plumber to fix flooding sink problem
- furnace company to install a real, working heating system

The annual membership fee of $25 is easily justified by the high quality contractors they send after a single phone call.  No more cold calling 6 plumbers from the phone book in hopes of finding a dependable company that can send someone in the next hour. In fact I figure they saved me 15 phone calls and around 10 quotes/interviews.  With two kids in the house and quiet phone time at a premium, that's priceless.

I'm comforted by the fact that all contractors are vetted, and all billing happens through the Club. So if there is a dispute we have experienced professionals advocating for us. Really the only other thing they could do to make these various crisis better would be to bring me a drink and a shoulder to cry on as I bemoan all the ways this house is broken.

Eventually today, I did managed to get my coffee together and breakfast started.  Only to realize the oven isn't heating.


Mama Peep said...

I am so sorry for you! We had a house like that. Drove me insane! I did not have the nifty club though. I may have to look into it. Next time a crisis occurs give me a call and head North. You can hang out with us while hubby takes care of the mess. That to me is clearly a boy job!!! :-O


Sara said...

Boy howdy, do I agree with you on the boy job status. Unfortunately The Man was selling books and swimming the beaches of Miami.

Next time, though, I'll cross the bridge directly after calling HomeOwners Club.