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House is now empty of all our stuff. Removal of the plaster and old furnace in the basement is complete. Still trying to get the power turned on to the new power panel, but eversource is being a butthead about it. Did find out that my generator uses up a 20 pound tank of propane in about eight hours of running the lights and radio. So I now know how many tanks of propane I want to have on hand down the road for power failures.

I should get some pictures of the various stages of rehab.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
So we finally got going on the house last week. Contractor got in, started setting things up. Getting water and electricity turned back on so they don't need the generator for everything. He said that they usually try to get the old furnace going to get heat and hot water back in the house, and have at least one sink and toilet operational. Anyone who has had to use a portapotti in the wintertime knows exactly why this is a priority. Also having a working sink just to wash your hands during the day is a very useful thing.

This morning, my oldest brother and I were there with the contractors. Packed up the last bits of the china, moved a lot of the furniture we are saving from the first floor out into the barn for storage. WOrked out the details of who from the family will be there when for identifying save or junk items. I'll be there tomorrow morning for a couple hours for the next layer of identifications. Probably one of us will be there every other day for the next couple weeks, until everything is emptied out of the house.

Eleven months after the fire, finally substantial progress. Hate you too insurance companies.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
Insurance company has found another way to delay giving us the claim money. *sighs* They made the check out to four parties. Mom and Dad, our independent adjuster, and the bank that has the home equity loan on the house.

We think this is annoying, but should not be a big deal. Go to the bank where the home equity loan is at with a check endorsed by the other three names. Bank deposits it, takes out the full payoff amount on the home equity loan, then writes new checks to the adjuster and my parents with the balance.

Nope. Santander Bank apparently has never seen a multi-party check before. It takes them two weeks to find an actual bank officer who can make decisions on this to figure it out. Unlike the so called bank officers which the law requires to be at the branches who are supposed to have the authority to make all banking decisions at that branch. And they insist that the check be deposited in their bank for ten business days so they can get the float///// I mean ensure that the check will not bounce, before writing the new checks.

Meanwhile, our adjuster has been talking to insurance company about the check. Once he finally found the correct person to talk to there, they had no problems taking back the check and reissuing it as three checks in the correct amounts. So that's what we are doing. If you are looking for a bank for your business, Santander Bank fails in my book.

But, this is the large sum of money on the structure claim. So we can now finally go forward on the rebuild. Time to find a general contractor who can do the job. Hopefully an honest one. Of course, this is happening as my job is moving to a new location and a week before a convention.
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Six months ago, about this time of day, I was being allowed back into my house to pick up some clothes and our valuables after the fire. Mom and I are still living in a hotel, Dad is in a different nursing home, and the insurance company is still stalling. *insert rant about insurance company abuse of claimants*

I got the CPAP machine for my sleep apnea earlier this week. Slowly getting used to going to sleep with a mask strapped over my mouth and a tube over to the machine. Waking up early in the morning and pulling the mask off for some normal sleep before I wake up. I suppose I'll get used to it. I'm going to have to. But it's a work in progress.

Work is in the process of moving to the new building. We've been packing up stuff and sorting and tossing away stuff for the past couple of weeks. But we are now four weeks out from having to be fully moved over to the new building and more or less operational. and to add more joy to my life, I got told this week that I have to be totally packed up and ready to be moved out a week before everyone else, because I'm being tasked to work for another department the whole week of the move. Meanwhile, everyone is finding old broken stuff as they pack up and bringing it back to me to be repaired. Our regular customers are still having shows and preps and so on, we don't have the luxury of just telling them all that we are going to be closed for a week while moving.

I've asked for the friday before halloween for vacation so I can go to Furpocalypse, but they said they won't approve it until we are fully moved to the new building. so my plans for the con are all jumbled up due to that. *sighs* More stress and frustration.

I hope that the rest of the year is better.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
It was confusing action. A check from the insurance company, the only explanation on it the one line Partial payment on settlement. Ummm.... We haven't agreed to a settlement yet. We only have gotten e-mail scans of the offer of settlement on the structural damage portion of the claim.

But, it's money, and the hotel is burning $1431 per week on additional living expenses.

Color me mystified at the byzantine opaqueness of the whole mess.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
So, the fire was eight weeks and two days ago. Still waiting for the insurance to do their thing. I did mow the lawn last week, so the house won't look totally abandoned. Grabbed a few keepsakes to try and save.

Found my Noreascon 3 tech vest. Washed it a couple times and the smoke smell is mostly gone. Gonna see about buying a new vest of many pockets and transplant the embroidered panel to the new vest. Also one of the N3 glass mugs, and the dishwasher cleaned it up nicely from the evil black mess covering it.

The only thing I've heard from the insurance people was an offer to put a cap on our housing coverage on $18k. Out of a policy that is supposed to cover up to around $150k of temporary housing costs. They of course called early in the morning when I was half awake. Once I was awake and thought about it, my reply was to ask what they were offering in exchange for this substantial concession they wanted from us. No reply yet.

The company that is supposed to be looking for some housing for us still hasn't found a property even for our consideration. So we are still in the hotel in Dedham.

I'm getting increasingly frustrated with the incredible slowness of the insurance process. Cause of fire was settled in the first week. Yah, the house is big and full of a lot of stuff, but sheeesh. I can only describe their behavior as stalling for time. Of course, this is just going to increase the time that we are in temporary housing, increasing the total claim value.

Even worse, the construction season is now well underway. So all the good contractors are already busy with committed projects for this season. Even if we signed a contract monday for the rebuilding, all that is likely to happen this season is the cleanout and demolition. Since all that needs is a bunch of unskilled laborers with one supervisor.

The problem is that the foundation repouring has to happen before rebuilding. That involves jacking up the house while empty. Digging out the old block foundation and pouring a new concrete foundation. And concrete can't be poured when it is too cold. If the insurance company keeps stalling, they are pushing the major rebuilding into next summer, and it won't be complete until fall of next year.

Arrrrgh!
dalesql: (Dale badge)
So today is Saturday April 2nd. (I was going to write this last night, but considered the date and chose not to do so. ) The fire was nine days and four hours ago as I write this in the evening.

The insurance adjuster from the insurance company is doing a fine job of ignoring phone calls, e-mails, and would probably not be in the office were I to pay a visit. Obviously, we haven't seen a dime yet, not any other form of assistance from them. This delay proves that insurance companies, all of their employees, and their various minions via subcontract are indeed living right down to their reputation and stereotype of being greedy wall street money people with no soul. In the words of Marvin the Martian. I am getting very angry. Very angry.

My parents and I are in a nice Marriott Residence Inn. But at 240 a night, not including taxes and fees, it should be a very nice hotel. I have some emergency money, but at the rate I'm spending it, it is going fast. We are spending what I earn each week for each day since the fire. If the insurance company doesn't get their shit together and stop stalling on getting the money to us, it's gonna come falling apart when our credit cards hit their limits. Of course, we have to be out of here in a week or so anyway, the whole hotel was already booked solid for the boston marathon weekend.

Friday, the storage container finally arrived. Also friday I got permission from the adjuster to empty out the fridge at home. So today, after running my parents around to various banks and medical appointments all morning, I got out to the house to deal with things there.

Emptied the fridge out. I was anticipating lots of stink and badness. It actually wasn't bad smelling, just a bit whiffy from the milk that had started to sour. I was rather surprised to find that some of the stuff in the bottom of the freezer was still partially frozen. Hurray for modern fridge insulation. But by the time I got it all bagged and outside, the dump had already closed for the day. So I'll get it on tuesday and throw it away. (Dump is only open Saturday, tuesday and thursday in our town) Hope the animals don't rip the bags up.

Moved tools and yard equipment from the barn into the storage unit and locked it up. Chained the various propane tanks to the outside of the storage unit. Snowblower at the door of the container ready for the snow forecast for tomorrow and monday.

Ugliness is starting to ferment in the family as we are confronting the difficult financial circumstances that the move into assisted living is presenting. The major asset we were expecting to use for that is the house, which is not available right now. Unfortunately, I'm the primary caregiver for my parents, so it's all yanking me painfully in different directions. My personal finances are small enough on the scale of the money needed to be inconsequential, but I'm turning into the proxy for some, and I really don't want to be the referee either.

So, some more medical appointments sunday, possible snow needing shoveling, and gonna try to get into the nesfa meeting in the afternoon. Monday, more possible snowshoveling. Hopefully dad's replacement glasses arrive. Hopefully the insurance company will pull their heads out of their asses and do what they promised to do in the insurance policy contract this week. But I'm not holding my breath.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
So, thisafternoon I got a phone call from our neighbor. The house was on fire. Mom and dad got out safely. But the basement is pretty much totaled and the rest of the house got filled with smoke and steam. Reasonably significant damage to floor structure on one end of the house, and the heat came up through the plumbing hole and melted mom's new sit down bathtub in the first floor bathroom. I'm typing the from the couch at my brothers house. Letting the adrenaline wear off. The fire department is gonna watch the house for a couple hours, then the boarding up company will board up the house.

Tomorrow, calling our insurance agent to start that whole process.

The important thing is that nobody got hurt. Lots of stuff got damaged. Hopefully my artwork, which was mostly up on the second floor will be cleanable. But it's all just stuff. Now it's time for massive inconvience and nitpicking from the insurance company.

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