Tackling home repairs on a grand scale
November 18, 2013
If you felt a huge gust of wind, it was my WHOOSH of a relieved sigh. After MONTHS of playing phone tag with the landlord and his assistant/representative, and writing a formal letter (which we never used to need because they were totally on top of things), we finally got someone out to address the repairs that have become rather critical in the past few years.
Repairs and maintenance have been a big problem this year; it’s what happens when you can’t stay on top of the more minor repairs and they snowball into bigger ones. It’s also what happens when a house ages and needs more major, regular, maintenance.
At a minimum…
All the plumbing needs work: hot water’s stopped running in one sink, one sink won’t stop dripping, yet another doesn’t drain.
We’ve found mold hiding under the paint and that has to be stripped out, cleaned and repainted.
It’s been over a decade since the last paint job, so all the walls need a new coat.
The doorbell is broken. It’s been broken so long I’d forgotten about it.
There’s more, I just can’t think of it all right now.
Part of this is because Mom and I managed much of the routine household stuff; we did all the liasing with the landlord for any arrangements or requests, and we shared the other housework out enough so that no one was overloaded. Now that I’m not at the house regularly, the few hours I do have on each stopover are spent scrubbing, vacuuming and cleaning which doesn’t make a dent. Dad’s got his hands full with his work, generally, and keeping up anything that’s not an essential, or even those, isn’t a priority. He doesn’t cope with grief and loss by cleaning like I do, or Mom did, he copes by immersing himself in other things.
This makes me a bit crazy that he’s living in such rundown surroundings, that he’s just been making do because he can’t get around to it, but it’s hard to be upset with him; I’m not sure I’d rouse myself to do repairs if I were alone after 30 years of marriage, either.
Thus, the utter relief to finally have cornered the landlord’s contact to get things started: they’ve come by and made a list of things to address. We are lucky, by the way, that while some of these fall under keeping the place habitable, not all of them are and it looks like they’ll go ahead and take care of everything anyway.
We’ll set up a repair schedule in the next couple of days. And I can finally stop feeling so damn guilty that I can’t be in three places at once and hold two jobs to pay for everyone and everything.