Patience Is Wearing Thin
Entry posted by tbutler ·
We have been home from the sea for just over three weeks now. I had grand plans for our return. I had outlined on my calendar the progress of work that should take place upon our return. We are in the process of putting a manufactured home on a lot at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. The home was ordered in December 2009 and delivered to the sales lot in late January. The lot which would be our home was occupied by another couple who had decided not to follow through on their commitment to put a house on the lot. We negotiated a takeover of the lot as soon as they were going to return to Canada rather than waiting for their contract to expire.
I had established the Monday after our return as the day for the concrete crew to show up and begin work for the concrete pad for the house. Eight o'clock came, Nine o'clock passed and still no crew. I called the contractor who was on another job and would be on our job Wednesday. Oh, well, I went shopping for a few supplies we needed and rewired the electrical outlet from a 240V 50A motor home box to a quad 120V 20A outlet box. I was now ready to operate any power equipment.
Shortly before noon on Wednesday the contractor showed up with equipment. Our first task was to do some digging to relocate a sewer connection to a more convenient place for the manufactured home. That turned into an epic adventure, exposing problems that would have haunted us for some time related to the plumbing. We dug and dug, some with the backhoe and some by hand. With the guidance and assistance of my friend Bill Fejfar (pipewrenchgrip) the main sewer line was replaced and connections for the home were installed. Bill was a plumbing contractor for many years and his knowledge was invaluable to me. Then we spent a day installing the feed lines to the sewer and another day putting in the sleeves for the electric and water. Finally, the connections were all in place and it was the weekend. The next week the crew began work on the lot in earnest. Being environmentally and engineering aware, I had the topsoil removed to be replaced with consolidated fill material which in south Texas is called caliche, a weatherd degraded limestone. We got some fine grained material and that was packed firmly in place and leveled by machine and then finally graded by hand. Forms were put in place and steel reinforcement added to reinforce and strengthen the concrete. By Friday afternoon I was on the phone with the dealer for the home requesting the tie down anchors be put in place in preparation for pouring concrete.
Monday arrived and the forecast was for rain so no concrete would be poured. It did however pour rain, almost three inches. Louise and I went furniture shopping. We spent the day and found basic furniture for three of the rooms in the home. We set a delivery date for May 6 and congratulated ourselves for finding a good sale and furniture we liked. When we got home I inspected the forms and my heart fell. The rain had been so heavy that the caliche had washed into the footings and there was water standing in the forms. This would cause a major delay. Tuesday came and it rained another inch or more. More of the caliche slumped into the footings and water was standing almost a foot deep in the footings. This was disaster. We had a little more rain on Wednesday, then clear, warm breezy days for the rest of the week until Saturday night when we got another set of thunderstorms and an additional inch of rain.
Monday I played golf. It rained Monday night. Today I played tennis until we got rained out. The forecast for the rest of the week is for partly cloudy to sunny skies and very little chance of rain. The crew showed up this morning to remove the iron and the forms in preparation for starting over with the grading, packing, forming and returning the steel to the forms. Meanwhile my son gave me a suggestion for getting the concrete trucks onto the soggy lot without getting them stuck. He is an engineer and worked for the electric company and the highway department. With luck, we might pour concrete by the weekend. I hope. My patience is wearing thin...
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