Wednesday, November 01, 2006

house on hold

An update to the house: my neighbor has come through and has generously offered to provide water to my property. I'm incredibly grateful, I have no idea how to pay the guy back. We have to get a pipe up there and install a reservoir tank, and a fire sprinkler pressure system. Since the pipe is going across the street, the street needs to be dug up to lay it, and permits are needed to dig up the street. It seems like things are going incredibly slowly. One firm gave a verbal estimate, but has not yet provided a written one as requested. Have to call them yet again. I'm working on getting an estimate from another firm, too, and that means another drive down south. It should cost somewhere between $13 and $15K, which is still far cheaper than digging our own well ($25-45K, no certainty that clear water will be found, way more maintenance.)

This, of course, benefits my neighbor as much as me. Achieving full independence from one neighbor means full dependence on another. We'll be laying at least a 4" pipe, which will be sufficient for ag use as well as domestic, though we're working on serving only domestic for now with only 1 tank. To do ag we'd need maybe 2 or 3, but I'll leave that cost up to the tenant farmer.

Once we have the water, then we can get started installing the house. Getting a house estimate done first was putting the cart before the horse, but then again, I wasn't expecting to run into water supply problems. The house estimate was funny in that sickening kind of way. We went through all the details of dressing the house (cabinet faces, floor coverings, countertops, door styles, roof years, joists), all of which have specified costs. When the estimate arrived I cross-checked every item, and found over $4000 unaccounted for. The modular home industry is well known for overflowing with thieves. So was it the manufacturer (Fuqua Homes) or the reseller?

Turned out to be the reseller. They "accidentally" added a page with the $4K which mysteriously never got attached to the estimate they sent me. Unfortunately, they have the area sewn down. There's another reseller 30 miles up the road, but their contract with the manufacturer restricts them to building in mobile home parks. But I let them know that I wasn't afraid to walk away from the deal. Never mess with a Chinese Jewish computer guy with a calculator. :)

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