Monday, August 17, 2009

Zero Balance Invoice

This morning I signed and dated an invoice with a zero balance at the bottom. After pressing the issue a few days ago the folks who poured our floor finally addressed the problem and decided that, if it was fine with me, they'd relinquish ownership of the floor in exchange for a relinquishing of responsibility. In other words it was going to cost them more to fix it than I was going to pay them. It was in their interest to let it go and in mine as well. I expected to pay $4100 and now I won't. Tomorrow morning I'm going to rent a walk-behind diamond abrasive grinder (like you'd rent to take down an old wood floor but this is for concrete) for $150 and test it out under the stairs where it won't be visible no matter what happens. If we like the results, I'll take down the whole floor. This was an option for the floor installers, but they couldn't find someone to take on the responsibility. If they were to hire an outfit to grind down the floor (this is not something they'd do themselves) and in the end the results were unsatisfactory to me, then they'd not only be stuck with the first job but also the second. There are two unknowns complicating the whole mess: the depth of the defects and the depth of the aggregate. If grinding to fix the defects gets into the aggregate, then I'd be able to say, "That's not what we paid you $4000 for." So in the end it was better for them to chalk it up as a loss and let it go.

Chloe and Hazel are back from their fun in RI with Meme and Nono so it's back to business as usual here. We accomplished a lot in their absence and are grateful for the opportunity. Thanks Meme and Nono! Just before the girls and I drove off to go swimming this hot afternoon, a drywall guy showed up to check the place out for an estimate. I gave him a tour and an explanation of the quirks of the place and left him to take measurements. Not only is drywall my nemesis on jobs past but we're pressed for time at this point and could really use a boost from another sub coming in and getting a big job done quickly.

We also had a very pleasant and informative consultation with Terry Wessel, the electrician who set up the intial installment of power the house. He didn't have much to correct with Michelle's work and gave some helpful hints on a number of wiring issues. He also noted that he does solar electric installations and that our house would be perfect. He's going to work up a proposal for us. I went to the plumber's this morning to press them on the solar hot water and did get some new and not entirely welcome information. The price he gave me a few weeks ago was for the wrong (flat panel) solar system and that the one I wanted (evacuated tube) was a few thousand dollars more. The solar system with tankless water heater would run a little over $11,000. It got me thinking as I did a little more reading on the Houseneeds website; why not install PV panels instead and get an efficient electric tankless water heater and take propane out of the equation altogether. With a roof full of PV we could net meter back to Bangor Hydro in the summer and use credits in the winter and do away with one more system that uses fossil fuels. I'll have to look into it.

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