Friday, June 22, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The box wasn't at the bottom of the driveway Tuesday evening for thirty minutes before our first sightseer stopped and asked, "What is it? Is it a double wide?" Not satisfied with our answer ("A modular."), she wondered, "Which end is the front?"

Well, good news is the house made it fine. No real issues - some minor drywall cracking, a couple of window locks popped during travel that will need to be replaced (not sure exactly what will need to be replaced - Simplex will let me know). Structurally, the house came through great. Window panes are all intact, the loose materials that shipped inside the box didn't do any damage, and no water got in. Many thanks to the drivers who shepharded the box on its long journey. We still need to inventory all the loose materials that came inside. They'll need to come out before we set the house (we'll stage them in the basement).

Bad - the first truck reached the homesite before we did. It was only carrying the panelized wall. Mark, the contractor who is managing the set, didn't want to have to find room for the trailer on site (and we do have a bit of a space crunch at the moment). So he rented a small boom truck to carry the panel from the bottom of the hill to the top. Suffice it to say, the boom truck couldn't handle the panel. By the time we got there, they had already beat up the panel pretty good just getting it off the trailer. So this was the scene upon our arrival:

The only real option at this point was to cut it, which they did. A chainsaw made quick work of the panel and soon it (well, half of it) was on its way up the driveway:

Now there's no question that if he had just left it at the bottom of the hill, as we had planned, we would have just towed it up first thing on set day and had the crane place it. It would have made space even tighter than it already is (for the arriving house, the concrete, and the crane), but would have been feasible. So the first lesson there is to make sure you're present when these pieces arrive so you can say NOOOOOO when necessary. The second lesson, I guess, is about the efficacy of a panel like that when you've got difficult site issues. We already knew access might be tricky, so stick building that panel might have made more sense in hindsight.

Ugly - here are our spacious WV accommodations at the moment:

Not TOO terrible you say. Well, last night around 6 we took a break from our day of sanding cedar (more on that later) to go grab a bite. We ended up at a wonderful cafe in Moorefield (O'Neills) about thirty minutes away. It was bright and sunny when we left the site. Not by the time we finished dinner. As you may have guessed by now (particularly those clever readers who note the absence of a rain fly in the pic of our tent), our plush home away from home suffered a direct hit in the ensuing thunderstorm. Just a mess. We slept for a few hours in the house, but it kept raining and we decided to call it a week and head home. Back out bright and early Tuesday morning for the set.


Anonymous said...

What is this long panel you had to cut? Part of the pre-fab home?

Chris said...

No, the fourth wall of the basement (the walkout wall), which was also built in the factory.