Friday, July 25, 2014

reno nightmares

We started home renos a few months ago. We have lived in our house for 11 years now and so it was time to replace and update a few things. The first being our kitchen. It was gutted and remodeled when we first moved in, but things needed to be replaced (the dishwasher and fridge definitely was top of that list) We also knew we'd need to redo our deck again (it's tough being in full sun, so the paint chips often), and were deciding what to do for that when other things happened. 

Such as.......a car hit our house!!!

Yes, really.


This happened at 2:45am in May, over the Long Weekend. The road curves near our house but the BMW did not. We woke up to a loud BAM! then we hear the car drive away, (which pisses me off), so we rush out onto our deck. We see the car drive down the road dragging something, and ask our neighbour (who also got up) what happened, and Steve tells us, "He hit your house!"


The car hit right at the corner of our garage/deck, which freaks me out, since we are standing on it!  It was quite a surprise to think of. You could see these perfect car tire lines across the neighbour's lawn heading straight to our house. It missed their vehicle by just a fraction!  Meanwhile, it smashed into the utility trailer that was parked beside the house (filled with reno debris that would need to be taken to the dump), and pushed it a good 10 feet into our garage.

Thankfully our neighbour called 9-1-1 and the police came out. Thankfully, the car didn't get very far down the road and the police found them easily. (it turned out it was our tarp that they were dragging) Thankfully, the house itself wasn't hit and no one was hurt. (just the garage badly damaged)  But man! It has been quite the journey!


 At 4:30am or so, a woman brought her teen daughter to see the damage done to our house. (it was her BMW, or rather her fathers', but she was just the passenger) They were both tearful and shocked and apologized. Many times. What can you say?  We felt it only made sense to offer forgiveness.  And then as they were leaving, I felt the need to offer the mom a hug and to let her know that we believed in a God who heals all things. My Mom-heart ached at what her mom-heart must be dealing with. (her teen possibly drinking, the accident, the car being damaged, damaging someone else' house, the endless what if's....)

The next day, around 1:30 maybe (I guess it technically was the same day), a young guy walked up to our house, looking very humbled and he tearfully apologized as well. He was the driver and he said, "I thought I was okay to drive," but he didn't notice the road turned. (I used that as a good example to my kids on the dangers of drinking. You can't always be sure of your abilities or lack of them when you drink too much.) We offered our forgiveness as well and I hugged him too. (oh, my sentimental mom-ness!)

People have commented on us forgiving them, but we felt that was the right response. Sure, we could be angry and we could yell and we could demand justice and jail time (the boy only has his N, for New Driver, which has conditions that he obviously ignored. He was given a suspension and the police officer told us that it will be many many years before he gets his full drivers' license. Not to mention the underage drinking, the damage, the leaving the scene of an accident..he'll have several fines to pay.)  But we also figured that is what the police did and that's what they heard from their parents. What we felt was needed to do was to offer them forgiveness and mercy and freedom from their mistakes. (while still paying consequences put on by their parents and by the law) 

It hasn't been easy dealing with a damaged house and insurance companies. We had to contact ICBC and our own house insurance. For two weeks, our garage was taped off with CAUTION and DANGER tape, and a huge black tarp. Lovely.  We loved having the neighbourhood see our utility trailer sticking out of our garage. (hey, it did get us out and talking to more neighbours though) But finally it is all cleaned up and the trailer removed; it is all boarded up right now. Yay.  The house insurance company sent out Belfor, a restoration company, to assess the damage, etc, but they had to have a Structural Engineer out to check it out first, which took a week.  Sheesh.

After all is said and done, the Structural beam is twisted and will need to be replaced. Plus the footings need to be replaced. (the BMW knocked out the cement wall in two places and that will need to be replaced.) And it was discovered that the foundation wasn't done properly when it was first built, so that needs to be re-done. Oh, and now we'll need new siding too, and a new garage door. And that's just the garage. We'll need to still do the deck this summer!

It's been a slight nightmare!

On top of it, Belfor pointed out that there will be some permit issues.  So it's been a bit stressful as we wait for things to move forward, and for decisions to be made.   

(this is the inside of our garage. It looks terrible! A lot of Hunny's tools and equipment were shoved and knocked over, but thankfully none were badly damaged.  His Sheer actually survived, and his Table Saw, underneath it all, actually was fixable as well. Kai had fun posing with the mess!)

The funny thing is that when it first happened, Hunny and I laughed. We were wondering how we would re-do our deck with no budget. We laughed at how God worked it out for us to get that deck done. He's funny that way!  We're getting money from the insurance company which will cover the cost for the renos, thankfully. It's just been a slow and confusing process. Until we get to start on things, our garage is boarded up. 


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