Maybe that should be worth their weight in concrete because I think this concrete costs about as much as gold does!
If you recall from my last post, Art and his company had just finished up their portion of the basement project. I came home to the Schroeder Concrete trailer sitting in my yard. They had already started to work on setting the forms, which I believe is the Form-A-Drain system, to get ready to pour the footings for the basement. This was an exciting development!
I don’t know what time they arrived at my place, but they made pretty quick work of getting the footings set. They were gone by the time I got home at 4:00 p.m. Curiously, I found several empty cans of cat food by the corn crib where our farm cats live. We don’t use canned cat food. We came out to feed them and after that discovery, I assume their bellies are already full.
Looking at these pictures, you really get a full scope of what a great job Art and Ricky did cleaning out the extra junk and debris from the old foundation. I had to have some gravel hauled in for them to set the cribbing on and many loads of sand and more gravel will arrive in the coming days. I suffered a little bit of sticker shock when I heard how much it will cost of the sand and gravel! It comes from a quarry about 10 miles from our house. It really isn’t the material that drives the cost. It’s the cost to have it driven to your house. I believe it’s 40 loads, so that’s quite a bit of material and 800 miles of trucking, so I guess when you put it that way, it isn’t that bad. It’s all in your perspective. I have to remind myself of that constantly.
Even though this house has been in a state of remodel and repair for nearly 12 years, the basement project had come together pretty last minute. You’ll remember the debacle of hiring the first contractor. Even with that setback, I was pretty determined to get it done.
I found Cody and J&C Builders through a friend of mine, who has a friend who works for them. I checked them out, asked around and was assured they would do a great job for me. I met with Cody and he understood everything I had gone through with the last contractor. I immediately felt at ease with him and he understood that I needed to watch my expenses. I had his company waiting in the wings to come in when needed during and after the house foundation was replaced.
I previously contacted another house mover when I figured it was too far for Atlas to come do my project. They came out and took a look at my project. I hadn’t signed any contracts but we had a handshake agreement they would take on my project. They were experienced and they would have done a fine job, I’m sure.
During the first week of August, I called him to see what the plan was in lifting my house because if it was going to happen soon, I had lots of arrangements to make. He said, “I never said we would be there in August. We’re looking at maybe September.” This time I decided to pay attention to my gut instincts.
I knew he said August but we didn’t have any sort of contract signed and no money had exchanged hands. I told him I was no longer interested in having them lift my house. Maybe I was just a little gun-shy from my last contractor issue, but I wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. Sometimes you have to listen for that small, still voice.
I immediately called Atlas and explained my situation to them. I had contacted them a year before, but they were too busy with jobs to fit mine in. That’s why I went with the very first contractor who did his “dig and run.” This time everything would line up. As it turned out, they were looking for work. I was fortunate to catch them during a slow time. Again, I felt God was at work opening the right doors at the right time. You just know what you know.
As far as this type of job goes, my house was a pretty straightforward one. Because the house is an American Foursquare there weren’t any awkward additions to support. Art could look at my project via pictures and the measurements I had texted him and he was able to give me a loose quote. The quote was very similar to the one I had received from the other house mover.
Art had asked me if I had a concrete contractor in mind and I said I hadn’t. There was one concrete contractor that was fairly local to me, but I hadn’t contacted them since I didn’t even know at this point what to tell anyone for a date. He said he had worked with Schroeder Concrete before and they had always done a great job. I didn’t know a thing about them or their work. I was in desperate need of a concrete contractor. If Art liked them and had worked well with them, that was good enough for me. He contacted them on my behalf and they had time to do my project before they would be done for the winter months.
About two weeks before the project was supposed to begin, Art, Cody and Jerry from Schroeder Concrete all met at my house to look at the site and determine a plan of action. All three of them were awesome. Cody is a really good guy who conducts his business with a high moral standard. He has taken on the role of a general contractor when he didn’t need to. When it came to coordinating the project, I was in over my head so I appreciated him taking the lead. It was the most professional meeting I had ever been a part of. These guys knew their stuff and I felt that they really cared about my best interests for both money and time.
I walked way from that meeting with a sense of peace that I had not felt in quite some time. I knew they were all an answer to prayer. Seriously. When you experience that, you just know it’s a God-thing.
Do you see how God just opens those doors and puts those people into place for you at just the right time? While it was hard getting taken by the other contractor, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Well yes, losing $13,000 is a horrible thing. But how awful would it have been for that contractor to start my job and walk away from it without finishing it? Honestly, when he was dragging his feet at starting my job, I felt as if God was protecting me from something. Turns out He was and He had an even better plan.
“For I know the plans for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Until next time…
Salvaging A Farmhouse is a series of blog posts that chronicle my experience of renovating and reclaiming our 1900 farmhouse. This is a project that is over a decade in the making. We were working towards some pretty serious renovations on the house until my husband became sick with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and died 9 weeks after his diagnosis. My kids and I have been left with the task of completing what we started all those years ago. Every house and every family have a story and this is the story of ours.
To view the series from beginning to end please go to this page: Salvaging A Farmhouse.