Writing Checks

I seem to be writing a lot of checks this morning.  We had some last minute welding done by Barry, so one goes to pay for E's last visit to the bus spa, but most are heading for Portland...Things are going fine with our rentals.  We have tenants and if anything the rents are finally increasing again (we still lose money mind you, but its closer to the breakeven point)...but repairs and problems always seem to come in groups.  Now is one of those times.

We decided a few weeks ago to fix the porch at the duplex because the posts looked to have some water damage and were sitting in top of a 1x base which was tired of holding the weight.  Simple preventive maintenance...no big deal.  Or so we thought.

Once the crew gets onsite the emails start piling up.  First they realize that the "posts" are really just hollow boxes of 1x material...not exactly what you want holding up the top story of a house- change order #1 and the project cost doubles.  They rip a bit further in to find that the entire structure of the deck is rotten and almost nonexistent- change order #2.

Feeling like, since we are now replacing the entire porch there can't really be any more bad news, but it only takes a few more days for the next email to land.  Apparently all the rot was caused by a severe termite infestation at some point in history and in addition to the porch issues, the main support beam holding up the front of the house is almost nonexistent.  Our contractor was kind enough to provide a photo, which made this change a gimme.  I honestly didn't know that was possible, and am surprised the house is standing.  According to our guys, the previous owner went through a lot of trouble to cover up and hide all these issues so that it was almost impossible for a building inspector to catch...I guess we'll leave that one in the hands of karma.

The project is now complete (six change orders later) and we aren't sure whether to be frustrated at the expense or happy we decided to do the project now before the place fell down.  And, in typical fashion we just found out about some issues with the back porch at our house that need to e dealt with before tenants move in…apparently its “replace your porch moth” in Portland.

All just part of the master plan I guess… but its no fun to watch the savings drop before we even hit the road.