Wednesday, April 25, 2012

20 months later the house is being fixed

Shift in paint on the floor from when the
house was built shows the floor movement
on the other side of the crack
The message on my phone, said call home urgently. I rang Karl and he said he had finally found out at 1pm, the date we needed to be out of house for repairs to start - the movers were to come the next morning at 8am.
To rewind, the date we had initially been told was 2 April so we had packed up most things, (with the help of my fabulous in laws) and had been living for the last two and half weeks trying not to reopen already packed boxes. The standard answer when going to do anything was a frustrating, "it's been packed."
Now it was all on. With the help of Sam we finished packing everything up and surprisingly were ready for the next morning. I went off to work awaiting a text to tell me where to bike home to in the evening.
Yet again wonderful friends came to our aid and looked after the kids so Karl could help the movers. The earthquakes have definitely showed me we can't do this living thing alone, we need each other. Without help from family and friends, we would not have even been ready.
That night we finally settled in a motel for four nights. The kids had gone a bit crazy, with the uncertainty of it all. They went north to Nelson.
The builder began working on the house.
I thought it would be like being on holiday, but it was not. We were trying to live our normal lives and then there was a whole extra level of detail going on regarding our house, finding accommodation and adjusting to living somewhere different.
When EQC came after September and again after February they did all the assessment, we showed them things we knew were caused by the quakes and they found other damage. Then that report went onto Fletchers. Now they had started fixing things, EQC seemed to want to change things or at least seemed to be trying to make us feel guilty for the repairs. Because our slab was cracked right across the width of the house - through the toilet and bathroom, hall and bedroom - it was decided to pull up the carpets to see what was happening. You could see where the floor had moved one way, while the wall had remained. We knew when the carpet was pulled up either it would be good news and there would no more cracks or there might be more, but we were happy it was coming up so that could be checked. Thankfully there were no further cracks but then EQC questioned why it had been done. We were already tired, and trying to get on with work and life, it seemed like another attack from the quakes. My brain felt overloaded with everything
I knew at the end our house would be repaired and lovely. We were taking the opportunity to pay extra to get work done, we had been about to do before the February quake hit.  We had been waiting for EQC to repair the quake damage before we could do what we wanted.

We have now been out for  a week and are currently staying at the neighbour's. Today we organised motel accommodation for when the kids return because it would be too many to stay here. We finally have all the nights we are out of the house accounted for. This was the annoying thing about the dates being moved, we couldn't book accommodation in advance as we had initially planned.
Two years ago if you had asked what I thought about sending my daughter to Nelson during school term time for a week and half, I would have wondered why and how much she would miss her friends, but it was the best thing to do. They have had a chance for a break from the craziness we are living through.
When looking for accommodation, one motel asked us who we were insured with. They smiled and said we would be fine and would be looked after by our insurance company, it would appear others are not being so helpful. The motel guy said the bigger units were in constant use by families moving out for house repairs.
There are so many houses to be repaired and it seems despite agreeing to work EQC are prepared to keep shifting what they believe needs doing. It is hard when you are tired and just wanting to get back into your house. For those further down the track, I am guessing the fighting will have to be more vigorous.
After the house, there is still the driveway, that was looking good to get repaired, right up until the December 23 quakes and then it all went quiet from the insurance company.
It is a long journey for this city.

5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.