Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘contractors

Weathering Nicely

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Now that it’s officially summer, a few days ago I got around to removing the firewood rack from our deck that had been in place all winter. Doing so uncovered deck boards that have been protected from direct sunlight and still show the original coloring of the treated wood.

I am much happier with the weathered look of the exposed boards.

We’ve yet to decide what we will do about finishing the wood. I’m hoping to tap the advice of the professional crew we have contracted to seal the log walls of our house. It would be great if they would actually show up.

It’s a company that we’ve used once before, shortly after we moved here. There was an end piece of a log that was rotting and they replaced it and went around the whole house to caulk any spaces that needed it.

Last year they agreed to do the job of resealing the logs of the entire house but were iffy about whether they could fit it in before days got too cold. When it became obvious they wouldn’t make it before winter, they promised we would be early on the spring schedule this year.

When spring (and a certain pandemic) arrived, we contacted them to confirm they were still able to work. Yes, they said, work would begin as soon as days got warm enough.

When warm days arrived and we hadn’t heard from them, we checked again. Yes, we were next in line after their current job. He teased it might be the next week or the week after, depending on the weather.

A week later, granted after some inclement weather, I decided to start removing all the decorative trim from the outside walls in an almost passive-aggressive attempt to will them to suddenly show up.

We will give them one more week before checking anew to find out how many additional weeks remain before they start on our house, seeing as they were going to do it right away in the spring and we were only second in line on their schedule at the start.

At this rate, by the time they get here the logs of the house will be so faded they will match the weathered boards of the deck.

Maybe we should aim for the antique gray color of dried-out neglected wood for our house.

I do like a weathered look.

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p.s. Happy Birthday, Elysa! (you are weathering nicely, too!) [Oh, Dad…]

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Written by johnwhays

June 22, 2020 at 6:00 am

Waiting Games

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My patience has been tested the last few weeks, waiting for three different contractors to make appearances on our property. Unfortunately, nature isn’t going to delay the onset of winter just because my projects weren’t completed. Completed seems like a humorous concept, since I can’t even get people here to start. They all claim the reason they can’t make it is that they are too busy and behind schedule.

Yesterday, I received a token visit from landscapers who will put in drain tile to route water around the paddocks, in hopes of keeping them from becoming such mud pits. It was “landscapers” plural, because the first one was so over-busy through the end of the year he needed to contract it out to a friend. They took some final measurements and said work should be able to start next week. I can only hope.

It felt a bit like the experience I often have in a visit to the doctor. I check in to let them know I arrived at the time of my appointment, and take my place in the waiting area. After what seems like way too long to be waiting, I start getting agitated. When that feeling starts to morph into anger, a nurse pops out and calls my name.

That resets my angst, and I am happy my turn has finally arrived. Except, it hasn’t. I eventually discover that all they have done is move me from the outer waiting area to an exam room to continue waiting. It’s a great system, because I tolerate a lot more waiting when it is broken up by little moments of faux progress. It would have been an intolerable wait, had I spent the entire time in the outer chairs. Broken into two stages —the second one feeling like actual progress— helped me accept the overall total wait-time without making a fuss.

It feels like the landscape contractors finally made an appearance yesterday to reset my angst and make me feel good about them telling me the work should be able to start next week sometime.

Once again, it works wonders for me. My previous anxieties have been reset. I’m happy with their latest promise.

Here’s hoping they are able to live up to it.

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Written by johnwhays

September 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

Finally, Progress

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The hardest thing I have faced since becoming a full-time ranch manager has been getting contractors to bid jobs we need done. In the last few days I have successfully communicated with three of them. Two actually showed up in person. The other has already been here. Even though no work has actually begun, just getting them to see and discuss the situation, and estimate a time when they hope to actually do some work, is rewarding enough to fuel my dwindling supply of hope to get improvements in place before winter arrives in full force.

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It’s a bit like seeing signs of the sun preparing to make its appearance over the eastern horizon.

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With that bit of inspiration, I found myself drawn toward a chore I have been neglecting all summer long. One of our main trails through the woods had been left untended since the snow melted and it had become overgrown to the point of being difficult to discern.

DSCN2311eI was pleased to see how much growth had occurred in volunteer trees, most of them butternuts. Too bad they were growing in a path where they wouldn’t be able to remain. I used the power trimmer to do the bulk of the clearing, then made a few passes with a pole saw and my ratcheted pruner. There is much left to be done —I only went as far as one tank of gas on the trimmer allowed— but the part I did complete looks wonderful and inviting.

After dinner, where I devoured fresh-picked ears of gourmet sweet corn that Cyndie picked up on her way home, we took Delilah for a walk down that trail. It was a treat to experience all the “oohs” and “aahs” from Cyndie as she marveled over how great it looked. Then we arrived at the stretch where I had cut down trees on Monday to widen the southern leg of the trail. They still lay where they fell, all over the trail, in stark contrast to the section I had just trimmed.

It’s a work in progress. But, alas, there is finally some progress!

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Written by johnwhays

August 28, 2014 at 6:00 am