Today the lawn sprinkler guys came to set up my lawn sprinkler system for the summer. I took the day off. This was supposed to be an easy day. They show up at 0800, fix stuff, restart the pump, attach the intake and drop it in the lake, and go home. I let them in the basement, answer a question or two, and I’m free to do nothing by 1000. Yeah, ‘bout that…
Since we draw water from a lake, it is essential that we have a filter to keep mud and sand out of the sprinkler system or the “sprinkler” part becomes a non-part, making the whole system a non-system. There was a note in my file at the contractor’s office (I know this because the young lady who answered the phone told me it was there) to bring a new filter, since mine had apparently ‘accidentally’ broken, and several of the sprinkler heads were not working. This was supposed to become part of the Work Order. The crew showed up – no filter on the Work Order. Worse... no filter in the truck! I told them they HAD to get me a filter, or the system wouldn’t run, and this time THEY would pay for the new heads and the service call.
Not wishing to run up and down stairs all day, I opened the basement patio door for them… and ripped the rear frame off the slider in the process. WHAT?!? I don’t NEED this right now! As I pushed the door back closed so I could reattach the rear frame, the rear wheel-truck came out of the panel… in three pieces. OK, this was obviously not going to be a repair. It was new door time. (“Why ME, Lord?” he asked plaintively. “Because you ticked me off,” the goddess laughed, “and besides… it’s fun.”)
Busted patio door - locked, never to be opened until replaced
The crew went to get a filter. Two hours later they were back, had the intake filter attached and the pump pulling water from the lake. They also had six of fourteen sprinkler heads working. The remainder were so clogged with dirt they wouldn’t even pop up. Another hour, and they had four of the heads cleaned and working, three replaced and working, and one they couldn’t find because it was a little pop-up that didn’t, and was therefore invisible. I’m to try to find it. I can hardly wait to see the bill. I wish I knew who decided to stand on my filter and break it off.
As soon as they were gone, it was off to Lowe's for me. I actually need three patio doors, but the basement door is crucial. I looked thru their stuff, and it seems that I can get one installed in the basement for about $750 (no screen), assuming the contractor who is coming doesn’t see a problem (I think there’s a problem). While he’s here, we’re going to discuss pre-hung French doors for the family room and the dining room (my son wants me to do glass block in the dining room, but I have SERIOUS doubts. I don’t really LIKE the looks of glass block in large panels. Anyway, each door, with screen and door handle/lock would be about $1,350 installed, or about $3,500 for all three.
I’ve been paying down debt, and I just HATE to add to it, but… I think I need to do this. I have a little left from Laura’s life insurance. Maybe I’ll use some of that.
Oh, the problem? The basement door is installed in an opening in a brick wall with a steel beam header. We tried to put a standard screen door into the slot for one, and we couldn’t. It was a quarter-inch too tall. I fear I’m looking at a custom-built door-wall, and that is gonna be a LOT more than $750.00.
Oh, by the way... Lowe's has a discount for military personnel. You won't find it on their site, and they don't advertise it. But some retailers give DTE employees a discount, so I asked. The salesperson said the only discount available was 10% for military personnel, and that doesn't include labor. Well, hell - I'll have about $1,800 in doors and hardware alone! That's $180 - a screen door and door handle/lock system. I asked whether that included veterans, and he said it does... just bring in your discharge paperwork. Got my DD214 right here! Will take it in as soon as I talk to the contractor.