At the beginning of September, our apartment management decided they wanted to start repiping in all of the apartment buildings. We were the first building to get this renovation. Lucky us.
Management told us to move things from the tops of our washer and dryer, under the bathroom and kitchen sinks, and to fill our tubs with water to flush toilets with. They said a supervisor would be on site at all times to make sure our apartments were safe.
I first blogged about this three and a half weeks ago when it was all beginning. They cut huge holes in our walls and ceiling to get to the pipes in our apartment and our neighbors' apartments. The actual repiping was finished in a day but the holes were left for two weeks. They stapled paper over them.
|the dining room in the living room|
Everything in our dining room was moved into our living room. That's a dining room set that seats six and a big wooden chopping block table. Our living room really isn't very big and once our dining room furniture was placed in it we could not even walk into it.
|the bathroom/kitchen supplies in the guest room|
Everything in our guest bathroom was moved into our guest bedroom. Everything in our laundry room was moved into our kitchen (including a litter box). Everything from under the kitchen sink was moved into the guest bedroom.
In the past month we frequently came home to find our door unlocked and no workers or supervisor around. The timeline of the project kept changing. We were being told things would happen one day and they wouldn't happen for another week. Our apartment and the area around our building was constantly left in a very unclean state. I understand that things happen to slow down work but I was concerned because communication between the workers, the management and the residents was, and still is, terrible.
This entire month, our belongings have been "rearranged" as I described above. The only room we could actually be in is our bedroom and it's crowded enough in there with furniture and belongings that we only really go in there to sleep and change anyway. Our apartment was unlivable for a month.
The apartment smelled disgusting all day and night. During the weeks that there were holes in the walls and ceiling, all we could smell was plastic from the new pipes. Once the walls were put back up, the place smelled of plaster. Recently it was painted and now it smells like that, too.
The first two weeks we suffered through it because we didn't know what else to do. We didn't have anywhere else to go. We can't afford to rent another place in the meantime and our families are over an hour away.
|out of town|
The third week we were (thankfully) out of town. It was very nice to not be stuck in a cramped smelly apartment for a while. On the down side, we didn't really know what was going on in our apartment while we were gone. I visited the office and asked them not to leave our door unlocked at all while we were gone.
When we returned September 22, our apartment was in its worst condition yet. When we left, there were still holes in the walls and ceiling. When we came back, the walls and ceiling had been fixed. However nothing in the apartment was covered for protection when the walls were done so everything we owned was covered in plaster dust and/or plaster.
I opened the fridge to put some cold things in and several items jumped out at me. Well, that's fishy, I thought. So I opened the freezer to find that half of the items in it had melted and dripped everywhere and everything was so covered in frost that it was all frozen together. What?
We called emergency maintenance because we were so fed up and could not believe the way they'd treated our apartment while we were gone. We were given a key to another apartment to stay in until these problems were resolved. We currently rent a 2BR 2BA (with a kitchen, living room, dining room) and were put in a 1BR 1BA (smaller kitchen, smaller living room, no dining room). It's just the two of us but 500 sq ft sure feels cramped.
The next morning (we're now caught up to Monday, September 23) workers came in to clean up the plaster and plaster dust in our apartment. I wasn't there to see it happen but Cor says it was a pretty quick job. We were informed that painting would happen the next day and then it would be over.
Painting didn't happen until Friday, September 27. We didn't hear anything from the management office or the workers about it being delayed or completed. The only way we were aware that our apartment was painted was by walking in Friday afternoon (without having to unlock our front door, thanks again!) and seeing it for ourselves.
I know it was just temporary but we did end up staying in this other apartment for over a week. That means we had to bring all essentials from our own apartment into this temporary place several buildings down the road. It was a constant back and forth for clothes and supplies (not food because thanks to the fridge mishap we really didn't have any) and checking on the state of our apartment and belongings.
Monday, September 30 we called the management office to inquire about our apartment and whether the renovations were complete. They said they were finished with it so we finally moved back in. Let's hope that's true.
I spent last week emailing back and forth with management about the way our apartment was treated but nothing conclusive has happened as of yet.
Tomorrow (October 7) the construction coordinator is supposed to come around and ensure construction was properly completed. I'm sure he'll get an earful from any residents able to stay home and be there for it. Yikes.
Thanks to everyone who has listened to me vent the past few weeks. Hopefully the worst is over and I can stop complaining all the time. Feel free to let me know if I'm overreacting.