July 29, 2013

The Birthday Flood

I wanted to share my first little home disaster experience with you—it just so happened to be on my 25th birthday.

The story begins when James moved in at the end of March. I was so excited to be living together because we were on opposite schedules (he was working nights at the time). Having him there meant seeing him more than just his days off, and while I was a little sad to give up my “me days” I was so ready to take this next step in our relationship.

For those of you that don’t know James, he is a tech guy. He works in IT. He has THREE computer screens. Basically if it has to do with computers, he’s your man. This is one of the things I love about him.

 So, as part of his desire to make my house feel like home to him and is tech savvy ways, he wanted to wire the whole house for Ethernet, and while he was at it, the cable as well. I helped pitch in for supplies and was excited to have all the dirty work done for free. So he went ahead cutting holes in my walls (EEEEK) and having me hand wires up and down through the crawl space.  Once he got started I realized he was right that it was ridiculous to hire someone for $300+ just to run wire through the place.

This work continued on my birthday which landed on a Saturday this year. I had enjoyed an amazing brunch with my friend Hillary who was in town and we ate at one of my faves -  Big City Coffee (yum!).  Since I had celebrated a little the night before, I laid down for a little recovery nap that afternoon before my birthday party that night.

That is when I heard it... Profanities came through the walls and it sounded like someone had turned every faucet and shower in the place on high. It took me a second to process, then I hopped out of bed to see what was going on. By then James had reached the water supply turn off (Thank God.)

The damage however, had been done.

He explained to me that he must have drilled through a pipe. There was a small hole in the center of my living room wall, which is the separating wall between the living space and the master bath. 

Somehow I was able to keep my wits about me. First thing I did was call the plumber. Next I called Dad, the answerer of all questions. He told me to go ahead and call the claims line for my home insurance. I would have never guessed I would need to use my insurance only a month after moving in!

With the plumber on the way and a call made to my insurance agent, who said cleanup crew would be there within a couple hours, I was finally able to relax. I remember a moment sitting on the couch with James. He was upset. It was plain to see. That’s when I laughed, and told him shit stuff happens. He apologized again and again, but really what was done was done.

The plumber showed up within 20 minutes. I called Anderson Plumbing who I highly recommend. They had installed my new kitchen sink and disposal and I had their magnet on my fridge (so handy for emergencies like this!). He sawed a hole in the wall to inspect the damage.

James had hit a 3/8” supply line. We’re talking a TINY pipe. Out of the whole 15’ length of the wall, he had managed to hit just the right spot. The plumber and I found this amusing, James did not. The guy had it patched up in no time, and handed me the small portion of piping he removed, with the drill hole dead center.

The best part of the whole thing was the plumber handing me the invoice to sign for—a whopping $70. I was expecting $200+ for emergency quickness, etc. I must have said something to the effect of “that’s it?” to which he responded, “I feel bad for the guy.”

After all was said and done, I still had a really good birthday. We had friends come over to have a few beers, and then I headed to the RAM to meet everyone else. James waited behind to meet the cleanup crew so that I was able to get to my birthday party on time. I was overjoyed by the turn out and felt so loved. We proceeded to have a great night out on the town, including James who was not far behind 
me arriving to the party.
Me and the girls out for my birthday!
James even gave me a real smile for a birthday picture!

I got to come home to what the cleanup crew had done. The toilet in my master bath was gone and the vinyl around it was torn up. They had removed most of the baseboards in the living room, and set up fans throughout the house.

The hole where my toilet had been, and a couple fans...
For the next few days, we were in hell. During the days it would get to 95 degrees and higher in the house from the fans. They had to run 24/7 to make sure everything got completely dry. Fuses were blowing left and right. It was worth it though and we were lucky. No serious damage was done to my hardwood floors or the crawl space.

Looking back, it was probably a good thing this happened when it did. We hadn’t gotten fully moved in yet, so there wasn’t much in place to damage. I now also know how to file a claim for my home owners insurance!

And, I owe James an apology for showing everyone the pipe and telling the story, when really he was just trying to help. Sorry! I love you!

Now we can look back at it and laugh. As well as enjoy the new floor in the bathroom that came out of the deal (Yay! No more carpet!), and cable and internet in every room!

TTFN Friends!


  1. Laura, such a crazy story! I'm glad everything worked out okay-- that could have been SO bad. Make sure you add me on Google Friend Connect my sweet blogger friend :)