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Mowing accident--hole in house


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Oh dear.  If you are here your probably read the status/notification section.  These are two really nice kids/ twins that work really hard trying to do what is right in Jehovah's eyes.  They were both telling me Monday that they have their heart set on going to Bethel after senior graduation in May and when they turn 19 next August.  They just went to live with their worldly Dad--they have never told me if he was a witness but I know he is not now.  Their mother was DF's two years ago and their slightly older brother one year ago.  I always encourage them and give them praise for being in the truth and how hard they work at it now--with no other family for them.  When I was in the house looking over the last part of the KM for tonights meeting--there was a huge bang and the house shook.  I could here things falling and jumped up to investigate along with the dogs.  I did not see anything inside then remembered Caleb was in the back mowing on the Kabota tractor.  I ran outside to find him sitting and staring up in the air at the house.  I could tell it was not good by the look on his face.  It looked like he was going to burst into tears.  When I stepped off the porch and walked out into the yard and looked back,  I could see the damage--a hole about two foot by three foot.  I had a sinking feeling then a throwing up feeling and I am sure he did too.  he hit the house at an angle.  While he was mowing and trying to get close (boy did he) he hit the house with the corner of the  front end loader at an angle and instead of head on. 

 

He did not want me to tell his father.  I know you said no secrets but I am worried for him/them too.  He started telling me it was just some sheet rock damage and replace a couple of pieces of siding and some house "wrap".    I could not figure out where the hole was and we went in to look again and it was the back bathroom and linen closet that suffered the damage.  The house is 6 and a half years old--we have been there for 5 and a half years.   The good thing is the man who built it lives across the road--he helped build it for his daughter and SIL.  So I can ask tomorrow night where he got the materials.  I know how Caleb feels because quite frankly I don't want to tell my husband about it either!  I just want to fix it and things go away.  My sister friend here asked me if there was an elder I could talk to.  I did not think of that.  Yes.  I think I will call one who acts like a father to the boys (he is also an electrician) and works on the RBC.  I can see if he will intervene and oversee the work.  Rain is expected this weekend so I just want to make sure water does not get in and further damage the walls.  I know I will have to tell Rick but I think I need a day or three to get use to it.  I have to figure out my approach and what I will fix for dinner and what I will wear when I break the news to him.  You brothers probably won't understand that but I am sure my sisters will.  You don't know all the prep work that is involved when he have to deliver bad new to you.

 

I mentioned calling my insurance agent to give me a written report and estimate but Caleb practically begged me not to do that because they would over inflate the bill.  I reassured him that I understood it was an accident and gave him a long hug and told him we would get through this.  I just needed to know that it was done right.  He told me he took two years of construction/building in school and has worked on the RBC.  I did not even know they offered such courses--it has been so long since I was in school.  I do not want to handle this in a way that traumatizes these young boys but I do want it taken care of. 

 

Di you think that is a proper or good way to resolve this?  By calling the elder and asking him to talk to the boys and oversee what they do?  I will buy the materials--I am just wanting them to repair the hole.  It is a very nice house and I just don't want it to look like a hole has been repaired if you know what I mean.  I would like it to look like it never happened.

 

I started to go to my meeting and got half way there and realized I had my husbands big rubber flipflops on and had to turn back.  In the mean time I got a text from Caleb telling me his father took the tire off the tractor because when he hit the house the tire popped off the rim?  Hummm.  I don't know how that happened but that is what his message said.  It has been a traumatizing evening for me.  I think I will go grab a Not Your Fathers Root Beer and work on how to break the news to Rick.  I hope tomorrow is better.

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Don't worry it is only stuff... No one died or was injured.. Just send me some pictures ...Or post them ...

I do insurance work all the time ... If it is going to rain cover the hole with plastic and duct tape to keep out the water .. That is a lot more expensive to fix..

So you have an exterior envelope ... Siding, Brick stucco whatever .. Plywood , Insulation ,wood studs, vapour barrier ,interior wall board ... Not a big deal for someone who is a professional in construction.

If the man who built it is across the road just ask him .. In 5 min. He can tell you exactly what should be done.. No worries


Edited by TheDoorGuy
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I know it's kinda late - but I just hope you found a way to get some heavy plastic over the outside of the hole - totally sealed everywhere with duct tape. Quick fix for now. Weather is weird - and you definitely want this done before ANY KIND OF WEATHER makes its way to you and gets inside that wall!!!

Prayers for a happy ending to this - for ALL of you. :pray:

 

And I totally get what you said about 'prep' for this sort of news :sweat::peace::heart::crush:

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I am not an expert in US constructions methods so can't comment on the repairs that may be needed but I think you need to consider the long term.

 

You need the damage assessed by at least one expert, I would recommend two or three.  It may look bad and yet be pretty cosmetic for a qualified tradesman to fix however it could the other way round.

 

What would happen if these lads made a repair but missed something important?  You could have damage to the property that may not be manifest for some time.  What happens if water ingress occurred over months or years for example?  You could be left with serious damage and a big issue about how to get it sorted.

 

Unless the damage is actually easily fixed and the young mens' work properly supervised then I would not have these young men do the work.  It is far better for them to perhaps contribute the cost (or part of the cost if you really are being that magnanimous about it) of getting things fixed by a pro than it is for them to fix it and then you have to live with the potentially bad long term consequences.  You are protecting them as much as you.  The work gets done properly with recourse options for you down the line.  You don't have to worry about tricky situations with these lads later on.  If you involve another brother who has not responsibility now you are just compounding the risk IMHO.  It it goes pear shaped then what?  

 

If they are doing the original works as part of a business then they may have some kind of third party liability insurance.  Sounds like they don't though...

 

Another option, perhaps the best, is to go through your insurance company.  That way they approve the contractor and the works.  You are protected long term.  Get the kids to pay the extra premium and/or excess.

 

Right now you have a very tricky situation.  I would strongly advise against letting too much emotion guide your action.  Consider the long term.  Consider what happens if things are not fixed right.  Consider how you best minimise any further complications between you and your fellow Christians.  It's tough now but it will be 100 times worse if your house has a big problem down the line and it's because they did a bad job of fixing things.  I would really think carefully about making sure you minimise the potential risk to your house and your long term relationship with other brothers.

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A picture or two of the damage would be more salient...

 

I'm guessing that the construction is timber frame, siding and plasterboard inside. If that's the case, much of what Jez has posted is a bit over the top. It's all pretty easily fixed and no long term ramifications should result provided it's looked over well when the outer sheeting is taken away. 

 

Your builder, the elder who is on the RBC, anyone with some reasonable experience will be able to accurately assess this in a flash.

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A picture or two of the damage would be more salient...

 

I'm guessing that the construction is timber frame, siding and plasterboard inside. If that's the case, much of what Jez has posted is a bit over the top. It's all pretty easily fixed and no long term ramifications should result provided it's looked over well when the outer sheeting is taken away. 

 

Your builder, the elder who is on the RBC, anyone with some reasonable experience will be able to accurately assess this in a flash.

 

As I said, the construction methods in the US as not my area of expertise so I am more than happy to defer to those with more local experience of the construction methods and codes applicable.

 

The repairs may be straight forward and the risk of long term issues low however I would still suggest that the right people to make this this assessment are not two 18 year old lads but qualified contractors who have good experience and knowledge.  I am sure there would be many local brothers who would fit this profile and who would be more than competent to make the repairs -

 

In the absence of any pictures and really detailed information I would suggest that getting two or three expert opinions would be a sensible course of action.  If it's really a low risk, simple job then I would be happy to use anyone with experience, if not then it might be prudent to consider removing any long term risk of problems by moving the responsibly away from those in the congregation.

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