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Posts Tagged ‘a/c’


Ah, life’s rich pageant!

We are now past the “demolition” phase and into the “reconstruction” phase in our renovation. No longer will I be preaching with a huge plastic sheet behind me. There should be no more unexpected surprises because they discovered something wrong with the building when they did x, y or z. We have a pretty good handle on the costs now.

Those tricksy costs. When we started this back in the fall, we gave “swags” of about $250k. We did not ask for approval yet. We needed harder numbers. The reality is that those harder numbers, while harder to swallow, were not really hard numbers. Fortunately we haven’t doubled the original estimate but between the unexpected repairs (like the 300 foot trench for the sewer line) and the unexpected costs imposed by the county (usually connected with environmental stuff) the total has gone up over 50%.

You begin to second guess yourself. Did we make the right decision? Did we decide too soon? Are we like the guy in the parable who didn’t count the cost and now we’ll have a half completed project? No. While I think the Enemy would like to keep me up at night thinking we goofed, or were disobedient, I don’t think we were.

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Tom Petty sang, “the waiting is the hardest part.” He was talking about long distance love, but I’ve found it to be true of all kinds of things in my life: waiting to be married, looking for a new pastoral call, adopting internationally. It is also true when renovating and expanding church facilities.

We now have a quote for a modular from the new company. We are not ready for our congregational meeting though. We still need the estimate on the renovation as well as the trenching to bring utilities to the modular. Very frustrating, but the architect has spend plenty of time making sure he didn’t set us up for failure. More on this later.

If/when we approve this we will wait 10-12 weeks for the modular to be constructed. We are now into April and August is looking too close for comfort as a deadline.

Expect the Unexpected. In preparing for renovation you will discover problems that you didn’t realize existed. We have found some problems with our sewer pipe. We will need a bigger pipe to service the bigger bathrooms in our current facility and the new bathrooms in the additional modular. We discovered that our A/C units really aren’t big enough for the facility as it is. Forget the addition of the narthex. We may not be able to upgrade them in light of the cost involved due to our size. But this is something we’ll probably have to do in the future.

Expect Things to Break. A few weeks ago we smelled an odd smell in the hallway. Our water fountain, or bubbler if you grew up in New England, was shorting out. We were considering a move around the corner. Now we will need to repair or replace it first. You can still get water, it just won’t be cold.

Expect Unexpected Distractions. A number of key people in our process have had emergencies that occupied their time, energy and money. The chairman of our diaconate experienced a pipe break in his home. They had the tubing that was used about 20 years ago. The upstairs bathroom had the break in the middle of the night, so that bathroom experienced damage, as did the walls downstairs. The insurance company, seeing more of these tube problems in the future, paid to have the whole home re-plumbed. The whole process took weeks when you add in talking to contractors to get estimates, and then the actual work.

CavWife was driving my car when she was hit totaling the car. She was not injured but I then spent the next few weeks looking for a car. That is a little distracting.

Things like these suddenly happen when you are in the midst of renovations and expansion. You better keep praying as you engage in this process.

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