Friday, October 29, 2010

Our house is an Escher print

posted 07/15/08

Guess what? Carpenter ants are not a good thing. You’d think with a name like “carpenter ant” that you would get an industrious little ant that builds a balcony on your second floor instead of destroying it. Sure, it wouldn’t tell you when it’s coming, it wouldn’t return your phone calls promptly, it wouldn’t invoice you very quickly and it sure wouldn’t clean up after itself, but it would be good natured and it would do a good job when it did work.

But no. Carpenter ants eat wood. (Heh heh. I said “wood.”) Not only do they eat wood, they seem to specialize in vertical support beams embedded in brick and covered by electrical conduits. (Read “needs electrician to move,” read, “costs hundreds of dollars.”)

So what we thought was a simple job of removing the top boards of the balcony to replace them – because the top boards were too close together, the water could not drain well and the boards were in danger of rotting – became a job of replacing the entire balcony. (Oh yes – did I mention that when the top boards were removed, they discovered that the support boards had rotted because guess what? the water had not drained well! Who knew?)

At three times the original estimate.

And no, not replacing the balcony is not an option.

Because in a city where putting lawn waste in the trash is illegal, it is also illegal to have a second-story door to nowhere.

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