Thursday, February 10, 2011

The story so far

I wasn't ready to be a refugee in my own city. Staying in a hotel room with 2 teenagers is not my idea of fun... it's kinda like all the downsides of being on holiday without actually leaving town! But a hotel room is where we found ourselves exactly one week after the September 4th earthquake, after a structural engineer deemed our house unsafe to live in.

Like a lot of Chch residents, we spent the first couple of days thinking how lucky we were to have survived such a major shake with no injuries and only minor damage. Or so we thought...

As the week - and the aftershocks! - went on, we became increasingly concerned about the state of our house and whether it was going to stay standing.

Every little aftershock was noticeable and the big ones were becoming more stressful as the house creaked and groaned and twisted out of shape.

So the structural engineer ordered us out & we ended up staying in the Riccarton Rd motel strip for 5 days while we frantically stripped all furniture & possessions from our house, and tried to find a place to rent.

This was 5 months ago now, and we're facing our 2nd move as we're about to run out of rental assistance from our insurance policy & our current residence (the 'summer palace') is too pricey for our income. This time we've managed to find a place just round the corner instead of across town which will help cut down on our ridiculous petrol bills of late.

 The cluster of aftershocks on Boxing Day & New Year's Day did even more damage...

This crack is our barometer... it's now a few centimetres wide at the top.

well...we're still shaking but things are trying to return to some semblance of normality. And now that we've finally had our inspection done, we can start to plan.

As suspected, the house is a goner - she's coming down, folks! The '4-6 hour inspection' was done and dusted within 90 minutes... we thought it would quickly become apparent that any repair costs were going to far outweigh the sum insured, and the assessor agreed.

So now we wait on paperwork, payouts and the wheels of the insurance industry which seem to turn in a very slow and painful way.

Next step: audition building companies to try and find a good fit with our ideas, approach and budget (which will be limited!). We live in interesting times indeed.

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