We are in the process of renewing our house insurance to reflect the work we have done on this house for the renovation. The insurance agent asked me to provide documentation to prove the seismic upgrade was done.
If you could see my livingroom right now you would see two years of documents sorted into piles, covering the dining table and the grand piano. You would see tubs of documents stacked on the floor, and a collection of hanging folders loosely flopped on the piano bench. The plastic bag of permits and architectural plans are stowed on a bookshelf. There are receipts, invoices, letters of engagement, product information pamphlets, contracts, bank statements, cheque registers, hand drawn notes and plans, and loan agreements.
What I cannot find is the invoice I paid to the engineer for the seismic upgrade. I have noted the cheques paid to the engineer in my cheque register, and I have records of the funds being paid on those cheques in my bank statements. In total, the engineer invoiced us three times. I can only find one, the last, for the smallest amount, in my papers.
I do have the letter of engagement. I do have the letter authorizing the engineer to access information about our property from the City of Vancouver. I do have a large sheet of paper covered in tiny print, called “General Notes” and I do have the actual engineering plans specifying the actual structures that comprise the seismic upgrade. I also have the sequence of engineering inspection sheets, signed off by the engineer, as we completed each stage and were approved to move forward. I also have, in my collections of thousands of photographs of the renovation, pictures of the seismic engineering as it was completed: sistered floor joists, rebar specifications in the foundation walls, hold downs between the stud walls and the foundations, plywood sheathing, etc.
Sigh. I guess I will have to send this portfolio of digital files to the insurance agent and hope they suffice. I think one of the most tiring aspects of living in a renovation is constantly feeling like my life is about to slide into complete chaos. Last night I had two dreams, first, that my 95 lb. reactive gorgeous golden dog was now the size of a grizzly bear and I was riding around with him in the back of an open pickup truck hoping he wouldn’t jump out when we stopped and attack passerby. The other dream was that I had a giant abscess in my gum, above my front tooth and I had to go to the dentist to have the tooth removed. I didn’t want to go, and in the dream I kept hoping the abscess would go down and I would be able to keep the tooth.
Today I am going to leave the renovation alone and focus on writing and cleaning up my place.