The New House -- Round Two

Mon, 20 Dec 2010

Well, here we go again. We've once again moved into the house. In fact, this is the first blog entry since moving. Will try to put up photos once the wife is happy with things and doesn't mind showing the house off.

And once again, the first torrential rain and water is leaking into the house. But now I know why. We have a beautiful roof. Damaged, but their trying to repair it with bandaids.

Yep, brand new roof, badly damaged. What's wrong with it? The installation. After not getting intelligent answers out of the builder, I went myself to the folks who sold them the roof. I asked to see the installation manual.

Now, I've worked on roofs, including roofs here. And so initially, what I saw on the house I thought little of. But then I read the installation manual. I reached one page and thought they had a typo. The manual said (it was written by the architect that designed the roof) that 2 inch screws should be driven into the bottom of the wave (arch) just off-center.

Most roofs here use zinc that has ridges of some kind, though fairly small, and the screws are driven into the top of the ridge to prevent water channeling in the valleys from leaking in. Now I understand why the architect asked me twice if the screws had been painted. But the screws on the roof are all in the upper part of the arch. And that arch is 2 inches in radius. The idiot builders didn't follow directions and built the entire roof improperly. No wonder all the overlaps are flattened and allowing water in. Their answer: lots of rubber paint (i.e., a bandaid to get them through the 12 month warranty period). I think not.

I know the architect is not aware of what has been done to her beautiful roof. It is all warped and distorted. I'll be surprised if 100 gallons of rubber paint keeps the rain out. I intend to ask for a 10 year guarantee against water damage due to this leaky roof. I'm sure I'll only get that in court.

I asked for and was given an installation manual. It took two minutes. The manual is written so children can understand it -- lots of little, one-syllable words and pictures everywhere. In fact, it's a Powerpoint presentation with a picture on almost every slide. Idiot proof. Oh, if only idiots weren't so resourceful. Of course, it helps if you actually read (or just look at all the pictures in) the manual. The mediocre Panamanian educational system strikes again. They're way too smart to read an installation manual.

Tomorrow will tell all, as the manufacturer and builder will be here at the house to discuss the roof. If I don't like what I hear, I'll just have to hand everything to my lawyer to see if he can get the problem resolved.

Meanwhile, I continue to work in the house. It is difficult, considering the straws they stuck in the walls that don't allow me to run ethernet cable as I'd like to. Instead of having 2 ethernet connections per room and a cable TV (coax cable) connection as well as a few strands of alarm wire, I'm having to settle for only one TV connection (not per room, but total) and only 6 ethernet connections -- and that's proving to be difficult.

Oh well, guess I just have to run about 6 wireless distribution system (WDS) boxes and a couple more access points. It's such a joy being mired in mediocrity (not). Guess I could just fiber everything. The fiber's cheap enough now, but the media converters are murder. Oh well.

The upside is the neighborhood is great. Much like a nice US neighborhood if you ignore all the razor wire and metal bars on the windows and doors. I'm not a criminal, and I refuse to let the criminals force me to live in a prison, so I'm installing an alarm system and sensors. I need a few more sensors and a few newer dual-mode sensors, but I'll get there. Already have the motion-activated security lights up. Working on the rest. The noise as the alarms sound and lights come on should warn off most of the thieves here.

My kids love the park next door. I like the quiet neighborhood where they can ride their bikes where and when they like, etc. In all, a definite improvement from where we've been living the past few years.

Now if I can just keep the rain out ...


The New House -- Round Two

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