Luxury Travel Blog + travel

The Spider House Project: Life in the Last Two Years

Like the spider who builds and rebuilds his silky web after his enemies destroy what he has made, so shall we.

Even though one bad contractor had run away with hundreds of thousands of our money, left our home untenable, and our family virtually BROKE and HOMELESS, we will not let him defeat us. We have much to learn from the hardworking spider...

Here's our 2-year-old 'reading' Eric Carle's "The Very Busy Spider"

While it may be a bit easier for the spider to bounce back on his feet, it's a bit more complex for us humans - we've had to refinance our house, borrow from family, max out our credit, withdraw our Retirement Savings Plan, and sell our belongings - just to continue work on the unfinished house.

And this is all because one cowardly contractor knew the job was too big for him, but didn't have the human decency to admit this, and yet decided to steal all our hard-earned money anyway, never to be heard from again. And the worst part is, this man is still in business, ripping off many others. We had given him our trust, and what did he do to us for the last 2 years? He had robbed us of our savings, of the use of our home, of our basic human rights.

It is not our job to punish him, but his actions will be judged in due time.

To all our readers and friends, we will not release the company name, but if anyone would like to know, please contact us personally. Kindly avoid this company at all cost, and I will tell you why!

He compromised the structure of the basement by deviating from the underpinning plans. He failed to repair the foundation wall of the house, leaving it unsafe.

IMG_2347

For 2 years, trash was scattered on the backyard, despite our (and our neighbour's) efforts to have him clear them away, using the disposal bins we had paid for.

IMG_2341

He did such a poor job all over...

IMG_2334

... the skylights that he installed in the master bedroom, leaked.

IMG_2332

Electrical work was incomplete. We found out that he didn't pay his sub-contractor (his electrician). He also failed to rough-in the mechanicals (HVAC - heating, ventilation, air-conditioning), which are always first to be done in a renovation.

IMG_2319

He abandoned the project and failed to deliver materials we had paid for up front, such as flooring, tiling, cabinetry, a/c, furnace, to name a few.

IMG_2314

He left his (unsafe and rudimentary) makeshift scaffold in front of the house for more than a year.

IMG_2358

But thanks to our NEW contractor, repair work is underway. With the help of the City's Inspector, a Professional Engineer, and a skilled team of trades, we think we may actually come out of this alive. Wounded, but alive.

IMG_2403

Through all of this, we have learned that there are some things in life that are non-negotiable :

1. Our mental and physical health - we can't let this bump in the road bring us down. Our health - especially that of the baby I am carrying - is all we've got. Without health, how can we take care of one another as a family?

2. Our love for each other - this ordeal has brought our lives together. Our love is what carries us through all the pain and suffering, making every day easier to live.

3. Our passion for life - we remain passionate about living, and particularly, TRAVELLING, because this is our own special time together. When we travel (and lately, we can't leave without our daughter), we share the world with each other.

And so much goodness have come out of it.

In Rome, travelling with a baby and a broken foot...

rome 2

In Havana...

IMG_2267 copy 2

In New York City...

IMG_0640 copy 2

In Essaouira, Morocco...

IMG_3660 copy 2

In Paris...

IMG_3064 copy 2

And we have plenty more to give to her.

IMG_2390

We look forward to spending more time together, and sharing this world with one another, come good times or bad. Certainly, we'll be very busy... building our life back!

bus, family, Folie a Deux, home renovation, life, money, rant, Toronto, and more:

The Spider House Project: Life in the Last Two Years + travel