consensus is not reached

So we had a third estimate for our foundation this morning. It seems that no one can agree on how to best fix it! Meanwhile, we (the non-experts) are left trying to sort through which company we believe the most.

The problem: In the back corner (underneath the closet at the back of our carport), the footing is completely cracked through. It is sinking in the ground, coming apart from the wall of the house. This has caused the entire back half of the main level of our house to dip – there is about 3″ from the center of that level to the back. The cause is most likely water flow – there is some debate about whether we have water issues in our crawlspace or not. I don’t think there is standing water, but maybe it comes in when it’s raining? I don’t know. I should take some pictures from inside the crawlspace about what’s going on.

Back before we bought the house – July 2009 – Foundation Repair Company A came and gave us an estimate – 6 piers would fix the problem, $5400. Based on this estimate, we decided to move forward with the house. (If we had known then what we know now, we would have walked away.)

Almost a year later, we finally have the money and get ready to solve the foundation problems. I call Foundation Repair and Waterproofing Company B. They come by and look at the crawlspace and say that piers are not going to solve the problem, that it’s an issue with the joist and we need a general contractor who works with wood. The fact that he said that to a potential client really resonated with me.

After that, we take down the porch that was on the back of our house and discover how bad the back corner really is.

Enter Foundation Repair Company C, who gave us a discouraging report about the problem and the cost to fix. Out of everyone I’ve met with so far, he impressed me the most – though he was also likely the most expensive (haven’t gotten official estimate yet). He spent a long time in the crawlspace, taking pictures that he then showed me. He pointed out that the footing is cracked all the way through, and we would need to rebuild the footing and then use the piers to jack the house back up to its proper position. To put the piers in, he would need to take out part of the carport floor and also remove the floor of the closet which is directly over the cracked footing. He also said there was evidence of water and erosion in the crawlspace, so he would waterproof the walls and put in a sump pump. Total cost was between $10,000 and $20,000 – he would speak with a structural engineer and get a more precise estimate.

Then we come back to Foundation Repair Company A. I called them again and explained that removing the sun porch revealed more damage, and I would like a new estimate. This guy came out last week and went through the crawlspace and took pictures to show me. He agreed that there was more damage than the initial estimate. He talked about piers, and said that he would need to remove the stoop outside our sliding glass door in order to put in the piers. I asked about the footing being broken, and he simply said, “It won’t move.” Tomorrow, he is coming back with a structural engineer to look again and then will give me the official estimate.

Today, I met with Foundation Repair Company D. He came and I showed him the back corner, where the most visible damage is. He looked at it and also peeked into the crawlspace and said that he didn’t think piers would solve my problem. He said we need a masonry specialist to rebuild the footing, which is something that their company didn’t do. He referred me to a guy he recommended. I mentioned what Company A told me, and he said that the piers would make it not move, but it wouldn’t be fixed correctly. He didn’t elaborate, so I’m not sure exactly what that means.

I intend to contact the masonry guy and get his opinion. The fact that two pier companies have said that they couldn’t solve it means a lot to me. Maybe I should do some reading about foundations and see if I can make a more educated decision, when the time comes. (Our goal is to get this taken care of before it gets too cold, so we can put the insulation back into the crawl space.)


discouraging news about the foundation

A few months ago, we had a guy come out to give us a quote on our foundation problem. At the time, I thought he was so nice and helpful. He told us his company’s solutions would be overkill for our problem, and I just needed a general contractor. We didn’t get any more estimates at the time because weren’t sure how to proceed. I couldn’t imagine why the guy wouldn’t have been honest with us. Paul then pointed out something. “It could be that the job was too small for them.” That was a valid reason, and gave me the motivation to make the necessary calls and schedule estimates.

So, I called 3 other companies and have estimates this and next week. The first one was today, and it was discouraging.

With the porch gone, you can see the foundation issues much more clearly. The biggest problem is this wall right here:
Foundation issues exposed
The far right of the wall goes to a closet at the back of our carport. Next to it is the dining room, and on the far left of that level is the kitchen. Underneath all those is a crawlspace.

Here is basically what I was told today. The back half of the main level of our house has sunk about 3 inches (measuring inside the house). The main culprit is the foundation wall in the back corner (see picture above). The guy wasn’t positive – he wanted to show it to a structural engineer – but he was pretty sure that the wall can’t be fixed, and would need to be replaced. This is just the foundation wall that runs along the back of the closet by the carport. Once replaced, about 6 helical piles would be needed to jack up the house to its correct position. Unfortunately, part of the carport floor will need to be removed to put the piles in. I was also told there is a lot of water damage in the crawlspace, which may have been caused or worsened by the floods from last year (a year ago, it rained heavily for 8 days straight). If that’s true, then that would explain why the estimate that we got 14 months ago didn’t reflect this extent of damage.

He also said something about waterproofing the entire crawlspace and putting in a sump pump. He showed me pictures of how the ground is all eroded under there. I asked him for ballpark estimate, and he said it would be more than $10,000 and probably less than $20,000. He will get a more specific estimate back to me in the next few days.

Whew, this is a lot to take in and we’ll need to figure out what to do. We obviously don’t have the cash on hand for that, and it concerns me to wait too long to deal with this problem – saving up $10-20,000 will be very difficult to do quickly. I am eager to hear what the other two engineering companies have to say, to see how their estimates compare.

I will keep you updated!


this land is your land, this land is my land

We got our land surveyed yesterday! I’m so happy to know exactly where the property line is, and now we just need to figure out what to do about our fence.

The fence along the back (?) of our property is true to the line; we’ve never questioned that. The fence that runs up the side yard in between us and our neighbors is the one in question. From what the surveyor said, it starts out on the property line, and then slowly deviates. Not sure if this was intentional or just poor planning on the original owners’ part.

Our fence started deviating from the property line

From this picture, you can see the fence has moved to about a foot into our yard. (This is our fence, BTW – not the neighbor’s fence.)

The pink marks our property

By the time it gets past the house, it’s quite a bit off. The piece of fence that the pink thing is tied to belongs to our neighbor. Our fence is the post on the far right. I think you’d have to see it to understand what’s going on – it’s so hard to explain! But yeah, you can see how far over they are – and if we’re able to restore the fence to its correct position, it would really help with the water flow.

Today I turned in the permit to City Hall to demolish our porch. It was $250! I can’t believe I have to pay that much to take down something that’s not up to code anyways. They said they would call this week and set up an appointment for someone to come inspect it. I wasn’t expecting this, so now I’m paranoid that they’re not going to let us remove the porch for some reason. My dramatic-mind is going through all sorts of scenarios…


moving forward

So, some updates on what’s going on as we try to move forward with our immediate plans.

  • I found out that we do need a permit from the city to demolish the add-on. I got the necessary paperwork and will be filling it out today. I hope the permit isn’t too expensive.
  • I called around and found that there’s no official documentation of our property lines. One option was to rent a metal detector and see if we could find the metal stakes that surveyors usually bury in the ground. However, because we’re pretty sure the neighbor’s fence is partly on our property, we decided to go ahead and pay for a survey so we could be sure before we approach our neighbors.
  • I set up a survey for Monday. Yikes, that was more money that we didn’t expect to spend, but such is life, isn’t it?

Once the survey work is complete, then we will apply for the “building permit”. Once we’re okay with that, we’ll get my uncle to start taking down the porch. In the meantime we’ll start stripping the porch of things that we want to Freecycle.

Here’s the plan for the rest of the summer, hoping to complete this before it gets cold in the fall. I’m praying that we have enough money.

  • Demolish porch and deck. (My uncle and cousin will be helping)
  • Get quotes from contractors about the foundation. (I’ve already researched a list of contractors to call.)
  • Repair the foundation, put insulation back in the crawlspace. (Need to research about the best way to go about doing that. Also, need to install a vapor barrier.)
  • Get rid of our shed and buy a smaller one. May need to do the backyard in between the two. (Research setback laws. From what I’ve read so far, it seems we might be very limited as to where we can put a shed on our property.)
  • Grade the backyard and put in sod. (Will get quotes from landscapers for this after the foundation is taken care of.) This is essential to fixing the water problems because our backyard dips in the middle of the yard, so the water can’t naturally flow to the creek that’s behind our yard.

This will take care of the foundation problem, and also the water problem. (And taking care of the latter will help prevent future foundation problems!) An added benefit is that we’ll be able to actually enjoy our yard, free of mosquitoes and weeds. I’m really excited about these projects! I hope it doesn’t take too long to complete this list! And I hope we don’t have too many unexpected expenses, because already we are cutting it tight. (And having a $526 after-insurance hospital bill doesn’t help!) One potential expense is our fence – I’m hoping we can continue to use what is up right now (not sure how that works with grading the property, etc.), but I don’t want to ignore the possibility of having to replace it.


where is our property line?

We had another estimate today, and also my uncle came out to inspect the porch to see how hard it would be to have him take it down.

First, the estimate was with a company that deals with foundations and water damage. The guy was really, really nice. He didn’t criticize me for the condition of our property, or my inexperience with all this stuff. (As compared to the landscaper yesterday.) He took a careful look around and agreed that taking down the porch would be the best thing. He also went through our crawlspace and said that the main supporting beam was sound; it was the pieces that connect to it that need reinforcing. He recommended we find a general contractor to take care of that. His company mostly deals with the heavy duty reinforcing – much more than our house needs. So basically, to fix our problem wouldn’t really be something their company does. But he spent a lot of time explaining what he saw to me, and giving me ideas. I really appreciated that.

He made a good point that our fence probably doesn’t follow our property line, because it zig zags. Our best guess is previous owners put the fence up, and then our neighbors just attached their fence to ours. So the next step in this project is to figure out where our property line is, getting our land surveyed if necessary. We might need to take our land back!

This afternoon my uncle came over and was encouraging. It looks like they added the room on top of the siding of the house, so that’s very good! He told us that we could start dismantling minor things, especially if we want to sell them on Craigslist or something – like all the windows, which are in decent shape (not broken, though they are single pane), the doors, and the ceiling fans.

I’m excited to see things moving! Once we get this done, then we’ll be on our way to having a nice backyard!!


tackling the root problem

Today we got the first estimate for our water drainage problem. The guy was nice, but in some ways made me feel stupid. He kept commenting on the negatives of the house – like how it is situated on the lot. We’re on a corner lot, and the front of the house is facing the corner, so it is angled to the street. The house is also sitting on the edge of the lot, so we have a HUGE side yard, a virtually nonexistant side yard on the other side, and a small-ish backyard. It wasn’t the most well-thought out plan. He said, “Did you know that when you bought it?” I was thinking sarcastically, no we bought the house sight unseen! Sheesh. Anyways.

First off, here are pictures to show better the problem, as I explained to the landscaper today.

The edge of our property
This is a bit hard to see, but this is our neighbor’s yard. You can see how their house sits a bit higher, and the water has been flowing from their front yard to a little ditch, which heads straight to our house.

Water collects here
This is where the water ends up. You can see all the wild violets – they grow in moist soil, so wherever you see them in our yard is where the water is flooding. Previous owners stuck cement here to try and fix the problem, but in fact just made it worse. You can also see the deck and the porch on the back of our house. This was a poorly-constructed add-on, and goes right up to the fence. I’m pretty sure that’s not allowed, but it was probably built before they had such laws.

Narrow space for water to get into our backyard
This is a really narrow area between the edge of our house and the neighbor’s yard, where all the water is diverted. They have put boards up on the inside of their fence to push the water into our yard.

The space between our deck and the neighbor's yard!
Yep, this is how close the stupid deck thing is to the neighbor’s yard! That space is too narrow to get into and dig a ditch.

The backyard - the water has nowhere to go
Our backyard, taken from the deck. There is a retaining wall of sorts made from cinder blocks that is falling over. The back of the property is higher than the middle, so the water pools in front of the shed. It’s also going under the porch where we can’t access and getting into the crawlspace. Behind our property is a dry creek bed where we can send the water, once we figure out how to get it. The shed is a bit in the way, though.

The landscaper had two ideas. One was to install catch basins and pipes. He was unsure how easy it would be to send through that narrow area and under the porch.

The other idea appealed to me a lot. He said they could demo the sun porch and deck, grade the whole yard, make a natural runoff for the water and put in grass. We have no love for the sunporch. It’s a nice concept, but it was poorly made and we never use it. The floor is very bowed – getting noticeably higher and lower at different areas. And most of all, I *hate* that it is so close to the property line. It’s very hard to control the weeds that spring up in the hard-to-reach areas, and so it looks a bit trashy.

Doing this would solve a lot of problems. First off, it would clean up the backyard and make it useable. Second, it would take care of the water problem. Third, those two things would really help with the terrible mosquito problem. Right now, the backyard is 100% weeds (including poison ivy), full of bugs, and pretty much unusable. I have a dream of being able to have Savannah spend time outside, but in the current state it is impossible unless I bathe her in bug spray.

Another (minor) issue is my dislike for that huge yellow shed. It takes up a lot of room and doesn’t even sit at the back of the property. It’s much bigger than we need, but it’s in good condition. I would like to get rid of it and get a smaller shed for our garden items (lawn mower, etc.) and perhaps put the smaller shed in our huge sideyard. So while we’re at it, we might as well get rid of the shed!

After the landscaper left, I mentioned on Facebook about the possibility of demoing the porch. My uncle and cousin saw, and offered to help us out! My uncle is a handyman and has done several other things for us. He is coming tomorrow to give us an estimate for demoing the porch and subsequent grading and landscaping work. I would love it if this worked out, because he is willing to let us be more hands-on with the project and teach us. We are willing to do work, but lack know-how, so we feel that we have to hire a professional.

Tomorrow I am going to City Hall to inquire about building permits and all that jazz. We also have another company coming tomorrow to give us an estimate. They deal with not only water problems but also foundation issues, so we’ll see what they have to say! I am excited about moving forward with these projects. Of course we’ll be broke after it’s all said and done, but it will be two very big things taken care of.


getting estimates

Finally! We’re a bit closer to tackling the two things we plan to spend our $8000 on (well, we did spend part of it already on carpet and a new door, so we have about $7000 left). I mentioned here that we have issues with our yard flooding every time it rains. Water flows from our neighbor’s yard into ours, and doesn’t have anywhere to go. Also, our gutters aren’t very effective in getting the water away from the house. We had to quickly install gutters before we were able to close on the house (we couldn’t get a mortgage otherwise), and we didn’t want to spend any more money or time than necessary because we didn’t technically own the house. All this water pooling is causing one corner of the foundation to sink and also for lots of mosquitoes!

I found out that some landscapers specialize in water problems, so I made a list and called for free estimates. I also found one company that does both water problems and foundational repairs. We should be having someone come out tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday.

I’m really praying that everything combined will not exceed our $7,000 budget. We’ll see what solutions they offer for our water – it might be something we’ll need to try and tackle ourselves if we can’t afford a landscaper.

I was thinking through what I’m going to say to the landscapers about what we’re looking for. I’ll stress the budget, because if we don’t have the money then it’s not going to happen. But I’ll also mention that in the future we might be needing a landscaper to come and help us with the rest of the yard, and if we like their work there’s a good chance we’ll be calling them again. Right now, I am just excited to be moving forward on these projects!


kitchen pantry

Our kitchen needs a definite facelift! I naively thought, way back a year ago, that we would use our $8,000 for that project. Ha, that’s funny to think about now! I think it will be at least 5 years before we’re able to put money into aesthetic things, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking and dreaming. I will have to detail my thoughts about the kitchen in a future post.

However, there is an issue that we’re going to have to address before 5 years. And that is the lack of a pantry. Currently, this is what our pantry looks like:

Our kitchen (after)

That’s the only open space we have in our kitchen. The previous owners had a table there, but we decided to use our baker’s rack as a pantry. We keep cookbooks on the top shelf, pantry items on the middle shelves, and pots on the bottom shelf. It works pretty well, but there are two problems.

The biggest problem is that it is sitting over the only HVAC vent in our kitchen. We have one of those plastic deflector shields to try and encourage the air to go out instead of up, but I don’t know how much it helps. I like that the baker’s rack is pretty open; hopefully that helps.

The baker’s rack would be fine except for the other problem. It is impossible to baby-proof an open shelving unit like that! So far we haven’t had to worry about that, but I know that won’t always be the case, and I’m in the process of trying to figure out what to do. I don’t want to be constantly cleaning up everything Savannah takes off the shelves while I’m trying to cook or wash dishes. So I’m in the process of finding something that can be closed, doesn’t block the air vent, and isn’t too expensive. I don’t want to put a lot of money (or effort) into something when we’re going to just redo the kitchen in 5 years.

Tonight we were walking through Ikea and I saw this cabinet. I thought it really met our needs. It is the same width as the baker’s rack, and just a few inches less than the depth of the fridge. It can totally be babyproofed, and I think would hold our pantry stuff really well. It also has legs and is raised off the ground, for the air vent. Paul doesn’t think it is raised high enough – he liked a different unit that I’ll talk about in a minute. The other negative is that it’s a little on the expensive side. I’m not saying it’s not worth the price, but it was more than I was hoping to spend. However, this is something that we’ll be using heavily for the next five or more years, and once we redo the kitchen and solve the pantry problem (which might incorporate this unit, who knows?), it can totally be repurposed to another area of the house.

There was another possible solution at Ikea that Paul liked better. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it, but it’s basically a tall wall cabinet that is much less deep than the other one. This one would attach to the wall, and can be hung as high or low as we wanted. I didn’t like the look and feel as much, and it wouldn’t fit in as well with our current kitchen (not that that matters a ton). When I got home and measured the space, I think it might be too wide. So all this might be a moot point.

Anyways, I think we’ll see if Home Depot or Lowe’s have anything similar. Maybe we can find something that fits our needs that is less expensive. Besides, the one I want is sold out right now at our Ikea, so I have to wait anyways.


adding to our list

Originally posted at twentysixcats.com

The arrival of summer has shown us a few more issues with our house that we’ll need to take care of. First off, it’s really really hot in here! I have the A/C on, and the thermometer reads that it’s only 78 or 80 inside, but sweat is just pouring off me! I don’t tend to be warm by nature, so I am wondering why.

I have a theory but I’m not sure how accurate it is. Our house is really humid – it’s not vented properly so we have had some issues with humidity even in the winter. I notice it mostly with the windows – mold builds up on the frame, so we have to keep cleaning them with bleach (like, every 6 months… it’s not REALLY bad). Humidity doesn’t really bother us much (heck, we live in Atlanta) but now that it’s summer my guess is that it’s REALLY humid inside. And that is making it feel much hotter than it is. What do you think of my theory? Plausible or totally off-base?

It could also be an issue with our A/C. The inspector told us that it was hooked up wrong, and we would need to get a professional out to take a look at it. Worst case scenario, we need a new unit, but I don’t think that will be necessary right now. I need to get someone out here; I’m just worried about the cost.

The biggest thing that will help with the humidity will be to put in attic vents. Our inspector last year told us that the easiest way to do that will be to get them put in when we reroof the house, which is still a few years away (hopefully!). I know putting a vapor barrier in the crawlspace will help, too – we’ll get that done when we fix the foundation. Any other ideas of bringing down the humidity in the house, short of putting a dehumidifier in every room?

I already mentioned the mosquitoes we’ve been having trouble with. Not sure what to do about that, either. What are the things that make those pesky bugs worse. Standing water? Tall weeds? We need to try and figure that out. It’s worse around our carport, so that’s a place to start.

We have been daydreaming recently about what we want to do with our yard. Those of you privy to my Facebook updates will know that we have some trouble with people walking through our yard since it’s a corner lot. Also, the way our house is situated, our side yard is actually the biggest area and probably where our kids will play. I’d love to have some sort of natural barrier along the sidewalk to keep our kids in and unwanted people out – perhaps some poplar trees?

We’d love to get our yard to a place where we can spend time outdoors. Keeping the bugs to a minimum is key, but also making it a nice place to be will help. We talked today about tilling the whole backyard (there isn’t a blade of grass, only weeds) and planting grass. Someday, someday! There are some things we need to think about first, like how to divert the water from pooling in our yard when it rains. I really know nothing about landscaping so what I have in my head might not even be possible. We’ll see!

Today with the help of some friends we moved a few pieces of furniture downstairs. I am excited! We also moved down our desktop computer to the den, and a few other miscellaneous items. I’m trying to turn a corner of the den into a small office, and the rest of the den will be a playroom. I think it’s going to be a really nice living space when we’re done! I told Paul that I’d like to make the living room upstairs a nice place to have guests and entertain, and the den a place where we can relax and let the kids have fun.

I look forward to working on making the living room look nice decor-wise. Though, I’m about out of money so I better start coming up with inexpensive solutions. :-)


asbestos not to touch to the tiles

Originally posted at twentysixcats.com

I’ll start my story when we left off in the last paragraph of a previous post. We were supposed to get our carpet installed in our den today. So on Thursday, we mopped the whole room with a heavy-duty cleaner and degreaser. There was carpet down when we bought the house, but it smelled bad so we ripped it up last September. Underneath we found floor tiles on top of cement. Not only were the tiles all dirty, but my cats had peed down there multiple times and so the whole place really stank. (More about them later. Grrr!)

We were hoping the cleaner that we used on Thursday would get rid of the cat smell. On Friday, after everything was dry, I walked down there and realized that you could still smell it. I didn’t know what to do, and didn’t have any way to do it before we left Friday afternoon for my sister’s college graduation in North Carolina. (I will write a post about that trip later, too.) While we were up there, we asked my relatives what they would suggest to fix the smell before the carpet guys came Monday afternoon. Molly suggested we install a sort of vapor barrier – like they put underneath hardwood or laminate flooring. We thought that was a pretty good idea, and stopped at Lowe’s before we left Asheville to pick up the necessary ingredients.

We got back to Atlanta around 5 on Sunday (yesterday). We didn’t even unload the car – we immediately set to work. Paul pulled up one of the tiles and brought it up to me. It was absolutely soaked in cat pee. He started pulling up the tiles to find it pooled underneath. We ended up pulling up all the tiles in the 270+ square foot room. That took several hours. In the meantime, I went to Subway to get dinner. We took a short break for dinner, and then I went downstairs to finish the tiles. The ones in the middle of the room were not too hard, but the ones along the edge were impossible to get up without breaking them up into small pieces. We realized that the worst of the smell was around the perimeter of the room. So, we decided to get rid of all the baseboards and hope that the smell hadn’t gotten into the walls. (Though I would LOVE to gut the room and replace all the paneling with drywall… BUT… that’s not exactly a project you tackle by yourself on Sunday night…)

One of the baseboards had a date written behind it: “Installed Nov. 1968”. We had wondered when they finished the downstairs – we could tell that it was finished later, and this confirms that it was 8 years after the house was built.

As I was hacking away at the tiles, I had a sudden thought. Then a sinking feeling. Um, aren’t floor tiles one of the things that are often full of asbestos? I did a quick Google search and then called my dad. He said he guessed there was a 50 percent chance that the floor tiles were asbestos. Since we were almost done, we decided to just finish. I found a face mask and tried to be more careful about smashing the tiles to smithereens. After I got them all off the floor, I carefully swept the entire room, and then we mopped everywhere to make sure all the dust was gone.

So hopefully this brief exposure doesn’t spell an early death for either of us! According to some helpful internet forums, we’re probably okay.

While we were working on the tiles, we realized that one part of the floor is just slightly raised. I don’t think we would have noticed it if we hadn’t been on the floor, but once we could see it, it seemed obvious. We brainstormed the possible causes. There is a HUGE magnolia tree right next to the house, and when we glanced out the window we realized that it was in the perfect position to have a root that is affecting the floor of our den. (This is the opposite side of the house with the foundation issues.) We’re actually a little sad – we like that tree, but it will need to come down sooner than later so that the problem doesn’t get worse.

We went over the cement with the same cleaner that we’d used on Thursday. Then we both took showers and went to bed around 3am. That means we worked 10 hours straight on that den!

It was sooo hard to drag myself out of bed when Savannah woke me up at 9 this morning. I got dressed and went downstairs to check out the den. The cat smell is almost completely gone. Yay! However, I noticed a trail of water near where the floor is slightly raised. (I sniffed it – it was definitely water!) I thought we had just missed a part when we were cleaning the floor last night, but Paul was more concerned.

After careful inspection, Paul noticed a small crack in the cement. He could tell that the water was coming in there. I knew this would take some time to fix so I called and cancelled the carpet installation – I hope we’ll be able to get it installed soon! We called my dad again this morning and the current plan is to get some crack sealer, and then put a cement sealer over the entire room. Then we’ll lay the plastic down, THEN we can get the carpet installed.

Also we need to find room in our budget to remove a tree.

Anyways, so that’s our adventure for today. We’re both exhausted. Stayed tuned for whatever happens next!

(I am glad to find the source of the dampness that I’ve always felt was present down in the den. Also, I’m glad all the asbestos tile is gone. If we hadn’t removed it, we would never noticed the crack. So I guess it’s a good thing.)