The fun part of the summer house projects is over. Next it’s getting up on the gable ends of Ye Olde Wreck to clean, paint, de-rot, and add soffits and fascia boards.
For that, The Wandering Monk and I conferred and I ordered this extra-wide scaffolding. The Monk doesn’t want to do weeks of elevated work on one of those 27-inch wide jobbies. Or on one of his own perilously improvised contraptions.
On June 8, Home Depot made the mistake of entrusting the shipment to an outfit named Non-Stop Delivery.*
I will not say that N**-S*** D******* is so incompetent that the Peter Principle was created in its honor. I will not say they’re such liars they make the 1919 White Sox look angelic. I will not say their computerized tracking system is HAL 9000. I will not say their (you’ll pardon the expression) customer service department is run by a former top member of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
I will say that they lost track of the shipment twice, once for two weeks, once for four days, and that every statement they ever made about the status of my package turned out to be untrue.
Worse. Never once was there a sign that they considered any of this to be unusual or to involve any failing on their part. The notion that they might have a duty to get their act together and get the package to my doorstep — or at least name a date when they might do so — never crossed their minds. Even when Home Depot reps intervened, N-S D’s expectation was that I would simply wait without word for as many days, weeks, centuries, or geological eons as it took them to get around to doing the one-and-only thing they contracted to do.
This morning, one month and one day after Home Depot foolishly trusted them to do their job, and two weeks after the last expect-by date, they still couldn’t tell HD when — or if — they intended to deliver the scaffolding. Defeated, I canceled my order.
So. There are now two options:
1. Re-order the same scaffolding for delivery to a Home Depot store (quicker and more reliable, but no HD store is close).
2. Build our own.
I looked into ordering the same scaffolding from other sources, but the few who have it want a fortune (in some cases more than the cost of the item) to ship it.**
There are (of course) various DIY instructions online. The scaffolding tower at that link is pretty nifty.
The problem is that the side of the house that requires the most extensive work has very tricky ground levels: a three-foot flat path next to the house, a wall that ranges from 18 inches to 36 inches high, a slope above the wall. (I can draw a diagram or take a photo if anybody wants to see.) Another side requiring extensive work has perfectly flat ground. We need to be able to adjust the leg heights. Or put verrrrry sturdy and tall blocks under one side of the structure.
I’ll be talking with the Monk on Wednesday to see how he wants to handle this, but in the meantime if you’ve got any good ideas or links, I hope you’ll let me know.
Oh, and the deal will be that after the job is done, the Monk takes the scaffolding home for use on his own project. And I never lay eyes on the damned thing again. So whatever we do needs to be able to come apart and reassemble.
* No “non-stop” name jokes, please. I’ve already made them all and they weren’t funny even before I knew how true they were.
** Yes, N**-S*** D******* was apparently the lowest bidder. That’s still no excuse.