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Even though the renovation of our house is taking a lot longer than expected, we’ve felt very fortunate for a number of reasons. We had adequate insurance that actually paid a reasonable amount in a timely fashion. Plus we’re able to live in the part of our house that wasn’t flooded. Yes, the renovation is slow, but at least it’s smooth. In fact, we were anticipating that we might even come out ahead financially. Thus we haven’t applied for any additional assistance and haven’t had to deal with the massive boondoggle that is the Road Home program.

Sanding Windows

Or so I thought until I talked to Mike (our contractor) yesterday afternoon. He explained that to finish the job will put us significantly over budget — maybe as much as $15,000, almost 25% more than the estimate. That may exceed the amount of our insurance payout.

And here we thought he’d highballed the original estimate.

Mike’s a trusted friend. He’s not trying to screw me. There were a lot of unanticipated expenses. The termite damage was much more extensive than we thought, so we ended up replacing all the structural wood on the lower floor of the house. That was a huge job.

Our mortgage company is sending out an inspector to see how much work has been done so far.

I guess it’s time to head over to and start my application.

Published inFinancial ShitOur House


  1. Yes we thought that we were fine too but many unforseen problems have us stalled out. I pretend there is no downstairs.

    We were turn away from the Long and Winding Goat Path cause my Mother in Laws name is one the deed.

    So we did what any other desperate New Orleanian did this week, got in line on Carrollton to sue the Corps.

  2. rickngentilly rickngentilly

    the point is we are better off than most folks in orleans parish and this is still a pain in the ass.

    me and my wife were lucky enough to have some money in the bank and get the ball rolling out of pocket. the insurance didnt come in untill many months after we had finished enough repairs to move into our home and it didnt cover what we had spent plus the rising costs of repair.

    we are just now getting our paperwork together to start the road home process. again we are luckier than most.

    the program has been full of kinks from the begining.

    i can not even begin to imagine what it would be like to pin your hopes of getting back in your house on this program.

    the worst thing that happened to me is i have friends and neighbors who were still in town a week after katrina. some rescued off their roofs. some brought by boat from my block and left on the interstate for days. no one i know died.

    i feel like the luckiest man in orleans parish most days and when i dont i tell my self that there is no way in hell i am going to let these fuckers beat me down.

    it’s your blog and the others that keep me fighting and feeling like the fight is worth it.

    thank you for that.

  3. Lee Lee

    Sorry to hear that B. Are there any tasks you can do yourself to lower that figure, or is a lot of that materials alone?

    If I lived closer, I’d come and help ya, as I’m pretty handy.

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