A tale of excitement that quickly turns into devastation - the pole saga!
As some of you may recall, I made a post back in January talking about our first steps for getting this house built, which was deciding on how we'd get power up our 900' driveway and to our future house.
All of that was put on hold while I planned, prepped and paid for our wedding this past September, but we recently (and finally) came to a decision on the best method to getting power to our property - telephone poles.
After some extensive research, quotes and phone calls between January and September, it was clear that poles were still the least expensive way to do this. With all the ledge on our property, that I outlined in my last post, it was too risky to go underground without running into some astronomical excavation expensive. Not only that, but getting internet, via Comcast, through the same underground trench had the possibility of costing more than our allowed $2,000 "new customer budget" they give to new customers. So poles it is!
After more quotes and a lot of back and fourth (with many companies increasing their prices with hidden costs), we decide to go with a local pole guy out of Carver, who offered us a really good deal for an all-cash payment. The money for this job was coming out of our downpayment account either way, and was being paid in full, so we took him up on his offer.
The sketch Eversource, our power company, laid out for us stated that he (us) was to put in 4 poles and Eversouce would put in the remaining 2.
His price for the 4 private poles was $10,000 - this included poles, wiring, anchors, installation, tree trimming, and whatever else Eversource laid out in their sketch above. The remaining 2 poles from Eversource was $6,300, which included a one-time fee for them to take over the private poles for the rest of our lives. This meant that they would come in and inspect the 4 private poles, make sure that they met their standards, and then be responsible for ALL 6 poles from now on. Any future damage, outages, and whatever else would be their problem and their expense to fix for us. That alone was worth the price!
After getting everything set up with our pole guy, we had our 4, brand new poles within a week. He and his team did an amazing job and he was awesome to work with - he didn't even require a down payment or an up-front charge from us! We paid him after the work was complete.
Despite $16,000 gone from our down payment (thus pushing building back while we recoup that cost), it was so encouraging to finally see something done on this land since we've been sitting on it a year now while we saved.
Everything was going great! We took the next steps of sending in the $6,300 check to Eversource and were told they would be by in 30 days or so to inspect the private poles, put in their two, and take them all over for life. We'd be all set and ready with power come time to start building.
Aaaaaand then New England happened.
Not even 7 days later, we get a random, very unexpected Nor'Easter here in southern MA. It knocked out power in multiple towns for 4+ days, schools were canceled, and there was a lot of damage everywhere (there were poles across a major highway on fire at one point).
I had an awful pit in my stomach when I woke up the morning after the storm (it happened at night) and saw a tree laying in our current backyard. I had to be in the office that day, so found myself super anxious at work and getting nothing done because I couldn't stop thinking about the poles. I even took the early train home so that I could get to our land before dark.
I pulled up to our wire gate, got out of the car, and started the walk up our driveway. Not even a few seconds in and I got our first indication of horrible things to come.
I continued the walk and confirmed my fears. Sagging wires certainly can't be good (I could reach up and touch these).
Then I saw the worst of it, and burst into tears.
Multiple, massive trees fell right smack in the middle of the 2nd and 3rd pole. None of the wires snapped, so this caused almost all of our poles to lean as well because of the weight and pull.
I was absoluetely beside myself. My poor, expensive babies.
$10,000 and these were still our responsibility because we were, and still are, waiting on Eversource to come and inspect them and take them over. This WOULD happen to me, not even 7 damn days after putting them in.
The good news is is that our pole guy said it would most like be under $1k to repair. When he called me after taking a look, he said it was in better shape than he thought, so we're hoping for much less. He was supposed to go over there this weekend to fix them, but hasn't called me yet, so I'm still unsure of what the final verdict is (he's also super busy now after this storm).
The other silver lining is that I met one of our neighbors, at the start of the driveway, while leaving. I explained what happened and he offered to clear out the trees in exchange for keeping the wood for his heat source. He already had plans of removing the first tree across the driveway I pictured because it actually came from the property to the right of us - an older couple.
He, my husband, and my husband's friend/coworker all cleaned up everything last Wednesday for the pole guy to get in and do his thing. It's a good feeling to know our surrounding neighbors care for one another and are willing to turn a disaster into a win/win for all.
But alas, our FIRST step in this house building process and we've already run into problems. I knew going into this that building a house was full of the unexpected, but really!? We just started! Haha.
1/10 would not build a house again.