Thursday, March 4, 2010

Construction Site

For several years now, the owners of the storage rooms below my apartment have been threatening to convert the half-submerged space into a living space; though I have no idea who would want to live half underground with low ceilings and a high radon gas risk.

When I renewed my rental contract last June, I asked the owner of my apartment - who happens to be the cousin of the owners of the storage space - regarding the probability that there would be serious construction within the year. He replied that it was highly unlikely, but that he would certainly inform me well in advance of the chaos, noise and dust that accompanies a major overhaul. At the time, I was most concerned that it would happen around Succot time, when I was due to give birth.

Tonight, my upstairs architect neighbor mentioned to me that the construction was starting next week, and he assumed (from the anguished look on my face) that no one had told me that I would have no peace, literally under my feet. Not to mention being unable to park my car or open any windows in my home because of the dust and dirt, and the complete lack of privacy or security with entire crews walking in and out of the building all day.

My neighbor only knew about this upcoming trauma because he has connections with the contractor slated to oversee the work. He and his wife were just as upset, because the owner of the storage room had not had the courtesy to inform anyone in the building, owner or renter. (How typically Israeli...)

Even owning this information, I have no idea how this will affect Raphaela and myself practically speaking. I don't know how noisy it will be, how extensive the plans are for construction and reconstruction of the area, nor do I know within which hours all this will take place. There is no chance in hell that Raphaela will fall asleep at her usual time, if they are still banging and drilling downstairs.

I can be fairly certain, however, that it will disrupt my Chiropractic home-office working schedule, which was quite key for me financially before we leave for the States for three weeks for Pessach. I am also uncomfortable with the idea that while I am away and my house is unattended except for the occasional visiting cat sitter, these Arab construction men will have full access to the building. I fear that a water pipe may burst, or there may be some real harm to my apartment because of the work below, and I will not be here to do damage control, or supervise repairs.

I had been planning to start house hunting once we returned from the States, and now it has only become more of a priority.


Commenter Abbi said...

Construction in Israel finishes anytime between 4-5 pm (I think it's illegal to work after that time).It can begin as early as 7 pm.

Workers are usually Romanian or Chinese. It's unlikely that they'll be Arab.

The work probably won't take longer than a month, if it's just the machsan.

Doc said...

It's actually four machsanim to be combined into a larger apartment, which means knocking down walls and a complete reconstruction.
They will use Arab workers, of that I am sure because they have done so in the past.
Besides myself and Raphaela, I pray that the cat doesn't get hurt when he goes outside.