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Started by flanagan0718, June 02, 2022, 12:58:37 AM

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Hey All,
Been a while and I wanted to update anyone here that cares and ask any of you for a little advice / help if you are so willing.

The past couple years have been full of both exciting and devastating things for me. First I'll start with the traumatic emergency birth of my Twins, Drew and Miles. They were both born at 30 weeks due to a prolapsed umbilical cord on 5/28/21. Then rushed to Tufts Children's Hospital in Boston MA, only about 30 min from where I live. Drew was 3 lbs 6 oz and Miles was 4 lbs 2 oz. Once my wife healed they kicked us out due to COVID and we had commute back and forth to see our sons. But we did what we had to and made it work. 6 weeks later and a few scares later they came home!

That very same week construction started on the house. We had to add at least one bed room and bathroom for this house to work for us. But the noise didn't seem to bother the boys. They lived up to the NICU babies sleep through anything. This puts at just after July 4th of 2021.

I had returned to work and moved into a new position, and then forced into another position i didn't really want. That beside the point, the normal stresses of not being able to not afford child care and not afford my wife to be able to stay home all the time are applied to life. I then start to try and pickup some side hustle business and I get COVID for the 3rd time. even after having the vac and whatnot.

So i decide to sell some gear because hey "I have tendentious in my left wrist / thumb and can't play for more than 2 min anyways" and lets face it...I DO have too much of it...well, had too much of it, *cue disaster*!! The main sewer out from my house collapses and floods my workshop.

Now a little back story. I largely affected by the They dug up the ground where my main sewer line goes into the house 2 times during restoration. This was because the "gas company" couldn't locate the gas line...I get it. private contractors sent in from all around to help and all that. I was here I remember, and am VERY grateful for what they did, also bought them pizza on a few occasions to show it.

So, at this point the stucko ceiling is acting like a sprinkler and distributing sewage all over my workshop. "Mike", you might say, "what did you have in your workshop"? I'll list the major things to keep it short:

-Almost all of my guitar gear. except 1 guitar (which I will most likely post for sale here later)
-All of my drum gear (2 drum sets including stands, cymbals, and an extra snare or two
-My 1979 Roland JC120
-ALL of my pedal building and repair equipment (o-scopes, meters, and all that jazz)
-All of my power tools and toolboxes
-My entire woodworking bench including 2 bodies i was going to start working on
-Multiple customer pedals
-Multiple binders and boxes of vintage Magic The Gathering cards <-Nerd alert!!! HAHAHA!
The loss is monumental. I can't even begin to put a dollar value on it. It is in fact so "Big" to me that I honestly don't know / think i will ever bounce back from it. Sure there will be a payout and I could get some new cool gear that will look pretty on my board that doesn't get used...EVER! (sorry for the negativity) But this, to me sounds like a "let's hang it up for a while" kind of turning point. I have Twin Boys, an 8 yo Daughter, an amazing Wife that supports me through EVERYTHING, and a couple of dopes for dogs. I have plenty to keep me busy.

Here is where, if I could, ask this amazing forum for help. I have questions and was hoping some of you may have unfortunately, suffered something similar to this or know someone. Does anyone have any advice for me? I have contacted a Lawyer and am having a personal adjuster come out and inventory things with me. Any advice, thoughts, comments, suggestions, ect that you think would help please post them. I would like to say DM me but I am so busy right now that checking a thread and reading through it would be easier...sorry. I'll try to post some pictures for family cuteness lol!!
Thanks for reading...or not. This is worthy of TLDR haha


Well holy shit man, I'm sorry to hear all of that, except the boys, congratulations. I'm not a religious man, so I'm not gonna feed you any if that. Just believe in yourself and the power of you. You have a great support system, and a family, and including the dogs,that loves you unconditionally.  Take it one day at a time and one piece at a time. Don't let it overwhelm you, there is no plan b. It sounds like the insurance money may yield more than you could have sold the gear for. You may not replace it all, but the funds will probably come in handy. Buy a couple of guitars you can sit around and strum with the occasional jam.

Maybe some of this helps, take what you can, disregard the rest.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Pedal building is like the opposite of sex.  All the fun stuff happens before you get in the box.


The only thing I can say is that, in the long run, your boys will be (and are) more important than things, and you are blessed that they have pulled through as marvellously as they have! (Although I'm sure that some of those Magic cards could have paid for all those tools!)

I'm still very terrible at taking this advice, but I would say, meditate on the Serenity Prayer.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
"A man is not dead while his name is still spoken."
- Terry Pratchett
My OSHpark shared projects
My website


Shit man, that is a pretty tough year. I think the most important thing out of all of it is that the kids are alright.

Honestly, and I hate to say this, but it sounds like if you were going to sell of gear to make financial stuff work better, then getting the insurance payout will work in your favor. I know there are probably a couple things in what got messed up that had personal significance, and I might try and pick a few pieces and see about having them restored if possible. But just let the rest of it go. It doesn't have to be the end of anything, just a reset. Maybe later down the road you'll find new gear and new inspiration from it. Now that I'm in my forties the gear I wanted in my teens and twenties doesn't look that cool to me anymore.

On the insurance end I'd say that probably first and foremost make sure the house is taken care of and that the insurance makes all of that right. You don't want to end up with mold problem down the line, especially with little kids at home. It'll cause health problems and make the house difficult to sell later.

Then take the money for the stuff and use it to get your finances in a better place before you worry about replacing any of the gear. Once you are in a better place financially you can pick stuff up here and there, and maybe by then your wrist will have healed.

I've found great deals on used power tools on craigslist and at yard sales if you keep your eyes open, but they go fast. So maybe you can replace the essentials that way and still have some spare cash.

In the end though, people are important, the house is important, and the stuff is just stuff.

Just look out for yourself man, and take care of the family. You guys will make it through it.

Like Jimi, I am not at all a religious man. But I'm old enough and have been through enough that I know that even if stuff is bad now you just gotta keep at it and focus on what really matters and better times will come eventually.

In a couple of years you'll be through all of this and... those twins might even be out of diapers!


Mike, I'm speechless and struggle to find the right words to add to what the others have already said.
There's three Maori phrases that come to mind, that I find very poignant when things get dark and tough.

Kia kaha / Stand strong.

Turn your face to the sun and the shadow will fall behind you.

What is the most important thing in life?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata / the people, the people, the people.
BigNoise Amplification


 Congratulations on the Twins man! Woohoo, thats great news!  ;D

But ohhh, really sorry to hear about the struggles your family is having! :( . When I look back over the last couple decades as a family, we had some crazy stuff happen too. Earthquakes damaging our home, career crises, health crises etc. Going through hard times can actually bring a family closer together, I will be praying that this happens for you guys. There's been some great advice in this thread already.... This season will pass... Remember to look after each other!



So sorry to hear about this brother  :'( It sounds like things are rough right now but, you have everything you REALLY need in your family as long as they stay healthy and you all stay together! Congratulations on the twins! I bet they are a handful right now but you will all get through the rough times.

As for the issues you are facing with respects to your home.... MAKE SURE YOU INVENTORY AND LIST EVERYTHING THAT WAS DAMAGED. Clothing, nic-naks, pictures, tools, gear.... EVERYTHING. Make sure you (or anyone who is investigating for you) get proper and adequate valuation for the items. If there is one thing that I have learned in dealing with insurance companies and claims it is that they will ALWAYS try to low ball you and get out of paying for ANYTHING.

Good Luck brother! You have always been a great forum member and I have personally benefitted from your generosity. If you need anything that I can assist with, feel free at any time to reach out! I would advise any other forum member who has the means to assist as well. Mike is one of the good guys!


Mike -
First things first: Congrats on your twins!!  Obviously it was a rough road, but it's great that they are home and healthy!

In February of 2021 a tree fell on my house in the middle of an ice storm (there's a long story around this that can keep for another time...).  At the recommendation of one of the tree companies I spoke with, I hired a public insurance adjuster.  Best move ever.  Even after paying his cut, I came out whole.  He made sure that every little thing was included in their settlement - I'm sure I would have left a lot on the table.  BTW, he's in Saugus - message or call me if you want his info.

The worst part of the process was getting the construction done.  It seems that every contractor is booked out for the next year or two.  I got a local contractor who had done work for me before to squeeze me in, a day here and a day there.  It was about 6 months before the last of the work was done.

Ping me if there's anything I can help with.


Aleph Null

Congratulations on your sons!

I'm so sorry to hear about the water damage. I had an apartment fire a few years ago. Most everything was a total loss. It's an especially horrible feeling to loose instruments and tools because it feels like loosing the ability to do things you're used to being able to do.

I'll second Govmnt_Lacky and urge you to document absolutely everything. This gives you the best chance of getting the biggest payout and starting to rebuild. That said, almost no one has enough home owner's insurance to cover everything in an even like this. Once you've documented everything and the claim is in, you'll probably have a good idea of what you want to replace and what you can live without.


Hey guys,
First, thanks for all the congrats! The boys are super health and happy and so is the rest of the fam. That is the positive side of all this. No one is sick and we are all ok.

I have another question (and thanks for the advice so far) how would you value all the prototypes and failed builds. I, at this point, have no shame haha! I have quite a few failed builds and have no clue what it should be valued at! Thoughts?

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Quote from: flanagan0718 on June 04, 2022, 05:07:07 PM
Hey guys,
First, thanks for all the congrats! The boys are super health and happy and so is the rest of the fam. That is the positive side of all this. No one is sick and we are all ok.

I have another question (and thanks for the advice so far) how would you value all the prototypes and failed builds. I, at this point, have no shame haha! I have quite a few failed builds and have no clue what it should be valued at! Thoughts?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Great to hear that everyone is all healthy and well, always the most important thing in life!

Apart from the invaluable / priceless lessons that temporary failed builds give I would always rate and value them as  almost finished, near completion and thus pretty close to finished price. You just didn't have the final go at it, the insurance should know that. No shame in that at all.
As others have said, make sure you don't get short changed with such a loss.
BigNoise Amplification

Aleph Null

Quote from: flanagan0718 on June 04, 2022, 05:07:07 PM
I have another question (and thanks for the advice so far) how would you value all the prototypes and failed builds. I, at this point, have no shame haha! I have quite a few failed builds and have no clue what it should be valued at! Thoughts?

Insurance adjusters are usually interested in the replacement value—not the market value—so it doesn't matter what you could sell it for on the open market; what matters is how much it would cost you for a suitable replacement. In the case of prototype builds, I think the cost of parts is probably a reasonable claim.