* This is my venting rant. I really am okay and wrote this hoping you will all be able to laugh with me.
This past week we passed the two month marker on the road to our master bedroom and bath remodel. This was also the week that I was ready to throw up a for sale sign, toss the house keys to a realtor, get in my car and never look back.
It's at this stage in the remodeling process that it seems like nothing is happening, even though I know it is. Electrical and plumbing rough- ins just aren't all that sexy and even though you know the work is moving forward it just doesn't LOOK very different from one day to the next.
Bringing a one hundred year old home into the twenty first century isn't easy. So things are going rather slowly and the weeks are beginning to drag on.
Two weeks. That is the joke we keep bantering around.
We watched this movie last night. I could soooooo relate.
One of the biggest hurdles for us is that neither of us are morning people so being up, dressed, coffee in hand and pretending like we do this all the time is a real stretch for us. Yet, this is what we've been doing for the past sixty four mornings.
I would be okay with that if I saw an end in sight but as you might expect "the end" is a constantly moving target.
We were supposed to be done by Halloween. Then the thought was we would be completed sometime in November. The latest news I heard was the floors won't even go in until the week before Christmas.
This is why I drink.
For anybody considering stepping in front of this renovation bus called remodeling, let me share with you a few of the lessons I have learned.
1. The crew NEVER shows up at the same time everyday.
Some days they don't show up at all and this will have you seething with frustration. When this happens ( and it has happened more than once) I find myself making lists of all the steps that still need to be completed and adding up how many days I think are reasonable to complete each task. Do not do this. It will only leave you crazed and cranky and lashing out at some innocent soul at the dry cleaners or sliding down that slippery slope of lunches with cocktails and lamenting an extra five pounds by the end of the month.
2. Do not assume that the workers will not be at your home before 7:30 in the morning.
Usually after a series of days where the crews don't show up until sometime right before lunch you may foolishly assume that you can sleep in five minutes longer. Don't do it. This will inevitably be the day that you have set the alarm on your phone for 7:20, your husband will be out of town, so you will have also set the burglar alarm. It will be on this day, and only this day, that the freaking drywall guy will decide to show up for work at the God forsaken hour of 7:10. He will be surprised to see the front door still closed so he will enter through the back door using the key in the lock box. You will be JOLTED out of bed by the blaring shrill blasts from the burglar alarm. Your pants will unfortunately be in the other room and the only thing you will have to throw over your thin nightgown will be a golf shirt your husband left draped over the radiator. This will leave you scantily covered and feeling a bit over exposed. Your bedroom door will be barricaded by the piece of furniture you pushed in front of it as a second layer of defense against all the serial killers running around Eastern Iowa. This barricade will slow you down and allow the dry-waller just enough time to get all the way to the upstairs hallway about the same time you are bolting out of the bedroom toward the keypad to shut off the alarm. Then there will be the final indignity - your hair will look something like this - minus the cute factor.
The drywall dude will look at you with that deer in headlights expression and the two of you will go to all extremes to avoid making conversation or worse, eye contact, for the rest of the week.
3.Somehow you will be able to justify that this is all your husband's fault.
You will be livid at him for having the audacity to leave town at any point during the remodel - even if it is to pay for this ridiculously expensive, out of control, asinine project for an albatross, money pit of a house that you are sure you will never be able to sell because you have soaked too much money into the damn thing to ever be able to recoup your investment.
*Hallelujah. Holy Shit. Where's the Tylenol?
4. Whatever the estimate was add twenty five percent to the bottom line.
One thing I've learned through this venture is that the proposal you receive in the gloriously optimistic planning days will be pages long and appear to be totally inclusive. It is NOT. You will ASSUME that when you agreed to have the bathroom painted that they would also be painting the trim. So wrong. You fool. Even though it is gouged and streaked with grout and you would think it is obvious that the trim needs to be painted, you need to tell them to paint the trim and of course, there will be a change order for that.
The original tile, carpet, plumbing fixtures, hardware and lighting quotes will all be for some entry level, really doesn't exist bogus product. Think of it as the price leader TV or new car. It sounds perfect and then you see it in the store or on the lot and you are more than a bit underwhelmed. It would be like hearing the car sales person say, "Oh, you wanted SEATS?" Yes, every element will be more than the cost per foot or allowance you were given.
Pretty costs more so be prepared to fork over more than a few extra Benjamin Franklins if you are still committed to the design plan you started out with.
5. Dismiss any thoughts of what you might think is common sense or a logical order for construction to occur.
For example, we committed to this project back in July. We knew these windows would be replaced. I can't tell you when or if the order has been placed but
these old windows are still here. I guess they are waiting for it to get colder before we change them out.
6. Plan an escape, no matter how brief because you are going to need a mental health day or three.
At some point the dust and lack of privacy will push you to your limit. When this happens you need to just step away. Trust me, it will all (unfortunately) still be here when you get back.
I hit my breaking point earlier this week. This post is part of my venting therapy.
Mike was away. I'd just exposed myself to the drywall guy and I received another change order for $617 for a damn 24" door. It was either remove myself from the situation or snap. So what's a girl to do? A little retail therapy of course.
I called Mike, told him I was heading out but wasn't even sure where I was going. It just had to be somewhere other than here.
I had to laugh when I got a text from him a couple hours later asking if I was ever coming back. Yes, defiantly pointing my car down an open road and escaping the noise and dodging the phone calls and emails, may have been classic avoidance behavior but it was the escape I needed. That and a new pair of boots.
The euphoria may not last long but at least it helped get me though another week.
There is still a lot to do but I know I will eventually look back on all of this and I will have some funny stories to share at parties and hopefully an over budget but beautiful new and improved master suite.
Thanks for listening. I think I can be around sharp objects again.
* Clark Griswold - Christmas Vacation