Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Renos are Done! Finally!

I've been through a stressful renovation of my kitchen this past spring. Everything that could go wrong seemed to go wrong. Nothing terrible happened - at least the place didn't catch on fire - but we had just enough annoying incidents to drive us crazy and push up our blood pressure.

Beginning to put the pieces back together. Here's the fridge space before we had to change the cabinet above to a smaller one so the fridge would fit in.
It started with our designer. Our first indication that things would go south with her was when she emailed me and tried to get out of a meeting to finalize the design, a meeting she had previously told me was crucial. Then we discovered that she hadn't left a space tall enough for the refrigerator, even though I'd sent her the dimensions, copied straight from the manufacturer's website. A carpenter had to come back and change the cupboard over the fridge, which delayed things. And speaking of the carpenter, the electrician nearly electrocuted him. His metal level fell, touching the electrical outlet behind the stove. The stove wasn't there at the time, and the outlet wasn't supposed to be live. But it was. It was lucky the carpenter wasn't hurt. That would have been a whole new level of stress for me, and not so good for the carpenter either!

That's my dog Lou in the middle of the 132 boxes of kitchen that were delivered to our house.
Then there was the comedy of errors with the flooring. My daughter's boyfriend has a friend who installs flooring. So we used him as a sort of favor, and because his prices were supposed to be less then what the flooring store would charge. He measured our floors and told us how much to order, and he also told us we'd need a 3/4 inch sub floor under the new vinyl. But when he came to install the flooring and saw all the 3/4 inch plywood in the middle of our living room, he was surprised, saying it was too thick. We'd wondered about that, but hey, he's the one who told us to order it. Apparently, we'd had a failure to communicate. While he got the proper size sub-floor, I had to make arrangements for the flooring store to pick up the unneeded plywood. They eventually picked it up - several days later - and they eventually gave our money back for it, several weeks later. The incident was stressful and annoying, but not fatal. And the end result was that the kitchen flooring looks good, thank goodness.

We're making progress! The cupboard doors are on! Yay!
However, the kicker came the day after the flooring was installed. I walked downstairs and saw a hole in the basement ceiling. (Wish I'd taken a picture of that.) One of the installers must have accidentally stepped into a floor vent in the kitchen. He bent the aluminum of the duct and pushed right through the drywall ceiling. It cost $200 to fix the hole in the ceiling, so in the end, the bargain installation wasn't such a bargain.
It's finished! And the fridge actually fits.
There were a lot of little annoying things, like the painters who took longer than they said they would and left numerous spots of paint on the floor that I had to pick off with my fingernails. Or the plumber who installed our kitchen sink on a Friday but neglected a fitting that resulted in a leak we didn't notice until Saturday morning when the rug in front of the sink was soaking wet. When we called the designer to complain, she sent out a carpenter to fix the sink. A carpenter? Turns out the plumber doesn't answer his phone on Saturdays. Fortunately, the carpenter on-call knew what he was doing and the leak was fixed.

My new china cupboard. I love the way it lights up!
Anyway, it's all over now. We're not likely to take on another renovation for a long time, if ever. Despite all the pain, the results turned out pretty good. Even if they hadn't, I wouldn't bring anyone in to fix it at this point! I'm done with having workmen stomping all over my house.

One of the hardest things about the reno was making the time to write, and being in a head-space to write. There was a lot to do, and many decisions to be made. Furniture and belongings needed to moved around and then put back in place. Stuff needed to be cleaned up after the workers got through with it. Aside from the time commitment, it's tough to write when people are banging around your house and you're stressed out!

So, did we have bad luck, or do all renovations go pear-shaped like this? This is the most extensive renovation we've ever done, and definitely the most stressful. Since misery loves company, I'd love to hear your renovation horror stories. Comment away!

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