Renovation Blues

At first, it always sounds like a good idea.  We’ll replace the old bathroom floor, which was installed so poorly that the tiles were starting to pop up, with a new one that we actually like.  We’ll fix the mantel on the fireplace in our living room, and while we’re at it, let’s fix the broken water spigot on the side of the house that leaks every time we turn the hose on and replace that broken closet door in the basement, too.  We’ll just call our handyman, and he’ll take care of everything!  Nothing could be easier.

Then comes the morning when the handyman shows up with his tools and equipment and gets to work.  Soon every flat surface in the house is covered with a fine layer of grey dust, and my front bedroom has been converted a storage room for the toilet and vanity, as well as a shop vac and various other equipment I don’t even recognize.  Stacks of new tiles and bags of grout are piled in the back bedroom, and our garage is converted into a temporary workshop, complete with a wet saw and sawhorses for working on the doors.

I’m used to having the house mostly to myself during the day, but renovations mean sharing my house with someone who spends his days smashing tiles, cutting copper pipes and ripping mantels out of the wall, as noisily as possible.  He gives me frequent updates of his progress, usually when I’m trying to write a blog post or rushing out the door because I’m late for an appointment.  And at the end of each day, I spend at least an hour cleaning up the dust and dirt that were created from that day’s work.

I find myself beginning to think that we should have just done the work ourselves, until I remember all those times before we could afford to hire someone and we actually did the work ourselves.  I remember how much fun it was to help my husband carry 22 sheets of drywall from the backyard to the basement because a storm was coming.  I remember the time I wallpapered my son’s bedroom, only to have all the wallpaper fall off the next day.  Mostly, I remember the time I helped my husband take down a dying tree in our back yard.  He tied a rope around the upper trunk of the tree, gave it to me and told me to pull hard when he told me to.  Then he went to work on the base of the tree with a chainsaw.  After a few minutes, he yelled “pull,” so I did.  And looked up to see that the tree was falling straight at me.  I did the only sensible thing:  dropped the rope and ran.  Later I checked with our insurance agent just to make sure my husband hadn’t taken out an extra life insurance policy on me.

IMG_1331Eventually, the work is done, and our handyman packs up all his tools and leaves.  He’s actually a very nice man, and very good at his job, but I’m still glad that he won’t be back next week.  I love our new fireplace mantel, and the bathroom floor looks even better than I thought it would.  We have new closet doors in the basement that open and close easily, and I can now turn on the hose without getting sprayed by a jet of water  from the spigot handle.  And sadly, I know it won’t be very long until I find myself thinking, maybe we could ask our handyman to get rid of that popcorn ceiling in the upstairs office, and maybe it’s time to finally put that dormer window in the master bedroom….

35 thoughts on “Renovation Blues

  1. Too funny Ann. Living alone in my own house taught me to do many things myself. But I admit…I’m not handywoman. Much of the time the bigger projects were near failures. The little ones, though, when they came out well, made me very proud!!

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    • Loved the comment about the dust settling! And yes, when we are going through a renovation, I always think, “never again!” But then I see the result, and immediately start thinking of my next renovation…

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  2. At this age Husband and I are grateful to hire someone else to do the projects. We did some projects when we were younger but are grateful that we can afford to have someone else do them now. We got rid of the popcorn ceilings one room at a time. Enjoy!

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    • We feel the same way! It’s time to let someone else tackle the projects, no matter how hard it is to live through them. We just don’t have the energy…or the naive belief that we can do it…any more!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kim! I like the small, black and white tile, because our house is older, and that looks like the tile they used back then. Sadly, the original tile was grey and peach, so we really didn’t want to keep that….

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  3. The new bathroom floor looks wonderful. I also hate remodeling – and your mention of the need to remove popcorn celings reminded me that’s also on my list of things that need to be done to our house (but I’m trying not to think about it).

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    • I find if I don’t look up at the ceiling, it’s much easier not to think about it! And thanks for your kind words about the floor. I am very happy with how it turned out.

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  4. Lol..that’s the problem with remodeling, it feels like everything is always dirty and that the work is never going to end and people are always in your home. I hate the process but I learned there are just some things I shouldn’t do myself because whatever can go wrong, will go wrong..:)
    About 7-8 years ago we decided to renovate 2 1/2 baths at the same time over a three week period. They did a great job but I think I’m still scared by the process..:)

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    • Thanks! I love to have visitors to my house, but I have to admit that no matter how nice they are, I do get tired of having workers there for several days in a row. I’m probably just too much of an introvert. And thanks for the compliment on the floor. I do like it!

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  5. I don’t care for anything that upsets the calm and order at home, but at times there’s no choice. Glad your renovations are complete, Ann. Enjoy them ~ the floor looks great!

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  6. It’s so funny when one thing gets fixed then everything else looks as if a face-lift is also necessary. And before you know it massive construction is afoot and there’s a pool being dug, a new wing being added on and… Oh wait… Hope I’m not giving you any ideas. 😁
    Glad the end result is favorable and that you have your house back. Enjoyed reading this! Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can see from the photograph that he did a good job. Incidentally, I’m very glad you weren’t flattened by a tree all those years ago. Something like that could definitely spoil your entire day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like all the dust and disruptions were worth it in the end. Now if you could just send that handy man over here Ann we have a bathroom that’s badly in need of some new life. 🙂

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