Flashback Friday – Caution, Men At Work

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 9/28/07 at Exit 51

Caution, Men At Work

And no, I don’t mean the 80’s band…although I’m amazed at how good Overkill sounds as an acoustic track – check it out on iTunes.

(Note to readers – grab a comfy chair and settle in for a long one.)

Work at the house has been underway since the 12th. The progress has been slow going. I’ve even been reduced to petitioning to St. Jude – patron saint of hopeless cases, things almost despaired of – to intercede. Work happens in spurts. Some days I come home to find that the crew has been hard at work, other days nobody has been here at all. It’s totally random.

For instance, not long after I got home from TIFF, the kitchen looked like this:

Cabinets completely removed, subfloor installed, new electrical lines run.
From there it took almost a week for new cabinets to be placed:
At about 5pm on Friday the contractor called to see if the guys could come in and work the next morning. Um, yeah, but I am completely shocked and honestly a little sad that noisy, dusty work will get me out of bed early on a Saturday.

LIFE LESSON #1 – Have patience.
LIFE LESSON#2 – Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

I’m sure there are more Life Lessons in this whole experience that I just haven’t discovered yet. One Life Lesson I knew going into the renovation, thanks to many hours of viewing of home improvement/home flipping shows on cable, is that sometimes it pays to hire a professional. It’s amazing how, in the name of saving a dollar, people who should know better will take on the challenge of perfoming skilled labor. What they don’t consider is that hiring someone who knows what they’re doing is cheaper in the long run. By the time you add up the cost of wasted time and materials from messing up as you work your way through the learning curve, the contractor’s number to do things aren’t so bad.

The agenda for this weekend is pretty ambitious. But if the guys are willing to work on a Saturday, who am I to say no? And at the end of the day, it may help to keep us on schedule which is kind of funny since despite my tendency to try and have a plan for everything, I never actually asked the contractor how long the job would take. I figured that three to four weeks was a pretty optimistic timetable to complete the work. But I didn’t want to tie my expectations to a specific date only to be disappointed or frustrated if it took longers. I’ve got my fingers crossed that two weeks from now I’ll be putting away everything from the kitchen and dining room that has made its way to other places in the house…and of course, getting professional help to clean up all the mess.

I sincerely cannot wait to have my house back. Since work began, I’ve been literally pushed into a corner…a corner of a table with a folding chair in the living room where I eat frozen meals, watch tv, and try to keep on top of household chores like paying bills. There has been no refuge or relaxation in the house for weeks. But there is reason to be hopeful; next week should be busy here at 2158 – countertop templating and floor tile are scheduled which will open the door for appliances to be delivered and hooked up, finish work can begin, paint can go on the walls, and the electrical work can be completed.

I am confident that by the time SFC comes home on leave (still don’t know when that will be but definitely not in the next few weeks), the renovation will be complete and the kitchen and bath will have been transformed. Won’t he be surprised by how different everything looks?

4 thoughts on “Flashback Friday – Caution, Men At Work

    1. You’d think the pain would end when the job is done. It took my contractor a whole year to send me the final bill. Good times.

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