Aaaaah, home ownership. A person’s stamp on the land when one can say, “This is mine!” It’s the American dream.
Until you need to update that dream.
Home renovations, a rite of passage. Or a form of 18th Century Mongolian torture. My vote is for the latter.
I am not quite sure why updating one’s abode is so painful. Like menstrual cramp while sitting in traffic with a child in the back seat repeating, “I’m not doing my homework,” painful.
Is it the general disruption in family life and routine? Is it the debris and dirt? Is it the amount of time arguing with your spouse over this shade of chrome versus that shade of chrome, when in reality, IT IS JUST A FREAKING DOOR KNOB! Or is it the amount of delays in construction that leave you feeling helpless and confused?
This last one seems to be the hum dinger.
Months ago we chose a contractor. Picking a contractor is like picking a spouse: can you live with him through the good times? Can you show him your ugly demanding side? Can you give it up to faith when things are just not working out?
Our contractor is a great guy. Someone you can grab a beer with or share your bag of Twizzlers. His price is right, and more importantly, his work is phenomenal. Score for us. Good spouse choosing.
Much like a marriage, the remodel was off to a great start. Walls came down in a day, old carpeting was ripped up, and a whole host of oops, looks like we found some issues under the floor, came up.
MILESTONE #1 – Much like your first post-wedding argument, problems arose. No sweat, the crew worked through and fixed those issues and we moved on.
MILESTONE #2 – Then our contractor and his sweet wife had their second child. Hip Hip Hooray! There was a slight lull in progress, but we did not mind. It’s a new baby! We sent them a gift and wished them well. Our contractor stayed in contact with us, and work on the house resumed shortly after.
MILESTONE #3 – Then our contractor went into the hospital, with a very scary “You need to stay in the ICU for a week to ten days,” issue.
Holy crap, this poor guy.
After the shock and worry and praying for our contractor, we experienced another emotion:
Holy crap, what the f&*k is going to happen to our house? Apparently we had entered the in sickness and in health portion of our relationship.
Our contractor is a one man band. There is no right hand person to take over or help out.
Oh wait, yes there is: His dear sweet wife (now mother to a newborn and a four year old), began steering the work ship from her husband’s sick bed.
Holy crap, this poor woman.
Can you imagine? Having less than two hours of sleep a night, making sure your other child does not starve or go blind from watching too many La La Loopsy cartoons, giving orders and measurements to vendors and workmen (most likely in another language), all the while your life partner is out cold and hooked up to multiple tubes.
Only two words can sum up this situation: Shit Show.
We were at a loss. My husband and I agonized over how to give this poor family their space, send well wishes for a speedy recovery, and yet still keep our work project going.
Let’s put it this way, there is no right way to say, “Hey, I’m so sorry to hear about your colon, but do you know when the toilets are going in?” I’m pretty sure they hand out awards for that type of behavior, in A$$holelandria.
MILESTONE #4 – Keep going. We did the only thing we knew; we started doing as much as we could on our own (sans nail gun). This we figured would take some of the pressure off our contractor, yet scratch our professional itch of keeping things moving.
I am happy to report, our contractor is out of the hospital and doing much better. He does have a long road to recovery, but hopefully in the long run he will be that much better.
While worrisome and frustrating at times, we are glad we stayed with our contractor. Just like two spouses in marriage counseling, our home remodel has slowed, but will be back on track soon.
I guess that’s what they mean by in good times and in bad.