Friday, February 21, 2014

Small world

The kitchen and bath designer I am working with lives in the town where my ex lives and my son grew up. While we didn't know each other before, we know some of the same people. For a while, she lived in the town where my ex grew up; neither of us likes that place very much, for similar reasons: very judgmental, very gossipy, very clique-ish.

Last Monday I met the woman who is going to schedule the worker bees. When I told her where I live, she said, Oh, I have friends who used to live in that addition! She said their last name, and I said, Yup, I bought their house, 20 years ago.

I remember at the closing, the subject of redecorating came up, and I said it would take me 20 years to get everything done. I think the sellers were a bit miffed, thinking I meant the house was in such bad shape, it would take that long to fix everything. What I meant was, I am slow. Sure enough, here it is, 20 years later, and I am finally getting the last of the remodeling/redecorating done.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


After a little comparison shopping and much mulling, I decided to go ahead with half the renovations. The rest will probably follow shortly, but I just can't spend that much money all in one fell swoop. Even half makes me weepy.

So the plan is to redo the kitchen and family room and the master bed and bath. Except when I am parked on the living room couch, these are the rooms I spend the most time in. Also, I will be able to live in the house while the work is ongoing (can't afford not to). Fun.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Where are the smelling salts?

The good news is, the estimate is not more than I paid for the house.

The bad news is, the estimate is over twice what I was hoping to pay. Bathrooms and kitchens are expensive.

Still digesting it. And I have heartburn.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hurry up and wait

Still no estimates for the remodeling. The electrician came and assured me the wiring in the house is just fine. One reason I asked for his opinion was periodically my home insurer sends me a questionnaire which asks about dogs, pools, trampolines that would raise my risk category, plus any home improvements made, like rewiring and replumbing the house. Also, when I plug the vacuum cleaner into an outlet in the living room and run it in my bedroom, the bedroom lights dim. He said that is normal, especially with the new high-powered vacuum cleaners on the market these days. Since no electrical things will be added during the remodel, he saw no problems ahead.

Then the drywall/paint/ceiling guy returned, to make sure he had all the measurements he needed. That gave me a chance to chat him up on itemizing his estimate so that I can perform surgery on it and bring it down to something I can afford. For example, the doors. If I don't replace them, how much to paint existing ones? And maybe I won't even do that, although his opinion was I would not like the result and he would be back.

My nightmare is this remodel will cost more than I paid for the house. I brought home a sample of the cabinet refacing my daughter and I had picked out, only to discover the wood color is almost exactly what I have, so now the refacing is off the list. Moving my bedroom door is another item that is sure to go. Converting the fireplace from wood to gas can wait. The Corian sink will probably turn into stainless. You get the picture.

And then there is the timeline. The drywall/paint/ceiling guy estimates his part of the job will take three weeks. I'm guessing the bathrooms and kitchen will be at least another week. Then a week for contingency. I am NOT looking forward to over a month of chaos.

BUT! I will be so happy when it is done, right? Right?!?