Saturday, April 19, 2014

It is finished (more or less)

Except for a couple of outstanding issues, phase 1 of the remodeling is DONE! On time! And I am happy with it! A much different experience than I have had in the past. Makes me want to start phase 2 NOW.

I've been taking pictures but they don't really do justice to the makeover. Yes, the crown molding gives the rooms a "finished" look. Yes, the paint spruced up the walls. Yes, the Spanish lace ceilings are nicer, but who spends a lot of time looking up? The sum of the changes resulted in an improvement to the gestalt of the house without compromising its modest ranch roots. It still feels like my home.

The carpet cleaners are coming on Tuesday, so I don't want to move furniture yet. Meanwhile, I am putting the kitchen back together, but not without spring cleaning as I go. I can't recall *ever* washing the insides of the cupboards, and since the doors are usually shut and what goes in there is usually clean, they aren't that bad. I've worked my way through a half bottle of lemon oil, putting a shine on old wood. A few things have been tossed (e.g. 20-year-old microwave cookware), some things have been rearranged (e.g. the four mismatched pieces of Fiestaware someone gave me forty years ago are now on display), and amazingly I have storage for *more*. Or so it seems - I'm not done yet.

The best thing about remodeling? I can stop looking at the ceiling damage, stop fixing the toilet innards with safety pins, stop wishing away the permanent stains on the counters. I can stop beating myself up for not doing it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Temporary digs

While prepping for the remodel, I emptied all the kitchen cabinets, drawers, cupboards, and shelves, and deposited the bulk of it in the dining room.

Where are the pot holders?

And this isn't even all of it, as books went elsewhere and whatever I thought I might need for the duration took up residence in the West Wing.

The toaster oven is under the table.

Without a kitchen sink, I've had to resort to washing dishes in the utility sink the the laundry room.
Like camping but without the s'mores.

I spend a certain amount of time opening empty cupboards and walking into empty rooms. The dislocation of all my belongings has taught me just how habitual most of my movements are. Unused portions of my brain have been put to work figuring out just where a particular thing is.

The bedroom I am using reminds me of the dorm room of a messy coed. The bathroom is crammed with two of everything. I can't wait to get my house put back together.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Remodeling, phase 1, week 1

In every remodeling project (nay, *every* project), there will be glitches. The first one was discovering that the start date was not April 7, but April 9. The (supposed) end date is still the same and, frankly, I would have been hard pressed to have the four areas cleared by last Monday, so I wasn't too upset about this. But still. It does not portend well.

Dust bunnies the size of jackalopes behind the bed frame

And yet, deliveries started on April 7: the shower and half a toilet. Not sure what would have happened to them had I not been home. Left sitting in the driveway?

Otherwise, the work is progressing, and very neatly. Tarps cover the floors, plastic drapes everything else, to the point that parts of my house resemble the kill rooms on "Dexter". There is even a tarp under the van to protect the driveway from oil drips. (I'll have to mention that to the carpet cleaners.)

Kill room

Body bag

The ceiling guy works on stilts. The plumber guy looks like Jesse Pinkman. Everyone is careful and meticulous.

So far, all the ceilings have been scraped of popcorn and laced, all painted except for the master bath, the crown molding primed. In the bath, the toilet and shower are gone, the new shower installed. That half toilet in the garage? Someone at the supply house must have had a brain fart; it is to be replaced with a new improved version of the same model (Gerber Viper). In the kitchen, the old counter top has been replaced with the new. (Kudos to my daughter for selecting the counter top design - it looks *great* with the cabinets.

More glitches:
  • The fancy schmancy kitchen sink that is 9" deep won't work because the cupboard doors under the sink are recessed, something I had never noticed before but which allows me to stand close to the sink without leaning forward. Fortunately, the plumbing guy realized the sink was unworkable *before* cutting a hole for it in the counter top. Just as well we need to pick something else, as the drains of that fancy one were not centered and would have caused some under-sink plumbing difficulties.
  • The vanity top with the integrated sink had a crack in it. Again, the plumbing guy noticed this prior to installation. A new one will need to be ordered, which may take a few weeks, in which case the cracked one (the flaw is not in the bowl itself) will be installed, then swapped out when the new one arrives.

I am really, really, *really* glad I can work from home for the duration. Invariably, there are questions and discussions and decisions that would be difficult to handle over the phone, but not so much interruption that I can't get my work done.

There was a glitch with my home work environment as well - the kitchenette I set up in the West Wing works well, but I discovered running the microwave and the toaster oven at the same time trips the circuit breaker for that room, which cuts power to the wi-fi router. I lost Internet access until I could get some help from Frontier; that took some time, but once I connected with the right person, the problem was solved in short order. (FYI: if this happens to you, recycle power to the router by pulling the plug *with the router still on*, wait a minute or so, then plug it back in. Simply using the switch to turn it off and on will not work.)

So. So far, so good, more or less. Worse things could go wrong (knock on wood).