Thursday, September 8, 2016

Not Better Homes and Gardens

I don't know if I mentioned this, but before this one, I have never attempted a major renovation. Even before we got married, Dear Hubby always vetoed any potential house that needed work. I always was attracted to the old, ragged houses with "great bones". I wonder now, if that's just not my personality type, always trying to save things, people...well, anything but money! 
How I imagined a Reno would happen and how it actually happens are somehow very far apart! When I met with the contractor, after his visiting the house and listening to my scheme, I mean plan, he listed out the estimated price for each item or job. We haggled a bit. I compromised several things, and he allowed me to DIY some others, so we took a good 10K off the estimate. Then I asked, when do I get to show you my design choices. He looked a me a bit funny. See, I thought we'd sit down and I could show him all the pretty things I wanted; faucets, tile, trim, light fixtures, doors, etc. and then he would just go magically put them in my house. Not how that works. Each different profession comes in on a schedule and as things are completed the contractor asks about specific choices. This relieves him of having to keep track. And, as I have also noticed, leaves me free to change my mind as the job progresses.  
I agreed to do project and construction cleanup and painting the interior of the the house, to save money. I know now, I should have just paid the man. In my limited little brain, I thought after everything was done we would spend a week cleaning up and painting. That is so not the case. The cleanup is continual, and moves from room to room in the house. Now don't get me wrong, these guys are very conscientious about what they do, but the volumn of stuff that can come out of one little house is HUGE! Also to save money, we are using our own hydraulic dump trailer instead of a construction dumpster. This means a weekly or biweekly trip to the dump with my Dad, brother or a nephew. It is not a clean job. Then the painting. Some of the painting has to be done pre-install of fixtures such as toilets and vanities, and some will have to wait for the wall to materialize first. This means a gob of painting supplies just hanging around in a pile somewhere. It gets moved around, along with the extra lumber for baseboard and trim, drywall, doors and other miscellaneous materials. 
As we get near a time that we can begin to move things in, I realize there will not be a Better Homes And Garden moment. You, know, on HGTV when the camera pans to the designer placing the last vase of fresh cut flowers in the center of the table and the owners come in and gush over the fantastical place that is now their home? Yea, no. That is not going to happen. 
We are going to trickle the furniture in, maybe room by room as we finish painting the trim. Piles of boxes are going to sit around for decades until I unpack them and find a place for each piece of unwanted, unused, ugly China. 
If I do float around in a flowy white gown, in my perfectly polished, recently renovated home, you can rest assured that I have had too much wine, and it's just a part of my fantasy. 

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