Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Joys of Remodeling

They say…(I’m not really sure who “they” are, but “they” sure say a lot. “They” are probably a group of wise Monks living in Des Moines, Iowa.) They say that if a husband and wife can survive
building a house together or remodeling a home without getting a divorce, their marriage is pretty secure. I’m here to tell you that “They” is correct!

It seems we go through a remodel just about every 10 years. We bought our first home in 1975. Close your eyes - picture it – brown shag carpeting, avocado green appliances, orange chairs, yellow drapes, Married-With-Children floral sofa – we had it all. The only thing our new-to-us house did not have was wallpaper. Well, I made sure that I remedied that void. Not one room - not just the hallway - I wallpapered every room in the house. I spent hours at the paint store finding just the right samples to bring home to Hubby. He could have cared less. Just so I didn’t wallpaper pink roses in our bedroom.

The next remodel came when I got pregnant with our second child. Our home had 3 bedrooms, but I needed a fourth – as an office and for my parents when they came to visit. I thought it would be nifty to add on a room. We found a contractor and they built what looked like a box sitting on top of the garage. Since we were raising a family, we decided to cut costs by painting the room ourselves. I didn’t want to paint and smell the fumes – after all, I was pregnant – and it was 1980 – women had to take care of themselves. So hubby went to Home Depot and bought the paint – not once – not twice – but three times. He kept bringing home the wrong kind – too dark – too light – semi-gloss instead of matte. When he discovered he had bought yet another can of semi-gloss, he got so angry he threw the full can of paint out the window. All I heard were thundering feet galloping down the stairs as he tried to go save the cars parked in the driveway. I locked myself and our daughter in the bedroom.

Fast forward to our second home. About five years ago, I decided I wanted to upgrade the kitchen and get rid of the blue carpeting in the family room. I hate blue. We chose tile and we argued about the granite. We finally agreed on a lovely granite. Once again, trying to cut costs, we had our oak cabinets refinished instead of getting all new cabinets. Big mistake. The granite has a lot of movement – the cabinets have a lot of movement because the grain is so pronounced. Hubby loves it – I get dizzy.

In early 2013 I decided I wanted a walk-in shower in the master bathroom. Hubby said it will never work. However, I found a company who remodels kitchens and bathrooms – and they said they could fill in the sunken tub and make a walk-in shower. The designer was terrific – he helped us choose beautiful granite and tile and new wood cabinets. I was excited – until we met the company’s owners – who liked to stand around, chat, and drink coffee. Our remodel started with the hall bath in January 2014. When May rolled around - and after they hung the god-awful mirror that belonged in a Motel 6 - we told them we needed a break. The bathroom was done for all practical purposes, but Hubby wanted them to fix a few of the goofs before they started on the master bathroom – like take the mirror back to Arkansas. In the meantime, they delivered the wooden cabinets for the master bath, and those sat in our living room for a year. (At which point, the living room became the new cellar. Where shall we put this box of old family records – in the living room. Where shall we put this old printer – in the living room. I found the Costco-size bag of toilet paper - in the living room. Hubby said he was just putting it in the bathroom cabinets.)

They finally started on the master bath in January 2015. Everything seemed to be going along great. My walk-in shower is all tiled. The floor is tiled. They have finished with all the drywall and texturing. So Hubby got the dolly and rolled the new beautiful wood cabinets out of the living room and into the bedroom for the installers. (I cleaned the living room – hurray – I have my living room back.) Hmmm, it seems there is a problem. Someone measured for the cabinets wrong and they are too tall to fit under the soffit. Cut them down? Build new ones? Nah, we’ll just cut the soffit to make the space taller. Say, what? This doesn’t compute with me – but hey, Hubby is ok with it. It’s either that or wait another six weeks while they build new cabinets. Meanwhile, Hubby rolled the cabinets back into the living room.

Gee, what do I want to remodel ten years from now? Nothing! Hubby made me promise - no more remodeling.

Maybe something small, like a new sofa and love-seat in the family room. I’ll ask the Monks what they think.

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