Friday, December 01, 2006

Remodeling blues

It’s been really hard to update my blog lately. If you’ve been reading My wife’s blog you’ll know that we’ve been attempting to remodel our 1977 home that was long overdue for some major renovation. The biggest problem, and the most critical in the long term, is completed. That’s the replacement of all the swollen and warped masonite siding that was original to the house. I took a lot longer than we thought to replace it but the new hardie plank is up and ready for painting.

Since last week the focus has been turned to the inside of the house. Every day is a new surprise and only rarely a positive one. We’ve found massive, gapping holes in the kitchen wall that were just covered over with any scrap of plastic they could find. The sheet rock on the ceiling is about 1 inch shy of actually meeting the wall sheetrock. The wallpaper was incorrectly applied and it’s damaging the sheetrock when we remove it. The previous cabinet installer just punched holes in the wall with their hammer to find the studs. Now since we hadn’t planned to put cabinets in exactly the spots they had we either have to fix their problems or change our plan to cover them up somehow. It seems like every day of progress reveals 2 days of additional work to be done. I realize that this is normal for a home improvement project but it’s more than a little stressful. We’re not even half way finished and the budget is more than half gone. Throw on top of this that we have a deadline of sorts of December 16th.

Lately the crux of the problem has been “stuff management”. That’s my way of saying that we have so much stuff that we’re tripping over it all and we don’t have anywhere to really put anything else. We move stuff out of the cabinets with the plan to then put it in the new cabinet once it’s installed but the condition of the walls now mean that all the cabinets are going to have to come down at once so we can fix the walls. So now we have to move all the stuff that we just moved so we can have room to work in the kitchen. Moving stuff from one temporary spot to another is creating a lot of extra work.

I have little philosophy that I’m trying to indoctrinate my kids with. Do it right the first time and you’ll be better off in the long run. If you take a little extra time to get thing right while you’re doing a task the first time you won’t have to make corrections or changes later. With my oldest and his homework I try to stress that if he writes neatly and follows all the directions then he won’t have to waste time correcting what he did wrong or sloppy. With the other kids I’ve been focusing on teaching then to always put stuff back where it belongs. It may take 20 extra seconds to walk your shoes over to the shoe rack but that 20 seconds is easily made up for the next time you save half an hour by not having to search for your shoes.

Everyday after work I come home and work on the house until I just run out of daylight or I’m so exausted that I just can’t lift another sheet of sheetrock.

It’s really tough but the biggest victims of this project are my kids. Their just trying to do the same things that they’ve always been doing in spite of the chaos. It'll be nice to sit down at the table in our new kitchen and just have a nice family dinner together once this is all over. It's that image that keeps me motivated to get the whole project finished.

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