Thursday, April 16, 2015

Home Renovation: When Things Go Wrong.

Seriously, when I went into doing all these renovations I thought I'd do everything myself. I thought, how hard could it be? Plus, I wasn't making huge changes. And with how easy it looked on shows like HGTV and the DIY Network, I thought, whoa?! I can do that! I started out small. Painting walls, a dining table and chairs. Then I thought, this carpet.. it has to go.

I was very pregnant with my first when we decided to remove the carpet. I was in my nesting stage and the thought of white carpet that had been there since 1997 haunted me. There is no way I can bring a baby into this world with disgusting old white carpet, did I mention we had 3 cats? Oh and a cat room... which was going to be turned into a nursery. Greg said all we had to do is use a carpet cleaner. Easy. Yeah, no. Nesting isn't the kind of stage in pregnancy where you want to clean a little here and there... You actually want to disinfect and throw EVERYTHING away, start new! I was building my nest and all this white carpeting had to go. So after nagging Greg for what seemed to be forever, he agreed.

I'd like to say that we were smart and shopped around but we didn't. We went to ONE place, picked out three hardwood samples to take home and then made the decision, within one week, we ordered the hardwood and it was being installed. We chose an engineered hardwood, handscraped Acacia Walnut. I wanted a medium color but Greg wanted dark. We didn't have kids yet and what we didn't realize is that dark showed EVERYTHING. Its beautiful hardwood but man are you going to be sweeping and mopping all the time.

Here are problems I have encountered while renovating my house:

1)During the installation process of our hardwood floors we encountered an array of problems. No, not with the product or house but the workers... For some reason, all three workers had NO idea how to open a sliding door that was locked in the bottom. I imagine that they tried and tried to open it and thought that maybe it was stuck? So they tried to pull the metal from from the glass... And they succeeded. Did I mention that they did not ask us or let us know they broke our door... Awesome right?

2) Now, since I was going through my nursing stage I redecorated everything, it was my way of tidying up and making sure my little humble abode was ready for my tiny little newborn. And of course I for sure needed to clean and redecorate the bathroom... since obviously a baby is going to spend all the time in there...haha. Anyway, they not only peed ALL over my toilet seat, but left the door open while using the saw, and sawdust went ALL over my newly decorated, painted and cleaned bathroom.  I couldn't even get the sawdust out of my shower curtain. It was a Target shower curtain that didn't do so well after washing.

3) I can't grow or keep plants alive. Its like I am cursed. However, I had a beautiful potted Orchid in a vibrant glazed vase that held up so wonderfully. This plant resided in my kitchen window sill. Well when they were done, I made my way to the kitchen to the horrible scene of my plant on the floor broken in half, with a broken vase! Just set aside like it was nothing. Mind you, they were not working on the kitchen AT ALL.

4) During the second installation of our hardwood two years after the first, same company. (Yeah I know.. but it was all convenience...) When the workers were done they left my entire patio where they cut pieces, COMPLETELY covered in sawdust. Also the front door was constantly left open, so when they were done we now shared a home with 20-30 house flies. Yuck!

5) You see those ads in Home Depot and Lowe's offering to install your countertops? You think Wow! I'd like to do that! They give you the price estimate and its not until after you realize that the granite company they contract out to does pretty much nothing to aid in preparation for the installation. Seriously. Demolishing is about $600 extra depending on your square footage. But have unlevel cabinets, no plywood or a top mount sink not installed? Call us when you get all that figured out! And maybe thats how it always is but you would think that removal of old material, leveling of cabinets, would all be included. This one is probably my fault, I should know better. Now I do.

6) Hiring your Mom's Ex-Boyfriend's Tenant as your handyman. Hey I was desperate! I needed some drywall to be replaced and he was available right away! About half an hour into the project I noticed that he wasn't replacing the drywall. Hmm... Upon further inspection I realized he was just slapping on some mortar to the wall! Yes I was going to tile but really?? Not what I agreed on. Not only that but he asked ME if I had any drywall... Oh Em Gee. Oh and instead of setting his tools down on, oh I don't know... the plywood on the cabinets, he decided he would set them on my BRAND NEW kitchen island... scratching it!

7) We have installed the same hardwood throughout our house over the last 4 years. We have never had an issue. We did it little by little due to financing.... can you say tax refund?! Well this last time turns out that they don't even make the same size hardwood! And... time to freak out! They tried to discuss options with me, like adding more padding and shaving the sides... And I thought why?!?! Why couldn't they just have the same one. I wanted a written agreement that they were doing this to my floors in case anything went wrong and they didn't want to provide me with one, assuring me that it would all come out perfect. Well I was hesitant. Well, guess what they found the same kind!! Yay! Problem solved.

So far, these are all the issues we have had during this whole process. There are things I probably missed but I not only have remnants of pregnancy brain but also tired mom and exhausted home owner. :p

Nancy Howe

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