Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Little House of (Renovation) Horrors

The Poseidon Adventure. Earthquake. The Towering Inferno. Airport. What do these disaster movies all have in common?

Each event was less of a catastrophe than our home remodeling project.

I'm fairly certain our contractor – who has done amazing work – is shaking his head and wondering how he ever got involved in this project of the damned.

I haven't blogged about our setbacks, because I didn't want to anger the Fates of Remodeling. But after yesterday's misadventure, I've decided the fates are obviously so pissed at me, it couldn't get much worse.


I mean sure, the whole thing could go up in flames, forcing us to rebuild from scratch, but at this point even that couldn't put us much further behind schedule.

So, what was our latest SNAFU? What disaster du jour has me questioning whether that light I thought I saw at the end of this very long, dusty, partially remodeled tunnel was a beacon of hope or an emergency flare?

Yesterday a delivery van got stuck in the mud behind our house.

For more than two hours.

Postponing the delivery and installation of the carpet that will signal the honest to God complete, totally for reals completed, finally finished completion of approximately one-third of our renovation.

And we're only eight months behind schedule.

We used to joke about the house being done in time for The Princess' high school graduation. Last May. Now we joke about it being done before The Prince's graduation. In 2019. These days I reply to that joke with nervous laughter, bordering on hysteria.

So what's the big deal? What's a couple more days? Progress – amazing, beautiful, fantastic work – continues on other parts of the project.

It's symbolic. You see, this is not the first time our yard has swallowed a subcontractor. A skid steer (that's right, a skid steer), got stuck while excavating for the footings last fall.

Footings which, once poured, filled with ground water. And did not drain. Pushing back work until spring. After the ground thawed and eventually firmed up again.

Spring. When The Princess graduated from high school. When the contractor took pity on us and delayed work until after we could have a small reception for her in the garage. The garage which, the day after the party, we filled with the displaced furniture and boxes that are still there.

No, the delivery van getting stuck is just one item on a long list of unexpected challenges and scheduling hiccups. In short, almost anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. I've watched enough “This Old House” and HGTV to know all remodeling projects have their share of problems. But I have to think we are approaching the point at which even Tommy and Norm, Chip and Joanna, and Jonathan and Drew would throw up their hands and cut their losses.

Despite all the set backs, I try to stay positive. The parts that are finished are beautiful. Things are progressing. It will all be worth it once it's done.

Despite the problems, I try to find the humor in the situation. For most of the summer we had the distinction of being the only house in the neighborhood with a port-o-potty in the front yard.

Talk about yer' curb appeal.

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