Friday, May 22, 2009

Onward Remodeling Soldiers!

My Blogger Guest, Warrine Coffey, continues with her saga of home remodeling. She is talking at first here about her dog, who was a canine warrior and a noble beast:


"Nigel was very agitated when we brought him home after vacation. He doesn't like being boarded and when he got home, his bed and food dish had moved and the house was in disarray and noisy. We gave the necessary TLC to calm him down. He quickly adjusted and is just fine. We take him into the back area with us so he can see what's happening. He likes the additional attention from the workers.


After about three weeks of this, I realized we could cook, eat well, have clean clothes, and find things. So I began to relax somewhat. So it was back to planning and making decisions for the project. The foundation for the extension was poured May 19. Framing is pretty much done. The rough plumbing is in. The electrician starts Monday. One interesting aside is this: When the plumber started, one of the first things he did was to install a water shut-off valve in the basement for the area in back of the house. That involves the kitchen, laundry, powder room and master bath. When he worked he would shut off those areas. That left us the upstairs hall bathroom and the sink on the balcony. We had a toilet and hot and cold running water almost all the time. Life is easier than it would be without that valve.


I think our contractor has been wonderful. He plans things out carefully, keeps us informed and keeps things moving. When one works on an 80-year-old house, there are going to be some glitches. He is very experienced and will help us get through the glitches. I am still amazed at the temporary kitchen setup. I had envisioned washing dishes in the bathtub, scrubbing vegetables in the bathroom sink, etc. Those are the stories I have heard from other people. I think we are very fortunate to have the setup we have. Most people who see it are amazed. We haven't even gone out together for dinner because we always have prepared food here. I do not focus on what we don't have. I just focus on what we do have which is plenty more than millions of people in the world today have. And I never forget the prize: a new kitchen down the road.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Journal of a Remodeling Warrior

I am pleased to introduce a 'guest blogger': Warrine Coffey, a client of On The Beam Remodeling. She is not only a remodeling warrior par excellence, but also a journal-keeper who is willing to share with the world her experience up-close and personal of going through a substantially large kitchen, bathroom and laundry room remodel and addition. Here is the first in a series of excerpts:

"I think it was fortuitous that we chose to visit colonial Williamsburg and Richmond with its civil war era sites. We got to see how our forebears lived. I especially paid attention to the kitchens. They did not have running water. They walked to the river or the well (which they dug) and hauled water. They did not have electricity to heat food. They chopped wood and made a fire and cooked over that fire. They didn't know any different and I doubt that they complained about it. It wouldn't have done any good. We both thoroughly enjoyed the vacation and visiting with old friends. We arrived home April 28, relaxed and ready to face what came next."

"We got home around 3:00 p.m. Monday afternoon, April 28. Most of the demolition had been done. There were two bobcats in the backyard removing dirt. The ugly concrete walls in the backyard were gone. The interior areas had been stripped to the studs. A temporary balcony had been constructed off the dining room and a laundry sink installed with cold running water and drain to the sewer. We had a countertop there, too...One can do a lot with cold running water, sewer line, electrical appliances and extension cords."

"...I go to the laundromat once a week with a roll of quarters....It doesn't take long to get used to it. Now we have the dryer operating in the basement, so I can bring home clean, wet clothes and dry them here. I don't expect to get the washer operational until the new laundry room is completed. It's quite okay. After all, our ancestors took dirty clothes to the river and pounded them on rocks or else used a scrub board at home. I bet they would be delighted to have a car and go to a laundromat."

Stay tuned for the next installment of "Journal of a Remodeling Warrior".