Monday, June 8, 2009

Warrine Shares More of Her Story

Here is the third installment of Warrine Coffey's remodeling journal. As a guest blogger, she has much to offer from the homeowner's point of view and experience going through a large renovation.


"Another six weeks have passed since my last epistle on our project. We are now 75% through and it's looking good. We've had our ups and downs.

We ordered the appliances and had them all delivered except for the cooktop which we picked up ourselves so our contractor could get the exact measurements. The dishwasher and ovens went directly into the kitchen to await a later installation. The new refrigerator is in the dining room so we are very crowded with two refrigerators and everything else we need in there for our temporary kitchen. It's just for a few weeks, so we just live with it.

One day we had 2-3 of our contractor's men here in the kitchen AND the burglar alarm folks (2 people) working throughout the house AND several exterior painters. Talk about chaos! The new alarm failed that same evening. The next day the alarm guy was back and the appliances were delivered and work continued in the kitchen.

A few weeks ago they removed the plywood barriers between the kitchen and the rest of the house. Now when we want to see the kitchen we don't have to go out the front door and around to the back. We just walk through the interior door.


We had a major argument - I mean difference of opinion - on ovens. Bill felt stronger about it so he got his way. The contractor was agreeable to the changes and now all is well. I thought the hardest part of this remodel was the hundreds of decisions that have to be made, often without adequate knowledge about what is being decided. I was wrong. That is the second hardest part. The hardest part of a major project is the other person...Now I know why people ask if we're still married after several months of construction. I tell them we are, indeed.


Our little temporary balcony off the dining room continues to be a blessing through all this. It has its problems, though. There were the ants that appeared the first week, so we learned to be very careful about leaving any dirty dishes out there. Now there is a tree in the front yard with pollen that attracts bees, so the bees have found our balcony...I learned that ants like dog food and bees like tuna.

As of last week we have lights on in the kitchen and the doorbell works after four months of doing without. Most of the cabinets are in. The crown molding around the ceiling is lovely. The stone countertops are in. The bathroom floor tile and backsplash are in. Today most of the plumbing fixtures were installed and we have water in the new kitchen - with hot water! We no longer have to haul hot water from upstairs. That means we can wash dishes inside like other folks.


An unexpected side effect of doing this major construction project is the personal growth that occurs during it. Choosing to do something truly difficult and actually doing it without too much bellyaching is a real accomplishment. It's so much easier to let things be the way they were. I'm so glad we didn't. We are stronger for the effort we have put in, plus we're going to get a lovely new kitchen when it's all over.

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