As news of my reno (which is HGTV lingo for renovation) spreads through my circle of friends and co-workers, everyone who’s ever undertaken a home improvement project has a tale to tell. There are stories of busted water pipes and runaway contractors, damaged cabinets and monumental delays. Considering I’m doing a total gut job on my kitchen and bathroom, this is not the kind of stuff I want to hear.
I’ve learned that “if all goes well” is code for “expect something unexpected to go wrong.” And when dealing with vendors, apply this simple mathematical calculation: double all the numbers. This means if you’re told your supplies will be delivered in 4 to 6 weeks, they will actually arrive in 8 to 12 weeks. Unfortunately, the same mathematical equation applies whenever costs are being calculated. Then, in an attempt to calm my ever-growing anxiety, these same well-intentioned friends smile as they finish their litanies with “…but in the end, it was all worth it.”
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll be spending a month of Sundays (or Saturdays) at the cavernous brick and mortar store where everything smells like wood shavings and plaster. Don’t show me twenty faucets, I beg. Just show me three, and I will pick one! As I wander, dazed and confused, like Alice in Wonderland, down aisles 9 and 10 in search of the perfect ceiling light fixture, my friends’ advice echoes in my head…
Get the towel warmer for your bathroom – it’s worth it.
Install ceiling fans in the kitchen, living room – and the bedrooms.
If you don’t get under-the-cabinet lighting in your kitchen, you’ll be sorry.
Choose what you like, not what you think some imaginary, future home buyer might want.
The paint color of the year is blush.
The paint color of the year is gray.
Gray is passé, the paint color of the year is green.
Luckily, I have a prince of a contractor who arrives every morning with a jumbo iced coffee and a cheery smile. It only took him a couple of days to gut my kitchen and, each night when I return home, I’m delighted to see the day’s accomplishments as he rebuilds my dream kitchen from the rubble. He – and I – can’t wait for him to get started on the bathroom…