My friend Debbie, at the Desperately Doodling Debbie blog, is in the midst of one of life’s most perplexing challenges (in my view) − the home renovation / home addition
torture, er, uh, adventure. I speak from experience.
We were in our mid-thirties when we tackled an 85% home reno. We had less cash but an abundance of time (even with four children underfoot), so as a way to save money, we hired workmen who were willing to guide us through demolition and certain installs.
Walls were removed (a broad steel beam put in place for extra stability) to make the home seem more open, windows and doors were moved and/or replaced, and concrete was poured in one section to even out the floors.
Like Debbie and her man, we endured the frustrations of tearing out incorrectly installed finishes, the incredulity caused by a too-small hole for a too-large replacement door, and (in my case) the shocking experience of live-wire installation of an electrical outlet (since I forgot to turn off the power)!
We also had a workman challenge our request for baseboards to be baseboards … he had initially installed them 3 inches above the floor!
As to saving our cash, that hope was dashed as soon as they discovered water damage in an interior wall, a discovery that necessitated roof replacement. Neither my Beloved nor I thought that was a job simple enough for our rudimentary do-it-yourself skills.
All in all, we were pleased with the results of our odyssey, but I’m firmly convinced we were wise to consign this experience to our younger years. Undertaking such a complicated remodel project today would surely bring on a fatal panic attack for me.
But as a gesture of solidarity with Debbie and her man during their time of intense trial, I offer the following light verse. The poem below reveals the extent of my current tolerance for chaos at home and an implicit sympathy for the Doodler in her current travails.