Monday, March 17, 2008

Power to the People

According to my schedule (and I am the maker and keeper of the schedule) - we're halfway through the insanity of the kitchen/bedroom/baby room remodel. It feels more chaotic by the day. But, I think we're in the eye of the storm at the moment. Starting next weekend, we start putting everything back together.

Everything we own is stuffed into the living room, basement and our bedroom. Those of you that spend much time with me know that I believe firmly that everything has a place. I get a little twitchy when things are not in their proper place (and the proper place is the place so designated by me -- just in case you're wondering how one determines the proper place of a particular item). So, living with everything in places where they most certainly do NOT belong has been an adjustment. But, I'm maintaining my cool. Mostly by living in denial and by maintaining tight control over the few things that I still have in my possession -- the kitchen file, my computer, my work files, the laundry and the dust on the floors. While logic dictates that there is no need to sweep multiple times throughout the day during a construction day (since things just continue to get dusty and dirty), it makes me feel infinitely better to follow Eric around with a broom and clean up the dust he leaves in his wake. It makes me feel better - but it might make him feel slightly insane. Although, I think he knows humoring me with my dust obsession is better than dealing with the nervous breakdown I surely would have otherwise.

We now have all new electrical in the kitchen, bedroom and the baby's room! Thanks, Dave!! Dave came from Oregon for the weekend and rewired our kitchen. It was great to see him and great to have the help. Never again will we overload the circuit when we use the microwave in the kitchen and the space heater in the living room at the same time. They're on different breakers now! Until this weekend, the whole house was more or less on one circuit and utilized old knob and tube wiring. Amazing what a difference it makes to use more than one breaker to wire your house (OK, it wasn't quite that bad before... but, really, this is not an instance of extreme Angie embellishing. I think we had 90% of the house on one breaker -- or something insane like that). But, Dave has given us the power -- the power to use multiple appliances at one time.

Doug and Sarah were also on hand again this weekend painting the baby's room, framing, putting a vapor barrier in the walls.... all kinds of stuff. More than anything, this project has made me realize that we have the most amazing friends. There really is no adequate way to thank people who provide this kind of support during your most stressful and chaotic times. But, even though it's inadequate - thank you!!

With the electrical and rough framing done, we're (mostly) ready for sheetrock. I think we still have some plumbing to do, but we may start digging into wall construction next weekend. Walls!! What a concept!! I'm ready for my house to be less tent-like and more house-like again. For the last few weeks, I've been able to sit in bed and look through the holes of my house to the outside which has enabled me to feel extreme (a feeling I don't get to relish often given my tendency to avoid extremes), but also has left us feeling a bit chilly at night. Who needs camping when you have a sawzall and can just punch holes into your house? But, as much as Eric and I enjoy camping, I am looking forward to the return of our walls.

It's amazing to me that we are (mostly) keeping to schedule. I'm surprised because *I* made the schedule and I really don't know what is realistic to do in a given weekend since I don't actually do any of the work nor have I ever done this type of work. My previous construction experience involved working as a temp one summer on a construction site. My job that summer was not unlike my current job - I ran errands, picked up supplies, kept track of invoices and updated the budget. That is, until my construction bosses decided I should take the edits the architects were making to the blueprints and transcribe them onto the blueprints the crew used. That was a bad idea. I have many skills -- but the ability to read blueprints is not among them. I think I ended up telling the crew to put a toilet in the middle of a classroom. Eric is much more atune to my unique skill set then the construction bosses I had that summer -- he hasn't asked me to update our blueprints or to try to figure out any of the technical layout issues involved in our remodel. And, as a result, each Sunday I provide him with an updated, color-coded schedule and budget and we both have the peace of mind that when we are done, our disposal will be in the sink where it belongs, and not in the middle of some wall cabinet.

The one thing hanging over our heads at the moment is the need to order countertops. Why do the sellers of countertops keep such stupid hours? Who has time to go look at counters Monday - Friday between 10 and 4? It's as though their primary clientele is people who remodel kitchens for a living. I need a store for people who work during the week, remodel on the weekends, and need to pick their counters between the hours of 6 - 9 PM on the weekdays. What about our needs?

Here are a few photos of our progress this weekend:

Our fearless crew:

New lights (and the man who brought them to us):

New light switches and outlets:

And the baby room walls (hard to see the color in this picture -- it's really pretty, though):

1 comment:

Sarah said...

The baby's room looks great without the blue tape! I can't wait to see it all decorated. Sweet.