Deborah Armstrong

Renovation – Days 19 & 20 – We got through them.

Deborah's Diary

There’s a reason why renovators don’t want the home owner to be around during the renovations. We’re not supposed to see the drama and the mistakes that happen between start to finish. The renovation is supposed to look like it was smooth sailing from start to finish and that there were no “oops”  that had to be fixed or covered up. Yesterday was a very long day and I got to see the “oops” moments and the drama.

If nothing else, communication between the various tradesmen is absolutely necessary. The designer needs to be kept in the loop as well as keeping the tradesmen informed when plans have been changed. There was so much confusion yesterday as to who was doing what that I wondered how these men kept their sanity and their tools in their hands without clocking each other over the head with them. I tried to be impartial but by the end of the evening I realized whose side I was on without trying to take sides. I have to be careful – the renovation isn’t finished.

While I was washing up tonight I realized the difference in two of the  men’s personalities. The first man said, “It bothered me that your bathroom door doesn’t shut right so I fixed it for you. It happens all the time with old houses.”  This man is wonderful and very capable. You’d want him working in your house without giving it a second thought.

The second man said, “Your toilet is broken. How long have you known that it doesn’t work?” As if I’d let anyone use a toilet that didn’t flush! Our toilet wasn’t broken. He broke it (that is, he didn’t know how to flush it – he turned the handle instead of pushing it in) and left it that way. We fixed it when he left. This man is an excellent tradesman, it’s his attitude that needs some adjusting.

The electrician, the painter and his crew, and the carpet installers are very professional and friendly people. I  expect them to be since they are in my home. They may be working in my home, but they are still guests and should be nice. Professional and nice – that’s all I ask for. I would be thrilled to have them back for a visit to show them the finished rooms.

Anyway, the shelves and the doors have been installed. The overhead lighting in the cabinets is still to be done. The screen was installed. It’s a dark dark blue. Gorgeous.

When the designer came to inspect the damage, she asked what the wires were that were coming out of the walls. I don’t know how the speakers to our sound system were not in her plans. Anyway, the one speaker may interfere with the drapery track. Would we consider ceiling mounted speakers? Our answer was no. Kyle will think of something and the designer look into getting the drapery shortened if necessary to accommodate the speaker. We’re assured everything will work out. Wait until she sees Philip’s huge woofer! It’s staying. It’s Philip’s.

Positive ideas came out of the meeting and I am very excited to see the ideas made into a reality. Thursday April 26th is the new date now.

To top off the day, Kyle and his buddy (sorry that I can’t remember his name) came back to put the television on the wall. Apparently, it’s easy to take off the mounting but a real toughy to put back on.
Philip and I spent 1 1/2 hours at FutureShop that night to get the right cables, universal remote, latest Apple tv and a new Blueray/DVD player. I couldn’t believe the amount of paperwork that we went through to make one return, buy the cables and dvd player and  prepay for the remote. There has to be a better way.

Today, was a quiet day. My favorite electrician did more work in the family room. He got a stubborn light and switch to finally work. He managed to get the propane fireplace’s on-off switch to work the way it should. Sunday he will be back to hard wire the fireplace to hide the external cord. I may even get a remote for the fireplace.The basement lights and door bell are still on the “to do” list. Sunday is installation day for the tv and sound system. We are looking forward to it.

Today we also updated our HD satellite receivers. What a difference it has made! The Bell service technician was here on time and such a pleasant man to talk to. He gave me a quick lesson on how to use the PVR. I’m finally catching up to the rest of you.

This weekend we will be cleaning out the downstairs tv room and we’ll be sorting through pictures and collectibles that we want to put back in the kitchen and the family room. As I’ve had time to appreciate the absence of clutter, I know it won’t be as hard to do as I first thought. I’m ready to let go – again.

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