Monday, June 4, 2018

Ups and Downs of Our Renovation

Considering we chose to do this, I really shouldn't complain about anything to do with our full house renovation - I mean, we brought it on ourselves, and nothing was a critical fix.  That said, you know I still have a few things to gripe about...and hey, if you're considering a home renovation, there might be some items listed that you should know about.

Ups
We picked a great time of year to do something where the windows and doors were wide open during the day; the weather was unseasonably cool, with lower-than-usual humidity, thank goodness.  Originally I thought we'd wait until July or August to start but I'm so glad we didn't wait...we would have been miserable with the heat and no air conditioning.

No air conditioning = a lower utility bill during an expensive month.  Oddly enough, with no gas stove hooked up and no heat being used, I got a higher-than-normal gas bill.  I called the gas company about that and they said it was estimated, which, don't get me started on that nonsense.  I sent a picture of my meter to the company and their reading went from a usage of 31 to 6:
File this under incredibly random pictures found on my blog.  Hey, at least it's not a toilet flange?

We had a great excuse to eat out often, which we like to do anyway:
French toast at First Watch - can you tell I was craving fruit?

With very little normal things to do, we treated ourselves to a movie On Demand - yes, we paid to watch a movie at home, which we never do.  It was I, Tonya and it was really good.

I had enough time on my hands to clean my keyboard:
Why yes, I did take every single key off, wipe each one down, and used canned air to clean the board.  As you can see by the jumble, I did this Shelley-style, which is to dive in without thinking things through.  Did you know that the same keys can have slightly different shapes depending on which side of the keyboard they go on?  Found that out.  Also, it would have been helpful to take a picture of it before removing the keys...you think you know a keyboard, but there were a few questionable moments.

Seeing the contractor's crew's faces as they came in after big changes had been made - they really seemed to like what we chose and took pride in their part of the renovation.

Seeing the choices that we made come to life - every few days there would be something that made a noticeable difference in the house. 

Downs
The amount of dirt and dust - we were warned it would be bad, but holy cow.  Until you live through something like this, you really can't imagine just how dusty EVERYTHING got.  We went through a lot of Swiffer dusters just trying to make our small living area somewhat clean.

Having to live in one room for nearly two months was rough, plus it wasn't even our normal room, as we had tons of stuff jammed into it and our bathroom.  The bathtub was filled with pots and pans and a mixer and...well, just imagine emptying your kitchen cabinets into a bathtub and that's what we had.

I knew our refrigerator would always be plugged in somewhere in the house (it got moved around a lot depending on which room was being worked on), but I didn't anticipate that it would be wrapped with plastic to protect it from dust and paint.  My plans for yogurt breakfasts and cold cuts for lunches were thwarted because of this.

We tired of using paper plates and disposable cups and flatware.  I just wanted a real spoon!

Excessive amount of trash and recycling.  When you use disposable everything, you have to dispose of everything.  I didn't think I was a strong land steward, but this really bothered me after a while.

We got tired of having to eat out.  It's great when you chose to do it, but not having a kitchen for so long really wore on us.

Zero knitting done - it was just too dirty and I was too discombobulated to relax and knit.

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Now that the renovation is finished and we've mostly put everything away, and we've gotten some mental rest from constantly making decisions, we are, of course, very glad we did this.  It's a bigger challenge to do a renovation, even with a contractor doing all of the work, than we realized.  But the payoff is amazing and every day we can't believe how nice our house is and how lucky we are to be able to make it happen. 

18 comments:

  1. Interesting reading about the pros and cons of a major house renovation while you live in that house as it is happening.
    You know about our ac woes well that got fixed week before last then last Thursday night the kitchen sink backed up on both sides of our sink and would barely drain. We did all the things one does in a situation like that and they didn't work so for almost three days we put a little water with soap and bleach in one side of the sink and I washed them and my husband took them and rinsed them in the front shower it was a major pain in the butt. Then on Saturday when he was off from work he finally had time to fix the drain and get it working again. I can't imagine how expensive it would of been to call a plumber we are do it yourself people for sure. Luckily my husband is truly a handy man and he can do most any kind of repair and no that is not what he does for work although he is thinking about learning to be a ac repair guy. We had a friend who does that for work on the side come out 70.00 to come out and look at it he charged basically for his time and charged us just what he paid for the capacitor which was 25.00. I had called around Orlando to get prices the best I found was 70.00 again to come to your house but the capacitor was 120.00 what a rip off these ac companies are! So that has been my last two weeks. It was 79 degrees here this morning at 6 o'clock so I am very grateful the ac is fixed.

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    1. I had a capacitor go out on our A/C unit years ago and it was a relatively inexpensive fix...totally worth it to get cool air again! Glad to hear your home repairs haven't cost you an arm and a leg - you do have to be careful about who you call out, if you can't take care of it yourself.

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  2. We lived through a kitchen renovation (while I was pregnant, no less). The plus for us was that our house has a basement with a second fridge and we were able to have easy breakfasts and meals down there. My husband did all the work, so it took forever.... We need to do some work here again. We need new carpet and a bathroom renovation. That's going to be a pain...

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    1. Doing the entire house all at once was in a way crazy, because we had nowhere to go but our one bedroom/bathroom...but in a way, good, because I don't know if we would have wanted to let it get all construction dirty again if we had it done in sections. We briefly toyed with doing some of this ourselves but Jeff's back has such problems that this would have been horrible for him.

      New carpet is a one day thing, so at least that's a quick one, although getting everything ready to be moved out of each room isn't fun. A bathroom renovation, on the other hand? Yep, that's going to be a mess. Nice when you're finished! :)

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  3. What a sigh of relief it must be to have your house back to normal, but new and improved!

    I didn't realize you could do that to a keyboard. I would have no idea what order those keys would go back in without looking at another keyboard. Kudos to you

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    1. TAKE A PICTURE before you start cleaning your keyboard. Just saying...

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  4. You TOTALLY get to complain, even though it was your choice. It's hard. Even after a few days, you want your dust-free, organized, non-contractor filled house back (you didn't even complain about just wanting peace and quiet and people out of your house, which really affected me). I am glad it's done now and you can relax. FINALLY!!!!

    Isn't it funny how fast you get sick of eating out? Gawd. That happened to me this weekend, and we were only gone a few days. I just wanted a plate of vegetables!!!

    And the gas meter thing is so grrrrrrrr. We get ours estimated too. So some months we have a super small bill from all the estimating and overbilling adding up to a credit.

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    1. I did get tired of people being in my house, even though they all were super polite and respectful. This morning, I'm sitting in my empty house, just Paco and I, and it's WONDERFULLY QUIET. Ahhh.

      I don't opt in for a year-round steady payment on my gas bill, because I usually only have a few months of it being somewhat high (when it's the dead of winter). I like getting a really low bill the rest of the time, so that ridiculously high estimate really irked me.

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  5. The keyboard cleanup is fascinating me. That thing with the gas company is so irritating I can’t even think what to say! My house renovation experience (in my memory)is so different than yours. I think its because my house is much smaller and we did it in stages instead of all at once. Oh,and I did leave a couple of times 😊. Anyway I’m so glad you’re happy with the outcome!

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    1. We had a lot going on all at once; at the time it was overwhelming, although I knew our contractor had it under control. This was probably the better way for us because I'd be irritated if, say, the kitchen was done and then they started on the bathrooms...that dust gets EVERYWHERE!

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  6. We had a similar issue with ‘estimated’ electric when we moved into our apartment...I don’t know why it hasn’t been fixed. It I’m still fighting it..even though every Shriner service rep admits the first bill was obviously wonky!!

    The question is...would you do it again if you had to do it over?

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    1. Oh absolutely, we would do it again. Really wish we could have done this sooner, except for that pesky thing called money, LOL.

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  7. Your beautiful new home was definitely worth all the trouble. Sit back and enjoy.

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    1. I still get a surprise when I walk into one of the new rooms - it is so different and so pretty!

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  8. Well, you know that I empathize totally with living through a remodel. It's worth it in the end, but it is hard and I swear the dust takes months to completely go away LOL!

    I saw that keyboard picture and thought - Geez, I hope she took a picture of how that looked before :D The only keys I know off the top of my head are QWERTY - just because that is a stupid sounding name LOL.

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    1. Every time I turn around, I see dust in another spot, even with all the cleaning I've done. I never would have believed how it gets EVERYWHERE...and beyond!

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  9. Now you get to enjoy it. I really liked I, Tonya too.

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    1. We do! And I felt so bad for Tonya after seeing that movie - that poor girl didn't stand a chance.

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