So I haven't posted about the house in a long time. I've thought about posting an update a few times, but I suppose as much as I wanted to share with all of you because I know you'd all be so kind, enthusiastic and supportive and none of you would be thinking, "Oh, God. There she goes again. All she does is talk about her house. blah blah blah BLAH BLAH BLAH!!" (like I'm sure some people in my life are thinking by now... Kate? Amy?), I also didn't want to come across boastful and then other times I knew I'd type a post that was upbeat and excited, but in reality I'd be sitting at the keyboard crying. That didn't sound fun to do. Or I'd start typing with a really positive attitude and my post would quickly morph into a vicious rant. That wouldn't be cool either, because I'm really so incredibly lucky to being doing this addition and renovation in the first place and should NOT be complaining. But now... five loooooong months later, I say, fuck that! I can bitch and complain and rant if I want to and still feel incredibly fortunate and thankful for it all at the same time. Seriously. I can. In fact, I do. Poor Kenda knows I can because she somehow landed the lucky spot a couple of weeks ago as the email recipient of my three day rant on workers using my brand new toilet in my brand new master bathroom, fucking leaving drops of urine all over the toilet AND the floor! Fucking assholes.
Today is April 30, 2009. Exactly five months ago, on November 30, 2008 (Thanksgiving weekend) we moved out of our construction zone home into a one bedroom apartment about a mile and a half away from our house. The original plan was for the move to be for a week or so while the heating and plumbing systems would be shut down and replaced, but WE'RE STILL HERE! Five people in a one bedroom apartment for the last five months. And counting. We're finally in the home stretch, hopefully moving back home in 2-3 weeks.
The apartment we're living in is actually a co-op condominium that my father-in-law still owns that he and my mother-in-law used to live in before she passed away, but essentially it's one of those two story brick garden apartment kind of places. We're fortunate that we had a place to go, but it has not been easy living in such cramped quarters. The apartment is nice for a single person or a couple. But, uh.... not so great for a family of five. Husband, wife, teen, tween, elderly man and four cats. My 83 year old father-in-law has been sleeping in the living room and the girls, my husband and I in the bedroom. The girls have their twin mattresses from home on the floor and my husband and I are in a bed. Thankfully it is a decent size bedroom, but still. I don't have to point out that privacy is virtually non existent. I want to go home. :(
So why are we still here? We decided it would be easier to live here in cramped quarters than live amidst the construction, and I actually still stand by that decision, but it has not been easy. The renovation was quite extensive, affecting every single room in the house. We replaced all of the windows, so at a minimum there was sheet rock repair around new windows and new ducts installed for the heating & cooling system in each room. We also learned from other people that the sheet rock phase was the dustiest part of the whole job and so we'd be better off not being there for that. Then the whole house would get painted at the end AND the hardwood floors throughout the house would get refinished, so we definitely had to have us and all of our belongings out for that. So why not do it at one time and retain some sanity? At least the apartment gives us a place to be away from the construction and we have a kitchen!
So where are we now? The house is just about finished, but not quite. The final plumbing and electrical inspections are scheduled for Monday. Building and fire inspection will have to wait another week or so until the three new porches and steps get built. A few final touches inside like the installation of the shoe moulding throughout the whole house, the shower doors, and some touch up painting and then I think that's it! The projected time frame for the project from start to finish was 6-7 months and we just passed the seven month mark about two weeks ago. So it looks like it will really be 8 months and maybe another week or two. I guess that's not so bad compared to the kinds of delays a lot of people encounter during construction, but right now, from where I'm standing, it is too long. I want to go home. I want my space, I want privacy, I want my things (clothes, books, a comfy chair, my kitchen things, my cookbooks), I want to do laundry in my own house without needing quarters or having to lug laundry to the basement in the building next door. I want privacy. I want to be able to regulate the temperature of my home. This apartment is like a sauna... continuously at 80 F and the only way to regulate it is to open windows. What a waste of money and energy. My 83 year old father-in-law has been loving it, though. He wears thermal underwear and turtle necks 24/7/365. The rest of us are sleeping in our underwear and constantly opening windows (he's going to think we moved to the Arctic when we go home and heat is set to 68 F and the AC to 72 F)! I want our high speed Internet at home, although I do thank the dude who is allowing us to borrow some of his bandwidth here at the apartment. Did I mention I want privacy? Time alone with my husband? I want to park in my driveway, not a parking lot. I want my yard, I want to garden. I don't want to drive to my house to get my mail at the end of every day. I want to be rid of noisy and nosey neighbors who share the same walls and roof with us here. I want to move back into the lovely house that we're so fortunate to have been able to expand and improve. I want everyone in my family to have the space we need to be comfortable and happy. I need to go home.
Okay, I think that's the end of my rant.
Thank you to the handful of you who have already been subjected to my construction woes, sometimes on numerous occasions, whether by phone, email, or IM, and yet you still keep asking me how it's going. I appreciate your support very much. :)