Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Madness - Not Just Basketball

This past weekend flew by. It feels like it wasn't even really a weekend. It was another weekend of painting and chores and errands and being annoyed that we had little to no time to just sit and relax.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. But right now, we are an example of how the simplest of home improvement projects can suddenly become quite large in scope, quite costly, and incredibly time consuming. I had one flooring guy tell me about the time he had a client who started with replacing a front door and it turned into an entire remodel of the first floor of the home. We aren't quite that bad, but... I fear we are almost that bad!

It all started with the sunroom. The vinyl flooring started to split. Aside from not being pretty, it wasn't very safe. The sunroom is next to the carpeted dining room, separated by an ugly glass sliding door. We want pretty, indoor French Doors. We also don't like the carpet in the dining room. It's stained in spots - we had the carpets cleaned when we moved in and the carpet professionals couldn't get some of the stains out - and with how much food our families drop as they eat... well, beige carpet just isn't a good choice. It's best to do all those projects at the same time, right? Because you wouldn't want to do the French doors later and risk harming the new sunroom tile. Same with the dining room floor.

But we want real hardwood floors in the dining room. And the dining room is next to the kitchen, which has a light colored oak laminate floor. We don't want oak laminate in the dining room. How would real, darker colored hardwood look next to light colored oak laminate? Probably ugly. So why not do the kitchen floor at the same time? If we wait and try to match new kitchen hardwood to existing dining room hardwood at a later time, well, it might not ever match exactly. Sure, it'd be the same brand name and wood, but it'd be a different batch and believe me, there are color differences between batches. So we added the kitchen floor to the project -- which also meant adding the hallway to the project since it's currently also oak laminate.

Well, heck, while we're at it, why not get rid of the carpet in the living room as well? One, it'd make it easier for me in the wheelchair. And two, it'd match the kitchen and hallway and dining room - it'd all be the same flooring and look pretty and uniform and flow nicely.

But what about that darn drafty front door? The one that's warped and splitting in spots and that pretty much any bug can get through (yes, I'm talking about you, stink bugs)? Let's replace that now, too. If we do it later, ripping out the old jamb/frame and installing new might damage the new wood floor, plus we'd have to worry about the level/height of the new floor and the new door and about matching any transition strips to the wood floor. So let's do it now, too.

Hey look at those cracks in the ceiling and walls - what are those? Oh, dry wall seams cracking, you say, and it's easy to fix? OK Mr. Contractor, you can mud and smooth and paint those as well. And while you're at it, can you fix the basement door the cats damaged? Don't want to get paint and crack fixer stuff on the new floors at a later time.

Pretty new real wood floors... jeez the kitchen cabinets will probably look a little grungy next to the new floors. Look at where the finish has chipped/split. Look at some of those stains. Heck, let's refinish those while we're sprucing up the kitchen. Make it all shiny & pretty.

Well as long as we're sprucing things up, gosh we'd like to put a buffet/hutch/server in our weird living room nook area... but that means probably relocating the geisha cross stitch... which means a nail hole... so we better patch and paint before the new wood floors go in. And while we're at it, the green framed picture in the kitchen 'broke' and we might not be able to fix it, so may as well patch and paint that wall, too. And the hallway wall. Heck, might as well do all the dark green walls. Better to drip paint on the old laminate wood than on the brand new real wood.

Oh look - oopsy, the dark green paint bled onto/over/though the tape and onto the adjacent seaside sand walls. Guess we need to re-paint the seaside sand walls now, too.

Whoops not only did the dark green bleed onto the white baseboards and crown moulding, but the tape that was protecting the baseboards just ripped off white trim paint. Now we need to paint the baseboards and crown moulding. Fun!

Let's toss in some furniture rearranging while we're at it. Because if we're going to slide that huge TV hutch from the sunroom to SP's office, well, we may as well slide it on old floors, not new floors.

And..... that's how one simple home improvement project ballooned into a much larger and way more expensive and HUGE TIME SUCKING project.

Factor in that I am in a wheelchair and limited in my ability to paint/move furniture, etc., and I no longer drive, SP is gone from 9 am until 7 pm for work, we still have regular chores like groceries and laundry and cooking plus special chores like finding birthday presents for the nephews who have March/April birthdays and shoveling snow if it snows again - or mowing if the grass starts to grow PLUS finding a new deadbolt/lock for the new front door (and that was a REAL TREAT since our door apparently swings the 'wrong way' these days which means if we really wanted the indoor handle we wanted, we had to spend even more and buy a special handle separate from the usual packages of door handle parts) and looking for the hutch/server/buffet for the nook and a new & larger dining room table and a new desk for me and some bookshelves and WE'RE GOING A LITTLE NUTS!!!!!!!!!!

So we've been painting the past 2 weekends and this weekend is another painting weekend. We tried to move some furniture, but with no one able to come over and help, we only managed to get the huge TV cabinet 'stuck' in the doorway between the dining room and kitchen. Oops.

So what did we do for fun this weekend? Assuming that painting, laundry, shopping, and moving furniture are not fun activities, we... we watched The Amazing Race and Chopped Sunday night. That's it. Every other minute of the weekend was filled with sleeping or some kind of chore/errand.

Dinner Saturday? A quickie because we still had so many stops to make. I had a Panera Frontega Chicken Panini (Smoked & pulled white meat chicken, mozzarella, tomatoes, red onions, chopped basil & chipotle mayonnaise, grilled hot on focaccia):And SP enjoyed some kind of bean burrito thing from Chipotle:So this is my I'M GOING CRAZY blog post!!! The next few weeks are going to get even more chaotic as existing flooring & doors are ripped out and new stuff installed and more furniture is moved around not just to new places but just to make room for the workers to do their stuff. All the pictures and breakables must be moved to safe locations. There's still trim to paint, and some interior doors, too (like the basement door and linen closet door - the previous owners liked different colors of trim. white and off white, so we have 2 trim colors, and it's time to make it all uniform). We need to let the new wood sit in the house for a few days to acclimate before it can be nailed down.

Did I mention it's MARCH MADNESS time? It is. And I love the basketball madness. I hope I can watch most of the games, I hope #1 seed Pitt does well, and while I fear #14 seed Bucknell does not stand a chance against #3 UConn, I will be wearing the orange & blue of my alma mater and cheering for them. For at least a half, or until they are losing by 20+ points. They pulled off a big upset over Kansas a few years ago, I suppose it could happen again. Go Bucknell Bison!

I do not foresee much cooking happening. I'm seeing a lot of roast chicken, rice, and pasta in the next few weeks.

So please bear with me as the blog becomes not so food filled and more project home improvement filled.

Thank goodness my mom arrives soon. She'll get it all sorted out and make it seem not so overwhelming. My mom is amazing that way. SP and I have been looking forward to her taking over management of this project!!! She has a good eye, has done several of her own home improvement projects in multiple homes, and she'll whip things into shape quickly!

Let the March Madness begin!


  1. Wow - that is an impressive amount of home improvement! Hang in there until it's done and I hope it all goes well!

  2. Craziness all around! All I can say when it comes to March Madness: LET'S GOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS!