A friend remarked this week that I was the coolest and calmest person she had ever seen go through renovations. The fact that she said this in the midst of a week that (finally) brought some angst, is thanks to my clients. I have lived vicariously through their renovations for 20 years, so it’s kind of like I’ve been renovating for 20 years. That’s not to say that I don’t become ‘mildly annoyed’ by delays.
Week 3 was to be the week that we finally stopped tearing out and making a mess, and started putting things back together, with finishing touches like moldings and flooring. We were supposed to be getting ready to paint in Week 4. But things don’t always go according to plan….
The problem started with the weather — extreme heat and humidity outside creates very hot conditions on the main floor of our house, where the flooring is to be installed. The heat and humidity are mitigated by the air conditioning on the main level, but that has little impact on this space in the basement. In fact, there is a 12 degree temperature difference, and a huge humidity difference, between this space and the main floor. Hardwood flooring needs to acclimatize in the space in which it’s to be installed. When the flooring was brought into the house, it was to be placed on the main floor. When there wasn’t a clean space for this to happen, it was loaded into the only clean, empty space in the house — our former ‘cold room’. This was Monday evening.
On Tuesday, I decided to check with my flooring supplier to see if they were happy with the conditions in which our flooring was being acclimatized. The answer was no, so on Wednesday morning, I had to inform my general contractor that I wanted the flooring brought upstairs and opened up. This brought work to a screeching halt, as this was the day that flooring installation was to begin. They promised to come back around noon the next day, but they were no-shows. Perhaps this was punishment for disagreeing with our contractors assessment that the flooring could acclimatize in my basement? I’ve never agreed with homeowners and clients who let their contractors dictate how they do things, or how they don’t do things, but I will admit that it’s not easy to tell a crew what they don’t want to hear. However, the alternative is lost sleep and needless worry, and possibly future flooring problems, so I did what needed to be done.
The contractors made a good start on the flooring on Friday, and promised to return on Saturday. Unfortunately, they were no-shows — again! — leaving us with a half-floored kitchen. In order to keep to the painting schedule — and to have the kitchen ready for cabinetry in a week — we moved everything out so we could prime the ceiling and walls over the weekend.
Hopefully, Week 4 will bring less drama and more finishing. The cabinetry is coming in Week 5, no matter what!