Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Renovation Chronicles: Week One (Part 1)

We are about to take you on an adventure.

Well, not really.  But we are about to go through our first ever "renovation" of our current home.  Why, you ask? Well,  the "let's throw it on and see" paint color we picked years ago didn't really work and it's time to admit that (note to self: dingy brown looks just like it sounds).  The giant holes of plaster in our walls where the paint has long since peeled are begging to be painted.  And for some strange reason people say after 10 years we should have painted again already.  And finally, if all that's not enough, we may have to sell someday.  You know, when the money runs out.

So there's your reasons.  Now in order to not horrify a potential buyer with the low standards we've had for years, we realized we'd have to at minimum paint, patch the giant holes of plaster in the wall, take care of those cracks in the floor, fix the outlet that's always burning out, and replace the molding shower caulk that was so eroded everything got wet all the time anyway.  And while we're at it, let's get some grown up furniture in here - you know, a dining table that isn't 15 years old and seats only two, a couch that isn't littered with tears and breast milk get the idea (Yes, we just said "breast milk stains". Get over it.)

No problem, we've got time on our hands right now.  Single working mothers have nothing but time on their hands.  Wait, what's that? They don't.  Huh.  Guess taking this on solo was probably not the brightest idea we've ever had, and after the first 24+ hours of this we're realizing just how in over our heads we are.  So where does that leave you?  Well, we figure at the very least our tales of annoyance over should entertain someone out there.

Now, we know we should stop whining.  All homeowners have been through renovations; it's the downside of owning vs. renting (or the upside, if you like that sort of thing).  And at least we have our health, and running water, and food and all that.  But the next two-four + weeks will still be chaos.

Manhattan-dwellers will understand; it's a special kind of crazy over here.  Everything is a million* times more expensive because of insurance, permits, small spaces.  Painting a small apartment is kind of hard where there's no where to put your furniture.  And being that we don't live in that fabulous park avenue apartment or brownstone we dreamed about last night, there's no "extra" room or floor to live in.

And with no experience here it's kind of like flying blind.  What have we messed up already?  Well, for starters, taking the furniture peeps at face value.  Apparently when they say 12 weeks they mean maybe kinda sorta 12 weeks but might be 4, 5 months too.  More on that later.

Meanwhile, here we sit in our apartment, work about to start Monday, took off from work as the old couch was getting picked up Friday to give the painters room -- and, the call comes that they're not coming to pick it up.  Ah yes.  Boss will be thrilled when we take another day off.  On the plus side, it gives us time to wait  for a plumber to fix a leak that decided to spring this week in our bathroom 65 year old pipes.

The token "before" shot.  

Yes, good times ahead, peeps.  Stay tuned as we continue to pack up our entire apartment into boxes in one day, while simultaneously doing enough laundry to last in a suitcase for 2-3 weeks at the same time.  For two people.  As our nanny said this morning when she stopped by to take the TV home, "it simply can't be done!"  Wait, why did she leave....?  Can't anyone help pack these boxes? What will we do now?

Stay tuned for part 2....

*you DO recognize hyperbole when you see it, don't you?  Of course you do.  But for the one guy who inevitably won't, our lawyer says we need a disclaimer.  And by "lawyer" we mean the voices in our head.

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