Remodeling Hell & Remodeling Purgatory

Is this the Christmas Cranky Report? Sort of. My complaint is that it doesn't feel like Christmas. I've bought no presents, made no Christmas goodies, and put no tree up.

I did reduce the price of my holiday romance Nobody's Cinderella, a Christmas Romantic Comedy from $3.99 to only 99 cents. The price goes back to $3.99 on or before midnight tonight so grab a copy quick.

I guess I'm back. Sort of. In case you thought I was dead or in hiding, the truth is that I've been living in remodeling hell since November 21 when we, and our contractors, moved into the townhouse we bought in Houston.

Oh, the chaos has made me long for the quiet of the Hill Country where I spent the summer. Far better to deal with skunks, armadillos, and snakes than to deal with sawed sheetrock -- and the resulting dust which seems to amount to more matter than the actual sheetrock from which it came -- a parade of various craftsmen and the receipts and charge slips that are about as high as Mount Everest by now.

Remodeling Is Hell

I had planned everything so that we wouldn't be living in the house while it was being remodeled. Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men! Nothing worked out according to my schedule. We were at the mercy of contractors and their schedules.

Okay, it didn't look as bad as the picture on the left, but in my mind, it was that bad. I didn't want our furniture delivered until everything was done. My timetable called for (1) electrical work, (2) plumbing, (3) carpentry, (4) new windows, (5) painting, (6) new carpet, then (7) moving company delivery.

As it turned out, using the numbers above, it ended up this way: (1), (6), (4), (7), (5), (3), (2).  The electrical started on time, but instead of being finished in 2 weeks, it's ongoing. Plumbing is supposed to be today, but plumber still hasn't shown up. The new carpet, windows, and moving company delivery had to happen when they told me they had an opening on the calendar or it wouldn't happen until after Christmas.

Added Problems Make You Crazy

Throw in the little problems one finds when remodeling a house: AT&T uVerse for Internet worked fine -- the first few days. Then it went crazy. I've been mostly unable to get online for days. My MS  Outlook worked great for my email those first few days -- until Yahoo, so AT&T told me, did and upgrade to their software and hardware. I've not been able to access email since then except through webmail. That makes me crazy, and there seems no answer to this problem. My husband can access email fine with Outlook on his computer in the next room. My computer has the same everything but won't work.

Then there are the things you find hidden in the walls when you start remodeling. Suffice it to say that when you set a remodeling budget, you should just triple the dollar amount to be safe.

Remodeling Purgatory

Hell has given way to Remodeling Purgatory. We are unpacking all the boxes and figuring out where to store everything. We have mostly survived -- poorer but intact -- and the house is almost finished. At least our amazing electrician has finished making holes in the walls and ceilings to discover what's wrong with the wiring. That's all fixed and safe now.

More upgraded lighting work and other things -- like new doors which didn't arrive yet and are delayed until the new year -- will happen in January. I've just reached the point where I want a couple of weeks without workers in and out of the house all day long and without having to clean dust all day, every day.

Your Routine Ends When Remodeling

Everything fell by the wayside: finishing Cinderella Blue for publication, blogging, working out -- you name any normal daily activity, and it comes to a screeching halt when remodeling. You spend your time waiting for workmen to arrive or calling and leaving messages to find out why they're not here when they promised!!! Just start to write something though, and they show up. Once here, there's constant noise -- and dust. My allergies have me sneezing and eyes burning and tearing. Then, you're constantly cleaning up after workmen.

Takeaway Truth

Eventually all things end -- even remodeling. I'm looking forward to that and have the bottle of champagne chilling to celebrate it.


  1. Going through the same thing here in CO with building our garage and addition above it that connects to the existing house. Nightmare!! Plus snow and cold and holiday company arriving tomorrow.
    I, too, am looking forward to the champagne when (if) we ever finish. =)

  2. Oh, Judythe, my heart goes out to you because I understand what a nightmare it is. The phrase money pit keeps bouncing around in my head! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year of remodeling completion.

  3. My thoughts are with you--have been there and done that and wouldn't go back for any amount of money. Hope your holidays are merry anyway--keep reminding yourself how wonderful it will be when it's over!