Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day One: The point of no return.


This morning, I had a sink. A crappy one, but still.

My favorite part today was just a few minutes ago when I was surveying the damage and chatting with the contractor about progress, to-dos, etc. He was telling me about work he will need to add. I just said, fine, can you tell me along the way what we are adding to the bill? He said, "Oh sure, but I will need to have [my fiance] sign for it since he's the homeowner.

Argh.

We both own it and the remodel is being funded with money I have been saving. Needless to say, the little lady of this house FELT STABBY. I let him know the situation and told him that he can just have me sign for everything, thank you.

Which reminds me, we had dinner with some people a few weeks ago and when they realized we'd been in the house 4 years, they asked, "What have you been doing this whole time?" Again, STABBY. Well, we've been saving for renovations, among other things. No loan, no interest, no funny money, no line of credit. Just cash. We lived nearly all that time with a faucet that shot water in your face if you moved it too far to the right because we just figured we'd make all the repairs at once... and once we could really afford it. Maybe that's old fashioned, but oh well.

Nevertheless, that all sounds so negative, but the truth is, I like our contractor. He's efficient, a little bossy when he needs to be, he's clear about letting me know when decision time is coming to an end for certain parts of the job that I am still deciding on (materials, etc.). So we are thrilled that work is beginning. We're glad the day has come, you know?

Plus, for the next 6 - 8 weeks, I have a perfectly good excuse for not cooking dinner and to have it delivered instead. What's not to love about that? Pagliacci is on speed dial.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow!

Oh, honey, is that your kitchen?

A great "before" shot.
Just think how wonderful the "after" shot will be!

Hang in there!

I'm rooting for you!!

Emily said...

You are my hero.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in off-campus housing that looked about like that.

Tamstyles said...

That poor sink...man....

Devon said...

726-1717. Yeah. It's memorized. We got a free pizza the other night for being such good customers (coinciding, of course, with the gutting of our hall closet and refrigerator cabinet).

I so feel you.

Maison Luxe said...

yay! hooray hooray!! congratulations, what a great feeling it will be to come home every day and see the progress...so excited for you!!

akimbo said...

We are having our two bathrooms redone; one had a grout leak into the wall and we could not use the shower, and in the other, the water was down to a trickle. Many other problems as well, as the bathrooms were last renovated cheaply and badly in the early 70's. It was time. I am also funding with money saved. The first bathroom was demo-ed down to the studs just before Thanksgiving and the second one is partly demo-ed. The new tub was just put into the partly demo-ed bath; the walls around the tub are down to studs and covered in plastic sheeting, it is sort of like showering in a giant condom. Along the way we found termite damage (great--treat it now while the walls are open!) and replaced most the plumbing properly (who knew we had a hot water toilet....) Today my contractor was mudding the walls, and I am hoping I will see my new pretty mosaic glass tile start to go up in one bathroom in the next week. I am strangely serene about all the dust, mess, construction, noise and tool area on my back porch as I know we are heading towards two new wonderful WORKING bathrooms! I think the picture you posted is great--it means progress! Congratulations--you will be so happy to have your new kitchen.

Regarding contractors: my contractor is also kind of a character, but he knows to talk to me and not my boyfriend. I am the decision maker and pay the bills. He is a knowledgeable, opinionated, quirky, protective, old school, somewhat avuncular sort of man, and I am thrilled to have him. He is picky about who he wants to work with, not everyone passes muster with him. But his work is fabulous!

Good luck and I look forward to seeing updated pics!

David said...

Congrats on them getting started! And you were smart to save up and pay cash. You won't have a big bill hanging over your head in this dicey economy, and that will make your new kitchen that much sweeter. I can't wait to see the progress.

parisapartment said...

Good luck, it's not gonna bea easy, but it's gonna be worth it! Congrats on doing it and that the time has come :)

Little Lantern said...

You can do it!

Penelope Bianchi said...

Wow! I hope you have all the stuff to go into the kitchen there......on site.....as in sink, faucet, counter, tile.......appliances.......everything.......so they don't say one day......

OOOOOPS! the dishwasher will take 6 weeks from now..and we can't do the counter until the dishwasher..........

tales from remodeling!

Good luck!

Penelope

Jules said...

Congrats! I loved my everything about my kitchen remodel, and I also paid cash for it. Good for you for doing it the right way.

kat said...

Kudos to you for doing it the sensible way. I'd have felt stabby too.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! It will be so worth it. As Nietzche says, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

So? Did you go for the hex tile in the end:)

Alicia B Designs said...

congrats on remodelling etc. and good for you living within your means and SAVING. Its like taboo these days. old fashioned.

Lolo said...

It's nice to know we're not freaks for for putting monies to the side and waiting till we've got enough to pay for updates. Sigh. We've been in our home for almost five years and in that time we've paid cash for re-insulating the entire thing, new windows all around, replacing fugly orange shag carpeting, a new fence, pergola. Oh, and a new car. Gah.

It's been a little envy inducing at times to watch acquaintences do entire remodels in one huge swash of howeverdidtheypayforthat but oh well. Not my business, this is how we do it and I do like not having to look at bills for things that were completed months and months ago.

lucitebox said...

Congratulations! Can't wait to see your progress.

I'm so glad you said, "we had dinner with some people" rather than "some friends." Otherwise, I'd tell you to get some new friends to go with the new kitchen.

Good luck with the re-model.

Sherry said...

It will all be worth it someday. And we hope that day is soon because we're waiting with bated breath over here. Our expectations are high and I'm sure you'll exceed them while saying something that makes us snort milk out of our noses in the big reveal. Good luck and god speed. May the kitchen karma flow like the wine that will afterwords.

xo,
Sherry (& John)
www.thisyounghouse.com

Decorina said...

Yay! Can't wait for pictures...more photos of the mess. And you are doing it the right way, paying cash.

danielle said...

your contractor posts are amazing. keep them coming, they are beginning to become the favorite part of my day.

:)

Kwana said...

That pic makes me so jealous. I'm thrilled for you. Congrats! STABBY. Love the word. As for the what have you been doing comment? Ugh! The four letter retorts running through my head at that one. It's a good thing I'm kinder and gentler.

katiedid said...

4 years? That just gave you time to get to know the place and see how you wanted to live in it. I wish you the best! And I really hope the 6-8 time frame works out. It sounds like you have all your ducks in a row....so it really could happen!

I know it will be beautiful...expecting a full report.

Laura Zeck said...

I remember the days of the remodel as well as overhearing the 5 year old tell one of my friends - "Yeah it might look like it will be great - but we haven't had a decent meal in months"
;)

Anonymous said...

Ok seriously? The contractor had your fiance sign for it because if he is the homeowner and you are not and he (or you) don't pay he can then get a lien on the house. He's not being sexist, he is being a business person. And why aren't you on the title? That seems to be a bigger issue frankly.

Lolo said...

Oh, just a thought.

Have you chosen/purchased your undercabinet or over counter lighting yet?

I'm asking because that is one of the best little victories that I've had recently. I'm really annoyed by bad lighting and it took months for me to find something that was not only perfect but affordable.

Let me because I don't want to post unwanted product stuff but am happy to share.

Rachel said...

Yay!!!
I'm so happy for you that it's finally underway! But what a picture - it's a little scary. But no going back now.

LOL about your contractor!!! Before Chris and I got married, he would get that whole "well, you're not the homeowner" stuff. 'Cuz technically, the house is in my name. BUT Texas is a common law property state, so now that we're married, what was mine is now "ours".

Oh, and GOOD FOR YOU TWO for saving up the cash and doing this all at once when you can afford it!!! I wish more people were like this. It took me a while (and I'm paying for my past mistakes) but this is how we live now, or at least try to live. So you had to live with water shooting into your face for a couple years, in a few weeks you'll have your brand new kitchen and no debt to pay off! Hooray! It keeps you honest, I think.

Decorno said...

Anon 12:18 - you are making a lot of assumptions and you are not reading carefully. We co-own the house. Pay attention.

My point was that the contractor simply assumed that the man owned it and I did not.

Anonymous said...

Decorno, You are the "authority" on all things decor, fashion (especially for the 40+ females), and now, apparently, politics. After all the advice, and bashing, I am expecting GREATNESS from you! After all, anyone with opinions so strong should be able to back them up with results. This could be interesting!

Suzanne said...

"What have you been doing this whole time?"

"Sex, drugs and rock & roll, baby." Answers so many questions of this type. Or "Haven't you heard? Our real names are Bonnie & Clyde. Now, we can really afford this reno." The nerve. Hats off to you for avoiding debt. You're the new Joneses.

I'm planning our bathroom renovation and I've gotten a few "well, I'll meet with you and your husband to go over the details..." No need, bud. It's my money and my husband's idea of purgatory is shopping for tile. I'll show him the final plans and if he doesn't puke, the project's a go. Ok, dokey?

Can't wait to see your kitchen done and please keep sharing your contractor stories.

Suzanne said...

Forgot to share my kitchen reno experience. I don't know the layout of your house but our bathrooms and kitchen are adjacent and had we planned our kitchen reno with the WHOLE house in mind, we would have gladly given up a few feet of our eat-in kitchen to expand the bathrooms. Our dining room never gets used - ends up a dumping ground for unfinished projects - so we have two eating areas next to each other and two small-by-current-standards bathrooms. We didn't think far ahead enough and now we have to forsake a master bedroom closet to expand a bathroom. Ugh. Coulda. Shoulda. Just typing this almost makes me want to take out a loan to redo it properly.

So, that's my advice: think of the whole house and not just one room when renovating.

Jenny said...

OH fabby! I love the ripped out look. It means things are HAPPENING! Take pics every day if you can. I did. Infinitesimal (sp? can't be bothered to check) progress can be swooned over when things get tough and you feel impatient.
I've lived in my house for five years. Had to do a really quick and dirty reno to get rid of asbestos from the laundry and bathroom, and plumb in really basic 'hardware'. Now I'm settled in for the count, while I pay off the mortgage. Then I won't do the real renovation til I've saved up the cash - no more debt for me once I've slaved to pay the mortgage off.

SO, I applaud your decision. Four years is nothing. You need time to live in a house and know its nuances, the light and shade, all that. I regret some things with my quick and dirty pre-move in reno. I didn't know the house and should have done some things differently.

Good for you! You're sailing your own course.

JEnny said...

PS don't get me started on the crap I've got from tradespeople. Because I'm a solo homeowning chick, I'm sure they give me crappy service. I hate it, and sometimes I hate myself for not battering them 'round the head and throwing them out of my house.

CamilleC said...

We're in the same boat except without the major remodel. We just have no furniture and contractor grade fixtures, etc. Not using credit cards or loans is very hard but I really think in the end it will pay off for our future. Have you seen the economy? Be proud of yourselves. We are. Fa show!

rob said...

We're running slightly behind your schedule. Good luck.

www.akitchenremodel.com