Seventh in a series. My contractor, Frank K, gave me a Happy New Year kiss on December 31, 2014. Good thing we like each other. The relationship that began with our first meeting on January 26 will stretch well into 2015.

Project creep? The domino effect? A slow and steady wins the race approach to renovation? A preference for dust and upheaval? 

Well, it ain’t a preference for dust an upheaval. At least not for my beloved. You’d think he’d be used to it by now, as demolition began on June 17.

This is our second reno rodeo. On January 1, 2009, my husband and I were on day eight of painting the interior. (Demolition, which we also handled ourselves, had begun in March 2008.)

Now we are paying to redo or fix a lot of what the crew did poorly during our previous renovation. For example, our metal roof should last for fifty years and never leak. So why did rain drip into our kitchen?

  In June 2014, the nexus of a roof leak in the kitchen caused by our previous contractors is exposed by our current team.

In June 2014, the nexus of a roof leak in the kitchen caused by our previous contractors is exposed by our current team.

Three interconnected reasons. One: the vent for the kitchen sink was installed absurdly high. Two: the PVC pipe was not glued together. Three: turns out, the subcontractor who installed the roof was not an expert. He was a nincompoop. He did not put a gasket around the vent. 

  Sunlight streams through the roof thanks to a badly installed vent. (Rolando’s ladder is on the right.)

Sunlight streams through the roof thanks to a badly installed vent. (Rolando’s ladder is on the right.)

  November 2008, during the previous renovation project, the gasket-free vent for the kitchen sink pierces the metal roof.

November 2008, during the previous renovation project, the gasket-free vent for the kitchen sink pierces the metal roof.

Frank and Rolando moved the vent pipe down so that if it ever did fail—although they assured me it is installed correctly and won’t—any drips will end up outside the house in the soffit area.

  The original hole is so well-patched, the fix is difficult to see.

The original hole is so well-patched, the fix is difficult to see.

  Rolando installs the new vent in the proper place, in the proper way.

Rolando installs the new vent in the proper place, in the proper way.

  With the roof repaired, the recessed lighting can be installed, celling insulated and drywall put in place by late July.

With the roof repaired, the recessed lighting can be installed, celling insulated and drywall put in place by late July.

As New Year’s Eve approaches, good friends decide it makes sense to party at our house. I am skeptical. The kitchen is fully functioning, yes. The upstairs bathroom is not. The nearest toilet—a handy gizmo on a night dedicated to champagne toasts—is downstairs. Down lots of stairs. The floor of the great room is unfinished and covered with boxes, bathroom tile and a bathtub. There’s also dust. Always. Everywhere. Dust.

  Sitting next to a stack of floor tile, our tub bides its time in the great room, which my beloved decorated for the holidays.

Sitting next to a stack of floor tile, our tub bides its time in the great room, which my beloved decorated for the holidays.

Expecting guests is motivating and my sweet man snaps into action. Until he reclaims our home for living, I wasn’t even conscious of how much disarray had become the new normal.

Completing our lighting project on the bathroom wall above where our tub will one day reside is a critical party preparation project. A color-changing crystal ceiling kit by Universal Fiber Optic Lighting will illuminate our interpretation of the Pegasus constellation (with a nod to the Andromeda galaxy), which glowed above us the day we married. 

  We print out and hang the Pegasus pattern for our accent lighting.

We print out and hang the Pegasus pattern for our accent lighting.

  The pattern is transferred to bathroom-rated drywall on November 21, holes are drilled and the fiber optic lines are strategically strung through the framing in the wall. This is a nerve-wracking five-person job my husband and I help Dave, Frank and Rolando execute.

The pattern is transferred to bathroom-rated drywall on November 21, holes are drilled and the fiber optic lines are strategically strung through the framing in the wall. This is a nerve-wracking five-person job my husband and I help Dave, Frank and Rolando execute.

  Frank is delighted to see glow tips on the twenty wires.

Frank is delighted to see glow tips on the twenty wires.

  Before our party on December 31, my husband and I install the 14 small and six large crystals.

Before our party on December 31, my husband and I install the 14 small and six large crystals.

  We take a party prep break to watch the lights change colors.

We take a party prep break to watch the lights change colors.

  Revelers (that’s me in the middle) gather around the new kitchen island. The bathtub gleams in the background.

Revelers (that’s me in the middle) gather around the new kitchen island. The bathtub gleams in the background.

  Handsome gentlemen crack lobsters for our first dinner party since we lost the upstairs bathroom.

Handsome gentlemen crack lobsters for our first dinner party since we lost the upstairs bathroom.

  On New Year’s Day, Chef Husband completes the task of turning lobster shells into broth. He rocks—and so does the new kitchen!

On New Year’s Day, Chef Husband completes the task of turning lobster shells into broth. He rocks—and so does the new kitchen!

My husband was right: having a party in a construction zone was a good idea. Happy New Year!

Posted
AuthorVeronika Roo
CategoriesRenovation