Home Renovations…OR…The Sprite That Could

Home renovations.  People LOVE to watch home improvement shows or just scope out Pinterest and see how others are transforming their humble abodes.  Wiseguy and I have lived in our house for almost 15 years.  Our initial subtle changes were:  new roof, new furnace, new air conditioning, new windows, and new driveway.  Pricey?  Yes.  Good?  Yes.  Necessary?  You bet your butt it was!  When we finally had saved enough to start renovating the INSIDE of the house, my heart fluttered with joy and happy anticipation.  Isn’t that what renovations are all about?  Taking the old and used, molding it and remodelling it to make it your personalized living space?  The dream becomes a reality…and a nightmare!

We are in the process of renovating our entranceway.  Something so simple.  It won’t take any time at all, maybe a weekend.  Remove old ceramic tiles, install flooring, paint.  Simple.  Soooooo simple.  NOT!  For those who have never lived (a.k.a. survived) through a home renovation it is never what you expect it will be.  NEVER!  I believe that every home has a Spiteful Sprite that lives there.  It is ticked off that you are changing things so the delightful sprite will always find ways to foul up your most simple plans.  MY House Sprite has a gangsta team of n’er-do-wellers.  Let me walk you through a trip down memory lane of how things work in MY home improvement world.

Our first renovated room was our main floor bathroom.  It was blue; deep, drowning ocean-type blue.  The walls were blue.  The tub was blue.  The toilet was blue.  The sink was blue.  The vanity lighting was blue (they had smeared BLUE paint on the WHITE light fixtures.  This room made me FEEL blue.  One of the previous owners really took that ocean theme to heart and decided to put up a fish border.  THESE fish were perched on their tails.  Well, one set of fish border on the one wall.  On another wall, the fish were not standing proudly.  They were suicidal.  They were standing on their heads.  Drowning?  (Yes, I know fish can’t drown, but such a sad sight to see everyday).  So, when it came time to modernize (destroy) this room, our plans were set in motion.  It wouldn’t take long.  Out with the blue and in with the new!  Pop out blue tub and install new white tub.  Same idea for the sink. Timeline for said project?  Tub would take a couple of hours right?  Ya-NO!  This 8 x 6 foot weekend project was now being taken over by the House Sprite and its hilariously (dripping with sarcasm) new timeline.  Boy did it LOVE foiling our plan!

Owner time = 5 seconds / Sprite time = 5 hours

Owner time = 5 hours / Sprite time = 5 days

Owner time = 5 days / Sprite time = 5 weeks

Owner time = 5 weeks / Sprite time = 5 months

Owner time = 5 months / Sprite time = might as well wait for new owners ’cause you ain’t gettin’ it done in your lifetime

Based on THAT timeline, you can understand how long it took to renovate this one little room.  After many an alcoholic beverage and trips to the hardware store, the new transmogrified room looked fantastic!  Then we took a couple of years hiatus from the drama and trauma to get our nerves back to unjangledness (part of my homegrown dictionary so, yes, it’s a word).

When we finally did a kitchen revelation…ahem…renovation, my heart soared!  My favourite room in the house and I could get my dream appliances and live happily ever after.  “GET ME A COT AND I’LL SLEEP HERE!” was my new life motto.   Timeline was two weeks.  I think the Sprites tagged along with some cottagers because this project was actually completed in two weeks.  It was a miracle!  Actually, our contractor was a miracle worker.  (I think he hailed from somewhere heaven bound).  Were there challenges?  You  betcha!  I recall hearing that there was a “live wire” hidden in one of the walls we had opened up.  Live wire?  Like uncorked electricity just ready to spark and flambé us?  That was intriguing and jolting news.  There were electrical issues and there were flooring issues.  Even now, there is one spot under the hardwood that is atop a heating vent.  Chung-bong it says when you step there.  Other than that…no lives were lost and it’s almost perfect.

Feeling pretty confident with our room rebirths we took a break.  As months went by we pondered and debated the next big renovation “How about the hideous hardwood floor with the inexpertly waxed top that peels off and sticks to our feet?  Why not get rid of that?”  That was the plan.  Oh, it would be soooo nice to finally have a floor that Waldo (our dog) couldn’t munch on.  It would be nice for the crawling grandchildren to NOT carry parts of flooring with them everywhere.  It would be wonderful!  It would be beautiful!  It would take a long time.  The Sprite was back!

It was in the month of February that we met with the contractor.  We picked the flooring.  Pretty easy when our stipulation was “durable”.   Acacia wood.  How lovely and sturdy!  As the contractor left our humble abode, hubby and I smiled at each and breathed a sigh of relief.  No more peeling floors in the summer…or so we thought.  Summer came and went.  No floors.  Even worse…we couldn’t get a hold of the contractor.  When we finally did, he replied that there was a hostage…I mean…shortage.  We joked that it was coming on the “slow boat [from] to China“.  “Yes,” he calmly replied, “it is coming from China.”

“Teee heee heee,” laughed the Sprite.

After 6 looooooong months, the flooring arrived.  The flooring was installed.  The nightmare ended as we awakened to our beautiful new main floor.  We lived happily ever after….until Wiseguy stubbed his toe on a corner of one piece of flooring that had curled up.

“Teee heeee heeee,” giggled the Sprite that Could.

Join me next time when we revisit our Happy Homeowners and their entranceway debacle…ahem…renovation.

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