Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Renovation two-step

I am sure many of you are familiar with the good ole' renovation two-step. You take two steps forward and one step backward. It's a common phenomenon. Sometimes you are prepared for it and then sometimes not.

Take for example, the fact that we had to cut up our lawn and patio to run electrical wire underground. I knew that was coming a while before it happened.

Or take the example of our roof tear off. I knew that there would be some damage, so I built up some resolve to deal with it.

But sometimes things happen with no notice. Things that can shake you to your very core. Things that test your resolve.

Today, one of those things happened here at my house. I'm showing you the good news i.e. two steps forward first, so be prepared for the blow.

While I was at work blissfully oblivious, our plumber came to install the pipe for the toe kick heater for the 2nd floor. This was one of the steps forward. The other step forward are the three rooms upstairs that are completely taped and now primed (see photos).

The one step backwards? I'm sure many will think me melodramatic (and I am being tongue in cheek here lest some take me too seriously), but what happened today will go down in infamy here at the 2-flat.

See, the walls from the upstairs kitchen don't line up perfectly with the walls from the 1st floor kitchen.

The pipes for the toe kick had to be run all the way down to the basement- through the 1st floor walls.

If you put two and two together, you'll realize that the unthinkable happened.


Yes, this is the same kitchen that we slaved for over a year to complete ourselves. The one where we went without running water for almost a year. The one that we drywalled ourselves.

Quite honestly, when Steve called to warn me at work, I felt like they had cut holes in me. It really felt that bad. Or else, maybe like they cut holes in my dog. You get the idea.

I am sure it will come as no surprise that because we are so busy with "the wood", we are going to pay our crew to fix this as soon as humanly possible.

And what did I do when I got home today? Did I let it get me down? Did I drink myself into a stupor or eat a pink of Ben and Jerry's?? (actually I never do these things)

No, I sanded some more wood. I'm not licked yet!
My kitchen will be beautiful again as God is my witness.


Greg said...

OH-MY-GOD! On man, what can I say? Today I had to jack up the roof of my porch another inch so the gutters would drain properly. I had to redo some rails and column base molding.


I think it's best that someone else fix this.

Gary said...

Now you can say that you are members of the Chicago branch of the "Hole in the Wall Gang!" Think yourself lucky they weren't plaster walls you had repaired.

jm@houseinprogress said...


Oh man, I'd break out the Ben and Jerry's AND the vodka. You are a saint.

amanda said...

I'm so shocked. I don't even know what to say. Your poor kitchen walls!!! It is probably best that you don't fix it, I would curse the hole and the person who made it so many different ways, all that hate would probably get sealed up in the wall.

Anonymous said...


And people say freedie Kruger is scary... I think I would have had a heart attack (and emptied my liquor cabinet). Thats the one downside of staying in place long term - you have to do maintence and repairs to stuff you have already done.

merideth said...

aw MAN! i'm sooo sorry. but rah for you for just hiring someone to deal with it. I applaud that.

chin up! the wood is looking great!

Derek said...

Man, plumbers are so famous for doing that, and cutting through structure. At least the tile was left alone. If you cut back to the stud on each side, you should be able to get a good patch on it, and paint the entire wall, and the ceiling.

Christina said...

I feel for you. The people who pulled out our floors stepped through the ceiling over the tub in the only working bathroom. Sure a mess...irritating, upsetting, but having to go through the rigamarole of replacing a ceiling that you already replaced once..ultra frustrating!

Definitely hire it out and let someone else deal with it.

allison said...

What a horrible mess -- and after all your hard work in the kitchen. I have a story that, while not nearly as traumatic, might make you laugh. We are stripping all the woodwork in our 1888 house and have found nice oak throughout the house. Today, after meticulously taping off the area around the crown molding in the dining room, I applied the stripper to the crown. Within minutes (not 24 hours like the rest of the molding), the paint peeled off. What gives, I thought? You guessed it, someone had forsaken history and used the peel and stick Styrofoam molding for the crown in this dear old house. Can you imagine? So, now we have to somehow scrape the stuff off. Patience truly is a virtue!

Jocelyn said...

wow allison- that must have blown your mind. I had an experience starting to strip a door that I thought was oak, but turned out to be poplar or pine- kind of a disappointment.

You were all geared up and then whoa. I know the feeling.

Allison said...

I had a similar experience. To install a garbage disposal in the kitchen, the drain had to be lowered, which involved going all the way to the standpipe in the wall between the kitchen and dining room. We didn't think too much of this, as the kitchen was gutted anyway. But later, when we moved some furniture in the dining room to paint, we found a poorly patched hole in the wall... It still hasn't been fixed (we've been out of town and unable to harass our contractor) and it makes me ache to think about it.