Thursday, March 27, 2008

Vanity of vanities

It sounded simple. So deceptively simple that I should've known it would turn nightmarish. We'd finally decided to spend the money to have central air put in the house. A couple thousand dollars, a couple holes in the ceilings for vents, duct work in the attic, the husband off from work for a couple days to supervise the AC guys. Simple.

That last bit was the dangerous part. While the husband was home to supervise, I was off chasing birds, and no one was here to supervise the husband. A husband with lots of time on his hands. Idle hands. Hands that have been itching for years to get their muscle into remodeling the bathroom. The one bathroom. The only bathroom in this little house.

Aside from my almost total inability to make decisions concerning anything as important as paint color and tile dimensions and faucet finishes, there was the stumbling block of this being the only bathroom in our house. That one in the picture up there, all torn apart. How do you manage a bathroom remodel while continuing to live there? We hadn't figured that out and I thereby had the perfect excuse to continue to postpone any horrid decorating decisions.

Right. So everything seemed fine here when I got in from work at the end of day one of the AC installation. There was lots of banging and dust and strange men roaming about the place, but fine nevertheless.

Then I went away to chase birds.

There were periodic updates from the husband. The first inkling of a problem was the report of a crack in the dining room ceiling and vague mention of a leak *somewhere in the bathroom* discovered via a puddle on the workbench in the basement below. My panic was assuaged by assurances that it was a quick fix - a seal on the toilet - nothing complicated.

The quick fix turned into a need to replace parts of the subfloor damaged by said leak.

The next phone call had me picking out vanities from memory. See... there was another leak, in the wall, behind the sink... so we'll have to tear the wall down to fix the leak. And while the wall's down, we might as well replace the vanity, right?

Months ago we had walked through that aisle in Home Depot. And could I remember which one I liked?

At this point I wasn't sure what I was more panicked about: the bathroom being torn apart or my husband making decorating decisions on his own.


I got in yesterday to find a new bathtub in my driveway and sheetrock in my living room. As I write, the husband is tearing down walls and cursing and mumbling about replacing a windowsill. Luka is having a ball, snarfing up bits of fallen wall and the odd nail. And I'm wondering where I'll shower for work in the morning.

But hey... the AC went in without a hitch.



Susan Gets Native said...

Holy crap, Laura.
This is why you need to GET AWAY this weekend.

: )

KGMom said...

Why, of course, you'll bathe in the kitchen sink. Where else?
Actually, sounds like a big project. But, I suspect, you will love the AC--and the new bathroom.

z-silverlight said...

I think there is something called 'Murphy's Law'.
But it's nice the AC went ok. The last line really made me laugh. Lots of irony there.

Ruth said...

We have had a contractor look at updating our kitchen this year. I hope to be far away when it happens. Like you, picking out flooring, fixtures and cupboards is not my forte.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Oh, no. That is SO my nightmare! The buns must be terrified, and it's not even THEIR bathroom!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Our main bathroom has been gutted since the end of October! Art installed a teeny, tiny shower in the basement so at least we have that.

DK & The Fluffies said...

For this reason alone, the buns, the cat and I lived with my parents for 4 months while my house was torn asunder.

Anonymous said...

I remember when we remodeled the bathroom in my house (a cottage, really). The roof was new, so we jacked it up while we tore out and replaced all three walls. The shower stall was left intact and connected while all that was going on, and it was actually kind of fun using it - like going camping in one's own home. Fortunately, it was summertime.

robin andrea said...

That is the home fix-it nightmare scenario. Doing bathrooms and kitchens while still living in the house requires a lot of planning. I think you are handling it all quite well, so far. Good luck with it all.

Mary said...

Laura, what a story. I laughed so hard - sorry - it's the way you tell it. Been there once. After a lot of aggravation, it'll be worth it in the end. Glad you A/C is in good working order :o)

RG said...

Sounds pretty normal to me ... I think you're lucky to have a guy who is handy with tools and not afraid to tackle such a job! Plus, you guys communicate!!! Dr. Laura would love this! So would Dr. Phil! I also guess that is why you sometimes see Porta-Pottys setting in someone's driveway for several days!!!!

MojoMan said...

You are about to explore the far reaches of the strength of your marriage.

Cathy said...

God bless you both. We finally HAD to have our kitchen remodeled. I was putting blue duct tape on the cupboards to keep the one door from falling on our heads.

It's over. Thank God.

Now I wonder why I waited so long.

Nah. I know. I HATE making decorating decisions.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to my world. Someday, I'll have a kitchen again. But not this week! Nope, not this week! I feel your pain!

dguzman said...

Oh no!

LauraHinNJ said...

Susan: ;-)

KGMom: Remains to be seen. Hopefully it won't remain that way too much longer.


Z: (laugh) - exactly!

Ruth: I may just find a pic I like in some book and copy it exactly. No thinking involved!

Bunnygirl: Actually, they've been pretty unfazed by it all. More than I can say for myself!

Lynne: October? Uggh.

Diva Kitty: Who in their right mind would take in my menagerie?

Dave: It's better now, thank god, but those first couple days felt a lot like camping!

Robin: Planning? What's that?


Mary: Glad to have made you laugh!

Rabbit's Guy: Porta-Potty? Don't even let me think of it.


Mojoman: ;-)

Cathy: I actually trying to convince myself that I like my 50's era metal cabinets in the kitchen.

Liza: I know... we can feel badly together.


Delia: Oh yes!