Thursday, June 21, 2012

Adventures in Remodeling

When we first started exploring the idea of remodeling/adding onto our existing home I dismissed it.  I felt it would be selfish and a waste of money.  We could continue to deal with one bathroom for all of us.  The boys could squeeze in tighter.  Perhaps, it was just our materialistic society that demanded so much space for sports gear, homework station, book storage.  Families 50 years ago lived in these small houses; in fact, our own home is 60 years old.

We finally took the plunge and decided to join the two houses together.  I still felt a little selfish about it.  Like I wanted to strive for a magazine house that had nothing to do with raising children and making sure their life was better.  Sure, they would sleep better at night since they would have their own rooms.  It would be great to have more than one toilet . . . . for many reasons.  And it would be nice to be able to host large parties inside, instead of just during the summer months.  But I felt really selfish in moving forward with our decision.

I assumed that remodeling would be horrible.  The kids would be miserable.  They would be cranky.  But I figured it would all be worth it in the end.

But now that we have started remodeling, we have started on a whole new adventure.  Not just the 'wow, the workmen are in my living room while I am still in my jammies' adventure.  The kids are loving the remodel.  They are loving it when the cement truck comes to pour footings.  They are loving watching the workmen.  The men are even nice enough to allow my kids to help bend rebar once in a while.

The boys are LOVING the remodeling process.  I will find William and Alexander sitting on top a dirt pile about 3 feet from the workmen with huge toothy smiles on their face.  They just adore watching the work being done; rebar, nail gun, digging, screwing, sawing, all of it.  The boys like to take extra wood and sword fight on our temporary bridge.  We have talked about chimneys, siding, tile, new bedrooms, paint, etc.  The list goes on.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Remodeling is like Camping

Sure, you "real" campers won't believe me.  But I am not a real camper.  Camping is not my idea of fun. I will never understand why someone packs up their can't-live-without household items, puts them in a car and then lives outdoors for a few days.

This is my argument that remodeling is like camping:
We are all squished together in sleeping rooms, not in our normal beds.

There is dirt.  EVERYWHERE.  Everywhere.  I am so sick of sweeping, mopping and washing shoes.  Too much dirt.  And I hate dirt.

Everything is packed.  If a child needs a bathing suit or a beach towel I will have to pause, go through a few boxes, go into the garage and dig.  I have no idea where our non-everyday items are.

We are all limited to about 10 outfits, since everything is packed.  I have access to my bedroom, if I walk out the front door, down the sidewalk, down the driveway, and across the backyard.  As a result I only go into my room about once a week.  My most worn clothing is in one drawer in Lainy Ann's room and I do laundry, often.

There is a porta-potty in my front yard.

The kids spend all their free time playing in dirt, collecting rocks and sticks (and nails).

Food: I am no longer a gourmet.  With all the dirt, laundry and stuff everywhere its almost impossible to wrap my head around actually preparing meals.  We have been subsisting off of nuggets and hot dogs.  The kids are thrilled.

We are up with the sun . . . because the workers have arrived.  They are hammering and drilling and banging every morning at 7:00 am on the dot.  They actually arrive by 6:50 am, unload their trucks and start working by 7 am.  *yawn*

I have to be dressed all the time.  No more lounging around in jammies.  Several times I have been surprised to have the plywood door removed and to see the workers in my living room.  Fortunately I was always dresses, but I can no longer rely on the walls/doors to give me privacy since they are removable.

The worst part of remodeling

Every 2-3 days we have a whole new set of rules for the house.  Its like having a toddler.  The boys see some cool new trenches and they then start some sort of WWII game of jumping and shooting and hiding.  Sounds like innocent horseplay, right?  Well, the little ones can't quite make the jump and they end up falling, or they start causing the trenches to cave in.  Right before my eyes the hard work that has taken 4 full days is falling apart.  So a new rule is made "no jumping" or "no dirt".

Today the stairs to the upper floor were completed, the subfloor was nailed down as well.  Its all very exciting and we have promised the children we can go upstairs together with adults in a few minutes.  But they run up there anyway. Yup, on the 15 foot high platform in the sky with no railing.  All thre boys.  The three year old and the one who trips over his own feet.  When they fall they will land on power tools, rebar, rocks, etc.

Today's rule is "no stairs".  Who knows what tomorrow's new rule is.

Other new rules:

No playing in the Porta Potty
No throwing rocks
No sword fighting with the workers 2x4s
No poking with the nails
You must wear shoes outside
Stay out of the dirt
Stay off the joists
Stay out of the trenches
Stay off the wood pile

The list goes on and on . . . .