Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Awoke at 3:30.  Five hours of sleep.  It's not enough, but my mind is too busy to sleep.  So I'm starting the day early, coffee and browsing tunes on YouTube. 

Had a long meeting with my kitchen contractor last night and went over one million details - at least.  I have been all over the place on the size of the island, the size of the pantry, and the placement of everything.  I think together we finally figured out what would be best.  Worked out lighting issues.  We didn't quite resolve the tile selection for the floor.  He's going to try to negotiate a better price on the Italian tile I had picked out and then rejected because it was too expensive.  He thinks the Home Depot alternate I found is too cheap.  I'll go looking again and try to find something more moderate.  He also wants to roll the countertop guy into the project and not have it a separate deal.  I agree as it gives him more leverage with the guy.  The countertop price is very good and it won't change for me.  I'm supposed to go pick out the slab tomorrow morning. Oh yes, I need to shop for the sink and a fixture there, too. And finalize the appliances.

We talked about a few extras like replacing light fixtures in the three bedrooms.  So I need to do some shopping for lighting fixtures.  Something pretty for over the sink, and the dining room.  Maybe move the ceiling fan into a bedroom and then two other new bedroom fixtures.  I've wanted to change out these lights for a long time and this will finally be done.

And he'll close up the hole in the ceiling that was left when they removed the swamp cooler.  I've lived with that for over a year. 

And I asked him to quote separately, in case I'm really getting in too deep, to replace all my interior doors.  I still have the old hollow core brown doors from the 70's, original to the house.  And I'd like to replace with white six-panel doors.  And replace the brown closet doors with white with no louvres.  I so want to replace those doors.  I hope the cost is manageable.

So I can't sleep.  I wonder why.

All the workers expect to be finished before Christmas..  I really will be surprised if that happens, but they are quite sure.  Still I realize most people stop projects this time of year and don't want the house torn up, so I'm using a window of opportunity. 

I am anxious to make these changes.  For me it's part of moving on from my marriage, from my past life.  Starting over with a new life. The physical changes in my house will, I believe, help me to get on with that transition.


Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

This is why they invented NAPS.

I love the Italian tile I used in the studio. It was worth every penny. Doesn't stain and has not cracked even though I have dropped a hammer or two on it. BTW get a few extra tiles in case you do have to replace any in the future.

And don't bite off more than you can chew. The doors can be done after the holidays. It means replacing jams, etc and you will have one hell of a mess in the kitchen and need a place to retreat. Some place you can call your own and shut the door on to keep out the dust of construction.

There is also a window of opportunity with contractors in Jan.,Feb and Mar. Before the ground thaws to begin new jobs. You may get a lower bid on doors in January.

heatherbelle said...

gosh...it does sound like a lot of work to be finished before Christmas..
I know it would not get done here but then we are in our warm weather when everyone gets everything done.
Gotta ask...what's a swamp cooler?

Michael said...

Nothing better than physical changes to put the past in perspective Becks.
Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey....and dont forget...no plan is carved in stone...save some for the New Year.

Becky Stauffer said...

Let's see, swamp cooler. It's a cooling device that is mounted on the roof. A large box containing a big fan which blows air through pads that are kept wet by a water pump. A wide flue directs the cooled air to a vent in the ceiling near the center of the house. It works well in our dry climate except on days that turn humid or when temps approach 100 f.

We installed central air (refrigerated air through forced air vents throughout the house) about 25 years ago but never took down the box as it would leave a hole in the roof. But when I had my roof replaced a couple of years ago, I took advantage and had the swamp cooler taken down and the hole securely closed up. Unfortunately, they did not include the interior part of the job, but the force of removing the device cause the vent cover to fall off leaving a big wide open hole in my ceiling. And so it still is. So now finally, I will get that closed up from the inside too.

Mick, I'm on a merry-go-round and it won't slow down. But I'll keep my sanity thinking of the nice end result.

Jacqui, good advice. I'll only do as much as I really think I can handle -- and afford! I don't have a quote yet on the doors.

Nicholas V. said...

Oh Becky, I feel for you having gone through a renovation and having to deal with contractors, a tight budget, the curse fo good taste and an eye that must be satisfied aesthetically. And yet, i must say that we got it done, within budget and with good results.

Have patience and hang on in there. We're here to provide support and shoulders to cry on!

Becky Stauffer said...

Thank you for the encouragement, Nicholas. It is painful, but in some ways also helps to mark this new life of mine. You are so right about the budget. My next post will have to be on the topic of quality vs cost, and at what point you find the happy medium.