Everything is happening fast. The crew got enough demolition done to lay down floor joists for the addition’s first floor, and then before I could even take a photo of that skeleton, they had the subfloor in. So the space that used to look like this —
looked like this after about a day of work:
Wow. Just like that, it’s all covered up. Erick seems to be demonstrating the wide sitting stance in tae kwon do. Then they framed up the exterior walls for the first floor of the back corner of the addition.
You can see the framing for the small windows that’ll sit on either side of my new range in the last pic. It’s all being done so smartly. We still aren’t living al fresco, because no existing exterior wall has yet been torn out. I think they’re planning to finish the new exterior first so our existing home will never be fully exposed to the elements. I had expected it to look more like a gaping two-story hole covered in plastic sheeting. Instead, the plastic sheeting is inside.
They put that in to separate the work space from our living room, which will be untouched. It keeps out most of the construction dust. The plastic is taped in place and held up by extender rods, like shower curtains on end. The opening is some funky tape-on zipper system, so that closes right up whenever you want. It’s great, but now I’m worried about looking in the kids’ stuffed animal bin. ET might be hiding in there.
now looks like this:
Which I consider to be quite an improvement. We’re eating in our makeshift kitchen in the basement, which isn’t so bad. It’s a bit like being in college again.
Except for the fancy gas grill we invested in, which is perfectly fine for cooking gourmet food. Like bacon.
That’s the kind of food we’re eating now. Bacon sandwiches on hamburger buns are the new normal. I think I’ll continue the trend even after my kitchen is done. And, if I use slices of raw eggplant instead of bread, I will finally be paleo and grow strong cavewoman muscles.
We’re trying to keep things as clean as we can in the spaces we’re living in, but it’s been a struggle during the heart of demolition. I feel a sort of muck in my eyes when I wake up. Demolition dust is like ghost smoke, it just goes everywhere no matter how hard everyone tries. The guys put down some thick paper product on the floors to protect them, taping it in place carefully up the stairwell. It turns out the paper is harder to clean than just mopping up the floors at the end of each day after the crew heads home. More importantly, our wee dog was a brat about the papered stairs. She wouldn’t go up or down them. She’d just whine at either end hopelessly until someone came to retrieve her. So annoying. After only a day we asked if the paper had to be down. Erick the boss said no, so I said great, we’ll take it back up over the weekend and I’m sorry you did the extra work. I felt so bad. The guys nodded quietly and said sure. But at the end of the day they had quietly and neatly taken up the paper for me, without any fuss at all.
I hate it when people are thoughtful and nice. It makes me feel like such a grumpy shit.
Why can’t I be like that too? Instead, I’m just feeling crabby and tired on this Monday morning. The kids are hating all over me about the renovation. Every single morning, Jesse wakes up whining loudly. “UUUUGH. WHY??? Why do we have to renovate the house??? Why are you taking everything away from me?” She keeps going, even as I heat up the oil on the hot plate to cook her blessed FISH STICKS for breakfast. Nick has been chiming in too. “Mommy? Can they put the rug back on the stairs? Then it will be soft when I fall.”
I’ve had some low points too.
One day we forgot to leave the kitchen door unlocked. When the crew arrived at 7:00 am (uuugh), they couldn’t get in the house so they rang the bell. I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs in the t-shirt and shorts I was sleeping in. Dan and Talon were standing at the door. They saw me and some strange look passed over their faces before their polite smiles came on. “We are soooooo sorry to wake you up! We could just wait if you want. Seriously, we can just wait outside until you’re ready for us to start. Soooooo sorry.” I shrugged to myself about why they were feeling so bad until 30 seconds later, when I walked into the bathroom and happened to see myself in the mirror. GAH! I jumped back in terror. Eyes half swollen shut, skin splotchy, wild bed-head sticking up all over the place. I was probably drooling. I looked insane.
Another day I was taking a dump on the basement toilet, which is located on the same exterior wall as most of the demolition and rebuild. As I sat, bits of plaster and dirt rained gently down on my head. I almost cried.
But I know it’s all in pursuit of a good first-world cause. Someday soon, I will see my crazy-ass morning face in a beautiful master bathroom mirror that I don’t have to share with the kids (I think), and I will sit my ass on a pristine new toilet to poop.