We’ve officially been living out of duffle bags for two weeks now. We've stayed in six different hotels and with two sets of parents. My husband purports to love camping but even he is weary of the process at this point.
It seemed so close in week 37 that we actually thought we would be moving into our modern southern bungalow this week. I even scheduled our sofa delivery for next Monday. That appointment will definitely be moved forward after seeing the house for the first time in a week on Sunday.
This is going to seem like a statement of the obvious, and as you know, hindsight is always 20-20 and all the other clichés, but I suppose we all have to learn from our own experience (hello, Moms, we totally know this!). Contrary to the watched pot never boils theory (more clichés), nothing gets done on a remodel when you go out of town. Nothing.
After moving our stuff to storage two weeks ago, we went up to my mom’s house for a few days, then drove a U-Haul down to Texas with all the furniture that we had left in Idaho for the last two years (honestly, we have way too much stuff and I can safely say that I actually want very little of it). We were gone exactly one week. In that week, the kitchen cabinets were painted and some additional prep to the outside of the house was allegedly done. We spent the three days we were in town trying to get the crew to clean the green overspray from the lower and pantry cabinets off of Every. Single. Surface in the kitchen. We are talking green overspray on the white tile, the white counters, the white grout, the intentionally unpainted open shelving, the newly laid for the second time and finally finished floor… It was a mess. Meanwhile, the bedrooms remained unfinished (with the exception of T's room, which was painted white and in which the wallpaper was installed), with their sad single coats of paint hinting at what might be, and the electricians were scheduled to install the remaining light fixtures. I vetoed that plan until the painters were finished with the bedrooms as they had clearly not prepped anything they actually painted and I did not want to wait 11 weeks for a new dining room fixture.
Frustrated, we flew up to stay with my in-laws for the week, hoping that by the time we returned this time, the house would be ready for an initial punch list. The process was more than a little exasperating. Of course, there were the little dings here and there that needed to be fixed and were totally expected. What we did not expect was the extent to which entire rooms had not been completely painted or the molding was incomplete. We also did not expect to find even more green overspray all over the kitchen (and our bedroom, where they sprayed the kitchen drawers). The outside of the house – which I think they started prepping some 3 or 4 weeks ago? – was still not painted. Many of the light fixtures were still not installed or didn’t work despite an electrical inspection scheduled for Monday morning. The kitchen faucet that we selected in October (seriously, October) had not yet arrived.
So on Sunday night, we found ourselves in yet another hotel room. Most of the outstanding items are easy fixes if we felt we could rely on the painters at least one little bit. At the speed these guys are working, it could be Christmas before we get into the house. On the positive side, I made a last minute change in the powder room lighting selection when I was in town the week before last, and the fixture that I purchased from West Elm (similar to this one) turned out to be missing. When I called my local West Elm, they were out of the light I needed but immediately offered to provide the different light for our electrical inspection and ship the correct light to the house. A huge thank you to Jonathan at West Elm in Houston for providing excellent customer service and making a potential mess easy to navigate.
Tune in next week, or possibly in December, when we find out if the painters really have what it takes to finish our house…