Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Floor Show

LK cracked first.

She was sitting in our downstairs family room. The coffee table in front of her was covered with a tablecloth, which in turn was covered with all the paperwork of the renovation. Behind the sofa the table was full of stuff we needed for a week without a kitchen - a box of water, paper plates, half a loaf of bread, a bottle of scotch. And there's a bag for trash hanging on the walking machine behind that table.

There is no water or electric in the kitchen area. For a week LK has been cooking on an electric frypan on the washing machine in the garage, and I have been doing the cleaning up in the bathroom sink and storing some of the clean dishes in a space where we moved some bath towels to make room.

So it was not surprising LK cracked. And she did.

"I feel like I'm living in a trailer," she moaned last night. "And I just want to get this over."

(Any readers living in trailers should please direct comments to LK and not me. And in fact you should be aware that LK would think even less of this blog than she already does if she were to find out I actually have readers living in trailers.)

I think her lament was caused by more than just the temporary clutter and loss of space. For one thing, the guys laying the floor made more noise than any of the other tradesmen have. Saws whining, hammers pounding, floors being scraped clean - it was enough to drive us out of the house in search of just about anything else to do.

So we shopped for a few things we need for our trip, but really there isn't a lot to buy when you're unable to cook your own meals. We ended up trying out a little Malaysian takeaway place that disappointed us by having run out of satay. Finally, with just about nothing to do, we made our way back to the house to wait for the floor to be finished.

Silly me, but I had assumed that ripping up old flooring and putting in new stuff would be one of the simpler and least challenging parts of the reno. Of course, I didn't know that the underpad of our old flooring was glued more firmly than any that the tradesmen had ever seen in their whole wide career. It seemed to dampen their enthusiasm for the job, which was already pretty moist because the people who sold us the floor and hired these guys to do the job kind of led them to believe that all they would have to do is take up an old carpet. (By the way, the picture at the top is the kitchen floor after they ripped up the current floor and scraped away the glue.)
The Floor Before - looked like wood to me!

Underfoot Now - It's bamboo timber in a coffee shade

But we're finding great attitudes and a willingness to tackle whatever needs being done by 99% of the people who have been doing work for us (the other 1% = Stuart the painter, but we're so over that and I don't want to rehash that). The floor guys were still pounding the boards in last night around 6:30 so we could stay on schedule.

They didn't finish off the whole job - the dining room will get done Thursday, along with a few edges in the kitchen area. But today we get kickers and skirting and that's the end of any building. Then it's painting, tiling, put in the sink and appliances waiting patiently in the garage and, oh yes, turning on the gas and electric so we will actually be able to use this place.

And I am sure it will be great and well worth a couple of weeks of inconvenience. Which makes me wonder how long it will take for LK to forget what this was like and want to do something else?

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