Thursday, November 11, 2010

We Put the NO in Renovation

So here I am at 6am in the Frankfurt Airport finishing off a blog I intended to do Tuesday, then Wednesday. But I think it will be obvious why I am only getting around to it 48 hours later.

Tuesday was set to be the final day of our kitchen renovation. That was a tight schedule given that we are leaving on a 6-week holiday on Wednesday.

Anyhow, we had been led to believe that the final day was just a little bit of wrapping up. In fact, the schedule read simply: "Plumbing Connection, Electrical Connection". Too easy, right? Well, not quite.

The day started early when the guy the guys from the flooring company at 8, instead of 9 That was OK, because they only had to lay a little carpet on the stairwell so it reached the timber laid a few days ago.

Just before they finished two of the guys from the electrician showed up and started putting in outlets and switches. They were waiting for the boss before hanging the lights.

Then the cabinet guy came to do the last bits on that and also to finally hang some of our old cupboards in the garage so we would have additional storage space. About an hour later the plumber came to put in the last pipes and drains and get the water and gas on in the kitchen once again.

Then the guys from the home security company showed up a couple of hours early to get our alarm system running before we left for holidays. Don't want anyone stealing our new kitchen, do we?

And somewhere in the middle of that, the painter showed up to do some last minute touching up. Thank God the plasterer came the night before.

It was a bit of organized (or perhaps disorganized) chaos, but we knew that at the end of this day we would have our new kitchen in, with only paint, rugs and curtains waiting for our return from holidays.

We started to doubt our optimism when we went out to the kitchen once in mid-afternoon and saw that the room had gone backwards. The fan over the stove had been taken down, half the drawers in the island cupboards were now stacked against the wall. The plumber was cursing, the electricians' assistants hadn't quite got around to hanging the lights and kept looking at their watches and shrugging.

In the midst of all this the home security guys kept testing the alarm, which was in the attic. Which was probably why the electricians weren't crawling around up there putting in the lights. By 3, they told us they would only have time to get the new lights hung in the kitchen proper and would have to come back to do the living room and dining room. By 5, they said they weren't going to be able to do any more and were sorry they only got a couple of lights hung in the kitchen.
The plumber, however, was a different sort, and asked if we would mind if he worked until 7 or later finishing off the job. With the water off, LK started calculating how she could possibly get the laundry done for our trip, but at least it meant that we would have our stove and fridge in when we returned. So, sure, work late.

The cupboard guy, who was more or less in charge of the project, had done all he could and was just hanging around to make sure the others did what they needed to do. When I heard him asking the electricians if they would put the cupboard drawers back in when they were finished wiring the island, I knew he was checking out. And when the electricians left with the drawers still on the floor, I knew they had checked out, too.

In the meantime, the security guys finished installing the alarms and the painter finished touching up his earlier work. It was down to the plumber.

And Simon was a really nice guy who did not discover until about 6:30 that our stove was a natural gas stove and needed to be converted to LPG. At which point, with the finish line looming further and further away, we suggested to him that he had put in a long day, couldn't finish the work off anyhow, so he may as well head home and come back in January.

We even suggested that there wasn't any point moving the new fridge in since we weren't going to be using it until our return anyhow.

So that's the end of the reno saga. Lots done, but not complete. It all should be done in a day when we return (bar the painting) but then again that's what I thought when the day began.

Oh well, we were committed to catching a plane the next morning so with a shrug of the shoulders we bad our home farewell. I will wait until we arrive in Cairo this afternoon to write about that, but my fans (all 5 of them) won't want to miss a post in which my clumsiness reaches epic new proportions and leads to a seriously dangerous moment. (Don't worry, Mom, I only scraped my shins!)

And here are some shots of the house at the end of Tuesday's efforts. Fill in the spaces for the stove and fridge yourself, and imagine several more lights.

The view from the entrance

All done bar the stove and fridge

Well, at least the hood and tiles look good. Shame about the rest

LK's butler sink, along with cleverly hidden dishwasher and waste bins
The few lights that did get hung over the island

No comments: