Saturday, September 7, 2013

How to Survive a Remodel or Armageddon (Is There Really Any Difference?)

First, let me begin with this: I love my husband. I truly, truly do. He is practically perfect in every way. He’s a carpenter, a very handsome, muscly, and smart carpenter. He also looks great in a kilt. (He has verra nice knees!) The man knows how to build things and build them well and beautifully.

We’ve been married eight years now and quite frankly, we still act like newly weds. The honeymoon, dare I say it, is far from over.

However, when it comes to home remodeling projects, there are times when I am left questioning my own sanity. This blog post is for all the newly married ladies out there who may be contemplating a home remodel project with their husbands.

1. Any project that begins with “Its simple honey and I can do it in a weekend” actually means this: “Yes, it is simple, but the idiot who owned the house before us didn’t know what the hell he was doing.” Plan on all weekend projects taking at least four weeks. Minimum. You must allow time for husband to fix all the ‘stupid things’ someone did to the house before you owned it.

2. When your husband says, “Its not heavy, its awkward,” be prepared to use muscles you didn’t know you owned. It is always, always, always both awkward AND heavy.

3. When your husband says, “I have everything I need to do it.” Be prepared to be called upon at least three times to run to (insert the name of your local home improvement center here). There is a strong potential you will be sent --at the last minute mind you -- to Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, whichever one is furthest away from where you live because the closest place won’t have what you’re looking for.  You might be cooking dinner or rocking a baby to sleep, or in the middle of a shower or just getting off of work.

The time will not, I repeat, will not be convenient for you. However, when your husband is in the basement holding parts to your home in his hands and he really, really needs something that broke unexpectedly or that he forgot to get, you will be called upon to help save the day. He will appreciate the fact that you have just dropped everything to run to Menards to get a can of plumber’s glue stuff ($2.19 at Menards). You can’t take your shower or cook dinner or do dishes or bathe a baby without water. Someone has to go and that someone will be you. I recommend being dressed at all hours of the day or night. Keep your car keys handy, as well as your checkbook, credit cards, and a full tank of gas in your car. It will help expedite matters and make your life just a tad bit less stressful.

4. Get to know the people who work at your local home improvement center. Take cookies. Send birthday cards. These people will soon become your closest and dearest friends. I now have nine people from our local Menards on our Christmas list. You want to make these people your best friends. They know where all that really weird looking stuff is. The weird looking, funny named things that your husband is going to send you after. Trust me, they don’t name the aisles “Funny looking stuff my husband needs”.  

5. Be prepared to take pictures of the things he needs that you will be running after. Don’t wait until you get to the home improvement center to ask him to send you a picture, because if you call your husband and try to describe what you’re looking at to compare it with what he actually needs and he’s knee deep in a flooded basement…well, divorces have started over such things. Take the picture before you leave.

6. If your husband comes to you and says, “Hey, honey? Can you run out to Menards and pick up 25 sheets of 8 x 4 pink foam board? You can take my truck.” Run. Fake an aneurism, fake an appendicitis attack, do what you must to get out of this task. ESPECIALLY if he has a truck with a tonto cover on it. This simple sounding task will end up making you question why you married him to begin with. Trust me. I present to the court the following evidence located at my blog post concerning same, dated June 2013.

7. And that is just for the small projects that happen around the house. For the major projects, such as the one we are currently undertaking, I don’t recommend newlyweds even consider undertaking room additions until you’re in your 40’s and have been married at least 6 years. Such projects are not meant for the faint of heart or the young. Room additions are meant for those of us who have been around a while, the battle-hardened individuals if you will.

In conclusion, whatever time period your husband has given you to complete a project, just double it. Double the cost too, as there will be unexpected costs along the way. Have the number of your local home improvement center on speed dial.

And when you’ve gone without a kitchen sink for a week, or you hear your husband in the basement or outside cussing up a blue streak, using words you’ve never even heard of because things are not going as planned, remember why you married him in the first place.

Home remodels are kind of like being pregnant. You go through emotional highs and lows, morning sickness (trust me there will be times you want to throw up when you see the price of something), swollen ankles (because you’ve dropped a drill on your foot), you will be tired and frustrated and blaming him for putting you in this situation to begin with, but in the end, you have something beautiful to admire. A new closet or freshly painted bathroom or a new living room…or, if the Gods decide to smile on you, a beautiful new kitchen and dinning room and home office.

Right now, the Gods are not smiling down upon us. But I know we will win and prevail. My husband said six months. I’m giving it 18 before I can cook in my new kitchen, have family over, or sit down in my new home office. Two years max. I'll give him that. I mean, he looks great in a kilt!!!


  1. ROFL! Love it! 18 months sounds quite reasonable.

    1. Tee hee...reasonable? Hopeful is more like it! lol

  2. Suzan Tisdale, are you guys planning a vacation to North Carolina....I have an adorable little cottage I need him to build, and when he's done that, I need him to erect a miniature stone circle in my backyard ;) You're all too funny!!!

    1. Ha! I told him no more vacations, no more new cars, no more new anything until the new kitchen is done. :D But I'll put a good word in for you!

  3. LMAO :-)
    But Suzan you have a beautiful sturdy wont blow away Carriage House ( Garage)
    I cant wait to see the Lived in Kitchen, You might want to start shopping for a Cool stove ( campstove) those mini propane bottles are on sale now....
    Crock pot recipes Toaster oven meals .YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT
    Have a good one Ann.

  4. LOL Ann! The current kitchen doesn't get demolished until the new one is complete. I think I'm looking forward to the demo more than anything else! lol



Please leave us a comment!