Construction imitates life in the way that we renovate to rejuvenate. When we want a fresh start we must begin from the inside out. We build our foundation from the bottom up. So why must it be such a painful process to get to the beauty of it. It always amazes me how a person, particularly a contractor, will look you straight in the eyes and lie to you. This may or may not sound familiar to you as well, but I get lured in each and every time! I know going in, the journey is going to be tumultuous, but I still proceed, throwing all caution to the wind. Like a kid in a candy store that knows too much sugar will lead to a tummy ache, I take on new projects with joy and jubilee. Then POW, without warning, I’m sitting in the middle of the dust with my great expectations murdered in cold blood. When I come to, I’m usually screaming at the top of my lungs, wondering why we are behind two weeks and we’re only one week in. This time it was our backyard and “outdoor” kitchen (they’re calling it now.) Really it’s just a grilling station with a sink and a fridge, but they can charge more if they give it a fancy title. I was really excited to have a sexy, outdoor living space, so I listened to my husband and started this project at the beginning of summer, against my better judgement. Let’s just say it was a bad idea.
It would appear, the second you hire the man in the yellow hat, and they break ground everything slows down from there. The first day there is always an army of men. Then, a week in, where did they all go? To another job, I’m convinced of it. Off they go to destroy someone else’s kitchen or backyard. All of a sudden work begins at 10AM and not 7:30AM. Like a new love gone bad, they’re just not that into you. Lunches turn into siestas. “What happened now?” I wondered with my backyard torn up like Beirut and no one on site to put it back together. “Oh.” I said. “So we’re waiting on the stone, I see.” “Well, can’t all the other things be worked on?” I guess waiting on the stone is code for “we took someone else’s money and need to show up for a few days over there so we can get them strung out and hopeful too.”
I’m no rookie to construction, in fact most of the time I love the process. But there are days when things seem to come to a head and I’m taking extra yoga classes and breathing deeper just so I don’t end up on TMZ slapping the shit out of my contractor.
The art of renovation is sweet and satisfying, but tread lightly my friends because it can, and may, be hazardous to your health.