Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Renovator, The Ditherer & The Decider (#207)

There I was a couple of months ago, threatening you folks with more frequent postings and what happens?

Infrequent postings, that's what. Apparently, I fibbed.

Not on purpose, of course. My explanation/excuse is there's lots of work going on in the house. For the first time in 20-some years, much-needed repairs and decorating are transforming the place. But in the meantime, we’re living in chaos. I know, I know -- chaos describes most of the last 20-some years here. But this sort is different. This time there’s real hope for improvement on the other side of the mess. That light might not be an oncoming train at all. Could be a new fixture.

Let’s see...in the last two months I have replaced four sinks and a toilet. There’s new bathroom and kitchen floors and a new front door. The wreckroom ceiling is brand, spanking new. I replaced six light fixtures. As I write this, my living/dining room is about 1/3 hardwood floor, a beautiful, rich-looking, solid oak called “cognac.” (Which is what I want to drink a lot of after listening to a compressor and nail gun all day.)

By the way, I should mention I was using the royal “I” up there. My part in the renovations is swiping my credit card and writing cheques for the contractor. The actual work is being done by BillTheContractorGuy, assisted by Son #2.

(As longtime readers well know, I am not allowed to use power tools of any kind. I can hurt myself just fine with hand ones. Remarkably, #2 is adept with tools and eager to learn all aspects of repair and renovation, including using drills and saws and other lethal devices. DNA is weird, eh?)

Of course, my duties aren’t solely restricted to emptying my wallet. I also get to Frown Importantly while BillTheContractorGuy or a sales clerk from Home Depot are babbling about mortises or beveling or other equally incomprehensible contracting voodoo.

With apologies to George Bush, I am also The Decider. To me falls the burden of choosing flooring and fixtures and whatnot. I don’t know about you folks, but I’m the kind of Decider who prefers to have limited options. If there were only three colours, it would be darn sight easier to decorate.

Which brings me to giant warehouse stores.

I don’t much like giant warehouse stores. But apparently, nowadays, they are about the only places where contracting-type stuff is available.

Lots and lots and lots of it. Like, way more than three colours-worth.

When faced with too darn many choices, The Decider has a tendency to become The Ditherer. It’s difficult to select new light fixtures when there are many dozens to choose from. Especially when the person selecting has never, in his entire life, considered light fixtures beyond hoping they work when the switch is flipped.

Hilary offers a woman’s perspective when she’s here and something needs to be Decided. I always consider her counsel and have even been known to follow it. But she's only here for a couple of days every two weeks. So, more often than not, the burden of choice lies heavy on my shoulders alone.

Mine and the sales clerks from Home Depot.

Thank the gods many of those folks seem to know what they’re talking about! A nice lady helped me pick out the bathroom and kitchen floors and another helped with the front door. Yet another spent a half-hour giving me a crash course in hardwood flooring. She kindly paused whenever she noted my eyes glazing over, and would re-explain, using smaller words.

In any event, by the time all’s dithered and decided, I hope to have new windows, furnace and garage door too - perhaps even before winter sets in.

Unless, of course, there’s more than three kinds of windows, furnaces and garage doors.

I’ll keep you posted. Just not sure when, exactly.


Hilary said...

And a back deck.. you got a new one of those now too.

That new little cabinet in your kitchen which replaces the old dishwasher.. you need to take photos and put that paint job idea out here for opinions... It SO needs to be the same colour as the rest of the cupboards.. so goes my counsel. ;)

Your house is beginning to look great. Your posts, though fewer and farther between have always been so. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Ah, renos. And decisions. It'll all be worth it.

Barbara Martin said...

Soon you will be enjoying the renovations for the next twenty years. And, yes, we are interested in see a photo of the new cupboards.

Barbara Martin said...

...err, rather new cabinet.

Skunkfeathers said...

Deciding on dithering is not necessarily a bad thing...but nuthin' wrong widda little home improvement betwixt the dithers ;)

MagnoliaGirl said...

OMG, Frank! I just bought a little "fixer upper" and FEEL your pain! How many frickin' variations are there of every frickin' item in a house - every screw, every door, every color, every ....every! All that aside, I'm happier with my house than a pig in...The "before and after" are on my facebook page...

Frank Baron said...

Right Hil, forgot about the deck. I will, of course, carefully consider your counsel regarding the cabinet. Thanks for the flattery. It's pretty much gotten you everywhere. ;)

I expect you're right, Leah.

Barbara, I will, of course, carefully consider your suggestion that I follow Hilary's suggestion. :)

True, that, Skunkfeathers. :)

Glad you're happy with the new digs MG. I just got back from another grueling two hours at Home Depot. We can swap reno war stories when we're finally done. :)

Unknown said...

I prefer to collect the attractive paint chip swatches. When I'm feeling especially spiffy, I gather those Ralph Lauren ones.

Back to your projects . . . hardwood floors? And people still want to quibble about the existence of universal powers?

Dianne said...

think how lovely it will all be when it is done :)

sounds beautiful so far

I'd love to sit in a room full of cognac ;)

Home Depot makes me very very anxious.

Reb said...

I have done my share of renovations and I love all the wonderful choices. Of course my budget has always been able to cut the choices down to size for me ;) That and I have learned over the years to go with my first instinct.

I think we should all get a chance to see the cabinet, like Hilary suggested.

Good luck with the rest of the renos.

Anne C. Watkins said...

Sounds awesome! But before I decide how awesome, I need pictures. lol

Enjoy your new place. And take that Vitamin C and garlic so you don't get sick again. Somebody told me how helpful that can be. ;)

Anne C. Watkins said...

woah! sorry for the double post! slinking away in shame....

Thumbelina said...

Good Lord Frank - don't be dithering over there! Come on over here and help out!
We (that's the royal "we") are redecorating our room (long overdue) before we do the eldest boy's room for the youngest boy (because the eldest has cost me a fortune in moving out and now the youngest has laid claim to his room) and then we need to redecorate the small room as a guest room (because it has Liverpool paper all over it and I don't know if guests would really like that...) so get your butt over here and roll your sleeves up!
I mean, you have a contractor guy. I have hubby and me. Our need is greater.
Expecting to see you soon. :)

Frank Baron said...

Pam, no quibbling here. And yes, for-real, 3/4" solid oak. It's looking good so far. :)

Dianne, I think/hope you're right. It's like peeling an onion though - there's always something coming to light that needs attention. (Attention = $) But I have to confess that it is kinda fun and exciting to see the changes.

Reb, this is the first time in my life, renovations-wise, that I've had enough money to budget for anything except duct tape. It's a heady experience. :)

I'll probably post some pics Anne. I have a new camera and am still learning some of its ins and outs. And I hear ya about that garlic and vitamin C. :) (Don't worry about that 2nd post. I'll nuke it. But I'm leaving the other one. That was a nice slink. ;)

Thumbelina, I've wanted a good reason to visit Europe again! And helping you redecorate is not it! ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow~ I would love to see picts!