Mike and I did a big DIY a couple years ago when we layed an office-full of dark bamboo flooring. The bamboo was hard as nails, well, harder than our nails, and it was two long days of doing and redoing and cutting and wrecking and being sore and tired. Afterward, Mike said we’d never do that again.
He got floor-laying amnesia, obviously, because as you may know, we are in the midst of another flooring project. This time, thank goodness, it is going down MUCH better, and in addition to the floor, we’ve got new cabinets, a new sink, new counters in the works, new dishwasher, new everything in the kitchen. It’s going to be gorg, but in the meantime we’re at each others’ throats. 50% of marriage ends in divorce because 50% of couples try to do a home renovation project. Look it up.
We definitely learned something between project 1 and project 2, and this second round is preparing us for 3.0. (That is, if we make it through this one alive.) A few lessons and tidbits:
*Try to quarantine the room under construction. If you don’t, you’re opening up the rest of the house to the willing wanderer: dust. Your floors will be dusty. Your sidetables will be dusty. Even the toilet will be dusty. Maybe cover the air vents. Maybe just move out.
*There is a banana in the bathroom. Because… there is nowhere to keep the bananas. Plan ahead and organize at the get-go. I moved plates, utensils and foods from cupboard to cupboard as the old ones worked their way out of the kitchen. I would’ve been much better off loading them into boxes at the get, and keeping their contents well-organized. Instead I’ve got spices with the forks and an MIA popcorn popper. And a banana in the bathroom.
*Wear gloves. I learned this the first time but it’s worth mentioning. Moving around wood floor with bare hands yields a palm full of slivers.
*Wear earplugs, too. That nail gun is loud. It also drowns out the neighbors when they are hollering over the fence at you to knock off all that power-tooling.
*Send your pets away. Keypers has been on vacation with the ‘rents and he’s blissfully unaware of the mayhem happening at home. He’s also not underfoot looking for attention, which is great since we don’t have it to give right now.
*Mike and I had our kitchen measured out by a pro., and then took that drawing elsewhere to use in ordering our cabinets. Partially into installing them, we found out that our measurer didn’t account for the plumbing behind the sink and the layout we’d planned for wouldn’t work. Don’t trust the pros; make sure you doublecheck their work or you’ll quickly be entering into problem-solving territory.
*Know how to problem solve. If you don’t, then just lay down and cry.
*Not one thing is as easy as it seems.
*Thank God for the internet. A 36 inch corner cabinet isn’t really 36 inches? Who knew? The internet. The internet knew. How do you fix a jammed nail gun? Ask the internet.
*Don’t leave your indoor plants outside, even for two days. You’ll be sad and they’ll be sad. Your husband won’t be that sad because that’s a few less plants taking over every surface of the house.
*When you are removing the tape that you used to tape-off for painting, run a razor blade along the edge before pulling it up. You’ll get a clean, beautifully done line. Why doesn’t anyone teach this shit?
*Got a sound in the wall that sounds like a drip? Make sure it is before you tear a hole in the wall and find out there’s not a drop of water to be found. Unless you like holes in your walls, in which case, go for it.
*Water sucks. There’re probably leaks everywhere in your house, or there once was and now there are are water spots. Kilz is awesome. It’s like a magic eraser. Now you see it; now you don’t.
*Also, water is amazing. You don’t know how good you have it that you can just throw dirty dishes in the sink or fill your watering can or wash your hands… ANY TIME YOU WANT. Life isn’t the same without a sink.
*On that note…Buy paper plates. It took us a few weeks to get on this and I wish we wouldn’t have waited. If you have a bathroom sink full of dishes to wash you’ll remember why I suggested this.
*Be nice to your wife. I asked Mike what he learned and this is his submission. Pun intended.