Serenity now please.

Sometimes renovation is like a ballet where all the players are doing their steps in time with the music and the result is a beautiful piece of art. And then other times renovation is a chaotic discordant movement of players that result in something other than what you have planned. Lets just say that the former is rare and the latter is frequent. As you will probably be able to discern from this post, I'm having a less than happy moment now.

A lot of people have contacted me to get contact information about my contractors. Since we are not complete, its far too early to be giving out recommendations. And to be fair to the people who have contacted me, I haven't really shared any problems (aside from the claw foot tub incident) so I can see why interest might be peaked. But as with most working relationship, it has been far from perfect. They work hard but sometimes they do things that a) make no sense, b) totally disregard what they have been asked and c) make me insanely angry for having to point out the obvious.

They have been mostly amendable to correcting their mistakes but sometimes I've just given up on getting what I wanted in the interest in maintaining some sanity as well as moving the project forward. I won't bother going into the ever lengthing list of things I've compromised on because it will just make me angry. And in fairness, they have done some very nice work in delicate areas of patching molding and moving mirrors and repairing flooring that I have been very happy with. So I want to be reasonable whenever I can even if it means dealing with a few things that will probably drive me nuts for the rest of my life but in the grand scheme of things won't make a big difference.

But there are some things I'm just not willing to live with. Case in point, our master bathroom.

We purchased the vanity for this bathroom months ago because I wanted to make it as easy as possible for the contractors to lay out the walls, plumbing, lighting and medicine cabinets in the proper configuration. Having the vanity onsite made me feel like they could refer to it as a template should they need it.

So it has sat in the master bedroom while the master bathroom took shape. Over the last few months, plumbing has been arranged, walls gone up, med cabinets inset, tile applied. Several times in the progress I've shown them the plans as well as a separate mockup I've done of the space so there was no confusion. I've asked multiple times to make sure they are measuring and placing everything in the proper place and I've gotten that "yes we know, get off our backs" response. And honestly, I've felt a little bad being such a nag. They are the professionals right? I don't want to insult them.

Fast forward to this weekend when I realize the lighting fixture is too far to the left and is not going to allow enough room for the tile trim. Hmm. So I ask the contractor again - "Did you measure this before you put the medicine cabinets in? The sinks need to line up under the cabinets." Contractor calmly replies "Yes, we measured everything" with a look in his eyes like he is going to jump out the window if I ask him again. He thinks we can cut a few inches off the tiles to allow for the light to have more room. Hmm...that's not what I wanted or what was drawn up but I'm not going to go nuts over a few inches so I agree. A little while later, I just don't feel right about this conversation - if it was laid out as planned, there wouldn't be an issue with the light fixture being too close.

And I'm sure you can guess by now that the medicine cabinets are in the wrong place as are the lights. Its totally asymmetrical but more importantly the sinks are going not going to be under the mirrors! What the $%#%^#? Do I really need to reiterate AGAIN that the sinks should be under the mirrors? Is this some new fangled fashion that only I know about? I don't think so. I also don't think I should have to have this conversation after being made to feel like a nag for making sure they were doing their job which they were clearly ignoring. The lesson here is that I should have measured myself but I was foolish enough to believe that I don't have to watch every detail myself.

I spoke to my GC and he says he will fix it. And I believe he will do his best and wants to make us happy. But that doesn't make it any less annoying. Wouldn't it have been easier to just do it right the first time? Arggh.

Just when I'm about to lose my mind, I have to remind myself of the good work that's done with the bad. Case in point, right under the master bath debacle, the new wood flooring for the kitchen was going in. The kitchen is all open now so the original thin planks from the hallway and the parquet with a pattern border in the dining room will touch this floor. I didn't want it to look too matchy matchy (since that never works) and I didn't want it to be totally different either. So we specified for a flooring pattern that looked like the hallway with a simple border of a contrasting wood to work with the dining room floor. Getting a thin plank to level up with the thin original flooring was difficult but our contractor did a great job finding the materials and did a lovely job of laying the floor too. It required little back and forth and our contractor totally understood what we were going for and delivered.
Its looks great without screaming "hey - I'm a new floor!". So we're pleased with how it turned out.

I'm not a very patient woman. I don't like dealing with these highs and lows. I just want to be done. Can Santa send some elves over and finish all of this for Christmas morning? Pretty please? I've been good all year.


  1. Breath, it will be GREAT!!!

    I'm so behind here! Off to read the rest as it looks like it's taken so much more shape from the last time I was here, and I feel like I have missed.

  2. Your master bathroom is long finished, but I'm in the end stages of our main bathroom remodel, and I'm having an issue that you must have dealt with. I have the exact RH medicine cabinets that you do, but the profile of my chair rail would stick too far out when butted up against the medicine cabinet frame, showing not only the unfinished edge but also some gap behind the "bump" in the chair rail. In studying pics of your finished room, I'm not exactly sure what you did to deal with that. Was your chair rail profile not as prominent? Or did you lean the medicine cabinets slightly away from the wall at the bottom? Help! I was planning to do exactly as you did.


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