Expectations. They can be joy killers and stress givers. I’ve been living the world of expectation versus reality the last couple months.
1 her expectations were unrealistic: supposition, assumption, presumption, conjecture, surmise, calculation, prediction, hope. (Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus)
Notice, the example sentence… HER expectations were unrealistic. How did they know?
When we set ourselves up with unrealistic expectations based on hopeful calculations, the letdown can be draining. A handful of times this summer I’ve sat quietly in a secluded place with tears streaming down my cheeks experiencing remodel despair. Sitting in a room of unfinished projects and unpacked belongings, I have no clue when or how it’s all going to come together, and long for Jonathan and Drew, The Property Brothers, to show up and relieve my exasperation. Remodel Despair can be brought on by a number of things including unrealistic expectations, a quickly diminishing budget, and workers who don’t show up.
When we started this project, I anticipated 6-weeks of work and we’d move into an adorably cozy, semi-modern California ranch. I envisioned a “Show us this house,” kind of welcome where we walk in to a completely new bright, California beach-style home with updated furniture, candles burning, and fresh flowers on the counter. I now realize that is not our reality. I obviously watch way too much HGTV and although I see what Hillary, Jonathan, and the rest go through, I thought we’d at least have a reveal. The blog post of our before and after will have to wait. Instead of an amazing, “See what we did,” we have a “See what we’re still in the middle of…”
A Quickly Diminishing Budget
Like many remodelers, we were on a tight, limited budget. If you have a $10,000 or a $100,000 it goes so quickly! I honestly feel like we were prudent and wise with our buying decisions, but even the best budgeters find the money disappears quickly. For example, consider kitchen cabinets. We originally priced lower quality cabinets at Home Depot, but found them to be a budget eater. IKEA was suggested, but I just couldn’t do it. IKEA is great for a bookshelf or a piece of furniture you know is transitional, but I hoped for wood cabinets. We have a Direct Buy membership we’ve used on other projects and put it to work on this one too. I know the negatives of Direct Buy and hate pressure sales, but we’ve had this membership for about 20 years and it has saved us THOUSANDS! We were able to purchase quality maple cabinetry at a fraction of the Home Depot price. We also purchased our doors, windows, lighting, and furniture for two bedrooms through Direct Buy. We’re still waiting for the bathroom vanities and the boys’ furniture to arrive. Soon, I tell myself… soon.
I have a good friend who is an interior designer and before we started this project she told me, “You are not bringing that cherry furniture into your new California home.” Honestly, I loved my cherry furniture, but it was purchased for a larger home with a Pacific Northwest style. It is too big for our new space. There isn’t room for it and for us, so it had to go. I sold most on eBay and one piece on Craig’s List. I’m happy it went to collectors who will love it. Selling provided the funds to purchase new furniture that will fit our space better. In addition to the cherry furniture, I sold our dining room furniture, the boys’ bunk beds, dressers, nearly every piece of furniture we owned. If it is not nailed down… beware, I might sell it!
Sometimes you just have to get creative to add funds to your project and selling has provided a resource for us.
Where are the workers?
When we lived in Washington we had a handful of friends/contractors we trusted and relied on. They were honest, hardworking men who knew their trade and practiced quality workmanship. Sadly, we’ve yet to find the same dependable contractors here. I imagine they’re out there, we just haven’t found them. We’re still waiting to find someone to finish sheetrock repair and also waiting for the countertop/tile guy to finish a few items. I’ve called countless times, with no response. Consequently, my hub has become quite the contractor in the wake of workers not showing up. He has become our resident plumber hooking up the kitchen sink, dishwasher, refrigerator filter, and he connected a laundry sink in the main bath until the vanity arrives. He installed the light fixtures, windows, doors, trim, did all the painting, and will begin on the mantle when we return. Diligently plugging away at his projects, he’s getting the job done.
We will finish
This project will be completed, but living in the home slows the work down a bit. It’s much easier to work in a vacant dwelling, but those days are gone. We’ve done this before and it will come together. The new estimated completion time is probably November. Thanksgiving. I will give thanks in November for a home completed…. I hope.