What's weighing on me is the impending commencement of a rather significant home renovation: the taking off of the roof / raising the roof line on the back of the house / remaking the third floor reno that my husband has been researching and threatening for a decade. Obtaining the permits and determining structural requirements have taken an active year and a half. Not a wall has been demolished and it's already cost thousands. Alors, the mere cost of tax on the project has me breaking out in hives. Imagine the most expensive room redo you can envision and then double it. (Note: If you're super-affluent, don't double it. Other note: By Toronto-standards, I am not super affluent.)
This is the kind of project that lasts for 2 months (at a minimum), the kind that has you living with trades. We undertook a, very stressful, much less complicated reno in 2008 - one that taught us many things, for example:
- Don't work with a designer who can't manage trades.
- Make your contract iron-clad.
- Phase payment according to work completed on a weekly basis.
- Ensure you have communicated your expectations clearly from the outset.
This project is much farther-reaching - with huge implications. It involves living without a roof for a few days?!? (Urban camping, anyone?), which is why I'll be going away. (Scott will be here to oversee things.) Yeah, I'm spending my summer vacation in North Carolina with my parents, sister and assorted children. Somehow it's not Amsterdam with my husband. But nor is it living in a construction zone.
When I return (child-free for a month!), Scott and I will continue to live through renovation, though the plan is that the main part of our home (everything other than the third floor) will be sealed off and a scaffold will route all debris and construction out the third floor to the bin. The garden will be protected from damage, theoretically, by the creation of a raised path. All of this is complicated by the fact that I live in a row house that's 15 ft wide.
Why am I doing this aka Why isn't this a kitchen renovation since I'm a cook and my kitchen looks like crap / has done for the past 10 years? For a few reasons:
- Homes need renewal. The third floor was initially part of a mediocre renovation that occurred 15 years ago. It's time to improve it. Not to mention water damage it sustained a few years ago.
- It's not getting any lovelier with age - much like my kitchen.
- Of course, everyone will tell you that structural renovation increases the value of one's home. Whatevs. Since we never intend to move, I don't know how that helps us.
- My husband really wants a new third floor. He's been working (and hanging) in the old third floor for almost 13 years.