Maybe it's crossed your mind, lately, that my craft output (if not my creative planning) isn't at its usual volume. I, for one, am blaming this on my home renovation. You know, the home reno that was supposed to be done by Labour Day? Well, now we're aiming for Canadian Thanksgiving. Because, natch, everyone ties the wishful completion of renovations to the major holidays.
Since I'm sure this is a topic of major interest to you (cue clearing of throat), here's a little update:
- My expectations are beaten down so I can scarcely care anymore that we're behind schedule, over budget, unable to see through our windows, living under the shadow of scaffolding, cramped and without a useable back yard.
- This is despite the fact that my husband has taken on a second career (though his original one is going through an extremely busy phase) managing the contractor who's managing the trades. Scott is to be commended as the work is being excellently completed, if at the pace of restoration. The truth is, I don't understand how anyone can do any renovations for an affordable price. It takes so much labour, so many resources and SO MUCH TIME. We did go through a phase of trades-absenteeism (boring story), which affected our end-date, but we've more than made up the time and there's still an endless roster of things to complete.
- It's pretty freakin' gorgeous up there. You know I was not in favour of this reno, since it comes at the expense of the new kitchen I desperately wanted (and arguably need). But I have to say, it's a beautifully balanced addition to the home I love so much.
- Can't blame trades for everything... When we learned that the original floor would take far too much money to restore, based on its condition - we would have needed to remove all the boards, re-mill and re-lay them to fit and this wouldn't have addressed our sound-insulation concern adequately - we had to choose an alternative. Just call me that really annoying homeowner (a la Property Brothers) who says, at the last minute, I simply MUST have this special floor I just found - the one that needs to come in from Quebec takes an extra two weeks.
- More to come on the floor but it's engineered wood, specifically reclaimed oak (i.e. barn board in a previous life). Plank lengths are 6 feet and plank width is 7.5 inches. No new trees were harmed in the making of this project and the reclaimed wood is exceedingly beautiful. Furthermore, it'll be laid on a sound insulating underlay (important as this room will act as my husband's music studio). Finally, nothing has been glued onto the existing hardwood so it will still be restorable in the future, should the next owners choose to go that route. Mind you, they'd be stupid to do that cuz the new floor is FINE.
- In the words of my mother - who, on an impressive side note, is currently walking 500 miles in 6 weeks on the Camino de Santiago - Pay a lot, cry once. Pay a little, cry forever. (I think she's paraphrased the French saying: Bon marché tire agent de bourse. i.e. What is cheap is the most costly.) I'm working this philosophy, apparently, as the engineered wood we've ordered costs about 50 per cent more than your average nice hardwood. Mind you, to find hardwood in the length and width dimensions of this engineered wood, you'd be looking at about 100 bucks a board foot (that's smaller than a square foot, fyi). We're paying much less than that because the beautiful reclaimed oak you'll see sits on a bed of engineered wood. Point is, you won't be able to tell that our new floor isn't hardwood through all of its thicknesses. It will look like a million bucks (which is practically what it would have cost if it were pure hardwood).
- IMO, the two things you notice first in any home are a) the height of the ceilings / light ratio and b) the quality of the floors. I'm just going to say it - I'm a total floor snob. One of the things I love most about old homes is the beauty of the wooden floors. I don't particularly like skinny planks. I don't like parquet, I don't like hardwood laid along the horizontal grain of the room. Laminate just makes me angry.
- Having said all this, I'm at the "crying once" moment, for sure. I'm vaguely afraid of my line of credit.