Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Home-Improvement Chronicles: Under Construction

ready to come inside? are you sure you’re ready? are you positively sure you’re sure? because it’s a fucking disaster in here.

floored: remember when i mentioned that the floors revealed a few soft spots and dips after the tile was pulled up? yeah, i’d like to forget about that, too; it’s a very painful, expensive memory. my contractor didn’t like it much either. he insisted on pulling up the oak hardwood floors that were underneath the star of Chuy. then he decided to pull up some of the subflooring. guess what he found?

rotted wood: apparently the subflooring hadn’t been replaced since it was installed — in 1926, when the house was built. termites and time took their toll. contractor called me at work and said maybe three or four boards could be salvaged. he advised that all of the subflooring in the living room be replaced, along with some of the beams, if i wanted even floors. and if i didn’t want to replace them, i would need to sign a waiver saying i didn’t heed his advice and wouldn’t sue him if the end result sucked. he showed me the wood, specked with black lines of termite feces. he picked up a board and tore it apart with his hands. he gave me an estimate and told me the labor to replace the floors would tack another week to the job. i took about ten seconds to think it before saying, “do it.”

plied: the new subflooring turned out to be big sheets of plywood that were cut and sanded to fit nicely together. thankfully, the subflooring in the bedrooms was in good enough shape to be left alone.

this is the bathroom: it was the only room in the house that was not under construction, so it turned into the tool depot for the crew. i certainly wanted the bathroom to undergo a makeover — with its cheesy wainscoting, chipped marble tile and nauseating rose paint — but given the subflooring surprise, the battle against this ugly would have to be saved for another day.

dump: construction on the house lasted roughly three weeks and produced a hellish amount of trash.

demoted: the speaker that was once in the ceiling cried out amid the rubble. i thought of scooping it up from the trash and placing it next to the star of Chuy in the garage, but decided to pass. sadly, once it was removed from the ceiling it lost all its charm.

disaster averted: the hole in the ceiling that cradled the speaker was indeed patched. with that, the portal to the netherworld of the previous owners was closed forever. good riddance.

walled: the crew also patched the area where we demolished the wall that once separated the master bedroom into two smaller bedrooms.

doored: they also added a door to the kitchen.

souled: and replaced the kitchen window with a smaller one to accommodate a sink. the kitchen plumbing also underwent rearrangement, not to mention major overhaul of the cabinets (to be covered in a separate post).

those colors: once the patches were made, the plumbing moved, subflooring replaced, i wouldn’t need to see those colors ever again, because the crew then primed the place to get it ready for painting, the floors ready for the bamboo installation, while i waited eagerly for them to finish.

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