Monday, March 26, 2007

My life starts getting much crappier in 36 hours. That's about when the first (sub)contractor enters our house and begins systematically destroying all that is peaceful and good about my existence.

You see, our "remodel" "begins" on Wednesday morning. This is the process where a general contractor of our choosing harnesses the construction knowledge, man-power, and finesse of a pack of angry wasps to add another room onto our house. My wife has been wrangling architects, engineers, contractors, and neighbors for the last 18 months or so, and today the general contractor came by with a stack of papers for us to sign. He arrived, of course, half an hour late to our meeting, establishing a tone-setting Screw-You to kick off the project. We rewarded him with a $1,000 check.

That will be, by far, the smallest check we'll give him during this process, and commensurately, the most gentle ass-reaming he applies to us. Baby steps.

According to our contractor, the entire process should take less than 4 months and will cost a medium five-figured amount of money. I can't seem to find the web page that lets me translate those numbers from Contractor Speak into actual months and dollars, but I figure we'll be lucky to finish before winter and for less than $100,000.

How much is this process going to suck? Well, what do I like about where I live?

1) I can work at home in a quiet and productive environment.... GONE!

2) I can spend relaxing evenings in my living room without worrying about breathing in drywall dust or falling down a hole into my new "room"..... GONE!

3) I have the financial security of only having one mortgage..... POOF!

But, what do I get out of this process? Well, another room.

And why do we need another room? Well, we've got a lot of stuff, I guess.

Couldn't we have just tidied up instead? Maybe built some shelves?

Shut up.


Anonymous said...

Wow, you're really screwed. Must be time for you two to get pregnant. How much worse could things get? And hey, then you'll have a reason for adding on that extra room!



Mike said...

Larry, I keep trying to get pregnant! How many men do I have to screw? said...

Who's the boss here?

Set limits! Tell the contractor (who in turn should tell all the subs) your rules. After all you are the boss here!

At a minimum they need to know:
How early they can start in the morning and when they need to be finished each day.

What household privileges you are willing to offer (fridge, microwave, bathroom, couch to take a siesta on....)

How clean they are to leave the work space each day.

And most importantly, weekly status reports each Friday afternoon, alerting you to where you are on your estimate vs. actual spending and progress being made and what to expect for the coming week.

(perhaps you should get a hardhat and earplugs for each of your family members too!)


Mike said...

Chuck, "Who's the boss here?"? That's easy. My wife.

All your advice sounds pretty good. Had I been organized and thoughtful BEFORE we signed all the contracts on Monday, perhaps we could have done something like that.

carey said...

What kind of room will it be?

Document EVERYTHING that happens, and take pictures in the process. You know, for the lawsuit.

Mike said...

Carey, I could do that, but that flies in the face of my tried-and-true Bury Your Head In The Sand strategy.

I'm way too lazy to sue someone.