Week one. This isn’t so bad. Workers are friendly and prompt. Demo day(s) are noisy, but bearable (think dentist drill without the drool). We even got a first floor bathroom on day one.
Things are moving. Fast. So fast that we had a half-day notice to move out of our breakfast room.
It was my first panic-stricken moment of the project. That night we needed to pack for vacation and our niece (+ one) was arriving to stay for a few days at our house during Lollapalooza. We hadn’t even figured out where the table, chairs, sideboard, pictures, dishes, etc. would be going for the next 6 months. But Dan and Colby were quick to get it mostly cleared out before I even got home from work. Luckily they know – “if mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Construction crisis #1 averted.
I’m learning that kids have their own first impressions of this “adventure”, as well. While they are psyched about house 2.0, they aren’t always so psyched for what it’s going to take to get there. They’ve lost access to the backyard to skateboard or play kick ball or get to the garage easily. They have to carry a house key (there’s a major first world problem). Their giant play set has been dismantled and sold. And soon the demo will creep into their rooms. So, when I realized we can take the unscheduled breakfast room demo as a primetime graffiti opportunity, everyone was back on the house 2.0 bandwagon. A few Sharpies and everyone quickly forgot the disruption. Luckily I know – “if the kids ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Most construction projects have a fair number of surprises. But if you can minimize them, or at least minimize your reaction to them, then it’s sure to save you money and stress. One way to do that is to prepare. Get ahead of things. If we can make a decision on something now, we do it before decision fatigue sets in. Not sure how it will pay off, but in the meantime it provides a sense of control.
And when the whole backside of your house is in a dumpster, it helps to feel control over something.