Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Someday My Chintz Will Come

Decorating is a marathon, not a sprint. And although I very much enjoy the creative nest-building process, I am rapidly discovering my definition of “quick-turnaround” is not the industry norm shared by the greater contracting public.

For those of you considering home remodel, repair or equal level of self-inflicted mayhem, allow me to provide a helpful glossary of terms critical in translating repair-person linguistics.

  • Estimate: A fraction of the money you will bleed. 
  • Foreman: Evil minion in charge. 
  • Sub-contractor: Assistant evil blood-sucking minion.  
  • Home inspector: Kid from elementary school requesting extra homework and subsequently getting the snot beat out of him by playground bully. (Bully – see Foreman) 
  • Certificate of Occupancy: Big, fat myth evil minions assure victims they can attain. 
  • Guarantee: (Coffee spew!) Sorry, cannot control maniacal laughter. Webster should delete this word entirely. 

Yes, I'm in a decidedly dark home repair hole at the moment, and yes, good contractors do exist. The trick is separating the genuine tool savvy from, well, the genuine tools.


Judy said...

Our fence estimator from Lowe's disappeared. Completely. And irrevocably. I feel your pain.

Anonymous said...

We took about three years to overhaul our home. We bought for location, location, location, but in spite of good bones, our house screamed eighties. The yard had to be pulled out completely, a sprinkler system put in and the foundation repaired. Then we went inside and started by replacing all the Saltillo tile. Over time we changed all the light fixtures, redid bathrooms and painted everything. Then it was time for draperies. Our final touch was the kitchen. Refinishing cabinets, a new backsplash and a few other touches. Now we love our home.

The reason we were able to tolerate the process with ease, was because earlier in this century we'd built a home on the Central Coast of California. Compared to that exercise, three years of remodel in Texas was a breeze.

Kathryn Elliott said...

OMG Jane! How are you not in rehab? Or jail? You are my hero! And Judy - if I see the Lowes guy, I'll take him down and drag him over. We must stick together!

Bethany C. said...

I'm totally going to force someone in my family to write into Extreme Makeover for me--that way they're at least caught on film if they screw you over.

Anita Grace Howard said...

You poor gal! LOL about the tools. And the evil blood-sucking minions? *shudder* I'm so thankful my hubbie and his dad are handy. They usually do our home renos themselves.

Home improvements are not for the faint of heart. The Money Pit should be doled out on an educational basis to anyone even considering redecorating. That moment when the bathtub falls through the second story down into the basement is forever ingrained in my mind. I never really grasped the concept of hysterical insanity until I saw Tom Hank's reaction in that scene. HEH

Good luck! And don't make the tools angry. THEY WILL REBEL.