Home Improvements

    So far, this Christmas vacation has been a rather hectic one…Besides all of the usual mayhem that takes place around the holidays, I am having my bathroom and kitchen remodeled.

    Actually, saying that they are being remodeled is an understatement because they are pretty much being rebuilt from the ground up.  Unfortunately, this was a necessary evil because of the condition of both of these rooms when I bought my house six years ago.  I knew coming in that we would have to redo these two rooms but I also knew that it would be a project that I would have to save for extensively.  Those of you who own your own homes know exactly what I am talking about.

    Along with all the joys that come from owning your own home, there is an additional “joy” that nobody prepares you for.  If anything goes wrong or needs to be fixed, there is no Building Superintendent or Landlord that you can call to correct the problem.  You are that person.  Additionally, it seems to be that any work that ever needs to be done around the house always costs hundreds and thousands of dollars.  Sometimes I think that all contractors get together and agree on a common amount to quote homeowners whenever they need something done. ” You need a new bathroom?  No problem, $10,000.”  “Oh, you want to remodel the kitchen?  No problem, another $10,000.”  Of course, I’m being conservative with these amounts because they are just the tip of the iceberg.

    As a result of this, we have been very cautious about starting these two projects for fear that we might over extend our selves financially.  However, sometimes, opportunities arise and you have to seize the moment.  We were recommended a wonderful and affordable contractor by a family member and we finally decided that the moment had come to jump right into it.  Believe me, I am watching every penny that goes into this project should it drain all of our savings.  As parents, it is imperative that we have a nest egg to fall back upon at a moment’s notice.  So, I am being watchful and frugal but not too frugal that we compromise how we want both rooms to be done.

    It has also been interesting keeping the kids occupied while all of this work is being done in the house.  Naturally, the boys are curious about what has been going on in the bathroom and take any opportunity to sneak off over there to question the contractor about what he is doing and why he is doing it.  I am constantly shooing them away telling them to stop bothering him while he is working.  It will be nice to see their faces when they view the finished product.  My Little One has already asked me when he will be able to take a bubble bath in the new bathroom.  Oh, to be young again and to have as my only worry when my next bubble bath will be!

    The only negative part about this whole experience is having strange people in my house every single day.  I was telling my husband that you don’t realize how much you value your privacy and the comfort of your home until you have contractors traipsing across your living room with sheetrock and tiles and leaving dusty footprints on your carpet.  I just keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it once the work is completed.  Until then, I will just continue to take showers upstairs and brush my teeth in the kitchen sink.

© 2009, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. We live in an old house which this summer suddenly decided to show its age. Fortunately, most of the work was outdoors so I haven't felt the privacy crunch yet. However, in a couple of weeks indoor repairs will begin and I plan to spend a lot of time on the computer, hiding in my room. We found a very reasonable carpenter but the expense is still astronomical. Everything would be so much easier if I could just buy a huge tent and move into the woods.

  2. I know exactly how you feel. I bought my first house a few years ago and sometimes I miss that feeling of calling someone else when something goes wrong. We're also in the middle of remodeling here. Not as extensive as yours is, but frustrating nontheless. Seems like it's taking forever.

  3. @Nothingprofound-I am spending a lot of time on the computer and watching TV since I am also on vacation from work this week. It is true, even with a reasonable contractor, everything still costs so much money. Who knew tiles and bathroom hardware and fixtures cost so much money!

    @Soonergirl-I am also feeling like it is taking forever. Mind you, that is just me being impatient because he has only been working for three days so far…

  4. I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for doing a wonderful job with this blog and would like to commend you on your hard work.

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  5. Thank you, Fay! It means a lot to receive this kind of recognition. One often hopes that their blog will be valid and meaningful to others. I really appreciate the compliments and I am proud to appear on the Blogging Women directory with all of the other talented women bloggers. I will definitely be keeping my eye for the "Featured Blogs" section. Happy New year!

  6. We had our driveway replaced a couple of years ago. My family looked like puppies in the window of a petstore… all of us kneeling on the couch peering over the back to watch the guys work through our living room window.

    Boys especially just LOVE seeing what is going on and asking tons of questions. It was seriously our entertainment for nearly 2 days straight!

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