Sunday, July 09, 2006

Biting The Hand That Remodels

We have officially been "under construction" since April. In that time we have had new plumbing successfully installed, a fabulous new roof placed above our heads, "can" lights put in the children's rooms as well as 2 new light fixtures (one for the kids' hallway and one for EvaJun) 3 ceiling fans wired and the world's prettiest tile laid in what we used to call the outside room and now call the room with the world's prettiest tile.

While the children and I are in Hawaii, the interior will be painted and the teak floor laid throughout. Hooray!

And here is where it all goes wrong. The tile in the children's bath has been totally screwed up. Totally, completely, absolutely and any other adverb you can come up with.

Currently, there is no shower, only a tub, in this bathroom and now that the boys are a little older, they are less about the baths and more about the showers and that has meant showers in our bathroom and quite frankly we want those shaving cream addicts, expensive shampoo down the drain users out. The solution is nothing more complicated than tiling the 3 walls around the tub and installing a shower system. It is a smallish room so Hugh and I chose a very plain white 3 x 6 subway tile to do the job. This tile, however ordinary, is rather extraordinary in that each piece is handmade in Mexico with a glaze so thick and shiny that it looks like frosting and you are tempted, if not to take a bite out of it, to run your fingers across in hopes of grabbing a little taste of fluff. This glaze is what sold us... there were roughly 345, 786 choices of white tile to choose from, and we were giddy in the way that only others who have been forced to spend hours making minute design decisions can understand.

The bath is duly gutted and prepped and the sweet hexagonal floor is laid and the shower tile is up and whoo-hoo... not grouted but we can tell it is going to rock. Yes, we can. Rock!

Because of the massive mold and mildew issues that we have in this coastal community of paradise, we opt for a dark gray grout. The bright white tile offset by the charcoal... happy happy joy joy. Until the actual grout happens. Apparently, the grout dude is visually challenged. Or maybe spastic. Or both. Or maybe he hates us, because it is the worst application in the history of tile. Roman emperors would have fed this bozo to the lions and the Greeks would have tossed him off the nearest available cliff.

There are wildly varying widths and layers of thickness and it is ugly and it made us cry and then get drunk and send 12 iPhotos off to our contractor who is on holiday in Hawaii. HA! Aloha this buddy.

Not to worry, we will re-grout. With white. It will look fresher and cleaner and really, you folks should never have gone with that gray color because blah, blah, blah... 4 workers descend upon the bathroom at 8 am and are not seen until 9:30 that night. We look at the room, say, "Oh, yes, looks much better... thanks so much." They look at us blankly, mutter something that sounds like, "muy loco" and leave.

In the morning Hugh approaches the bathroom with a bottle of cleaner and a rag, ready to shine it up and guess what? Up close and personal we realized that the frosting glaze that we fell in love with had been sanded off on about 80% of the tiles.

MotherF*cker.

Another crazy person email is sent off to Hawaii and now we are demo-ing again and starting from scratch and I am thinking of taking up smoking.

***

I know you are all thinking: Shit, there she goes again with the moaning about the remodel and really, why doesn't she just shut the hell up already? And I hear you because I can barely stand myself at times and truly all the people I know in my real life are soooo over us and our house and truly, we won't have a friend left in the world if we don't stop monopolizing every conversation with our complaints and never-ending cell phone calls with our contractor.

But, I live in chaos. It rules my life and I am so sick and tired of things not being done right the first time and the subsequent small battle that ensues to have it redone.

So, Internet, I have to talk to you

If you want furniture call me, it all needs to be out of here by the 22nd of the month.

36 comments:

Stephanie said...

I'd be happy to light up a cig for you. Sounds like you really need one!

Gracencameronsmomy said...

Oh maaaaannnnn! That sucks! Will they redo the whole thing?? Try not to think about when you are drinking a fruity beverage in hawaii!! (have one(or 10) for me!!)
Lisa

Oh, The Joys said...

Gak! We are about to start on a master suite addition to the house... bad omens... It's going to be hell isn't it? Grrr.

Ann said...

Wow sounds like you got some....ummm...talking to do with the tile people. Hope that all this remodeling goes better from here on out. But hey have a Mai Tai for me!!

Painter Beach Girl said...

the worst is when everything starts out great and then it all goes to hell, just when you think you got a good contractor or whatnot and then they drop the ball. Oh, I am sorry, that totally sucks.

Margaret said...

Ack. Not fun. I hope it gets done correctly soon.

M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Ahhhhhh, you're scaring the crap out of me (not easy to do since I'm hopped up on liquid Vicodin). We're about to plunge into our granite kitchen counter remodel. God help me.

crouching mother hidden diva said...

Smoking the mary jane are we?...light me up!

Pendullum said...

Just what are you resorting to smokin'?
And maybe a wee bit of tequila...
One of the worst arguments I ever had with my spouse was over tile...
Oooooooo...
I feel for you...
Have fun in Hawaii!!!!

Lena said...

Oh Kristin - I so feel you. We once stayed up all night arguing over granite. I think there was even talk of divorce.

Hang in there!

When are we getting drunk at the beach with our kids anyway?

Kel said...

I need to redo our bathrooms and I am avoiding it and you are giving me nightmares - ack!

Kristin said...

Kel-

Come back and give me the link to your blog... commmmmeeee baaaaccckkk!!!

Jodi said...

OH MAN. How hard will it to be find that divine tile with the frosting stuff again? Sounds to me like the tile guys better start looking for some. They screwed up BIG time. Remodeling is soooo not fun. I have heard building a house from scratch is even worse.

Poor Kristen. have fun in Hawaii for sure. maybe U will come home to a PERFECTLY done house. Wouldn't that be awesome? And you so have to post pics when everything is done. I am dying ot see it all.

jemima3 said...

You're scaring me big time. We're about to move in a matter of days, and there isn't even a kitchen in the house, so I'll have the nightmare of builders PLUS the kids under my feet 24/7 expecting to be fed AND entertained. please say it's not really so bad!!

sunshine scribe said...

Oh that SUCKS. Sounds like you need take up more than just smoking!

Lisa and Tate said...

NIGHTMARE.... You blog on about it and I will listen... MUST POST PICTURES!!!

Lisa

Stephanie A. said...

Keep blogging about it because I need to learn about the trials of remodeling from someone. Our bathrooms are on the short list of things to do around the house. Yuck.

Nikki said...

Are you kidding me? This remodel stuff is great bloggin fodder.

They can go make pretty baskets with the mean man in the green room if they don't like it.

I'm sorry about the tile though. You had to be sooooo pissed.

Johnny said...

Don't you know that pictures, along with the diary of suffering, helps us suffer along.

Those who haven't had their lives turned upside down will truely never know the HORROR you are experiencing.

Stay strong and keep that prodding stick sharp.

Anonymous said...

Remodeling is so terrible, everyone I've ever met has horror stories (myself included) but I liked the results and hopefully you will too!
take care, lin
Enjoy Hawaii!!!

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Construction is really annoying. Hope it gets done soon. Good luck.

Becky said...

good lord! you need a drink!

Michelle said...

What a horror story! I hope it all gets sorted out, and in the meantime, you'll be relaxing in Hawaii...

Heather said...

My parents re-did the entire first floor of their house in the last 3 weeks. They did it in stages, so that once one stage was done, they cleaned the place top to bottom, then they started the second stage and it became a disaster area again.

We desperately want to re-do our original 1940s kitchen (which is so ugly it could win an ugly kitchen contest) and I've almost saved enough money for a new one but the first priority is re-doing the lathe and plaster walls. Think of all the dust!

Hope you come home to everything all done!

eastcoastermomma said...

We remodelled our downstairs a few years ago and it was an awful time! It looks good, but I wouldn't do it again.

Good luck and have fun in Hawaii.

Oh, The Joys said...

Hey - congrats on the cool hip mamas!!

jennster said...

you want to skip hawaii and come to blogher with furniture? is that waht i read? i thought so. :)

mamatulip said...

Oh god...that just sucks. S-U-C-K-S.

f said...

String 'em up, baby. Don't let anyone mess with you or your tile.

Occidental Girl said...

Oh my hell, we did a little remodel last year - while we were getting married and moving, what fun! - and this is making me have shivers at the memories.

Remodeling is fun at two points: when you're planning it and when you're enjoying the finished product. Every other stage sucks!

I'm sorry. I hope it is done soon.

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that you're not settling. Make sure you get want you want and what you paid for. I live in London England and the builders here are all clueless crooks!

Good luck!

Alexandra

Kevin Charnas said...

Oh baby...I kind of know what you're going through, not really, but kind of. Will is designing and dealing with a guest house for his parents. They'll move into it, then have the main house torn down and a new one built. Their place is in shambles (and full of mold) and things have to be re-done and re-done and re-done and Will is usually the one to go in and LITERALLY redo everything.
Does anyone know what the fuck they're going?????
Thank god for Hawaii.

And have you decided to go ahead with a column?

Melissa said...

I knew it wasn't going to be as easy as them coming and re-doing it. It is never that easy. Grey seemed like a good idea. I hate, hate mold. And it is all over my bathroom tiles. I hope they re-do it right for you the next time.

kim said...

Ohhh hunny I didnt know it was THAT bad!! You need a cigarette a drink and some of that cannibas sativa i think its called :)
Thats horrible... but you will win in the end ... its just a matter of time... hang in there !

lildb said...

ugh. sounds dreadful. bitch to the internet anytime you need to. that's what it's fricking for. I get real testy when people try to tell bloggers what they should/shouldn't use their blog for, and it makes me want to write crap that annoys people that much more, b/c I'm a rebel that way.

only I wouldn't, in reality, b/c I'd be terrified that people would stop commenting and there'd be radio silence and I'd feel so alone; sooo. verrrry. alooooone. so, um, nevermind.

hi. I'm wishy-washy.

InterstellarLass said...

Jeez! I'd be pissed just because of the cost of it! The ruined the tile! They should be made to redo it.

Don't start smoking. Just drink more.