The Meltdown Tour

The All Purpose Polish Tradesman has been here for seven working days now, and as time passes I’m proportionally losing my grip.  I can’t even type proportionally without wanting to cry.  My fingers are losing their purchase on the ledge of my new year’s recommendation to try and be more grateful.  I need a muscle relaxant, and right quick too.

The bathroom renovation was bad, but it affected a quite isolated portion of the house, and the benefits were undoubted.  This latest phase of home improvement has wreaked the kind of whole-house destruction which fundamentally affects its nature as a home.   I’ll admit that matters aren’t aided by the fact that owing to partial employment I’m here three days during the week and I’m running out of patience things I can find to keep me out of the house for long periods of time.

Yesterday I tried to work from home (I have no office available to me on Mondays) but the power and internet connection frequently went down as fuckery was perpetrated downstairs with gay abandon. I asked for a warning, and they did their best, but lard it was hard to keep my cool.  There is banging, and crashing, and shouting and the heating is off and doors are left open.

Without further ado, let’s move to the photographic evidence.

Here is my hallway:

The lining paper is mostly done, but you can see the area of blown plaster that had to be dug back to bricks drying to the left of the door.  Of more significant concern is that the cheap laminate floor has disappeared.  The All Purpose Polish Tradesman offered us an amazing deal on solid oak flooring left over from another job, so we decided to go ahead.  Of course, underneath the floor were yet more glued down shitty 1970s floor tiles which had to be pulled up.

The hallway floor is not cleared of adhesive: stand in one place too long and you’re stuck like a fly to the paper, and just as angry about it.  It’s been that way for two days.  Why he’s not laying the new floor is a million dollar question.  Yesterday I assumed it would be a priority, because look:

Shards of adhesive-covered splintered wood!  Currently being tracked all over the house because there’s no sweeping them up, no putting paper down (it will stick to the adhesive and be non-removable) and most importantly, no fucking oak floor laid on top of them.

I was led to believe that the job would be ‘zoned’.  One room would be completed before another one messed with.  How wrong I was.  Let’s move on to the dining room.

Or should I say repository for all the furniture from the living room, dining room, and hallway?  We have two rooms downstairs (not including the kitchen, and this is one of them.  There is unfinished work in here (you can see the un-papered chimney breast and alcoves in the background).

This is what the other downstairs room looks like:

Everything has been removed except one bookcase full of books that we didn’t know to remove for him, because we thought one room at a time was the deal.  Apparently shit takes longer to dry, and things get off schedule when unforseen disasters occur.  Like this unforseen disaster:

An almighty great crack above the door frame, that wasn’t there this morning!  The damage to the ceiling is worse than the All Purpose Polish Tradesman thought, so we wont’ get away with skimming and papering: the entire ceiling needs to be re-plastered.  Can you say overdrawn?  Can you say delay? I tell you, readers, I am this close to spending on a hotel.  A nice one, close to my office.  Radical home improvement stresses me more than anything else.

Upstairs, piles of possessions are stored in the spare bedroom.  Thank lard we at least have a spare bedroom in which to put all this stuff.

The All Purpose Polish Tradesman is a genuinely nice dude.  He has his own deadlines to meet, and he works very hard.  He has questionable project-management foresight or planning skills, but he is reasonably priced, he has a conscience, he shows up on time, and the quality of his work is high.  He does not take shortcuts.  He is more polite and accommodating than any other workman I’ve ever encountered.

But enough already.  I’m so tired of my home being ripped apart.  I’m totally unable to unwind.   Unless we want to eat dinner sitting up on our bed, we have to eat out.  K-man is working long hours at the moment and tonight he’ll be home around 8pm.

I need a holiday from home improvement.  Seriously.  But in a few weeks our fireplace is being ripped out.  Stay tuned to find out if everyone retains their bodily integrity through that experience!

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9 Responses to “The Meltdown Tour”


  1. 1 Jen on the Edge January 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Oh my holy hell, I do not know how you’re managing to live with that. Thank goodness the end result will be worth it.

    Hang in there. Accept chocolate as your savior and pray to it as often as you need to.

  2. 2 Jenn @ Juggling Life January 19, 2011 at 4:04 am

    I’m having flashbacks. Bad ones. Three months with no kitchen and three kids under the age of six. It does pass, but it is hell.

    • 3 nic January 19, 2011 at 9:51 am

      @Jenontheedge: last night I had a huge mug of hot chocolate, and put on a DVD of The Inbetweeners to make me smile. It did help, but then I woke up this morning.

      @Jenn: more than once I have thought how much harder this would be if we had kids. I literally cannot imagine it.

      The current finish-time is next Wednesday. K-man has announced that this weekend we will be prepping for painting.

  3. 4 unmitigated me (m.a.w.) January 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Lived through that for three months. Thank god I could close my bedroom drawer.

  4. 5 Ashley January 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Sweet, 8 lb 6 oz Baby Jesus. I have a futon here in Chicago you can come sleep on. You could come to my school and use our wireless. We have lots of coffee, too!

  5. 6 Bella Rum January 20, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Jeez! This would drive me to distraction. The only saving grace is that The All Purpose Polish Tradesman is a nice guy and a good craftsman. That means a lot because there are a lot of sketchy construction people out there. I can’t wait to see it all finished. When it’s behind you, you’ll forget all the pain…. just like childbirth.

  6. 7 Rima January 20, 2011 at 1:54 am

    When my husband and I were house hunting, we went to see one house where the owner was home while workmen were doing remodeling. It was ten o’ clock in the morning and she was drinking whiskey. I never understood that until we did some remodeling here last fall.

    Courage! It will be worth it in the end!

  7. 8 kellyg January 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    I really hate having people come in to do work in my house. I try to do as much as I can but honestly I can’t do that much so…. And that’s the reason that when we moved we looked at new houses.

  8. 9 mrs g January 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Maybe you could pitch a tent out back. Stay strong. Say it with me: you own a house!!!


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