The ABC’s of Living Through a Reno

Last week our kitchen sink pipe burst.  Water everywhere.  Today we start floor demo and repairs.  I’m honestly a little sad that I can’t be there to see the process (and maybe learn how to lay tile myself), but there are certainly a few things I’ve learned already about living through our little version of a renovation:

A) Be thorough.  Last week the flooring guys came to do an estimate of how much of our lament hardwood they would have to replace.  As Jefe and I weren’t there in person to talk them through it, they estimated a good 4 feet less of damage than actually existed.  But Jefe was awesome, and made sure to tape out on the floor all damaged areas last night, so I could clearly point out to the contractor this morning that their initial estimate may have been a bit too small.  Had we not done that, we may still be living with some damaged boards a few weeks from now and a job half done.

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B) Delineate your space.  We live in a 900 square foot apartment (which by NY standards is large), but to us after downsizing, is not massive.  And when you’re forced to move all your furniture in to about half that space, it can make living through the renovation tough.  We had to make sure all of the damaged floor was exposed with some room to spare for the workmen to get around.  So Jefe and I made sure to condense everything as economically as possible while still ensuring we could access the things we needed to (ie-our dresser in the dining room that houses 1/3 our clothing).  We also made sure we still had someplace to sit by putting our couch in a spot so it’s still useable.  Not everything is accessible as in I won’t be going on a printing rampage or mixing up cocktails at the bar in the corner, but we are still able to grab all of the essentials we need in a pinch.

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C) Having a good partner.  My Jefe and I certainly don’t agree on everything, but when you’re living through any sort of situation like this where you just have to suck it up, deal, and do what needs to get done to just make it through to the other side, it’s essential to have somebody who’s willing to suck it up with you and not just bail.  Somebody who’s willing to do the heavy lifting when your arms give out (literally), wash gross soggy towels from mopping the floor, and still stop at Magnolia on the way home to bring you dessert.  So kudos to my guy for always being awesome, even when I’m not.

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And although Jefe may kill me for saying this, the small insight in to living through a renovation has actually made me look forward to FUTURE ones, albeit in a MUCH larger space where we have somewhere to retreat to while the rest of our space is in shambles.  I know they won’t always be as manageable as this one, but I love the idea of taking something old and creating a beautiful new space with it.  So who wants to hire me to flip their house?

And I’ll be sure to update you all on what state our place is in once we get home tonight….

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