I’ve realized that I’ve been MIA from this blog over the last several weeks. I hope you were too busy with your own summer to notice! Our trip to Disney was definitely the highlight of my summer. As I had mentioned in my last blog, what awaited me at home was a major renovation and summer school for Monkey Boy. As the renovation is foremost in my mind, let me tell you about that.
In the grand scheme of things, the eight weeks since the construction crew began our addition and kitchen renovation has been fairly short, though at times it has felt like forever. Of course, just like a wedding, it took almost a year of preparation. We started last fall by hiring a designer. That was an OK experience. It definitely made the prep time with the builder shorter, but it wound up being an exercise in frustration, getting what we needed from our designer in a timely manner. If you want a lot of input, it’s a great way to go. But for us, we basically knew what we wanted and felt like a lot of time was wasted on reviewing elaborate alternatives.
It wasn’t until late February that we contacted a builder for an estimate. Our plan was to add a 12x24 foot addition onto our existing family room, build a small deck, redo the upstairs HVAC system and replace the kitchen cabinets, countertops, kitchen floor and family room carpet. At the last minute, we decided to replace the living room carpet while we were at it. Early on, we thought that hiring a contractor rather than trying to find people to do the individual jobs would make life much easier. We wound up using John Robb Custom Homes at the referral of a friend. I cannot say enough good things about this company. They were professional yet friendly, communicative, timely and reliable.
By the end of April, we had a signed contract along with a final copy of our plans thanks to the builder’s designer, and he submitted for permits. Stafford County is a royal pain for permits, and it took until the end of June for them to come back. It was a pleasant surprise when the excavator broke ground on July 14 by bulldozing our old patio. For the first couple weeks thereafter, things seemed to move at breakneck speed. The whole project has been filled with very productive days interspersed with lulls.
During those first couple of weeks, I managed to completely empty the contents of my family room, kitchen and laundry room into the dining room. Imagine floor to ceiling disaster. To say I can’t find ANYTHING at this point is an understatement! As soon as I finished that, they completely demolished the kitchen, and the five of us, plus two cats and one dog, moved in with my parents who conveniently live across the street. To give kudos to my parents, they have been super about us invading their house. And luckily we all get along. But after six weeks, I am more than ready to move back home.
While it seems like it’s been dragging on forever, the end is almost in sight. The new room is virtually complete, the cabinets and flooring are in, HVAC is done, we have a fresh coat of paint and after today we should have our countertops and be done with electrical. Labor Day weekend will be filled with painting the living room in anticipation of the new carpet.
We should be on the verge of moving back in just in time for the school routine to begin! The timing really worked out in our favor. I’m sure I won’t win “mother of the year” though considering that we’ve done almost nothing fun since Disney. Monkey Boy has been to the pool exactly once, Little H went to the Art Museum in Richmond, and we did manage to get away for one night to Great Wolf Lodge.
I’ll be back soon, and will tell you more about Monkey Boy’s experience with summer school and his transition into…sniff, sniff…middle school.