The disarray is due to the home improvement projects that have been going on around here for a while. Still, after looking at a timeline of the upgrades, I was stunned to see that we’ve been living this way for more than year.
I’d be happier with the mess if that’s all there was to it.
But every cause has an effect, and when it comes to remodeling our house, I’ve noticed that The Hubster and I are grouchier, and more annoyed with each other, than we were before this odyssey started.
This makes sense: who doesn’t get crabby when one’s stuff has to be packed away in boxes for an indeterminate amount of time? Who isn’t annoyed when strangers stride into one’s home with rolls of masking tape, loud drills and stained
As it turns out, we’re like a lot of couples whose living quarters are in transition.
According to Iowa marriage counselor Don Gilbert, remodeling a home can be “the most stressful activity a married couple can engage in.” Gilbert added that the undertaking brings out “all of the components that couples stress over—money, multiple decisions, and different preferences.” Indeed, a survey by the home improvement website Houzz noted that more than half of the respondents reported that renovating was one of the most frustrating and taxing periods in their marriages.
Needless to say, I didn’t read this before all of the work began.
Instead, I made the first project a big one.
I’d decided that my vintage linoleum and yellow cement floors needed to go. The cement was the most troublesome: it
had been painted by someone who promised that she knew how to apply the right polish to give the gray surface an iridescent shine. The work was done while I was away; when I returned home, the floor was flat yellow and the paint already peeling.
This meant I was ready for a big change—even though furniture was shoved into the kitchen and yard; there was loud pounding for hours, and big trucks in our driveway. But the end result was worth it: chocolate colored acrylic planks that I don’t have to clean on my hands and knees.
Next was the outside of the house. The once bright blue coat of paint had faded to half the original color (brushes hadn’t touched this exterior in more than 15 years), and the garage door wasn’t looking so hot either. The latter was egged months ago, and no matter how often The Hubster cleaned it, the stains never completely came off. Now there’s another door, and my house is a cheery yellow and white.
There’s also a new driveway of snow white pebbles; screens on previously naked windows, and a stove that doesn’t need a match to light it. The tilted wood fence is upright now, with a matching gate next to it. Faucets and a shower door
have been replaced, and new lighting, vents and grout are in the bathrooms. At the moment, the entire interior is
Life will be better by spring, when the last major upgrades should be done. The grimy kitchen cupboards will be sanded and repainted, and the wood floors in the office, hallway and living room will be polished back to their original shine.
I’m finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
Meanwhile, The Hubster and I hope that we’ll make it out alive.