It’s getting harder to smile about my new kitchen lately.
Why does it look like we are going backwards in the project, you ask? Let me explain.
After a series of delays, cancellations, fits and starts, the kitchen project came to a grinding halt the week before Christmas. The backsplash tile job was unacceptable. The grout lines were wonky and tile jutted out every which way. And I am not saying this because I am picky. It was bad.
Anyone who saw the backsplash raised an eyebrow and asked if we did it ourselves. My five-year-old could have done a better job. I’m sure I could not have done worse.
Our contractor acknowledged the slop job. He apologized and arranged to have it fixed by a different subcontractor but the clock ran out before Christmas.
So we had to wait.
In mid January the drywall was cut to remove the tile and a most unhappy discovery was made. Mold. In the brand new walls. A lot it. Mold we all knew wasn’t there when the wall was cut for the window installation.
I stood there numbly gawking at the mold while the subcontractor swiftly ushered my kids out of the room. We took pictures and he gutted and cleaned up the moldy mess.
The sub called the contractor. The contractor called the siding guy. I called my husband. My husband called the building inspector. The building inspector called his secretary. I called my dad. There were a lot of calls that morning.
The end result was … more waiting. Because government.
I’m back to rearranging my schedule around contractor visits and subs and the building inspector and the building inspector’s secretary. (Who I am convinced is actually his boss because he isn’t allowed to so much as start his car without her say so.) Hammering, thumping, and banging have resumed. Subs are tromping snow through my house. The siding has been removed and put back. And the kitchen is back to the studs.
And now I wait again.
Despite all of these experts inspecting and hemming and hawing, no one is exactly sure what went wrong. There has been much speculation but no concrete answers about why this happened. We have to trust the subcontractors, contractor, and building inspector to ensure the correct solution is applied to the problem. I have to trust to a certain degree that they have our best interests at heart and their solution will result in a home that is sturdy and safe to dwell in.
Do you want to know two things I dislike? Waiting and uncertainty.
Its only fitting that the project I was so excited about has resulted in a major life lesson for me. It turns out I can’t control everything. I already knew that. But gosh these reminders are tough.
So I am back to my original thoughts about this. I had no idea back when I wrote that first post how long this wait would actually be. (Blogs really stink when you have to follow your own advice.) I am making it a point to enjoy the view from the window rather than focusing on the view surrounding the window. I am inviting friends to dinner and carrying on with life while we wait.
I’d be lying if I said I am not exasperated with the whole thing. I am almost certain we could have built a new house in the time it has taken to redo my kitchen. But at the same time, I am glad we found the problem before it was exponentially worse. Who knew a shoddy tile job would rescue us from a bigger problem down the road?
I am grateful for a subcontractor whose first priority was the safety of my children. I’m grateful that (scheduling issues notwithstanding) our building inspector has been advocating for us. And I’m grateful that our contractor has shown genuine concern and a desire to rectify the problem.
There are good people in the world – even in the building industry.
I am sure this kitchen will look great when its finally done. You will hear the church bells ring in celebration. I am sure of it. But in the meantime, I wait.
And wait. And wait. And wait.