And Then There’s Remodeling, Pt. 1



By Lisa Batten Kunkleman (Written near the beginning of the process 12 11 2016)


And so it begins


The wall’s really coming down


Wall’s almost gone


Gotta remove the Lazy Susan


Until you’ve tried it, it’s difficult to fully understand the revelry awaiting your senses. Remodeling is a life-changing experience, for occupants and for the house.


The clean aroma of fresh-cut lumber inside the house says, After all these years spent talking about this job, we’re finally doing it.


The tinny scream of power saws, whining from high notes to low, starts out as music to the ears. And though it soon pricks both human and canine ears, driving us to the far side of the house or even outside, the sound means, It’s really happening.


A layer of white sheetrock dust settles on every possible surface in the house. Even those in rooms far from the plastic curtains hung to hamper the in-home dust bowl. Truly dust so thick you can write in it with your finger.


The guest room bed holds most of the contents of unloaded bookshelves as well as household items left temporarily homeless. The dishes, pots, and spices displaced by cabinet construction are visual mountains of mess, cluttering table and countertops. But we do have to cook at least a little bit and eat once in a while, regardless of the mess.


Then there’s the question of taste, both the buds on the tongue and the ideas in the head. It’s the latter that worries me. Is the granite top for the new island the right color? When I texted my husband two photos of granite to choose from, he texted back, “The first one.” I liked both, so I ordered the motley one with what I call little bird feet throughout. Once home I showed him the picture and he said, “That was the second one. I said the first.”


After comparing our texts, of course the photos were in reverse order on his phone. His first one was the beautiful swirly pattern that I originally liked best until he picked what I thought was the motley pattern. I hope this miscommunication led to the best choice for the island top we are meant to look at for the rest of our mortal lives. That’s only another half century at the most. I’m sure it will be fine. Won’t it?



19 thoughts on “And Then There’s Remodeling, Pt. 1

  1. It’s certainly much better to remodel by choice, rather than having to because of a disaster. When we had a pipe burst a few years ago, it turned our routine upside down. I can’t wait to see the finished job, Lisa.

  2. (J) From the context, and above all the dust, I now know that plasterboard is ‘sheet rock’ on your side of the pond. Both make sense, but neither do justice to the mess made by working with it. We know all to well the feelings you describe. Good to get it done!

    • I love the subtle difference in English and English. Do they “mud” it and let it dry forever before painting it there also?

      • [J] The basic is ‘taping’ and ‘joint-filling’ .. and then of course the sanding to blend in with the adjacent untreated surface ; but the de-luxe version (depending on point of view) is to do an all-over ‘skim’ (very skilled work) which results in a finish a bit more akin to REAL plastering (which is now only done in heritage restorations).

        • Goodness. Thanks for the information. It takes awhile to complete. I had it to do again in my walk-in pantry I would’ve used some type of wood to speed the process along.

  3. I remember those remodeling days. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it. The phone mix-up was unfortunate. A good lesson – I would never have expected the photos to be in reversed order. Looking forward to seeing the finished product 🙂

    • Thanks so much. I’m looking forward to enjoying the finished product. Yesterday was smelly oil paint day. Today is repaint the ceiling day. All I want is a cup of coffee now and then. I should move the coffee pot to the bathroom. Think I’ll go do that. Oh and the granite is fantastic. It was supposed to be the mistaken one. Yay.

  4. Remodeling is a hassle, but it will be worth all the effort when it’s finished.

  5. Keep posting pictures! It’s nicer to see someone else going through it than having to endure it oneself!

    • I was just thinking about doing that. It was a toss up whether to write about that or my son’s recovery from knee surgery. Hmmm Thanks. The remodeling would be more fun at this point.

  6. I sympathize on the total disturbance in your life, but just take a look at that huge space! FAN-TAS-TIC!
    Hope the marble works out, too. 🙂

  7. Haha remodelling is never easy nor fun. We were decades ago in the middle of remodeling our kitchen while I was pregnant. I delivered my second son and returned to a kitchen with plastic sheeting flapping in the wind instead of a wall! It was October and I was ever hopeful the new wall would be up before winter came along!!

    More recently we just remodelled a very basic shell of a “house” in Sri Lanka, which is our new home base..it has no plumbing, no electricity, no toilet… Nada. More of a rebuild really. Add language barriers to the usual shortcoming in the process. You will probably enjoy reading about it…




    • I certainly will. Thanks. Wow, ya’ll sure are adventurous. We do mission work in Peru and various places in the US but wow. I can’t imagine. My husband is in Peru now and got cut on a job site, requiring 8 stitches. That’s enough excitement for me. I’m holding down the fort. Thanks for all you’re doing to better the world.

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