Coronavirus Renovation Diaries: The Final Reveal
Welcome back to the final installment of the Coronavirus Renovation Diaries!
In my last update, I had finally begun to make some decent progress on my renovation. However, COVID-19 was still managing to make things difficult and slow things down significantly.
Three months later, I’m very happy to report that my renovation has finally come to an end. Here’s what happened in the meantime and a look at how everything turned out in the end.
Pushing to the renovation finish line
COVID-related delays aside, my renovation continued to move along at a slow-but-continuous pace. Sooner or later, my new kitchen cabinets also had coordinating countertops, there was a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and my floor had officially been installed. However, even though there was progress, I had a growing problem.
Put simply, my window of time for renovating was closing quickly. My delivery date for my furniture was fast approaching and there was still a laundry list of construction tasks that needed to be completed.
To make matters worse, the delivery company was refusing to hold my pieces any longer. They said that they would have to send my furniture back to the distributor if I was unable to accept my delivery on the assigned date.
At a week out from the delivery date, I really started to sweat. I had gone to the unit that night expecting to see things almost finished. Instead, I found my washer and dryer still sitting in my shower and the tiles for my kitchen backsplash still sitting in my living room, along with the kitchen and bathroom sinks.
I got on the phone with my contractor immediately. When I asked him if he thought it was still realistic to make the deadline, he promised he would make it happen. And, miraculously, he did.
For the next four days, a team of contractors worked in my unit from morning until night. To this day, I have no idea how they pulled it off, but they got everything done, just in time for my furniture delivery to arrive the next morning.
Sweating the final details
At that point, I naively thought I was done worrying. However, unfortunately, just because the big construction items were all in the books didn’t mean that it would be smooth sailing going forward. In fact, the next few weeks were some of the most stressful of the entire project.
To start, there were some construction fixes that needed to be made. For instance, at first, I could not open my refrigerator. My contractors had accidentally not left enough space for the french doors to open completely. The issue took a full day of work to rectify.
Then, a screw broke that was supposed to be holding my very expensive, glass shower door in place. The shower door immediately tilted and looked as though it was going to fall. Luckily, my contractor was quick to respond and bring a replacement.
There were also small fixes to worry about. The temperature controls in my shower were on backwards, so I got cold water when I turned it to hot and vice versa. Plus, an extra cabinet I ordered at the last minute still needed to be installed.
Missing delivery items
Around the same time, I accepted my furniture delivery. However, there were a few problems there, too. A piece of my sectional couch had gone missing in the warehouse and no one could find it.
In this instance, dealing with customer service was a nightmare. No one called me to tell me that the piece was missing in the the first place. When I asked what was being done to find the piece, they promised me that a search was being conducted and I would hear the results in a few days. No one ever followed up.
Eventually, I started calling them. Two weeks and sixteen phone calls later, I finally got to someone who was willing to was willing to admit that the missing piece was gone for good. They ordered me a replacement piece and, while it won’t arrive until March, I am glad to finally have reached a resolve.
The cable ordeal
The last big hurdle was setting up the cable and internet. I’m not very handy, so I brought my cable provider out to do the install for me. The only problem was that, when he arrived, he could not find a cable signal in my unit.
My technician said that I would have to bring a special team out to trace the cable line to my unit. Unfortunately, it often takes at least a month to get an appointment with them. Until then, I would have no service, which meant that I was unable to move in since I need internet access in order to work.
Eventually, I got an appointment, but I things still didn’t go all that smoothly. They couldn’t find the signal and, to make matters worse, they thought that they were going to have to cut holes in my brand new ceiling in order to find the appropriate wiring.
Fortunately, my contractor was able to come to the rescue. I had called him in a panic when they said they were going to cut into my ceiling and he was able to point them in the right direction. He is very familiar with the building after having done work in there for many years. He knew exactly where the coax outlet was located.
Once they had found that, I had to bring a third technician out to set up my cable and WiFi. However, it got done in the end.
The big reveal
The last piece of this puzzle is the interior design. A friend of my family is an interior designer, but she agreed to take me on as a client.
The only catch was that she wanted to do it all and have a big reveal at the end. Aside from making her a Pinterest board to help her get a sense of my likes and dislikes, I wouldn’t actually get to see any of the items that she had picked out ahead of time.
I agreed and, a few weeks later after everything had been ordered and paid off, she came to my unit to do her magic. A few hours later, I had a unit that looked like something out of HGTV or a magazine.
In the end, I am incredibly happy with how everything turned out. Even though my renovation took quite a bit longer than the 6-8 weeks that I had originally anticipated, it was worth it. I am so happy to be in my own home, especially one that looks exactly how I envisioned it.
Pandemic aside, I’d make the same choices again if I had to. The end product was well worth all the road bumps along the way.