Tag Archives: housework

our badroom

When Ilija (the Yugoslav/Serbo-Croatian contractor) first wrote up the estimate for the work on our house, we realized he spelled English with an accept, so our bedroom became the badroom.

All our problems with him resolved after my explosion. He spent a full day plus about another half day or so fixing up stuff and cleaning up the construction trash littering my backyard. When Brni approached him to find out if there was any outstanding money owed, he said, “Don’t talk to me about money. I don’t want to even think about money.” I guess it was a significant explosion.


Today, Brni and I emptied the POD and restored our badroom. The bed, the dressers, nightstands, my yoga space…everything except the paintings (that will happen tomorrow). We started working early this morning and finished around dinner time. I’m exhausted—painfully so.

but….we get to sleep in our badroom tonight!!! I doubt, given the extent of our exhaustion that we will live up to the room’s new name, but sleep we will.

done and done

Apparently, yelling at Croatian contractors works. He showed up on Saturday with an assistant, and after some excuses and more arguing, he finally conceded and got to work. They worked all day and they finished the basement, checking off each item on my list.

And Brni has finished the bedroom floor. It really looks good and as a bonus, he was able to match the color to the floor in the rest of the house. Something the contractor deemed “impossible.”

Pictures will follow shortly…but first, I need to drink my coffee.

the patience died

so, i had to yell at the contractor guy today. he never showed up to finish the job. i called and left a message. he called back and i asked why he didn’t finish the job today. he gave excuses. i asked him when it will be done. he said, it’s done.
and i blew up.
i yelled.
he said he’d be by tomorrow to finish.
we’ll see.

house work: a saga

It all started out wonderfully. The men showed up on time, if not early. They worked hard and fast and cleaned up afterwards. Then, the bedroom floor refinishing went wrong. Very very wrong.

First, they didn’t sand the floor down with the right sander. They used a sander/buffer which does not go deep enough to remove the finish down to the bare wood. Then they didn’t wash up all the dust, but instead used a stain/sealer which they applied wrong. You need to apply a thin coat and then wipe up the excess. Instead, it was slathered on thickly and left with fan going and windows open to insure that every speck of dirt and dust and all manner of air born thing would be permanently imbedded. Walking on the floor was like walking on a gravelly beach.

Of course, the finish never dried. For two weeks it didn’t dry, so they finally admitted that it needed to be removed. But they didn’t do it right. They used the stupid buffer/sander again but managed to simply gum up the sandpaper. So they wiped the floor down with mineral spirits and without any further cleaning–not even a light vacuuming–they applied polyurethane.


So after several attempts to tell them that the floor was wrong and had to be redone from scratch…sanded down to the wood and refinished, they refused to admit there was even a problem.

So when I stupidly tried to fix the exposed outlets and managed to shock myself across the room, we realized we could not let the floor stay as it was. I had been squatting down and when i was thrown back, my heels skidded on the floor (I was barefoot, of course), taking up the finish in two large gummy strips.

Since Saturday, Brni has been peeling up the parts of the floor that were still wet under the dry polyurethane and washing them with down with mineral spirits. Then he sanded for three days. Tonight I cleaned. Tomorrow we do a final wipe down and stain. Then numerous coats of polyurethane and then finally we should be able to move back into our bedroom. The bedroom that we have been not sleeping in for the past five weeks. The bedroom we already paid a good price to have fixed and ended up fixing it again at a hefty price of time and labor and much aggravation and pissed-offedness.

and the basement is STILL not done.

in the thick of it — a review in pictures

the basement is the focus of this, the third week of reconstruction.

This is where most of our life is living.

going down
As someone said on flickr, “surprisingly creepy.”

band room
The former band room, now command central.

Tiles going down…they are actually finished laying the floor down, but I can’t get down there to take a shot as we can’t walk on it yet.

We has walz!

A tub and a very bright level. Soon, no more waiting when brni decides to sit and read.

These guys rock, and to prove it, they have a radio with roll bars that doubles as a generator!

spicy kitchen

so, we have progress in the kitchen! it’s not complete, still need to do tile the counters and floor, but but but…the painting and backsplash is done.

here’s the view from the living room.
Spicy Kitchen

and a look at the backsplash. the counters will be a lighter version of the backsplash using 12×12 tiles with a border of the darker backsplash tiles.
Tiled Backspash

and my favorite part…my herb counter. all my magical herbs and roots that i use for teas, decoctions, infusions and medicine.
Herb Counter


the bedroom is stalled at this point. the floor needs to be redone because our contractor used the wrong kind of sealer on the floor. aside from the toxic fumes that have made me rather ill, the stuff ain’t drying. so next week they have to strip it, resand and then polyurethane. ugh.

the basement is progressing nicely. the bathroom down there is being hooked up as i type. the walls are up, and removal of the old nasty tiles is in progress to prepare for laying down the new floor.

more pictures to come…

just sharing the pain

our house is a construction zone. half of our life is in a “Pod” in the driveway and the other half (including us) is crammed into my little office/spare bedroom upstairs. this is where i spend my time, working and listening to sanders, hammers, blaring music sung to in spanish, serbian and english. sometimes they sing a different song than the one on the boombox, but always in a different language. it’s kinda cute and crazy and maybe just a little confusing.

so…i thought, well, since i’m stuck up here, i’d share the pain. if only you could taste the sawdust and drywall compound, it would make the experience complete.

i took some pictures of the before stuff. i’ll be posting more as the work progresses.

that is if i live.

here’s the living room, stripped down and ready to be primed for paint.

LR Primed

and all the stuff that used to make the kitchen go is…
Cupboards bared

is on the table in the sunroom. the lizard and birds are very unhappy with the intrusion.
Dining table is loaded

the bedroom…waiting for both a new ceiling and a good floor refinishing. loki is unhappy with the latest stupid human tricks.
Bedroom laid bare

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