Sunday, April 03, 2005

house new-tiful

when we moved to seattle, i didn't anticipate renovating an entire house in less than a year.

but i'm a man, and we don't experience the female biological imperative to change for the sake of change.

so i was unprepared for my wife's implacable and constant drive to re-do the whole place. i mean, sure some cosmetic stuff had to go. the floral print wallpaper borders and complementing fruit cabinet hardware, for example, were tres cheesy. the wicker cabinets in both baths were inarguably bad. and the electric faux-fireplace taking up a huge chunk of living room space? that was just stupid.

but these were mere prelude. little did i realize the wholesale and wanton upheaval that was to follow.

in the past few weeks we have met with representatives of the ironworks industry (spiral staircase to the basement); the decking industry (trex deck and oh-what-the-hell, a hot tub for the back yard); a general contractor ("a second story on the house? sure, we can do that!"); and an architect ("push out the front of the house about 8 feet and you could have a fabulous kitchen!").

get a bobcat and dig out the front of the house. add a couple french doors, instant walk-out basement. switch the arrangement of the laundry room and downstairs bath. built-in cabinets and a gas fireplace for the family room.

there's more, but i'm scaring myself now.

for the sake of convenience, many of these little projects were coming in at $4,500. estimate after estimate, $4,500. it was eerily reminiscent of the old richard pryor bit, in which every change to his new house was $500.
contractor: what'cha want? it's $500.
pryor: i haven't even told you what i want yet.
contractor: i don't give a fuck, it's $500.
apparently there's been some inflation in the house renovation industry over the past few years.

all we need is a roll of $4,500 bills and we'll knock this whole thing out right quick. here's one for you, and one for you, and one for you...oh, what the hell, take two. it's only money. of course some of these improvements will exceed $4,500. the second floor and the kitchen, for example. oh well. we'll simply have to scrounge up some more $4,500 bills somewhere. lots more.

can we spend it? yes, we can!

change is inevitable. i know that. my wife wants this house to be a dream home. i'm down with that, too. but does it have to happen all at once? can't we spread it out over, say, the next 10 years?

sorry. bad attitude. if i want to embrace my wife, i will have to learn to embrace these changes. and i do. so i will.

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