Saturday, November 13, 2010

Never Ending Renos

As I watch my husband head out the door for his weekly trip to Home Depo, I can't help but shake my head. “What?” He asks with a little bit of attitude in his voice. “Nothing. Enjoy yourself,” I call to him. I don't say a word more. It's too risky. I don't want to put any barriers up that might impede him finishing his project.

At the beginning of each home improvement renovation, I make an estimated guess of how many trips to Home Depo this particular project might involve. The average is about 15. This bathroom fan he has been installing over the past 3 months has already needed 6 trips. I wonder if there is a genetic predisposition for not reading instructions, asking for directions and planning events?

Instead of reading the instructions and making a list of all the equipment that will be needed for a particular renovation and making one trip to purchase the various components...each trip comes on an as needed basis. Crawling around in the attic, he needed a breathing mask; The flexible aluminium hose that connects to the roof was forgotten, another trip...and the list goes on.

I wonder whether this ritual weekend trip is really about needing another nail? Is this male ritual the equivalent of girls night out for scrapbooking? Book club? Bingo? Do the weekly Home Depo powwows buoy him up for further work? Or is there some sort of brainwashing music luring these shoppers back to Home Depo for the purchase of a another tool ...another renovation.
What was suppose to be a 2 week bathroom renovation during the summer has turned into a 6 month and counting project. I was scared when he announced his plans to remodel our bathroom. I knew what this could mean. I might need counselling to make it through months without a hot morning shower.

The toilet was the biggest obstacle. It wouldn't come off, and the new one wouldn't fit on. It was one problem after another. Our two kids, age six and four were scared to go down to the basement bathroom on their own. Do you know how many times a four year old has to go to the bathroom during the day? Need I say more? Since having kids, my bladder capacity at night has been significantly reduced. The knowledge of not having a toilet at my disposal put my bladder into overdrive.

My husband refused to call in a plumber. He kept repeating his mantra..he could do this, he just needed more time. After the 3rd month, I'd reached my limit. I was ready for confrontation. Either fix it or forget it – call the darn plumber. But yet again, another trip to Home Depo, a new saw, more advice, the hole in the floor was enlarged and the toilet was installed. Cue the angels “halleluiah.”

I was sceptical, then happily surprised and impressed. I could see the enthusiasm for another project building in his face. His confidence increasing after solving problem after problem. He was becoming a handy-man.

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