web analytics
May 4, 2015 / 15 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


How To Live Through A Renovation

Baim-121313 House

At the tail end of our three-month long basement renovation, that was initially supposed to be a 4-6 week job, I have become quite the expert on what mistakes to avoid. Rest assured, though, reading this article does not guarantee that you won’t make the same ones anyway.

It’s not that I think contractors, painters and tile guys are exclusively greedy, deceitful incompetent people – I think they are just poor businessmen or women! They want the job, so they make hasty promises they can’t possibly deliver within the time frame and money allocated. Therefore, the job takes longer and cost more money, and is of a lesser quality than you would have desired. Of course, there are contractors who are better at the business end of things and are able to finish the project within your specifications, time limit and budget, but they are also out of the average person’s price range, so you’re stuck to dealing with what you’ve got.

Let’s start at the beginning, when after the initial meet and greet, your potential contractor sends you a detailed contract.  I’m sure you’ll go over it with your significant other, possibly even show it to a few trusted friends, add a few minor details that weren’t included, and feeling confident you did your due diligence and everything you wanted done is was on the to-do list, sign on the bottom line.

Don’t.

Something, and usually more than one thing, is missing. The best way to see what details you missed is to show the contract to another contractor and ask him what is missing from the project details.

Rule of thumb for when a contractor gives you an estimated time of completion is to double that time, perhaps even triple it. If you are living in the house during the construction, I can’t emphasize how easy it is to get worn down and adopt a whatever-just-finish attitude so you can get back to your normal routine. This is a big mistake. You must stay on top of the job. Someone, preferably the more detailed oriented person in the household, needs to look over what, if anything, was achieved everyday. If something is not correct, the time to fix it is right away, not weeks later, when additional work was done, thus making it more difficult and more expensive (for you) to rectify. I don’t want to minimize how difficult it is to stay on top of the job, but it is well worth the effort. Remember, once the job is done and the workers are paid, they are gone, and they are not coming back and you will be the one stuck with a hallway that goes nowhere.Baim-121313-Churban

I would like to pause to say a huge thank you to my husband, Jacob, for dealing with all those niggling, nagging details that if it were up to me, wouldn’t have happened, like the vent in the bathroom, the windows being even, the walls fully painted, and hundreds more small yet significant items. Our basement looks great because of you (and our amiable contractor).

On the contract, there is a list of supplies that the contractor will provide; the homeowner will provide anything not listed. Be aware that the list will grow on a daily basis, and don’t underestimate how stressful and time consuming it will be to purchase all these essential supplies that you might or might not have known were going to be needed – but the job cannot proceed without them. This too was a job that fell to my hardworking husband who spent hours in home improvement stores on a daily basis providing for the renovation’s needs. It wasn’t for nothing that Jacob used to complain that we while we had hired people to do the work, he was still the one schlepping and breaking his back. Thank you, Jacob!

About the Author: Pnina Baim holds a B.S. in Health and Nutrition from Brooklyn College and an MS.edu from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Program. She works as a nutritionist, a certified lactation consultant, a home organizer, and in her free time writes as much as possible. She is the author of the Young Adult novels, Choices, A Life Worth Living (featured on Dansdeals and Jew In The City) and a how-to book for the Orthodox homemaker, Sing While You Work. The books are available at amazon.com. Pnina is available for speaking engagements and personal consulting. Contact her at pninabaim@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “How To Live Through A Renovation”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Police and medics treat terrorist who was shot after trying to stab a guard at the light rail.
Update 12:07 PM: Terrorist Shot while Trying to Stab Jew at French Hill
Latest Sections Stories
blintze_cake

“DouxMatok’s technology will allow for a reduction of 30-60 percent of sugar in a product, depending on the application, and with no effect on taste.”

Schonfeld-logo1

How do we ensure that our students aren’t studying for the grade or the end-of-the-year pizza party? How can we get them to truly want to learn for learning’s sake?

Kupfer-On-Our-Own-NEW

The message being conveyed is that without “flour,” without the means to support oneself and one’s family, one’s focus on Torah will be impeded by worry.

Someone close to us knew that you were good at saving marriages and begged us to give therapy one last chance,

Rabbi Pinni Dunner and Holocaust survivor Heddy Orden.

He wrote a strong defense of shechitah in which he maintained that the Jewish method of slaughter had a humanitarian influence on the Jewish people.

New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be the keynote speaker at the Westchester Government Relations Legislative Breakfast on Friday, May 8, at 7:45 am at the Jewish Community Center of Harrison.  The annual event, which brings together important elected officials and the Westchester Jewish community, is sponsored jointly by UJA-Federation of New York […]

“Like other collaborative members, we embarked on this journey as an opportunity to build on New York leadership’s long commitment to expand and diversify opportunities for Jewish teen engagement,” says Melanie Schneider, senior planning executive with UJA-Federation of New York’s Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal

The poetry slam required entrants to compose original poetry with powerful imagery and energetic rhythm bringing their poems to life – making it palpable to the audience.

“I was so inspired by the beautiful lessons I learned and by the holiness around me that I just couldn’t stop writing songs!” she says.

But Pi Day is worst of all
I want the extra credit bad
But trying to remember many numbers
makes me sad.

Several thousand Eastern European Jews had escaped Nazi death and Soviet persecution by fleeing to Shanghai, China.

More Articles from Pnina Baim

By signing the document, my husband and I are saying that our love and devotion to each other are so strong that we do not want the power to hurt each other.

Baim-032015

First, sit down with your helpers and a pen and paper and break the jobs down into small parts.

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

Does standing under the chuppah signal the end of our dream of romance and beautiful sunsets?

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.

This summer, why don’t we try to do better and cool off without blowing our retirement fund?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/for-the-home/how-to-live-through-a-renovation/2013/12/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: