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Everything King: Why home renos are like a giraffe giving birth

And the big fat lie at the heart of all DIY projects
Everything King (with Wendy King)

I’ll tell you what “fake news” is!

It is when anyone tells you a DIY project will either be easy or quick — that is fake news (a.k.a. a big fat lie).

My absolute favourite part of any home construction is when it is over!

I just completed a kitchen renovation which didn’t even start out to be one. Isn’t that always the way?

It all started one bleak day when I found myself standing on a wet mat by the sink. Turned out the tap had been leaking for a while (I’m not observant) and was making the countertop by the taps wobble, turn to mush and sort of cave in.

I was advised I would need a new countertop at some point before it collapsed and that is where it all began. I could feel a hardware headache coming on.

As anyone will tell you a kitchen reno gets expensive because one thing leads to another. Once you pick out a nice countertop then your sink and taps look gross and your old appliances look hideous and next thing you know you live at the hardware store with the sound of the backup forklifts ringing in your ears. (beep, beep, beep)

Here’s something I learned. Did you know that everything costs extra?

Nobody will come to your home to measure anything until you pay them to do it. I guess I thought if you were going to spend thousands of dollars for materials and labour, the measuring would be included. Duh! (I assume it is because if I didn’t go through with it, I would have wasted their time)

Also, when you buy new appliances you will also be paying for someone to take away the old ones.  Same with the old countertops.

“So, lady, you want the old ones taken away?”

“Well, ummm — yeah.”

“Okay, that’ll be extra.”

“Of course it will.”

If you go to a big box store you will also deal with them once to hand over the cash and from then on, it will be all subcontractors — it won't be the same day or the same guy who installs them. Nothing wrong with that, just seemed odd.

Once you run out of money, pray you have a family member who will swoop in and finish it all up and accept payment of free food and some Crown Royal. I have that in my brother-in-law Doug.  He is a perfectionist or as I like to call him “tediously slow."  (Not to his face.) I told him before he started the copper tile backsplash (fake copper) that I knew he gave 100 percent to all projects but 80 percent would be fine for me!  

His dedication to detail had my sister and I (behind his back) doing a lot of  eye rolling and some tapping of our watches! We may or may not have stuck out our tongues a few times. We tried to assist with helpful suggestions and commentary.  At that point we were advised to “go shopping”!

Expect a few things to happen during any procedure which includes family. Tools will be misplaced, there will inevitably be one missing screw and it is likely there will be cussing. The good news is there will also be bonding and hours of laughter.

I’m gonna compare home renovations to the recent birth of April the giraffe’s baby. It seems endless, it's painful to watch, there is a lot of awkward standing around with people staring at your butt and then finally something special appears and you forget all about the pain of the process!


About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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