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My father-in-law was a retired contractor who really knew his business,  He, Dewey, and my mother-in-law-, Bernice, lived some sixty miles away and they volunteered to supervise the remodeling and addition to the house.  When I protested that it would be too far for them to commutes, they informed me that they would move in with us until the job was finished.  They were great people.  But, I don’t think that any of us realized at the time how hair-raising the whole business would be, nor how long it would take.

The kitchen remodeling was one of the first things that we tackled.  My husband and I went to a reputable cabinet shop with our plans and went over them with the owner.  We decided on a Birdseye maple wood and when the cabinets were finished he would call us.  Then we could simply tear out the old cabinets and replace them with the new ones immediately.  This sounded quite simple to me, and couldn’t inconvenience us too much in the process.

Well, on the day that the workmen were to start on the kitchen, I came home from work, found a canvas covering the doorway into the kitchen.  Now from my previous experience with canvas, I was naturally leery.  I whisked back the canvas and stepped down to the kitchen just as a warning scream hit me.  When I say that I went down into the kitchen, that is exactly what I did.  As I raised up, I looked up in wonderment, not quite believing what I saw.  The ceiling was gone as were the inside walls, the windows had all vanished, and naturally the floor had been taken out to complete the picture.  My sprained ankle testified to the latter.  I had expected the cupboards to be missing until they were easily replaced, but all this?  It was Unbelievable.

In all fairness, to everyone concerned, we had discussed how advantageous it would be to have more aesthetically placed windows in the kitchen and if we were to change the windows, we might as well have them all bigger than the previous ones.  The walls had to be torn out to replace the antiquated wiring that would be totally inadequate for our modern kitchen.  And the floor?  Well it had to be checked for termites, was found to be weak anyway, so naturally it came out too.

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In the 1950’s my folks loved their new property on Maple Avenue but the house needed improvements. Mom, (Dorothy) shares her perspective:

REMODELING

From the first day’s looking at the house, we knew that we would put on an addition when the funds were available.  Obtaining the funds was something else, so we had plenty of time to draw up plans, refine them, reject them, and start all over again.  By then we realized that a remodeling job on the existing house was also in order to really have the dream house that we wanted.  This, of course, would take an additional amount of money, but when you don’t have any money, what’s an additional sum on paper?  The kitchen especially needed redoing, to modernize it.

When the day finally arrived for us to seek Credit Union funds to add on to out savings, our dream house would be in its first stages.

Let me now state emphatically to any reader who is even vaguely thinking of starting a similar venture…DON’T!  Or if you are too stubborn to take this advice, at least take a world tour until the mess is finished.  Can’t afford that?  Well, at least move into a motel and eat all of your meals out while the remodeling is going on.  If that would cost more than you can swing, wait until much longer, until you can save for that also.  Believe me, it’s worth it.  Let me explain.

We eventually had the shell of our new addition up, including the roof, outside walls, floor, fireplaces in master bedroom and new living room.  That went smoothly.  No problem that we couldn’t smile our way through.  Then the troubles started.

My father-in-law was a retired contractor who really knew his business,  He, Dewey, and my mother-in-law, Bernice, lived some sixty miles away and they volunteered to supervise the remodeling and addition to the house.  When I protested that it would be too far for them to commutes, they informed me that they would move in with us until the job was finished.  They were great people.  But, I don’t think that any of us realized at the time how hair-raising the whole business would be, nor how long it would take.

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