:: Reno-Headache ::
As expected, the end of the year turned out to be the busiest period of 2011. With all the transitions taking place (home, work, etc), life became a blur of busy-ness. The home took up the main bulk of time, with the endless stream of contractors (of different kinds) coming to construct the carpentry, or lay the flooring, or to fix the pipes. As with any renovation, there were certain defects and not-so-ideal issues, which lead to even more rounds of remedying. At one point in time, someone caused a large hole in the corner of the tiled bathroom. We suspected that it was likely the batch of contractors that fixed the overhead boiler-heater. But then again, it could be the ceiling guys who laid the ceiling plaster. SInce no one was supervising at the place 24-7, it was not surprising that no one admitted to the incident. And then, there was the HDMI cable that was cut off by someone. We were fortunate for this - as the electrician main-contractor stepped forward; he claimed that his guys thought that the cable was a SCV cable and hence cut it off. "Please get a new pair of HDMI cables and passed the receipt to us," he graciously told us. Thanks goodness.
There were more issues along the way. We wanted a smoked mirror as the surface of our wardrobe, but the mirror guys came and stuck clear mirrors on all of them. As the mirrors were already fastened and too late for any correction on the spot, they had to come back on another day, and they had to bring back the clear mirrors, together with the wardrobe doors. We are still waiting for the doors to be brought back. The lighting and electronics also caused a big headache. There was a LED strip for one part of the ceiling cove that kept short-circuiting and had to be replaced many times. The Bosch fridge, after being heaved up four storeys and installed, turned out to have the coolest-possible temperature of 18 degrees only. We had to get the delivery folks to wrap the entire fridge up, bring it down the flight of steps, and then to replace it with a new one. And guess what? The new one now does not dispense water. And the Bosch customer service is not picking up the phone calls.
There were also sequential misfortunes, or perhaps I should rephrase: misfortunes due to sequencing. As a home renovation is an extremely complex project that requires certain events to take place before others, a wrong sequencing will result in some erroneous flaw. I will not go into details, but some examples of these are: the hanging toilet bowl/cistern being so low that it looks just like one that is installed from the floor, plastering of the balcony drainage by mistake such that there was "ponding" after a downpour, and the installation of a cupboard door for a corner that made it impossible for it to be opened, just to name a few.
And then there is the part on all parties mutually agreeing to the selection of certain pieces of furniture as well as the placement of certain items in the new home. As far as possible, we tried to work out an understanding such that we would only go shopping when all parties are available, and that certain items would be purchased only when everyone agrees to it. As you could imagine, aesthetics is a very personal thing - and this took up a lot of time and debating amongst the three of us as well. Should we have a square pillar or a rounded pillar? Should we have a photo collage or leave the wall blank? For white paint, should we choose Swansdown or Lilac? Even if all of the different whites looked almost the same - there were at least ten or more choices to choose from. I can go on and on.
But, when everything is almost completed, there is a sense of awe and wonder, that an old walk-up apartment that used to house chinese workers living on double-decker steel beds, and with a roach-infested kitchen, could turn out to be totally something different. And that this home, is a consolidated reflection of the different visions and tastes of its occupants, and the culmination of the hard work of the complaining workers worked round the clock. It has been a tiring few months, but it was hell worth it!
For what we call home.
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