I went to the house he’s been “renovating” for Mama. The demolition has been done, and the wall repair/primer is up. He told me the stucco crumbled when he pulled the wallpaper down, and therefore the entire kitchen must be redone. He says that putting panelling up would be less expensive than replacing the drywall. In the rest of the house, the old carpet has been pulled up, but the old pad is still there – ostensibly to protect the floor. The floor that is going to be covered by new carpet…
There is only one small section of wall that is stucco in the kitchen- where the old chimney is. The rest of it is drywall. He had hammered holes in the drywall, looking for the studs. He sees me looking and tells me not to worry – there’s only a week’s worth of work left and then he’ll be done.I know better. There is too much to be done – the house is an old one and a job that SHOULD take a day usually takes three. I take my leave, having reviewed the to-do list with him.
Days later he calls to tell me the panelling is up, so I make arrangements to go by the house and see what he’s done. Mama and her friend (who is a contractor) come with me, so we can have a “professional” opinion. Shock. Horror. Amazement. Trepidation. These are not words you expect to use when viewing the work of Someone To Marry. Especially when they’re doing a “labor of love” for you.
There is demolition debris still on the floor. There is…stuff…on the wall. It’s not panelling it’s….oh dear lord it’s luan plywood. Some of the panels are hung vertically, some horizontally. That will not work – it has a grain to it. He’s used button-cap nails to fasten it – which means they will stick out. He didn’t use straps to bridge the no-longer-standard gap between the studs, so when you place your hand in the center of the panel and push, it bows in. A lot. I walk through the rest of the house – it looks like nothing else has been touched. What in the WORLD has he been doing for the last two months??!!?? (Obviously? Not working on the house.)
There is yet another meeting with him. Neither of us is happy – he wants to be left alone to work and that is not.going.to.happen. Too much has already gone wrong.
Another month goes by. He calls to tell me the fuel oil tank is empty. I ask if he’s there, I’ll have the oil company deliver a minimum order ASAP. He’s not.
I stew for a bit, then hop in the car to meet the delivery guy. Someone DOES have to be there for it, after all. My head exploded when I walked in the door. Demolition debris? STILL on the floor. Drywall had been hung (over the phone jack and a power outlet), but not taped/mudded. I picked up a shovel and dust mask, taking my fury out on the largest pile of debris. The rest of the house is STILL in the same state it was.