Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 8

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 8

🙌 Happy Holidays!

👉 Please keep in mind, when you are renovating, holidays are not your friends.

*Whether you are looking to do renovations in your place, or you already did renovate your place, in that case, you know what I am talking about, you never know when you will need to do some changes to your home, you should read this, it might help you in the near or far future.

As I mentioned before this relates to Apartments/condos, not houses. If you are renovating an apartment, every holiday is a STOP sign. It means no work. the building is closed to workers, sometimes a day before and a day after. In my case, the building was closed on Thursday and Friday. Why Friday you ask? becouse they can. The HOA office decides when to shut down work and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. So last week we had only 3 days of work, out of these 3 days, we had 2 inspections.

About inspections…

When you schedule an inspection, again, no work, you don’t know until the morning of the inspection when the inspector will come. If you are lucky he will be there in the morning and sometimes the workers can keep working after that. If you are not lucky, he will be there in the afternoon meaning, no work that day. Basically last week, I was left with one work day. It’s amazing how easily a whole week is shrinking into one day. I was also sick with the flu, so it was basically a waste of a week.

Not looking forward to the end-of-the-month holidays 🙈

Still don’t have a shower and a kitchen… yay 🤦‍♀️

Will keep you posted.

 

 

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 7

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 7

Well, it seems that when you are renovating an apartment, the deadline for the project is written on ice.

*Whether you are looking to do renovations in your place, or you already did renovate your place, in that case, you know what I am talking about, you never know when you will need to do some changes to your home, you should read this, it might help you in the near or far future.

This weekend was very challenging for me. Since I started renovating my home every weekend was challenging, but this one was more than the others. The realization that there is no deadline for this nightmare is starting to weigh on me.  Usually, when you start a project you must have a date when the project will end, a specific project you are working on should not run indefinitely. Well, it seems that when you are renovating an apartment, the deadline for the project is written on ice.

You are probably thinking this is insane and unreasonable, there must be a finish date, a date when the project is done. You are right, I thought so too.

Why there is no such date you are asking? Well, let me tell you why.

If you renovated an apartment – not talking about a house because in a house you will not face the problems you are facing with an apartment/ Condo. You need to keep in mind that you will stumble upon all kinds of obstacles that will pop up whether you are doing everything correctly or not and these obstacles will push the ending date further and further away.

There will always be reasons why the work is getting delayed. If you are working with a contractor, keep in mind that it is never the contractor’s fault, they will never give you a specific date and it will always be depended on something! It could be your fault for asking to change something, or the inspector’s fault that didn’t pass you the inspection and work cannot continue, the building’s office for creating different rules every other day, or elevators that are not working, or the workers that didn’t come, or they did come but they went to buy something in home depot and didn’t come back… and so on and so on.

This weekend I realized that this project is going on and on and I cannot see the end of it, and that made me upset.

Another obstacle that you will be facing is that you will be getting a job, or if you are already working then this will be your 2nd job, whether you want it or not. This job’s name is “The Pusher”.

What or who is “The Pusher” and what he needs to do you are asking? Well, the pusher’s job is to push the contractor/workers/city /HOA office to do the job they were paid to do. I don’t know if it is the same in other places, but here in Florida, if you will not push to get the work done, you will end up renovating a small apartment for up to 1 – 2 years. My neighbor renovated her apartment – smaller than mine, and it took her a year. If you are not willing to be “The Pusher” or you have no time for it, you better get someone who can do this for you otherwise it will take you 2 years to renovate a small apartment.

So what is the situation now?

No kitchen, no shower I cannot have any guests in my home, and I also don’t know when this nightmare will be over!

We are fast approaching the holidays, this week we have Thanksgiving, and we must finish this before the end of the year’s holidays, becouse I have guests coming to visit me at beginning of the new year.

Please pray for me… 🙈

Happy Thanksgiving to you all 🙌💁‍♀️

* This blog is my experience and my opinion only and it is not to reflect on anyone’s work except my own subjective thoughts and experience.

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 6

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 6

No, I am not referring to taking things. The workers are really nice and trustworthy. So, what am I talking about?

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 6

Whether you are looking to do renovations in your place, or you already did renovate your place, in that case, you know what I am talking about, you never know when you will need to do some changes to your home, you should read this, it might help you in the near or far future.

Little progress in the last few days. Nevertheless, I have decided to go back home. Since there are no more big metal electric wires monsters attacking me everywhere, this had been taken care of.

I want you to keep in mind that if you are renovating your home, not only do you need to supervise the supervisor/ or get someone else to do that, but you better not leave anything out of your vision if you want to use it again.

No, I am not referring to taking things. The workers are really nice and trustworthy. So, what am I talking about?

Well to my surprise whenever one of the workers needs something they will take it, and you probably have to through it away after they used it becouse I am sure you will not want to use it again. After I realized that, I gave them a tour of the house pointing out all the things that matter to me.

For example, I had a white towel in my leaving room that turned into a floor wiper. I had another towel next to the since that was used to shut one of the pipes and mind you, not one of the good ones. I would definitely never use that one again. I came home one day to discover my new sofa turned into storage for boxes and stuff. I had to go over the house and point all my stuff telling the workers not to destroy them, please.

I assume the reason that happens is becouse they just don’t think about it. But when you work in a house that is not empty and people are living in it, you should.

So next time you are renovating, keep that in mind.

I want to conclude this episode on a positive note. The only room in the house that is almost ready, not completely ready, but almost.

Here is my half bath before and after.

What do you think?

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 5

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 5

I left, it was the smart choice 🙈

I felt like this would be the right decision. I didn’t think I would need to leave, I was confident I would be able to stay here throughout the renovation but I caved and left on Friday. Things got so bad, everywhere you walk there are electricity cables looking at you. It feels like they are trying to grab you and hurt you…

It seems that if you think you will be able to live in one room it is not so, as many things are connected to each other. On Friday they were working on the electricity and now I have electricity only in one outlet in my room. I had to create a spider-net of cables in order to get important stuff connected. like my fridge.

Please keep in mind this post is coming from my point of view only and it is only my opinion. This was not created to give any instructions or working information to anyone. It is only my story and it needs to be read as such.

Whether you are looking to do renovations in your place, or you already did renovate your place, in that case, you know what I am talking about, you never know when you will need to do some changes to your home, you should read this, it might help you in the near or far future.

Of course, once everything will be done the apartment will look amazing, I have no doubt, but as of now, it is unlivable.

Everybody asks me why they cannot finish everything fast this week. why it is taking so long? That is a very good question which I myself was asking.

Let me explain what’s left for this week…

Plumbing:

On Monday they will need to create a better opening for the drain and move a pipe in the bathroom – 1st day.

Then they need to create a “bed” for the water to go down correctly, this will be done with concrete that needs to get dry, so they can continue working on it only the next day – 2nd day.

On top of the bed, they need to put a shower pan, you are asking what is a shower pan. look at the pictures in this post, something there needs to get dry one day as well, 3rd day.

On the 4th day, you need to get it inspected by the city, so you are scheduling an appointment with the inspector to come on Wednesday. Since Tuesday you have no idea when he will come, for that reason, no one will be able to work here that day because for example if he comes at 2 pm and we pass inspection we cannot continue working since the working day of the building is almost over.

So now it is already Thursday. We need to do the dry walls after that and before putting the tiles we will need to get the place inspected again. If I am lucky it will be on Friday, if not it will be on Monday.

As you can see, no tiles before next week… and this is in case all is moving according to plan and there are no unforeseen problems.

Electricity:

They need to finish the wiring, it’s not clear yet if this will be on Monday or Tuesday, in any case, the inspector will need to inspect the electricity as well on Wednesday.

We are already in Thursday…they will need to continue the work and do the closing of walls. Once this is done since the nature of the work that they are doing in my place is a bit different than other apartments and I insisted on having an open kitchen, they need a specific bypass that will need the electricity company’s approval, yes you get it, another inspection – “yay”… This one I cannot know when it will be happening as of now.

Are you still asking why this will not be finished in one week…🤔

Don’t worry guys, I will keep you posted.

 

 

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 4

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 4

🙊 Hi everyone and thank you so much for following my journal. It was a tough week and very challenging. Unfortunately, almost nothing has progressed here and nothing happened the way it should be. It started with trying to fix the problem with the permit, which we did on Monday morning immediately but this didn’t seem to help too much, since the workers were gone with the wind 🙉

Whether you are looking to do renovations in your place, or you already did renovate your place, in that case, you know what I am talking about, you never know when you will need to do some changes to your home, you should read this, it might help you in the near or far future.

Once the workers thought that there was no permit they went to work somewhere else so I was left here with no one here, even though we had all the permits and we just needed to go to the city and show them that all is in order. Then on Thursday, the building decided that it would be a good idea to stop all work and put the building in emergency mode because of the tropical storm Nicole. Nicole came and left and we hardly noticed her, Thursday there was nothing here but still, the building was in emergency mode. So no work has been done.

So everything looks the same, and nothing changed. I have no kitchen, I have no shower, and I am still going to shower at friends’ houses. This is a complete nightmare that was not foreseen.

I will add a few photos today, so you will be able to see what it looks like and I will add more in future posts so you will be able to see the progress.

This nightmare is not ending, especially when they took all the walls out in the bathroom and the pipes were left open. Believe me, you would not want to be sleeping here tonight, no one would 🙊

I will keep you posted…

 

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 3

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 3

2 minutes later, I heard the loud noise of Niagra falls and saw my plumber running out of the bathroom all wet. My back was to the bathroom door, I was turning around and couldn’t believe my eyes.

The nightmare continues in full force continue reading…

Whether you are looking to do renovations in your place, or you already did renovate your place, in that case, you know what I am talking about, you never know when you will need to do some changes to your home, you should read this, it might help you in the near or far future.

Did you know? Even if you have all paperwork and permit from the city the building can still oppose what you want to do with your renovation. I found this the hard way.

The apartment I am living in is from the ’70s. The genius architect that built this building thought it would be a great idea to put the electricity panel on a wall separating the kitchen and the living room. As much as some people like to have a closed kitchen, I like an open floorplan, like most people, and I like to have guests in my home and be able to talk to them with no walls between us. That would be impossible without removing the kitchen walls and making it an open space.

So we made a plan to move the electric panel to a different wall in order to have an open space, we had the architect draw all plans and we got a licensed electrician to add his notes. If you didn’t figure that out before, this will cost you an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, our plan did not seat well with the building property manager and his staff. And they found a way to show me they are not happy.

While all this is happening, my plumber was working on the plumbing in the bathroom. It took the building 4 hours to be able to shut down the water, an action that even if you tried very hard to do slowly can take you 5 minutes. They shut down the water and told us all is good the work, but the water was still running. This went on for 4 hours. Until finally they found the right person that knows what he is doing and the water was shut down. This pleasure cost you in my building $100. Meanwhile, my neighbors are becoming impatient due to the fact that they already have no water for 4 hours. Not my fault, but they didn’t know that.

My plumber was working in the bathroom for 2 hours when a man opened my apartment door, put his head inside the apartment, didn’t bother to go in. didn’t bother to ring the bell, didn’t bother to find out if anybody is hearing him, and asked a question that not me or my plumber heard. While this was going on, I was on Zoom at work with my headset on, and my plumber was making a lot of noise and I was trying to participate in my work meeting. Also, keep in mind that my room and my bathroom are not close to the apartment entrance and you cannot see or hear if there is anyone there.

2 minutes later, I heard a loud noise of Niagra falls and saw my plumber running out of the bathroom all wet. My back was to the bathroom door, I was turning around and couldn’t believe my eyes. Water was pouring out from everywhere, walls ceiling and the whole corridor started to get flooded. Yes, you guessed it right! The genus man who was coming to the door to ask us if he can turn on the building water decided that we said YES sure why not, we all want a swimming pool apartment.

Needless to say, I called the HOA office ASAP shouting with all my strength to send someone from maintenance to shut down the water building immediately as they are flooding my apartment. Later on, I found out that my next-door neighbor and the one below me suffered from this as well.

What a fun day 🤦‍♀️

Since this happened, the property manager decided to call the city and complained about the work in my unit about moving the electricity since they got so scared that they sent 6 men to come and see the miracle in action.

So, on Friday afternoon, I got a visit from the city inspector. The guy was very nice, and very nicely he added a sticker to my door that forces me to stop all work until we resolve the issue.

Guys, you tell me, would they have complained to the city if they were not flooding my apartment?

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 2

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 2

Today I want to share with you this joyful event – renovating your half-bath, not for the faint-hearted, prepare your gas mask.

Whether you are looking to do renovations in your place, or you already did renovate your place, in that case, you know what I am talking about, you never know when you will need to do some changes to your home, you should read this, it might help you in the near or far future.

One of the things you will find out when you renovating is that the person who is doing the work will tell you every day, “this will be done today” when the day is gone and the job is not done, they will blame it on another thing they had to do that prevented them for finishing this today.

For example, you are renovating your half bath, and the floor and the toilet had been removed,..

The first day, you are looking at the place and you are so happy, finally, the ugly floor and the ugly toilet are gone and you are going to have your new floor and your new toilet. After they are looking at your floor tiles it seemed there is a problem…🤔

The tiles need to be installed on the floor but they did not bother to bring the bond to put under the tiles. But, no problem they will travel to home depot to buy it. Well here is the problem. You must know that every trip to home depot takes between 4 to 8 hours. I have no idea why, but in reality, you don’t want the people who are working at your place to go anywhere, becouse they will be back on the same day.

While you are waiting for them to come back from home depot, your neighbors are continuing to do their business. if you get my drift. The smell becomes unbearable and you can’t get rid of it even if the toilet opening gets covered.

Finally, we started installing the wall tiles, I was so happy, to get this done. Let me give you a small piece of advice, don’t leave the house while they are installing your tiles. in the best-case scenario, they will install the tiles incorrectly, in the opposite way, or next to each other instead of subway style. Worse case, you will come back, a full wall was installed, but the wall was not straightened out and it is a bit pregnant. In this case, you should tell your installer to remove the tiles immediately before the bond gets dry. Don’t agree to wait another day to see how it looks becouse it will only get worse and then the bond will dry and it will be impossible to remove the tiles without breaking them. I consider myself lucky, becouse I caught this on time and we could remove the tiles when the bond was still wet. I had to insist on replacing the whole drywall.

So the weekend has arrived and we have no progress to the half bath. I had to shut that door and cover the door all around with plastic to be able to pass the weekend.

Next episode, beware of accidents.

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 1

Renovation nightmare Journal – episode 1

So, if you ever happened to renovate your home especially if you are doing it in an apartment? Then you know what I am talking about!
Hi everyone, this is my journal about the renovation I am doing in my apartment. I am in this mess for the last 4 months and I have decided to share with you my journey.

Whether you are looking to do renovations in your place, or you already did renovate your place, in that case, you know what I am talking about, you never know when you will need to do some changes to your home, you should read this, it might help you in the near or far future.

Why nightmare you are asking? Read all my episodes and you will understand what I am talking about.
I found out doing my research for a contractor, replacing contractors in the middle of the work, and talking to other apartment owners, that it doesn’t matter which contractor you are working with, there are some differences but all are very similar in what they do and how they do it.

Let’s start with getting a permit.
If you are renovating a house, you are one of the lucky ones, usually, you can get away with renovating without having to get a permit, unless you have a nasty neighbor that will complain about you.

If you are renovating an apartment, this is an entirely different story, you must have a permit for everything you are doing, starting with a permit for replacing floors, even if you are installing the floors on top of the old ones. Removing or adding walls, changing electricity outlets, or adding lights. Removing dropdown ceilings, changing plumbing, and in an old building you also need the permission of the building for changing a faucet, Yeah I know that sounds crazy but it’s true. In some of the old buildings, the valve for shooting down the water is for all the floors that are above each other and it’s not possible to shut down the water only for your apartment 😫. Also, some buildings will charge you $100 to shut down the water and you will have to fill out a request form at least a few days in advance. Why you are asking? becouse they can.

Getting a permit from your city will require you to go back and forth until you are exhausted, so get in shape before you start. They will request an architect plan for everything and for every change you want to make after submitting the project you will wait another week or 2 and pay extra.
Bottom line, for renovating the kitchen and the bathroom and replacing floors in my apartment it took me 4 months to get all the permits.
Finally, Last week we started the work.

Next episode, renovate your half-bath, joyful event, prepare your gas mask.