We USED to be a very handy couple. If it needed repairing, replacing or fixing up, we could and did do it. We learned from T.V., YouTube and our dads. I grew up with a dad who knew how to and could do anything (at least I thought so, I’m sure he had his limits). If he didn’t know how he would figure it out and do it. My husband and I are the same way. Chronic pain can throw a monkey wrench in home repairs and remodeling though. Learning to let others help or to even rely on others is difficult when you’ve always been independent.
We bought a house years ago that needed a complete make over to bring it up to the current decade. Some things were simple like painting and carpet. The bathrooms were a different story. We nearly did a complete gut on them, only leaving the showers in both. 1) the tile was a decent color, 2} we didn’t want to mess with a cast iron bathtub that was fine, 3) the master shower was small but it was solid. After tearing out walls and cabinets, we then added an additional sink, rebuilt cabinets from scratch (thanks Dad for lending your carpentry skills for that!), removed who knows how many layers of wall paper, added sheet rock and skim coated all the walls in both bathrooms.
We had projects going all the time for years. We finally got to a point where there was no need but minor repaint, or so we thought.
Unexpected Bathroom Remodel
We had a leak!! It was from out shower. I thought we could do a simple re-grout as it was a small leak. Well there is no such thing as a small leak. Removed grout and the little fountains that were erupting told me we would be doing more.
Number one problem….my husband can’t remodel anymore. His constant head pain prevents this. He wants to, but the simplest things will send him into a tail spin. Even simple repairs become an ordeal. I am becoming handier by myself, to keep him from the stress and physicality of repairs.
In comes his brother. He offers to tear out! Really?? He really offered! We took him up on it. (We could not thank him enough!) He tore out all the old tile and pan for us. While we are tearing out let’s raise the ceiling we thought, he raised the ceiling for us. As much as we appreciate the help it is still hard for my husband to let other people help us.
My job is to come behind to clean up, scrape out extra mortar that is left and jack hammer the drain. It’s obvious I would do the jack hammering as it is just a giant version of cleaning teeth (my everyday job). I would jack hammer (like scaling-scraping the teeth) up the concrete (tartar -junk on your teeth) then vacuum (suction) up the debris to see how it was going. This is my routine for cleaning teeth. Can you see the similarities? It was fun to me; I was being productive!
My husband did help cut off the drain pipe (which is what set off the circumstances leading up to Another Hospital Stay) and his dad came over and helped finish it off.
We hired the plumbing out (plumbing infuriates my husband anyway and too much up and down and there would be a steep price for him to pay pain wise). While we were in the hospital my dad and my oldest son put in the sheet rock. I did the taping and mudding on the sheet rock.
Lastly, we hired a marble company to come replace the shower. This would be a once and we are done shower. NEVER AGAIN will we mess with it. It’s Going to be so nice!!!
It has been a different experience this go round. I’ll say, ”I need to do…..’” on the bathroom remodel and my husband says “you don’t have to do everything”. It’s fine though because it is not worth the pain it causes him.
My son is old enough to learn home repair. He has worked with my dad on many projects and now he can help us. Being a handy man for us now, he laid tile in our dirty clothes closet in the bathroom. He is a huge help to us. My husbands chronic pain has allowed and sometime necessitated our son learning to be a handy man.
After completing the bathroom, we take a break for a few months before we move on to our Parquet flooring. It is coming up in multiple areas. We decided it needed to be pulled up and replaced with vinyl wood look flooring. Since the new floor will be dark, I must repaint the den to lighten the walls. That turns into painting the entry way and then the hallway. Everything needs to match you know. Of course we couldn’t leave our room out of the painting party. Its a snowball effect for sure. Finally finished with the painting and the demo on the floor can begin.
The demo will take a while. We are nowhere near done. The kids are having fun tearing it up though. They are all getting involved. My husband sits back and watches, irritated he can’t help. It’s OK though. He has done so much in the past. It’s his turn to be the overseer.
Chronic pain can take away things you like to do, like remodeling yourself. It can change your role in the repairs or remodel. Don’t let it upset you though. Roles change, lives change, there are ways to get things done with your help though. Sharing your knowledge, like my husband has to our son, is just as important as being able physically do these things yourself.
Remodeling is great when it’s all done. It’s just uncomfortable living through it. It will be worth it when it’s done.
Have you done any remodeling, DIY lately?