The Nightmare Ends (One Can Only Hope)


Teddy Rosalie supervises the construction

By now, you’re suffering nearly as much from reading these posts as I suffered while experiencing the events that inspired them.  If you aren’t up to speed, read Part 1 (here) and Part II (here).

Day 8:  The drywall/painting contractor came with 3 helpers so work could be done in all rooms at the same time.  No bathroom, no kitchen for entire day.  Otherwise, thank God, there were no unexpected events.

Day 9:  Marathon drywalling & painting.  Tearing up the rest of the bathroom floor and installing new subflooring and new vinyl sheeting – which meant the toilet had to be pulled and the vanity removed, and which also meant no one could walk on the floor for at least 24 hours — so no access to the bathroom for 24 hours (no peeing, no washing of hands or brushing of teeth, no shower).


Cody was so good at the motel – she didn’t bark even once!

We had to take Cody and stay at a local motel overnight.  We discovered that Motel 6 will accept a 44-lb dog WITHOUT A PET DEPOSIT.  For a dog who’s never slept anywhere other than in her own house, Cody did pretty good.

Day 10:  It was discovered that the new vanity we bought was defective and could not be installed.  Home Depot opens early, so guess where I was at 9:00 am.  We had the plumber scheduled for 3:00 pm, supposedly to install the new toilet and the new vanity (at least that’s what we told the person who took our order over the phone).  The plumber arrived and told us he could only do the toilet, not enough time to do the vanity, too.  *sigh*

And then, of course, the plumber had problems installing the new toilet (he blamed the manufacturer, but we figured it was him – who’s to know for sure?).  And the labor cost was four times what we paid for the toilet to begin with.  And we couldn’t use the new toilet for 6 hours!  *double sigh*  At one point, the cash register lady at  Bon-Ton questioned why I was periodically trotting through the store without buying anything (Bon-Ton has really clean bathrooms).

And the drywall/painter guy had to suspend his work in the bathroom to allow the plumber access.  The drywall/painter guy would have to come back on Saturday to finish up.  *triple sigh*  Which was kind of sad because the drywall/painter guy was so excited at how well the renovation had gone and wanted to see it finished nearly as much as we did so he could take the “after” pictures.


We will repaint the door soon – we didn’t want to pay the contractor extra to paint doors

But the living room and kitchen walls and trim were FINISHED – and were (are) amazing, like something out of a magazine.  As my husband said when we finally saw the completed work – “Damn, too bad we have to put the yard-sale furniture back in place.”

Days 11 & 12:  Hubby and I both had to go back to work so no construction was planned.

However, I was at work for all of 5 minutes that first day when my husband called to tell me the newly installed toilet was leaking.  Not CM took over, and I got through to the plumber’s supervisor.  We couldn’t have anyone come until after work hours, but she sent a different plumber out to meet us when we arrived home.  The new plumber took the toilet apart, reseated it, futzed around with it, and told us it was probably defective and would need new parts.  He suggested calling the store and the manufacturer and told us what parts to order.  On his way out, he commented, “I’ve had so many problems with this particular toilet that I keep the replacement parts right on the truck.”

He was gone maybe 10 minutes when that comment sunk in – what?  He has the parts  NOW?  Call him back!

After completing whatever job he had gone to after us, the plumber returned.  By that time, hubby and I had agreed that it would make more sense to just have a different toilet installed than to try to repair the old (2-day-old!) toilet (repair would cost $350 – a new toilet was $299).


Not fancy, but it works and doesn’t leak.

We felt it made more sense just to take the defective toilet back and get a refund – if we had it repaired and it then leaked again, the store wouldn’t honor the warranty.  The plumber had a basic toilet on his truck and would warranty both the toilet and his work.

The second toilet was installed and has been fine.  I think God was on my side – the second toilet fits the bathroom better and has a more powerful flush.  Lesson learned:  sometimes it doesn’t pay to try for a more eloquent look in home décor.

Day 13 (second Saturday):

The drywall/painter and his assistant arrived promptly at 8:30 a.m.  The kitchen ceiling was replaced, and the bathroom painting was completed and the new medicine cabinet installed.

Upon opening the box for the new light fixture, it was discovered that it contained no hardware or instructions – someone at the plant forgot to put that little packet in.  (See how my luck goes?)  The old light fixture was reinstalled.


Only a few items left:  returning all defective items, picking up new light fixture (and getting an electrician to come out and install it, along with some other work we need done), and installing the bathroom vanity (our contractor told my husband how to do it because one plumber wanted $932 to install it and another wanted $650 – and we already have the vanity and faucet!).  And the new window frames need to be stained or painted and reinstalled by the window guy (who insisted that no one else was to touch his casements).

Here are a couple of “after” pictures – I’m dying to share the fully completed bathroom, hopefully in the next few weeks.


The blinds still need to be replaced, and the knickknacks will be put back on the little shelves


These turned out especially well.


We still need a vanity and light fixture.


I love to hear from my readers.  You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at or


Images by Cordelia’s Mom

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42 Responses to The Nightmare Ends (One Can Only Hope)

  1. House is slowly coming up. Waiting for new pictures.


  2. Ritu says:

    It’s looking fabulous! I love it!


  3. willowdot21 says:

    It is all looking amazing!! Would it help if I said no renovations project goes smoothly… NCM put that bat down …please………………..


  4. Paul says:

    Very very nice CM. It is so easy to spot when a professional has done the work – it is flawless in every detail. Congratulations.


    • Thanks, Paul. That was my feeling – the paint definitely looks better than if we had done it ourselves. But then, again, the contractor used expensive premium paint, and we would have used Walmart paint.


  5. Dan Antion says:

    What an ordeal, but it looks great. I’m sorry you had so many starts and stops, I’ve been there, I know the frustration but it’s over.

    One thing about the lamp fixture. I bought an outdoor fixture at Home Depot. It was missing six nuts that secured the lights to the post. I asked the guy in lighting if he could come to the hardware department where I could get the nuts and if he could then tell the cashier that they should be free. Instead, he tore open a new lamp, gave me the entire parts bag, taped the new lamp closed and pushed it back on the shelf. The manufacturers usually get it right, but the store employees are idiots sometimes.


    • Funny you should tell that story. When we returned the light fixture, we went to the shelf to get a new one and found that one of the boxes had been opened. I suspect someone did that for just the reason you mention. We opened our new box in front of the store clerk to make sure everything was in there, but since we haven’t installed the light yet, we don’t know for sure that it’s 100% OK.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Know where you’re coming from. When we bought the cottage, we thought it only needed redecorating a a lick of paint (sigh). New plumbing, 3 replacement radiators, new floor, damp issue resolved, new windows, new kitchen, roof repair, drainage diversion, oh, and a new coat of paint on all the walls having stripped off the yukky wall paper (red in one room, green in another, a peacock blue bathroom (the black and silver tiles and white suite were OK though), bright yellow in the smallest bedroom, purple in the second bedroom and terracotta in the ‘master bedroom’, a full 9 inches longer than the second. Money pit doesn’t even come close!


  7. Glad you’re seeing an end to all this. It was worth it. ☺


    • We’re not quite done yet, but the major stuff is done. Now comes the fun stuff – choosing curtains, and maybe (if there’s any money left) replacing the kitchen appliances. Someday I hope to also replace the living room carpeting (or pull it up and leave the hardwood) and maybe get a new couch – but those last couple of items will probably have to wait until next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. And people wonder why I’d rather live the the wreckage than remodel. Hah. You said it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thumbup says:

    RETRO! Love the kitchen! The railing on the stairs! OMG!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. candygai says:

    I am completely convinced the only reason things came together is the watchful and magical eye(s) of Teddy Rosalie made it so. That and all the money you and Mr. CordeliasMom through that way. Perhaps his name is CordeliasDadstill? Hmm. Anyway.

    There is great magic in Teddy Rosalie. I am not sure I would want to Cross Her. #justsaying. #kindofaguessnevermether.


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  19. Reblogged this on Cordelia's Mom, Still and commented:

    Ok, folks, I seriously hoped to be done with my sabbatical by the time this household renovations mini-series ended. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, but things are looking up. Hopefully only a few more weeks until I can come back to blogging like I used to. Hang in there with me. Please?


  20. joey says:

    One of my girlfriends wanted a new toilet installed, so she called around and after reeling at the installation costs, took it upon herself to install her own. She was successful. New toilet, three hours, $200, and a trip to the dump. I found that not only thrifty, but also inspiring.
    Your stairwell is lovely, and I am so pleased by your bathroom beadboard 🙂


    • We’ve learned the hard way that, at least for us, it’s better in the long run to just let the professionals do the household repairs.

      I love my new bathroom. I wish I would have had it when my girls were growing up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • joey says:

        I totally understand that. Sometimes I wish I could pick and choose rooms and spaces from each house we’ve lived in.
        Yeah, IIIII won’t be replacing any toilets! Still, it was inspiring 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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