Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am rarely as happy as when I am having work done. Most women my age who would make that kind of statement might be referring to cosmetic surgery.  But those who know me know  that that isn’t about to happen. Not here.

For me, the cosmetic changes I thrive on are home repairs.

And so, last week, when I got the garbage disposal replaced in our condo, it was a good day.

Two days later, when I turned on the disposal and green water came up through both sinks, I felt outrage at a job poorly done. I got on the phone and, indignation simmering in my heart, I dialed the contractor and told him what had happened.

My husband and I were on our way out for the evening to the theatre; it was Saturday night, so I knew there was really no resolution in sight until Monday. This meant, of course, that the full dishwasher sat for two days, and I was unable to cook in the kitchen. Drat! We’ll have to eat out, I told him. Off we went to CPK.

On Monday morning, the contractor came out and after laying his plunger in the sink, and showing me the dripping pipe under the sink, explained to me that the pipe leading to the drain was bad and would need to be replaced.

Living in a condo and being on the 11th floor, I felt like we had just won the lottery – that the pipe hadn’t burst while the dishwasher was running and flooded our downstairs neighbors’ apartment.

And that’s when I got happy.

“Wait,” I said. “While we’re in there, what would it take to replace these 30-year-old tiles on the counter top? And the sink?” And just like that I was entering my happy renovator mode.

In our old house in Van  Nuys, I had envisioned, planned, and realized a complete remodel of the kitchen. The process took about 6 weeks, during which time we relocated the refrigerator and microwave to another room in the house and camped out. That part was brutal and horrible, but the final results were magnificent.

This time, the contractor left me the countertop samples that night, I picked the granite with a little help from my FB friends, and then shopped for backsplash tiles at Home Depot by text message with my friend Michael.

IMG_2619“Here’s what the granite looks like. Stay tuned for tile choices,” I texted him. Then, without even a response back, I proceeded to bombard him with some of the ugliest tile pictures known to man.




IMG_2626 IMG_2627Diplomatically, he texted me back “keep it simple.” I moved on to different choices, finally electing a small tan subway mosaic tile, and a pretty border IMG_2630of tan and brown tiles. This after a few more back and forths with Michael about texture, color, etc. 

Tuesday, they replaced the pipe, allowing me to run the dishwasher and restore temporary order to the kitchen.
Wednesday, they demoed the counters in the kitchen and ripped out the sink and disposal. By the time I got home at 4:30, they were just screwing down the plywood for the new counter tops.

IMG_2634Tomorrow, they will install the granite and the tile backsplash and by the time my husband and I get home from work, we should have a new kitchen. Granted this is a smaller project than the one in Van Nuys, but I’m thinking I might just have found the contractor to do the guest bath…. Happy Dance in the new kitchen!

Would love to hear what you are thinking!

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