The Renovations

I know that i mentioned them before, but now that we are in the thick of it, I thought I would get more specific.

We are renovating two apartments: the one we live in which has two floors, and the one we recently bought which occupies the third floor of our building (directly on top of our second floor.) In Israel, all of our building is done with concrete and cinder block, so destruction of existing structures can be very noisy and very dusty.

For a while we had thought of joining the two apartments, but then we decided that we would just renovate the upstairs one to have for visiting family and friends and for short term rental. That apartment has a couple of major problems from our point of view. There were two “facilities”– one that contained a tub and sink and the other that had a toilet and sink. The second was constructed in such a way that it jutted out into the hallway. We have demolished both bathrooms, are replacing the tub with a shower and having a toilet, tub and shower in that room and using the utility porch for a second powder room. Of course all of this mean buying tiles and trims and toilets and sinks etc. etc. In addition, we have cut an opening between the living room and kitchen where we are going to install a bar that can be used from either side. So far, all that has happened upstairs is the destruction.

Now let’s move to our own apartment– Here we decided that the very heavy, bulky staircase that we had made the entrance to the house look like a cave. We went out and chose metal and wooden floating stairs to replace them. Our contractor arrived exactly on time on Friday morning and began the destruction of the stairs. Our house looked a bit like the set from “Dexter” with hanging plastic to protect (as much as they could) the rest of the house from the dust. And so the sawing and jack hammering began.

By about 2 o’clock, we had good news and bad news. The good news: the steps were almost completely gone; the bad news: our builder had hidden all of the electrical cables for the entire house in the space that took up the last three steps of the staircase. Instead of the cables making a right angle turn to the circuit breaker box, they were stretched across the hypotenuse rendering any simple solution impossible. We called the electrician and he said that he would come over on Sunday. It was only later we noticed that we had no heat, no lights in our bedroom, and the fridge was not working. Fortunately we discovered the fridge wasn’t working before shabbat or everything would have been ruined. We were doubly fortunate because we had put a surge protector on the fridge and could tell by the fact that none of the lights were lit that the fridge was not getting any juice. Had we not put on the surge protector, we would have had to take apart half of the kitchen to replug the fridge as our kitchen person built the kitchen wrong and it’s impossible to move out the fridge without taking apart two big cabinets! We ran an extension cord from it to the closest functioning outlet.

All of this fun was enhanced by a sudden attack of the galloping crud that I came down with last night and has still not totally left me. What fun!

People say that in Israel, if you want to curse someone, you tell them they should do renovations. Oh do I understand!

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  1. Actually, you’re doing renovations on THREE apartments, but one is “just” some electrical work…

    Feel better.