House Construction Burnout

sandy808May 17, 2011

Have many of you experienced this when building or remodeling your home? I'm not sure how to deal with it.

We are at the phase where I have to decide on finishing touches.There is still much work ahead of us in this regard. I wake up now and am sick to my stomach. I no longer want to have to go pick out tile. I don't want to deal with the sink and toilet placement anymore. I don't want to go get my kitchen designed. I don't even want to pick out light fixtures.I'm not sleeping well because my mind does not shut off, and I can't seem to be able to force it to do so.

I'm tired of butting heads with my husband. I'm tired that most of the time all I have heard from people is "you have to do....fill in the blanks. No support and no help, just YOU have to do this. I'm tired of people who don't return phone calls or follow up on design work they are paid to do.I may try Home Depot and see if they will work out.

I like a vintage unfitted look for a kitchen. Try to get someone to want to think about designing that instead of cookie cutter. I also think it would be neat to tie the laundry pantry area which could actually be part of the kitchen flow instead of boxed off rooms, IF I had someone who could think of how to do nice cabinetry that can house all of that. Maybe it has to be rooms after all, but gee, I'd like to avoid that if I can. I do know that I want a good cabinet maker to make cabinets for me.

If you have ever experienced this please let me know how you coped. I don't smile any more.


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Oh Sandy, I'm so sorry. I haven't been quite where you are, at least the intensity, but I do understand about the burnout. We haven't had this house totally finished since we moved in 15 years ago, and there are times I just want to burn it down. Well, not really, but I just don't want to be around it any more. Sounds like you need a vacation.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 1:32PM
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I am with Marti in wanting to send you on a vacation, but I think you would not be able to enjoy it if you went.

Have you tried to get some of the decisions behind you? And stick to them? For example, do you have one item you are sure you like? It could be a lamp or light fixture, a wallpaper or fabric pattern, a family of outlet covers. Anything. If you are prepared to make that one choice and stick to it, it starts to narrow you ensuing choices. That is what I did in both my kitchens. We chose the cabinets, which narrowed the choices for flooring, which led to defining the spectrum of matching wall colors. The backsplash drove the decision for outlet and switch covers. That led to a narrower range of options for the counter material.

In my second new kitchen, it was the cupboards that drove everything. I chose a used set from Green Demolitions. During the countertop and backsplash period, I went off in three different directions at times, devoting a lot of time to finding just the right combo of island top material, perimeter top material, and backsplash. We finally solved the thing by realizing that DH would worry about every little stain on granite or marble, other solid surfaces cost too much, and we found porcelain tile that looked like stone for the island. That was a good start. I then auditioned several perimeter counter laminate materials, and it was Marti who said I should try a dark solid color for those counters. She was right. The day the counters went in, I took one look at the kitchen and said "Cafe au lait!" The island top was cream with brown swirls, the laminate a coffee brown, and the cupboards a creamy stain over oak. Left in the dust were the gold marble, the chocolate marble, and the pebble-look laminate.

It also sounds like you and DH have different tastes. Are there some things you both agree on, or are you fighting with him every step of the way? Maybe you could start a list of things you do agree on, to show each other that maybe you could someday live together in harmony (Joke intended, I do not know the state of your matrimony!).

Another way to help you feel better about the huge scope of the work is to post a list of what is done. What is chosen, purchased, set in stone? Show that list. Watch it grow as you add on. See you ARE accomplishing something! DO NOT make a corresponding list of decisions left to make! This is supposed to be an encouragement, not a slap in the face.

I have never done a whole house. I can only imagine what it is like. I always try to remember that fashions come and go, I have a wide range of "nice" and "good enough" choices, and that nothing is perfect. If making a decision on a non-critical thing means it is one less thing to worry about, I try to make the best choice I can, purchase the item, and dismiss it from my mind (except when I still have to find other items in the room to go with it.) Not only am I not a perfectionist, I realize that anything that is "just perfect" today is going to be passe' the day after tomorrow. I may have a "perfect" combination of items in the room, but they are perfect only in context. Drop that same room into a different time or place, and it becomes a museum of the odd choices of one period. Remember harvest gold? So if everything is going to be out of fashion eventually, why get it perfect now? I think that this is in your thinking when you say you like the unfitted kitchen style.

BTW, you do not need a kitchen designer. You are allowed to do all the design and all the choosing yourself, then have someone at the cabinet shop look at your plans to see if you have enough spacers for clearance, and such. Just suggestin'....

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 9:54PM
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Hey, Sandy. Sorry not to have shown up for the last two days, but for some reason, GWeb would not let me sign on.

Nancy is right, you are in control here. It is YOUR KITCHEN. I remember my friend married to an Army General said she had a day of reckoning with him after he was retired, and wanted to tell her how to load the dishwasher! All our friends got a big laugh out of that. In Japan, they call it something like "retired executive's wife syndrome" because these men so used to bossing great multitudes of people are suddenly cast adrift with only their WIVES TO ORDER AROUND. And the wives are all coming down with stress related disorders. So do yourself a favor, and put your foot down, say, "I WON'T".....or "I SHALL"....

I'd start with the kitchen. And I would tell them what I wanted, even if that means the pantry does not get separated into its own room. Explain it as WASTING SPACE and REQUIRING MORE MATERIALS. And tell them very delicately, I HAVE A VISION. They would never DARE to touch that one.

And for yourself, I recommend a good movie to watch. For your particular area of the country, get a copy of CROSS CREEK, starring Mary Steenburgen and Peter Coyote, about the writer, Marjorie Rawlings who wrote The Yearling. It is a charming book, great scenery from old time Florida, and a great old cracker house with everything wrong with it.

And then, make sure you AND your DH watch THE MONEY PIT, with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long, about a couple who just about split up over remodelling a house but come together again in the end. It turns out, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.

Get the message? IT IS ALL WORTH IT. And I think you will realize it one day. Put yourself some encouraging slogans up around the house.


And my very very favorite, of all times (which DH BROKE and THREW AWAY)......


And another one, which replaced the above slogan and is in the kitchen window above my sink:


If you need help just let me know, I'll pack my little ditty bag and leave Mobile in time to be there by breakfast tomorrow. We'll break eggs and make omelettes. Love ya, Sandy. You'll be okay.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 12:56PM
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It was stressful for us too, but it was so exciting at the same time, I didn't mind. I'd love to do it all over again....but our architect and builder were very helpful, so that is why.

I do hope you can find everything you need.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 11:01PM
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Sandy, I post here from time to time, but have been busy with my garden recently. After building three houses, plus helping my daughter with two, I totally understand your current nightmare. All I can suggest is to step back and ask yourself, in the TOTAL scheme of things, how important is this?

For example, in the past, I have read GW posters positively AGONIZING over something as trivial as the handle finish on a bathroom cabinet! Think about this... it merely opens a door or drawer. So many choices can seem daunting, but remember, you are talking about materials that go into a building. These things do not make it a home. Rather it is the love and warmth of the inhabitants, and your cherished belongings, and the life you create within that makes it perfect. Strive for what will meet your needs, please you, and make upkeep easier, but 'perfection' is not necessary. Strained relations with your sweetheart are not worth the fight, either!

I recall fussing over 'the best choice' in times past, only to cease even noticing all those little details after living with them for a while. Trust me on this...

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 8:50PM
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Sandy- If you have a vision for a vintage kitchen...stick with it! You seem to know what you want, it's just difficult to get everyone else on board. Go to HD and Lowe's and ask for help in their kitchen centers. You can also post your ideas on the kitchen forum and get plenty of help with all aspects of your kitchen design :)

I agree with what's already been said. Once you move in, you'll still love a few details that are especially 'perfect' but most will just become functional, pretty finishes that you use every day. My mom designed her new home and while she still mentions how much a certain finish makes her smile, when she walks into her kitchen...most of the choices make her happy, but become part of daily life.

Another thing to think about...all things being equal, stay with a less expensive finish. I know that's not something you'll always hear on some forums, but I'm a big believer in good quality, but saving money for a really important finish or feature. So, if you want a fancy island top, be more practical with some of the other finishes and hardware. Lighting, flooring, faucets, appliances...there are plenty of reasonable choices that will look great, but not break the bank. Just thought I'd throw that out there! LOL

Now, quit worrying about something that is supposed to be fun. Tell DH that if he wants to help you research, shop for and choose finishes and designs...that would be wonderful...but if he's not able or willing to do that, maybe he can have veto power on a few items and the rest is up to you. You can't decorate by committee and if he's on board with the vintage look...ask him to help you choose the cabinets, countertop and backsplash. By then, he may be happy to let you make most of the other decisions :)

Last thing, if you're having problems sleeping, my guess is that it's frustration over being responsible for making all these decisions, but not having the authority to make them. Start by finding someone, who can understand why you want the pantry, laundry, etc. set up as part of the kitchen...with matching cabinetry. Once you get that settled, the other things will start falling into place...and make sure DH knows how much this is bothering you and that his helping you make some major decisions that you both like, will help you get past this road block and move on with all the other finishes. It's going to be beautiful, so relax and start having some fun!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 12:40PM
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been thinking about ya Sandy... now I know why! i'm there and I'm not building a whole house, just fixing one up. Still not even IN IT! I'm already thinking 'the kitchen is FINE, no need to fix ANYTHING', if the old dw works it stays, who needs closet or pantry doors etc... (ha!) I'm just so tired of it all. actually, just plain tired.

dbf and I have exchanged heated words more in the past few months than we have in the past 18 yrs! but then, I'm tired and in pain, he's tired and in pain mixed in with bz and family problems - it takes it's toll on a person.
I've also come to the conclusion he is losing his hearing and has too many pots in the fire to keep up with. my place is just one of them.

These things don't make for clear thinking at all - AND there are so many options available to us today. too many!

anyway, I DO like your idea of having the laundry/pantry areas w/in the kitchen boundaries - consolidation! Easier to keep an eye on what's cooking while changing over a load of laundry, less steps to get needed items for dinner or to see what's needed at the grocery!

should be easy enough to put a jog in the inner kitchen wall to 'door' off for w/d (famous last words). How about those doors that open in the center then slide back into the sides? They're often used on a TV center or on a kitchen 'garage' cabinet. They could be too much to move all of the time tho - unless they're done as double doors. an upper set and a lower set. Others here will have different ideas to put out there for you.

bring those items here to be brainstormed! post your proposed kitchen layout for us to pour over... we'll be glad to help. It'll take our minds off of our own decisions... lol! It's also easier to 'see' things clearer when you're not as emotionally involved in them. We'll throw ideas out there and you can pick, choose, toss out, whatever!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:39PM
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Oh Sandy, I feel your pain and agony. Right now, DH and I are trying to decide which to do when/if this house ever a new one, buy one and remodel, or just live in it as is. We too have butt heads many, many times already and not even started. When I was single before I met DH, I had a new home built and I enjoyed every minute of it...Why?....I got to do exactly what I pleased and loved that house.

My DH is a retired architect who is stuck in the 70's (he is 80 years old) and is the most strong headed person I have ever met.....his favorite saying to me is "It just won't work!"...and when I ask "Why not", he just tells me I wouldn't understand~~~and that really pi---s me off! We, well mostly "he", made all the decisions on the house we built that we now live in...I was working out of town at the time....and believe me, I would have changed a lot of things if it were left up to me.

Anyway, this "build or buy" has me losing sleep also...especially at our ages (80 & 70) and the economy has hit us I can completely relate to you and we don't even know what we are going to do. Question is...should we buy a $100,000 house, put $35,000+ into remodeling (and still have a 35 yr. old house), or build one for approx. $225,000.....both would have to be sold in not too many years.

Kitykat had some wonderful words of advice that I hope I can take to heart, even at my old is indeed "just a house" and the people in make it makes it a "home"......and there is nothing that is perfect (but that seems to be what I want.)

Good luck to you, Sandy....keep us posted and prayers are with you for some good nights sleep.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 3:12PM
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Ahhhh, Phoggie, reading your post above sounded so familiar it could have been written by MOI, so I had to look to make sure. My DH and I will be married 5 years come July, met and were originally engaged 50 years ago, so we do have history. He had many credentials, including an architects license in several states because of his work, and was used to being the CAPO DI CAPOS. Well, I was used to doing things my own way for 32 years too. So yeah, it sounds really familiar.

And I know that Sandy has already conceded more of her wishes for this house than I would have, so I am really pulling for her to get the remaining pieces that will give some peace to the household. In reading Sarah Susanka's book NOT SO BIG LIFE: MAKING ROOM FOR THINGS THAT MATTER, she emphasizes that you have to plan for personal and private space for your own well being.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 7:36PM
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Hi moccasin~~

May I ask what is CAPO DI CAPOS?...whatever it is, it sounds like something DH is/has~~LOL

When two people are used to be in full control for so many years (me, 25 yrs.) and making ALL of the decisions about EVERYTHING and raising 3 young children all by myself after my first DH was killed, it is very hard for me to give in to things that really matter to me.

DH and I have been married 11 years but we are OLD!...his DS ruined him financially so things are tough in this economy...that is why we must sell this house that we can no longer afford.....sounds bad, but sometimes I wish I had stayed least I was able to do what I wanted to do. I think I will try to find that book...and yes, our next house will not have a basement and that is his domain, so I am concerned about him always being under my feet~~

Sorry to have hi-jacked Sandy's post, but I have not followed her story on her house, but wish her good fortune in getting the things that make her happy in this house.....maybe someone will fill me in.

GOOD LUCK, Sandy!!!!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 4:38PM
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Literally, 'Captain of captains'. Boss of bosses. Queso Grande, the Big Cheese.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:06PM
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hehehe, well said, Jay.

Marlon Brando in Godfather was the Capo Di Capos too.

As Steph says, you get to a point where you THINK, let it go, don't sweat the small stuff....and it happens to me on occasion. But then, I cannot really let it go.

I learned my lesson years ago, about ultimate responsibility for the outcome, even if it requires breaking eggs. Won't tell it, but it is a good one. One day I'll put it on the conversation side.

Remember the old Davy Crockett quote: BE SURE YOU'RE RIGHT AND THEN GO AHEAD. Good advice.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:36PM
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phoggie and ML - you both sound like me and dbf. we've known each other for 18 yrs now but he's been alone much longer than that and so have I. both used to making our own decisions and now as supposed gc on fixing this place up (absentee tho) he's putting his 2 cents in where it doesn't belong. like what I have for a kitchen table...really? just get the broken windows fixed for pete's sake! lol! I like the table I've had for 30 yrs or so...

but I agree about Sandy and her house - she needs to get some of 'her' into it. What will make her happy and make things easier for her.

phoggie - how about your dh gets a room off the back of the garage or somewhere? basements usually require stairs... unless you put in an elevator!

btw Sandy - can you post a layout of it as it's planned...or almost planned?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 11:57PM
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sandy808 are all so sweet! I haven't been back in here because...well...I got busy! The county made us add 125 square feet onto our leach field because "we just MIGHT" put three full bathrooms in a house that that is under 1800 square feet. How ridiculous! It is only my husband and I now, and we are having one full bath and then a powder room. I wanted a closet instead of a second shower and my husband agreed we'd get more use out of the closet. They, of coarse, wanted their $500 septic permit fee. Oh well, we pick our battles. The county has pretty much not bothered us and all our inspections have gone well. It's done and out of the way now. We ran all the water lines as well.

The day I posted this (or was it the day after?) I wandered into our bedroom and thought to myself, hey, I can just crawl in there and go to sleep a while. Which is what I did. Fancy that. A long nap in the middle of the day!

My husband and I have had a great marriage all these years and we are going to be just fine. This has been a test but looks like a passing grade. It'll be much better when the house is done and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of coarse, sometimes he'll say that the only problem with the light at the end of the tunnel is sometimes it's a train coming from the other end. It makes for a good laugh.

After one particularly difficult evening, with which after 3 glasses of wine, I let him know how I felt about being talked out of my sewing loft. Most of you probably remember me wrestling with that. I love lofts and should have stood my ground and not allowed myself to be talked out of it. Someday I may be unable to climb staiurs, but that day has not come yet and in the meantime we need to enjoy things. I let all that bottled up resentment bubble out.

My dear sweet husband, whom at that moment I had threatened to take myself on a long extended vacation up in the mountains, by myself,(I tend to get dramatic sometimes), said he would go back and raise the roof on the house to put a loft in. He said he knew how to do it and was willing to deconstruct the roof to put the second story on. And he was dead serious.

I don't want to do that to my home. It's beautiful as it is, and I will try the sewing cottage idea. I might surprise myself and actually like "leaving home" to go sew. Right now I don't think so, but I also have my mind closed off. We would connect it to the house with a breezeway so maybe it won't be so bad.

Anyway, now when I propose a very expensive sink, or something else that I might like in there, before he can say a word I just look at him and say "cheaper than raising a roof". Someday this will all be behind us and will become a family joke that we laugh about.

I will try to post a layout. You all know how computer challanged I am. I had decided to give one more kitchen person a chance. She works at Home Depot. She was enthusiastic and even came by to see the house on her day off. We made an appointment and went Sunday afternoon. Well,for whatever reason, she was not nice to me. Sometimes she was insulting. And she made it clear if I didn't buy cabinetry from them, "she was NOT my girl". This was after I questioned some quality concerns, from past experience, and was accused of having abused the inside of the drawyers with some kind of harsh chemical.

Never mind that I am buying several NICE sinks, probably soapstone countertops, some tile, faucets, etc. She was not my girl. Then I ended up with a design that had rows of boring cabinetry, despite my repeated expressions it was not the look I wanted, and to please refer to all the pictures I gave her. I steqamed for a day and then I sent her an e-mail about how her behavior was not nice and that the things I need to purchase outside of cabinetry will most likely exceed most cabinet sales she has made lately, and that I can certainly go elsewhere.

I decided not to let this latest and greatest upset me. I am now going to clip pictures and paste them together on posterboard and make up a kitchen I like. Any good cabinet maker can figure out proper dimensions.

In the meantime, I've been planting lots of different fruit trees that have been developed for the North Florida area. I have a mini orchard planted off the south side of our house. I even planted a Meyer Lemon and a Satsuma Orange tree. They will need Christmas lights on them and frost cloth during the winter at night, but we are putting outlets around the exterior of the house so we can plug them in. It'll be fun to see how they fare. Even though it is hot out, being in the fresh air and the sunshine has been great for my state of mind. Being out in nature puts life in perspective.

By the way, I love a good omelet!


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 5:04PM
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Sandy, about the satsumas. They named a town near Mobile for them, Satsuma AL, and they once grew them as a big crop. And so did they grow them down in Plaquemine Parish LA, but the problems with Hurricane Katrina just about wiped out the commercial orchards. I did not know that satsumas or tangerines were also known as "mandarin oranges." Fancy that, would you.

We have two young satsumas with fruit on them, I'm having to water them every day to keep them alive because it is so dry here. My neighbor has a huge meyer lemon, the fruits get as big as oranges! And she has a persimmon tree, and also a lot of blueberries, which is where we got our start with mature blueberry bushes. Nice.

You might also consider a couple of figs, they are hardy.
And how about a strawberry patch, they keep coming back every year, I'm sure you have enough pine straw to keep them mulched and the berries out of the dirt. They spread.
Your climate is quite a lot like ours I'm sure, so you could also get several kiwi vines. One male plant can take care of three female plants.

And I'm sure that the Home Depot customer service at their headquarters would be interested in the way you were treated at this local store. When I went to Home Depot recently, I was never treated so well, it was like somebody had really jacked them up. Yep. It is a total different store now. One thing, they are running scared by the economy and LOWES. We now give all our business to LOWES for home improvements, except where our neighborhood Ace Hardware has something we need. Except I like Behr paints, but have now tried the Valspar at Lowes.

Look at it this way, Sandy: REWARD GOOD BEHAVIOR, NOT BAD.
Don't cut off your nose to spite your face, making things hard on yourself. But taking back a sink, when they ask what was wrong with it, write it down there big and bold, SINK OKAY BUT CUSTOMER SERVICE STINKS. Somebody will be doing some fast footwork to keep their job. I'm not a mean person, but I feel the companies we do business with should realize we do not BEG them to take our money and then show disrespect. You deserve better, Sandy. Demand it.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:27PM
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Sandy, a month has passed now, so I'm curious about your kitchen progress. How goes it lady bug?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 4:04AM
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Sandy, my guess is that she was jealous once she saw your home, and took it out on you the next time you came in.

I totally agree with ML about writing a letter to management. I recently wrote an email to Walmart though I didn't think it would do any good at all. (I was denied a price match for the stupidest reason.) A week later I got a call from a manager at my local Walmart and she told me to bring my receipt and the flyer in and she would refund and price match and that all their employees would be retrained on price matching.

Too late, I had driven 80 miles round trip to buy what I wanted, and I will NEVER step foot in that Walmart (and possibly any Walmart) again.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 10:58AM
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I have been thinking about you also.....and hope you will report to us how things are going with your project(s).

Why does life seem so hard at times? I get so tired of always fighting some type of battle...I hope things will improve for both of us....but let us hear from you, 'cause we care~~

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 9:09PM
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There are so many quotations about having problems. One of the first, right on the edge of my conscious mind, is

Well, rain falling is not a bad thing, given my point of view these days with drought everywhere.

I started thinking about things which happened in my life, and that is when I realized, it was not PROBLEMS. It was SITUATIONS TO BE HANDLED. And we are all able to deal with those situations, so think about what is happening and turn that lemon into some lemonade. If you cannot reach a satisfactory solution one way, back up and go at it from another direction. That is what the lowly little protozoa does, go forward, hit a wall, back up, try it again, and again, until that lowly little critter finds what it is looking for, a way through. Like Marti did, they cannot win against a determined person. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on ME. Trusting people is not a bad thing, but you have to know when to turn away instead of turning the other cheek. As long as there is life, there is something that must be dealt with. So I've discovered that if I cannot change the facts, then I can change my attitude. And attitude is everything. It is not our responsibility to put up with PITA people, leave them be, seek your solutions elsewhere. That they must live with themselves is punishment in itself, as I see it. Keep above it all, and see the humor if at all possible. My neurotic neighbor is mostly funny. I do not have to deal with him just because he lives next door, do I? Of all the people in the world, you should be kind to yourself. Because you deserve it.

And we do care, like Phoggie says. Hope to hear from you soon, Sandy.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 1:38PM
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Thanks everyone. I am back! Whew! Things are still hard. This house is like giving birth to quintuplets. Still going through some stuff. If you don't mind I'd like to whine a bit.Then I'm going to go have some wine with my whine. Tee Hee!

I'm still looking for a kitchen cabinet person. I thought I had one but he turned out to be a very toxic nutcase. No exaggeration. Then my husband had another "cabinet maker" come over despite the fact that I didn't like his work. He was nasty and insulting. Stood up to him and got rid of him. (The "cabinet maker").

I've taken a deep breath, and am mocking some stuff up in the house and designing my own darn kitchen. I am going to use the Kohler Harborview sink my husband bought for me and will take my time looking for the right person to integrate it in my kitchen. If it takes a little time, so be it. If I have to learn to build the darn cabinets myself, I will!

My husband and the air conditioning guy put the air return in the middle of my plant shelf. Right where it hits you in the eye. Despite many many discussions of where it would go. It's now moved to the ceiling above the plant shelf. When I noticed it I saw the deer in the headlights look. Did they really think I wouldn't notice?!

The air conditioning man fell out of our trusses. We thought he broke his ribs. He said he was getting heat sick so we brought a ladder to help him down but he missed it and fell on it. All of us, including his wife are now happy he fell. He had a heart attack at age 43 and would not have gone to the doctor had he not fallen and feared broken ribs. No broken bones, but he had 3 stints put in. The fall saved his life and interupted the heart attack. So my house isn't jinxed after all, but helped someone.

The latest is my husband went ahead and had a white cultured marble shower put in despite the fact I wanted pretty tile. I had cultured marble in my last house and it was fine but I didn't want it in this house. I made that very clear over the past several months. I brought tile samples home (after he asked me to go pick some out) but he didn't look at them. The next thing I know the shower was being delivered and installed. I hate it. The quality and workmanship are not that great and it looks like fake plastic in my house, particularly near my vintage look porcelain console sink with fancy porcelain legs. I want it out. Now.

Don't get me wrong. My husband is a wonderful person and I wouldn't trade him for anything on earth. I am blessed to have him and love him more than life itself. But....I guess he has a few lessons to learn.

I have been somewhat distraught over all this, particularly after the mentally insane "cabinet maker" and what I just went through with him.

All the same, I'm trying hard to keep things in perspective. Showers can be ripped out and people can be fired. And someday I'm going to write a book.

Moccasin, I have had thunderstorms. No, I take that back. Hurricaines! :))

I'm learning how to make some tasty lemonaid out of the lemons. And I actually feel that I will get a better house in the end because of all this.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 6:56PM
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yikes! real plastic is bad enough (I have it!), can't imagine 'fake' plastic!

maybe dh feels like he missed out on the fun part - demo - with this new house build?

stick to your guns so that you get what you want in it.

have you posted a layout yet?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 7:51PM
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No I haven't posted a layout yet. I am computer challenged as well as not having it set up on graph paper at the moment. Sigh...maybe I will feel ambitious soon.

Cultured marble is more of a southern thing because of the warm conditions needed to manufacture it. It looks better than fiberglass showers that we all see in the big box stores, but it isn't really marble. It has calcium dust but there is also a lot of resin in it. The job done in our last house looked nice, but the style of the house pulled it off well. This house is a log style and calls for natural products in it.I made it very clear all along that I didn't want it again. DH is concerned about leaks with tile, a valid concern, but it shouldn't be an issue if installed correctly.

I noticed this afternoon, along with our framer, that a shower panel had bowed out from the cement board at the bottom so he clamped it. Another young man said that when he climbed on a ladder today and looked down the back panel there was a half inch gap between the cement board and the "marble" panel. Sure enough, when I climbed up and looked he was right.I know for a fact that the cement board our guys installed is dead on perfect. The cultured marble isn't glued to the board properly.

The other thing I noticed is that the panels are about a quarter inch thick when we had been told they would be a half inch thick. Our panels (by another company) in our last house were half inch thick.

When the panels were brought in I remarked about the scuffs and scratches. They claim they will buff out. If I can catch a scratch with my fingernail that means it is scratched below the gel coat. Some areas look like someone had taken an SOS pad and scuffed it. I feel the gel coat in those areas has been breached. The shower seat creaks when I sit on it. They claim its because the bolts need tightened more. Well, why wasn't it done then?!

The trim pieces aren't on yet because the ceiling isn't finished, and I saw no buffing take place. The shower guy wanted full price but my husband at least had sense to only pay half because I was so upset. I wouldn't have paid a penny.

I'd like to try a nice porcelain tile shower with minimal grout spacing. I feel with the new materials available and with correct installation we shouldn't have leaks or cleaning issues with it. Maybe I am wrong. My other thought is to look into either garnite or real marble slabs. Lowes has thinner granite that is half inch thick, and therefore less expensive than thicker countertop material.Not sure if there are any light colors as I don't want a dark cave to shower in.

I think a soft cream porcelain tile would be pretty. Tell me if I am insane for wanting this. This cultured marble stuff is expensive. A bit more than $4,000 if paid in full for the walls and the shower pan for a 4 foot by 6 foot shower. So far we have paid almost $2500 by paying for the pan and half the cost of the walls, for something I did not want in the first place. It makes me sick.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 10:42PM
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Sandy, you must have put this up a few minutes before I got here. Wow, I know how you feel. That is the way I felt about our "friend" who was our first contractor, who did so much wrong.

I agree that the unglazed porcelain tiles will do very well on the walls AND on the floors. Our shower stall is the large porcelain Roman Salmon color (16 or 18 inch square tiles), and the floor is the same in that bathroom, and then we put in the 12x12 Roman Salmon on the sun porch. Those porcelain tiles are the hardest toughest things, and they are not slippery like the marble is.

In our master closet we used the Rialto Blanco by the same Italian company. ALL OF THIS PORCELAIN TILE COMES FROM LOWES. If one store does not have it, another one will. You can order it and pick it up in the store, no shipping charges.

In our master bath, we put in the 2x2 mosaic tile same color, Rialto Blanco, which was mounted on the 12x12 mesh and easy to lay. It is really fine looking, very much the casual or rustic look, of cultured marble appearance, so your DH will probably like it. I love it, and plan to use it in the bathrooms up north when it is time to do those floors.

Is there a building inspector to come look at the job? If so, I'd make sure he gets there while he can see the way the sheets are pulled away from the cement board.

If your DH is concerned about water penetration, they have a product called Kerdi board (not sure how to use it though), and it provides a waterproof barrier beneath the tiles. You are so right about the scratches making your gelcoat unsatisfactory. I'd not be happy with that, and I am so surprised that your DH is proceeding with things, given how he has insisted that features he wanted were the only way to go, while disapproving of what you want.

I hope that this can be reconciled satisfactorily and soon. I'm sensing that you are not a happy camper. Cannot say that I blame you.

When my DH put two doors in the master bedroom side by side so that the bed had to be pushed in the corner, really unbalancing the entire bedroom, I told him the door had to be moved to the other end of that wall so the bed would be centered....which was how I had the plan drawn for him. He said NO, I will NOT move the door. So I said, FINE, I will not sleep in this room, starting tonight. And I did not. I slept upstairs in the guest room. Next day we were not speaking. I heard a lot of banging and such going on in the bedroom though. I gave him till noon, without a word, then when he went outside to have his lunch, I took a peek at what he was doing.

Sure enough, that door was being moved, even though he said NO I WILL NOT MOVE IT. That evening, I cooked his favorite dinner, and told him I appreciated the door being moved where it was SUPPOSED to be. He said, "What door? There is no door there." And so, we have the story of the VIRTUAL DOOR, the nonexistant door, which gives us a big laugh when we have a difference of opinion about some feature of our renovation plans. In case he forgets, I like to remind him that I am right more often than I am wrong.

Just wanted to toss that little family joke into the conversation, to illustrate that all disagreements do not have to be grounds for divorce. Hope it works out for you, Sandy.

Here is a photo of the 2x2 mosaic porcelain tiles (Rialto Blanco) on the floor of our bath.

And here is the Roman Salmon on the walls in the shower, same stuff is on the floor in that bath and the floor of the sunporch. All unglazed Italian porcelain. The 1/2 inch mosaic porcelain on 12x12 mesh, conforms to the slope of the shower and drains perfectly. No leaks, and no slips either.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 12:06AM
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I LOVE your tile! Thanks for posting the pictures.Very rich looking. I saw some porcelain tile the other day at Home Depot that resembled travertine. Very pretty. And reasonable in cost.

What has frustrated me with this whole shower thing is that DH has it in his mind that ALL showers made with tile leak! I told him we should speak with a couple of highly rated tile people and find out all the pros and cons before making a decison. He sent me to pick out samples which I did.

The next thing I know we have a really crappy cultured marble shower. He never did help me take the heavy tile samples down to the house so we could check them out in the house itself. Talk about upset when the cultured marble pan arrived a few weeks ago. DH said we could most likely mud the pan in to tile a floor in and then do tile walls.

I wanted to keep an open mind so I agreed to go to the cultured marble guy's home and discuss the shower. I expected equal open mindedness in discussing tile at a local reputable tile dealer.

DH planned the whole shower out with this cultured marble guy and I was just along for the ride. It was obvious I was not enthusiastic. Then I hear three days later the panels are made.

If I felt the installation was good and I ended up liking the way it looked, well, O.K. But it is not, and I don't. It is a very cold white on white. Not a warm white. Between the seat and the walls of it, it reminds me of a hospital shower. It didn't help my case when one of our daughters visited and said she liked it. I will never shower in that thing.

We will get through this, but you are right, I am not a happy camper. All the "little" things have multiplied, so it is an accumulation of things. My husband doesn't intentionally set out to make me unhappy, and every night I feel very blessed to have him next to me all snuggled up, but I do feel at times my house has proceeded on down the highway without much of my control.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 9:47AM
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Sandy, I feel your frustration. I do think you & your dh should talk to a GOOD tile person. Go to the John Bridge tile forums (sorry I don't know the url to link) and voice your concerns there. I also bet if you asked for a recommendation, someone would either be from your area or know someone.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 12:44PM
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Thanks marti8a...DH and I went for a walk by the river and out for pizza so what started out as a very bad day ended nicely.

I'll go over to the forums and check them out tomorrow. there is also a local tile store that has been in business for about 30 years. They are very nice and seem customer oriented. We'll be talking with them.

I told DH that I hope the shower person will try to work some kind of refund agreement out. We don't think we'll see that type of service though, as he already has a big chunk of change from us and is not returning phone calls. The walls have gotten worse as they are not glued properly. The bench seat creaks and when I looked underneath does not appear to be bolted in quite right. One of the shampoo holders is so beat up I am positive it is a used one. I am so thankful DH didn't pay it in full. The guy was pressuring for full paymment despite the fact it isn't even finished yet!

I should have sent this guy packing when I saw the panels come in and they looked beat up. We fell for the "oh it will all buff out" line. I will file a complaint with the BBB if he doesn't replace the panels or refund some money.

In the meantime, I am going to start looking at tile again! That's really what I want. I truly don't like this white on white plastic looking cultured marble.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 11:25PM
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Sandy, I think you should immediately report him to the Better Business Bureau. I would do that because they can slap a lien on your property which will stay there forever, and you do not want a shadow over your home. He must be made to sign a release of all right to any future payment for a job that was faulty from the git-go.

If you have a lawyer, get him to handle this for you. It is my feeling that that sort of contractor only understands the cold hard law, and you should not have to dirty your hem with his trash. Be as cold as you can be, these good ole boys like to pretend the woman is unreasonable, and frequently side with the hubby as if they were co-conspirators. It is enough to make me blow my cool. But it will be worth every cent a lawyer costs to get it resolved, and keep your property title free and clear. Believe me, it will show up forever and a day if you do not make him sign a release from any future payment.

Designed to protect honest workers, it is the flybynights who know how to take advantage of this feature of the law.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 10:44AM
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Sandy, I can see why you have burnout! The only thing that makes construction fun is seeing our plans come to life in front of your eyes. When your DH talks you out of your loft and disregards your bathroom tile plans, how can you be excited? You are despairing instead of celebrating.

He may be a wonderful husband in other ways, but he is not listening to your needs. The fun of planning a home together is finding the things you agree on, making compromises, winning a few and losing a few, then watching it come together. When you see that your "losses" were not that big a deal and are delighted at the things that you "won," the home becomes "ours," and the couple feel good together.

It seems that, at least with the loft and the shower, your husband was not listening, or you were not being assertive enough to let him know that these things mattered to you. With the shower, you could remind him daily that you have tile in the car that you want him to look at with you, or go to the Kerdi website and look for a video that shows how the system makes leaks unlikely. "Holmes on Homes" on DIY or HGTV uses Kerdi a lot, if their website does not have a video, or go to YouTube and search for Kerdi. If you do these things as a way of sharing info with him, he may enjoy it. If he gets to bullying you about the cost, then you can compromise down from tile, but still getting something nicer than a scratched faux-marble that is badly installed.

"I really like this tile, it looks classic and solid," or "This is our last house, can we have real tile this time?" are ways of telling him how important this is to you without arguing. I get the impression that you are not one to argue!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Sandy, did you get your house built? It was a long time ago when you first posted about this burnout~~

A lot has changed in my life....DH died unexpectly...and now I am left alone to make ALL of the decisions. He was not easy to live with when making decisions regarding was hard to defind my ideas against an architect and contractor...BUT...I miss him so much...I would love to have him back and let him make ALL of the decisions I am now faced to make on my own.

Shingles, siding, colors, cabinets, counter, back splash, light fixtures, door handles, bathrooms, flooring, carpet, etc. At times, I just want to scream...and some times, I do. Like when the concrete was $7000 over bid!!!! I just went out on the porch of where I am living....and cried out to God...and the answer that came to me was "Do not fret over spending money...realize you are only taking it from your bank account and investing it into real estate". I just keep telling myself this when I write those terribly huge checks! is the only way I can keep my sanity (or what I have left of it).

I hope your life has settled down...but do not stress the small stuff of life with your DH....I'd give the world if I only had mine back~~

Phoggie (Mary)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 1:26PM
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Mary,I am SO, SO sorry you lost your beloved husband. I think I would literally die if something happened to mine.

I don't get onto the gardenweb much these days. Too busy. I'm sitting on our porch right now with my husband having coffee while he works on his computer, so I decided to see what has been going on here lately.

The weather is beautiful this time of year in Florida. I am planting some antique roses around my house and am enjoying everything except the fire ants. The rose I planted near my kitty Thomas's grave is flourishing. He is a pretty butterfly now who visits me when I am outdoors.

The house is done, the kitchen is done, and I did end up putting in a beautiful cultured marble shower (after ripping out the disaster one). We used the company that put our showers in our last house. They remembered us and felt bad by what we had gone through, so they came the two hour drive each way for us. Some people have mistaken it for real marble...that's how nice it came out. It is easy to clean and I am very glad I didn't do tile now.

What I did was compromise with my husband and by not putting in a very expensive tile shower I gained a 48 inch ruby red BlueStar range for my kitchen instead. It is an absolute dream to cook on. Naturally he is the happy recipient of the fruits of labor with this stove, which I'm sure he had in the back of his mind.

We did find a kitchen cabinet place, and the kitchen came out very attractive. However, that was not without problems either. They lied, ripped us off, and did not do the quality of work promised. We are very done with ANY cabinetry people. Forever. We are going to use the Conestoga ready to assemble cabinets to finish the few pieces I still need. Fortunately I found a furniture restorer who will come in and take care of the few issues with the cabinets for me. I have beautiful soapstone counters installed by Creative Soapstone from South Florida...excellent people.

So...I didn't get a loft or an enclosed sewing room, but I have a nice space within this open floor plan to set an area up in which to sew, and I have a great view from within the house of our property. I have a beautiful home, and a nice wrap around porch to sit out on.

The key to regaining any sanity or happiness is to GET RID OF ALL THE WORKERS!!! The vertical blinds guy was even a loser and we ended up throwing him out. The days of decent people are few and far between. I do not like anyone around anymore. Anything else to be done from here on in will be done totally by ourselves, or we won't do it at all.

My husband was looking and feeling very badly from the stress and the fact that I was so unhappy. It hit me how fragile a creature they are when they love their wife. I decided right then that all that mattered was making a comfortable home for us to share our lives in. I looked around and saw what I DID have, not what I thought I should have.

Mary, we took every dime we had, and have put it into our home. No regrets. It's a much better return. And we don't owe a dime on it.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 2:40PM
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"The house is done, the kitchen is done, and I did end up putting in a beautiful cultured marble shower (after ripping out the disaster one)."

bravo! I'm so happy for you.

" I decided right then that all that mattered was making a comfortable home for us to share our lives in. I looked around and saw what I DID have, not what I thought I should have."

and that IS what counts in the end. Find yourself a beautiful room 'screen' / divider to hide your sewing machine when needed if you need to.

"And we don't owe a dime on it."

and that is the ICING on the 'house' cake! another bravo!

when my son was here he commented numerous times about the shoddy work done out here. He kept saying 'they wouldn't be able to do that back home.' well, maybe they would and do and he doesn't know since he's been doing his own work for yrs and yrs. He has a friend who is a plumber and one who is an electrician he hires in when it's serious or big work to be done. He doesn't have to chance the work of an unknown.

Anyway, I'm glad the worst is over for you and other than some final small details you can now sit back and enjoy it.

btw - great compromise on the shower and stove. I know I wouldn't like tile to clean. I have something like fiberglass which is fine to me - and it's easy to clean.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:41AM
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Yes, I was smart in doing the "compromise":) I love my stove and the shower is a breeze to clean. There are so many more fun things to do in life than clean!

Because my husband and I did most of actual work on the house, the quality of it is top notch, and we know every nook and cranny, every electrical wire, everything..... Our building inspector said he had never seen a home built this well.

We are very happy, and very proud of it. We built it with the intention to age in place and will live here until we die. It's a good thing we like our home and the land it sits on, because we would never, ever, build one again. People do not care any more and the work ethic in general is horrible now, but.... I am glad that we weathered the storm.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 9:34PM
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