Prior to this past week, the most handy home repair I’d been involved with was either hanging artwork in my apartment in Washington, or helping fix a leaky drain in our kitchen sink with the help of my uncle. There was also that time when I filled a hole with foam to prevent a rodent intruder. The pint I’m trying to make is that I’m about as handy in the home as my future newborn baby will be in the first few weeks of its life. That is, until now.
I have been service as my brother-in-law’s apprentice in renovating a home that my wife and I just closed on, in Farmingdale, New York. This is a three-story condo with a kitchen and giant living room on the first floor, a large master and two smaller bedrooms along with a third bathroom on the second floor, and then a fantastic loft space on the third floor that will soon serve as Hotel Lobbyists’ new headquarters.
The home is just about twenty-five years old and while it was in good condition, it wasn’t kept terribly up to date. It still had the original kitchen and a yellowish blond oak hardwood floor. So this past weekend my brother in law and I tore out the old almond colored kitchen cabinets, ripped up the original tile, chipped away at the concrete, wiped the floor clean, and laid brand new 18×18 tile. After laying just one tile I think I had already surpassed my previous lifetime handy experience a thousand fold. The next projects ahead include painting the entire place, spearheaded by my mother-in-law and my wife, knocking down part of the kitchen wall to create a walk-thru to the dining room, spearheaded by my brother-in-law, and building a new closet on the third floor also spearheaded by my brother-in-law. We also plan on refinishing and restaining our wood floors and recarpeting Hotel Lobbyists, but these will surely be done by contractors. Who do you think I am?