Home improvement is a time-consuming, slippery slope

We started in February by replacing our floors upstairs — swapping out the carpet for wood. (And when I write “we” here, I mean Creative Hardwood Floors, because if we had done it, we’d still be doing it.)

Those floors started a spiral that we haven’t yet been able to stop. Because, we figured, if we were replacing the floors, it was also the perfect time to paint. And if we were going to be painting, that seemed like a good time to update our baseboards.

And if we were going to replace the baseboards, then the trim around the windows and hallway doors really could use an update. And if we were going to do all of that, we should probably paint the doors.

Which explains why, for the last three weeks, Jay’s office, our bedroom and the upstairs bathroom have been door-free. We’re bringing “open concept” to a new level.

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We didn’t expect to have the doors off their hinges for three weeks. But we really should have. We never get this stuff done as quickly as we think we will. Especially when college friends invite us to Duluth for a long weekend and the Gear Daddies play at the fairgrounds and there’s an Aretha Tribute at Thursdays Downtown.

These are things that pre-empt finishing interior doors. Even if the Gear Daddies get canceled at the last minute because of lightning.

The moral of this story is that Jay and I are really good at starting projects … and then finding dozens of ways to distract ourselves from finishing them. This last weekend, though, we had no excuses. And, frankly, I wanted to be able to use the upstairs bathroom again without yelling “Don’t come down the hall!” every time I heard footsteps.

Also, I wanted to be able to keep the cat out of our bedroom while we sleep. That doesn’t sound very warm and fuzzy of me, but our cat is a total jerk in the morning.

I blame Jay for this. A year ago, my husband started giving KitKat a bowl of wet cat food in the morning when he made his own breakfast. And because no good deed goes unpunished, our 18-year-old, old man cat now likes to stand at our bedside at 5 a.m., meowing incessantly, to remind us that he’d like to eat. Never mind that he has a full bowl of dry cat food available 24/7. He’d like the wet food, thank you very much. At 5 a.m.

But when we sleep behind a closed door, KitKat waits until we open it in the morning to meow incessantly while begging for food. So, yeah, we’ve created a monster. But at least it’s one we can distract … as long as we have a door.

So last weekend, we got serious about this phase of the Koski Home Improvement Adventure. Jay manned the sanding station on the patio. I took charge of the paint station in the garage. Jay sanded. I painted. Jay sanded. I painted. Jay put on new door handles. I stood back and told him he did a good job.

It was dusty, tedious work. And over the course of 48 hours, I ruined two pairs of shorts and a skirt because I was certain I could be careful enough not to get paint on my clothes.

By Sunday, Jay’s office door was back in place, just like new. And our bedroom door was returned to its hinges. The bathroom door was drying in the garage. The linen closet door was … well, gone. I forgot to mention that one earlier, because I kind of forget about it. After all, we ditched it way back at the beginning of this process because we wanted to replace it entirely. But we haven’t quite gotten to that part.

I mean, we’ve only been staring into our exposed shelves of towels and washcloths, of sheets and pillowcases since February. You can’t rush these things.

Jennifer Koski is associate editor at Rochester Magazine. Her column appears Tuesdays. Send comments to [email protected]

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