“We Can Get Started on Tuesday”

Things one can learn from making an impulsive decision to move the washer and dryer into a semi-finished downstairs bathroom and convert the laundry room into a workshop:

1. According to the Law of Expanding Improvements, any small remodeling job such as this will grow beyond your initial estimate (in cost, time, and disruption) by a factor of four.

2. The day the workmen come to “look at the job” and unexpectedly decide they can do the work on the spot will be the day you overslept, you have three appointments and an urgent deadline on an important project, and you left underwear drying on the shower curtain rod.

3. When several guys are working on a project inside your house that requires them to make many trips back and forth to their truck, it will be raining.

4. When you have someone in the house working on the plumbing, he will always announce he has to shut off the water just after you’ve had a second cup of tea.

5. It isn’t the work that’s difficult, it’s the decisions. Such as the following:

Vinyl or tile flooring? Compare prices, compare durability, consider how this laundry-room-in-the-process-of-becoming-a-workshop will be used. Okay, vinyl.

Which type? There’s the cheap one, the middle-grade one, the really thick one with the 20-year warranty, or maybe the other really thick one with the imbedded stain protection. Compare prices, compare durability, consider as above. Okay, the stain-protection one.

Which pattern? It’s getting easier here, because there are only two in stock and I don’t want to wait for a special order. Okay, this one.

Which color? Finally, the answer is easy and obvious. Beige.

6. Getting the workspace you want? Worth every cent and all the disruption.

7. And having friends who are willing to advise, to help you make decisions—and even to delve boldly into the intricacies of 30-year-old plumbing? Priceless.

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