The Never Ending Stair Construction

So about a week ago, I was so excited because the construction in the house was supposed to be getting finished up. Due to a flood in the house back in March (Yes March! Can you believe how long this is taking??!) we had to have our entire staircase refinished, and decided to upgrade from carpet to wood. It started out like this:

Almost three months after the flood…
Then finally we got to this:
And now finally we look like this:
Notice anything missing? The wrought iron bars still have not been put in! That’s because it was stained a week ago last Saturday, but we noticed some issues with the wood – it looks like it is warped in a few places. So we are hoping that this coming weekend it will be completed. Sigh.
But let me tell you about the weekend it got stained. Saturday was staining day, and Sunday walls were being painted, and baseboard was being installed. Because we are dumb asses, we created a weekend from hell for ourselves. It never occurred to either one of us that the fumes from the staining and lacquer might be overwhelming. Nobody mentioned it either, until it was too late.
Because my entire family (parents, siblings, relatives…) all went camping for the week, I thought it would be a good idea to get a key to my sister’s house (she lives about 2 miles away) so that we could hang out there while the work was being done since we had to get out of the house both days. Hubby had other plans though – he wanted to go to his sister’s house (30 miles away) to visit with her family. Although we still don’t agree on how it happened, this is my blog so it goes my way: I told him I’d get my sister’s house key anyways, just in case we needed it, and he said no because we were going to his sister’s house so we wouldn’t need it. And I didn’t get the key.
Saturday morning, the stainer shows up. We let him in, and he then tells us to come back in three hours to check the color of the stain. So we drive to his hubby’s sister’s house (30 miles away), and then him and I come back in three hours for a total of five minutes to say the stain was fine. He tells us he’ll be done around 5:00 or so, and he’d call us. We finally get the call at 7:00, and drive back home. We get here, and it smells SO strong of stain and lacquer we can barely even stand to be in the house. I’m afraid that if the kids go to sleep, they may not wake up. And I’m only exaggerating a little when I say that. Then he tells us not to go up the stairs for at least three hours, but if we stay off of them overnight, that would be even better. Why he didn’t tell us all this the first two times we saw him that day I don’t know.
We decide to set up the playpen in the spare room downstairs, and realize we left it at his sister’s house since we were going back the next morning. So I called three friends looking for a Pack N Play to borrow. And found one…went over and picked it up…and set it up. And that’s when we decided we couldn’t stay in the house all night because of the smell. So we drove aaaaallll the way back to hubby’s sister’s house to spend the night. And then drove aaaaallll the way back in the morning to open the door so the painters could come in and do their thing.
A weekend from hell. A total of 5 round trips to his sister’s house for a grand total of 300 miles. If we would’ve went to my sister’s house, it would’ve been a total of 5 round trips for a grand total of 20 miles.
And because of all of the sawdust from the drilling and sawing, the filters for the air conditioners (one upstairs and one downstairs) were totally covered with it and actually ended up blowing it through the ducts. There was dust EVERYWHERE.
And because we had to replace baseboard due to the flood, everything had to be moved out of closets and our china hutch (so it could be moved). And hubby has been working like a crazy person and hasn’t had time to caulk and paint the baseboard. So my house still looks like this because nothing can be put away:
My formal living room has all the coat closet’s crap sitting in it, and is still covered in dust
Guest room bed is covered with my china
Formal dining room table is also covered with china
While my china hutch (it’s rustic and that’s why it looks “old”) sits all alone
But as always, life goes on, and isn’t all bad. We finally had a pest control company come out and spray for ants because I was losing the battle. So the ants are aborting their mission to overtake the house. And life in the garden continues to bloom…
The water lilies finally showed up (AKA Zephyr lilies)
And the hibiscus’ continue to stun me with their beauty!
Although the house is still covered in dust and ant carcasses, things are calming down. And life is good.
I also joined in with a recipe for my favorite muffins for Tasty Tuesdays. Check it out here!
And so it goes…


  1. oh God. I know you don't want to, but you need a vacation. :)

    it's starting to look really good tho! love the dark wood against the lighter tile.
  2. Maxabella says:
    Phew, I'm exhausted just reading all this! What a week you've had. The stairs are looking fantastic, though. And your flowers are so cheerful. I think everything's going to be fine. Your attitude is great: life is good.
  3. Wow, you are seriously a busy woman! That really is a crazy weekend! But, the stairs look amazing even though they aren't finished! and your flowers are gorgeous! I hope everything gets done soon for you so you can sit and relax!
  4. Wow! Even with all the hassles of fixing your staircase, your house looks incredible! (Plus, I'm always impressed by people who can actually keep plants alive.) Here's hoping things calm down for you soon... :)
  5. Girl. That sounds like a nightmare. And I know a thing or two about those. It looks like it might just all be worth it in the end though- the stairs are gorgeous! Once your house is put back together and you can get all the ant carcasses outa there you'll feel like a new woman. Thanks so much for linkin up your muffins with tasty tuesdays! You rock.
  6. Whoa! That's a lot of driving! I drive about 30 miles to work every day, and I would scream if I had to drive it back and forth and back and forth... On a happier note, your stairs are going to look beautiful!
  7. Yikes!! Looks like you've had a crazy few days!! I have to tell you those stairs look fantastic!

    Stop by my blog, I have 2 awards to give you :)
  8. This sounds as bad as the vacation and way to dime out your husband cause ya, you should have grabbed your sisters key! This will be funny .... eventually (and I enjoyed your post)
  9. Nina @ Momma Go Round says:
    Holy heck girl, got enough going on? I LOVE when hubby's suggest something and even though we know it is going to fail, somehow we end up going along with it. Hopefully the stairs are finished soon!
  10. cooperl788 says:
    The stairs do look really good - even if you had to go to hell and back (5 times!) to get them. I know the feeling of having everything out of place for an extended time, and it really sucks! When my hubs was fixing our linen closet (which took over 3 months) I had to store our towels, sheets, extra comforters, etc. in the hallway in tubs. Hopefully the baseboards get done quickly!
  11. Funky Mama Bird says:
    Oh man, what a nightmare. The color of the stain looks fantastic, though. I hope you get it finished soon!
  12. moveovermarypoppins says:
    Sigh. As the wife of one of the good-guy contractors in the world, I say, I'm sorry. That guy should have warned you the fumes would be intolerable and unusable.

    Of course, had your husband let you get your sister's keys...

    I'm so sorry...
  13. Whew! You are one patient woman. After the house we lived in before we got married, (crumbling walls, nails sticking out of bare floorboards) I told my husband that we're going to wait to buy a house until we can find one that doesn't need anything more than a coat of paint or maybe some new flooring. No more renovation projects for me, thank you.
  14. The Urban Cowboy says:
    Wow, sounds like you really did have a taxing weekend. On the bright side, the finished product looks awesome.
  15. Belle's Butterfly says:
    I would have killed the Hubs. But I think we would have both agreed to taking the empty house compared to visiting. Your stairs look amazing and are going to be beautiful when they are fully complete! Your house is beautiful and I am jealous. We are in a small 3 bedroom one level house. Not much room. And even less room with all of Belle's stuff now. She is taking over our house!

    When all the construction is done you should have a nice low key quiet weekend. You deserve it!
  16. Ms. Understood says:
    Wow . . . what a weekend. I would be exhausted. The stairs look beautiful!!!!!
  17. Paul and Kerry says:
    those stairs are going to be beautiful once FINALLY done. here is the thing with contractors. They think everyone knows everything they know. So they don't mention details like fumes so bad you are afraid it will kill you while you sleep.
  18. double jogging stroller says:
    Wow the new stairs look awesome and GRAND. Definitely an upgrade. The house looks great.. by the way I voted for you over at topbabyblogs
  19. Sue Campbell says:
    Ugh. I get stressed out just reading this. I hate crap like that.

    Hope things settle down soon!
  20. Courtney says:
    The staircase is beautiful! Hope all the issues get worked out and it is finally completed. Love the flower pics. Feel like I can smell them.
  21. Allyson & Jere says:
    First things FIRST. So glad you're back.

    NEXT...those flowers are GORGEOUS!

    Followed closely by...those stairs are UH-MAZING! However, boo to the crapola construction, dust, messes, stain/paint smell and the 400 trips to your husbands sisters house that made the day even longer and worse. Hopefully, when all is said and done, the sheer beauty of the stairs will block all memory of the crapitude of the weekend.
  22. Did you ever notice that husband's trying to make things easier almost always makes things harder?
  23. Wow, the stairs are gorgeous!! What a change, and the iron rails will really finish them off.

    I can't believe you've had such a nightmare in your house! Did it make you appreciate Disneyland that much more??
  24. gringationcancun says:
    I'm sorry :( At least it sounds like things are coming together! Plus it's a great story :)

    I love your flowers, btw!
  25. Aging Mommy says:
    If I'd thought about it properly I would have told you about the A/C filters - it happened to us last year mid-construction when all the dust got sucked up too. What a week and weekend you've had!!! Anyway, glad you got pest control in to deal with those ants and that they are now losing the battle!
  26. Sharlene T. says:
    Hope the smell is gone, by now... I've had it linger for weeks... and I'm staying out of the sister-SIL discussion... you are aware that it's getting to be the rainy season, again, right?... sure will be pretty when all is done... come visit when you can...

    Twitter: SolarChief
  27. Lula Lola says:
    This sounds horrific. Hope you get everything back to normal really soon!
  28. Shannon says:
    Those stairs are going to look terrific! I totally understand life in a war, I mean, construction zone! Best of luck with all of that... Great flower pics by the way!
  29. It's a good thing that pain in the ass staircase looks gorgeous! I'm thinking Christmas with garlands and lights...

    And those flowers! Woman, I killed a succulent. A succulent for crying out loud. I'm in awe of your green thumbery.
  30. Alex@LateEnough says:
    If there was an UGH award, you should get it. That sucks.
  31. There's always a brighter side to life, isn't there? I love the flowers you posted! Beautiful!!
  32. Heather @ 3 kids and lots of pigs says:
    Wow, what a crazy weekend, but your staircase is beautiful. We need to have the carpet on our staircase to our basement replaced and I would love to redo it in wood.

    I also think we are going to have to breakdown and call an exterminator for ants. They are taking over my kitchen floor.
  33. maybe you are finally at the end of the tunnel and things can go back to normal. how long did it take until the smell was reasonable for you to be back home and not bothered?
  34. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says:
    Oh honey...I'm so, so, sorry! UGH!

    Fumes are the WORST.

    In other news, those flowers are stunning, and so is the staircase.

    I'd covet the staircase but I live in a single story house.

    I'll covet the flowers instead.
  35. NanaDiana says:
    Hey Nats! So what did you do in your spare time? >ducking and running< Don't you know that ANYTIME there is construction in the house there is bound to be disaster? lol Well,at least you can blog about it and not kill someone instead. Love you girl~ NanaDiana
  36. Staircase looks ripe for sliding down and love the flower photos!
  37. Way to look at the bright side... the flowers are beautiful. Hang in there!!
  38. I feel for you! Anything home construction is bad. When they lacquered our kitchen we were afraid of the same things and slept with the windows open - it was freezing.
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