MAYBE THE GYPSY WAS RIGHT. Last summer, a storefront fortune teller told me I would take two steps forward and three back. At the time I thought she was full of it; now I see her point. Last week I had the guest room renovated, with a new window, new ceiling, and re-plastered walls, below. Yesterday, the roofer finally began my job after a months-long delay. Two steps forward, right?
But then the roofer discovered, whaddya know, extensive rot in the plywood and roof beams in that very guest room area, extending to the walls of that structure, below (the guest room was apparently added on to the cottage later). He said I ought to have had the carpenter who installed the window gut the whole room, and I have no doubt he is right. But I hadn’t noticed any new wetness and thought any signs of water damage were all from a long-ago leak. Combination of wishful thinking and trying to save money — always a disaster.
At any rate, the virtual rebuilding of 1/2 the guest room from the outside, below, along with replacement of a dozen or more sheets of rotting plywood in other areas of the roof, will cost me some $3,500-4,000 more than expected. I had to crawl under the covers for a while to digest that news, while banging continued above my head.
The roof is going ahead and will be finished on Monday, but everything else is on hold: the fireplace, the bathroom, the deck. Three steps back.
The gravel parking court can’t wait though. So much snow has melted in the past couple of mild days that my normally fast-draining sandy soil can’t keep up. And with six or eight workman trampling about, and dumpsters and trucks pulling in and out, the front of my property is now a deeply rutted, squishy sea of mud.
And the fresh cedar shingles they’re using over a large area at the front of the house will need to be matched, somehow, to the dark, weathered ones (that I was going to clean anyway, but there will still be a huge color discrepancy). What? Wait for them to weather naturally, you say? That requires patience, which I have in short supply.
Same goes for the landscaping. I’m hatching a gardening challenge for myself: making the barren parts of the property look like something by mid-summer.