Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Don't worry, it won't rain...

Don‘t worry, it won‘t rain!
Who said renovating a house is serious business and that builders have no sense of humor? 

On the contrary, it‘s a laugh a minute. 
I mean it would be, if we weren‘t too busy getting up in the middle of the night, rushing upstairs, frantically placing dozens of empty buckets all over the floor to catch the gallons of water that keep flooding the space.

Well... that‘s what you have to do if there is NO ROOF over your head anymore and thunderstorms keep rolling in bringing lots of rain. And I mean... LOOOOTS of rain!

Don‘t worry, the gable end can be left open. It won‘t rain.
Our carpenter is a sweet man. Really he is, and I don‘t blame him for not being able to predict a stable weather for the next couple of days. After all, the weather experts have their problems with that too it seems.
I thought he had at least a vague idea about how long it would take to erect the new gable before tearing down the old one?!?! 

So there we were, last Friday when it was decided to tear down the old roof beams. I admit, the view over the neighbors' houses‘ rooftops was spectacular and for a split second hubby and I toyed with the idea to have a rooftop terrace added to our place. That was until it dawned on us that there would be no floor to reach it anymore, since the second floor‘s ceiling - hence the attic‘s floor - will be gone in that spot, in favor of the new gallery we wanted.
Anyway... I‘m digressing.
I had checked the internet and the forecast said heavy thunderstorms were coming our way and with it rain for a couple of days. So I asked the carpenter, „Are you sure the weather will keep, it doesn't seem to be very stable at the moment“. 
(See? This is me, trying to be diplomatic! My inner voice was more inclined to blurt: "Are you out of your mind?")
„Don‘t worry, it won‘t rain, I checked the internet“.
Oh, did you? Which one did you use?  My inner voice kept mocking.  I kept my mouth shut, of course. That‘s just the way it is. You just don‘t question the wisdom of your builders. 

(Remember? They might just walk out on you)
Besides, it was too late to voice any doubts since his people had already started swinging the heavy tools and soon enough, the old roof beams were history.
Come Friday five o‘ clock, things looked a bit scary. At least to me they did!  

So there was no roof anymore and the sky looked like Doomsday had decided to stop by for a little chat. 
Meanwhile our carpenter and his men were busy packing their things, getting ready for the weekend. 
I tried again, and approached them with the most friendly smile I could paste on.
„Uhm... excuse me, Mr. Carpenter, sir. Shouldn‘t we cover that up?“ Waving my hand over the huge void of an open attic floor and missing ceiling  - not to speak of the non-existing roof-construction.
„Don‘t worry, it won‘t rain. Besides the concrete has to dry first. There‘s nothing we can do for the next four hours.“
„But, what if it rains?“ My eyes dart nervously from the man‘s face to the dark clouds hanging precariously close over our unprotected heads.
„I checked the internet. It won‘t rain.“

„But... but... look,“ (me pointing to the clouds), „this looks as if a thunderstorm is rolling in.“
Oh..oh... is there a frown on his face? I‘m on dangerous grounds here, I know. My lower lip is quivering. Have I offended him? Will he just walk out on us now?
His eyes convey his thoughts loud and clear. I‘m obviously the principal‘s hysterical wife which has to be dealt with and which he needs to get rid of fast before his after-work beer will go stale.
He sighs, fumbles in his pockets, pulls out a piece of paper, a pen, scribbles down a phone number and hands it to me.
„Here, that‘s the landline of my home. If it rains, call us and we‘ll be back within twenty minutes to put a plastic sheet cover over the site.“
„But what if it‘s in the middle of the night?“ My voice hitches.
I don‘t know what convinced him in the end, the desperation in my eyes, the low grumbling of thunder in the distance or the first drop of rains that were hitting the dusty floor beneath our feet.
Whatever it was, he and his people hastily put together a provisory truss construction and threw a huge plastic cover sheet over it.  

Don‘t worry, the plastic cover sheets are completely watertight!
Yeah right...
Except for in the places where they have holes the size of a coffee mug in them. Or where the winds have blown them wide open. Or at the open side of the front gable where there IS no cover (And yes, rain does NOT fall straight down. With winds like we had, it can indeed fall through the gable front!
Needless to say, Frank and I haven‘t had a restful sleep since then. Instead we‘re lying awake during the night, listening to the pouring rain and gushing winds, wondering what we‘ll find when we go up there next morning. 
Like I said, our carpenter is a sweet man, and I trust him with his work on making the new roof fit and all, but there are moments when Frank and I are beginning to feel as if this project will turn into our very own version of „The Money Pit.
We‘re how far into the building phase now? Two weeks only?!? I have no idea how we‘ll get through this without losing our minds.
But then, I‘m an optimist at heart (not that I‘d have much choice to be anything else, mind you. We‘re past the point of return. All we can do is hope for better weather!)
So, I‘ll skip reading the weather forecasts, or other peoples‘ blogs, reporting about their disasters along the way to their dream houses, instead, I‘ll focus on the thought that eventually it‘ll get better. 
That is... if we haven‘t drowned by then. 
A thought crosses my mind... maybe we could use the old beams to rebuild Noah‘s Ark
The rains sure feel like a second Flood coming... 

If you'll excuse me now... I must go look for more empty buckets!


  1. Haha I had to laugh all the way through. Great post and I'm glad you guys have a roof over your head again. Women and their nagging can do wonders, wouldn't you say? ;)

    1. Glad you liked the humor in this post. I desperately need to hang on to my humor, otherwise, I WILL turn crazy over the whole project.

  2. Exactly, take everything with humor in life. Makes it so much easier and more fun.