Monday, April 27, 2015

Hartfield Revisited

Now that the somewhat competent contractor's been chosen and the ensuing deal signed, hardly a week goes by that I don't drop by the makeshift construction site to keep an eye on things. Certainly a bustling hive of boisterous activity each time I make my irregular visits to Hartfield; from the odd worker hammering down the old walls for the new to some handyman peeling out the hideous metal banisters that I heartily disliked.

Of course along the way I've discarded some of my more fanciful dreams for the more practical realities of construction. Rather than take down entire rooms to fit a sauna sized bathroom that I would hardly ever use, I've decided to only widen it by a feet or so. At least give me enough shower room to raise both my arms without hitting a glass partition.

Seriously. What's with the tiny bathrooms?

I did originally try not to hysterically hover over the itinerant workers as much as possible but the number of pressing questions they start peppering me with has made it nearly imperative for me to visit every couple of days. Despite the sweltering summer heat.

And the severe lack of hunky shirtless workers for me to ogle over. Erroneously assumed that hammering hardware and shifting lumber would help build an enviable Herculean physique only to find out quite painfully that it doesn't actually hold true for everyone. At least not for those involved in the ongoing renovation of Hartfield!

Nothing to ogle over in Hartfield unfortunately. 

Still it helps that I'm around since certain design decisions that they unconsciously make seem entirely... unprepossessing.

Paul : Aren't the banisters a bit odd? 
Worker : Oh? 
Paul : That gap is large enough for an obese elephant to slide through.
Worker : Oh?
Paul : And it's unequal in certain places. Three steps to one. Two steps to one. 
Worker : Oh? 
Paul : You don't understand me at all?
Worker : Oh.
Paul : Let me sketch it for you. 

Makes me feel like I'm speaking in Swahili sometimes.

Apparently I cannot leave some of the simpler decisions to the contractors since their personal design values are extremely circumspect. If it were up to them, they would probably enthusiastically demolish every remotely interesting design feature in the house till all that remains is a nondescript square box; which certainly explains some of the more uninspired choices in town.

Not that I want to nitpick but I have to freakishly micromanage till the placement of each and every wooden banister on the staircase, sketched in with an X to mark the spot. Reason enough for me to walk around with a pencil and a notebook.

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