This photo is both not exciting at all and one of the most exciting photos I’ve taken in months.

The corner of a room with bare walls.

This is our basement without the carpet pulled back, carpet pad removed, and large chunks of wall cut away to expose the concrete foundation wall that was leaking and soaking the floor in that corner of our basement.

Instead, this is our basement with the leak repaired, the walls patched, mudded, sanded, textured, and painted, and the carpet pad replaced and carpet re-laid down and put into place.

  • In late January, we discovered the wet patch of carpet in the basement corner.
  • In early February, we frantically moved everything out of this room so that the first round of contractors could start looking at the issue to figure out what needed to be done; everything that was in this room got piled into the other half of the basement. With the piles of stuff everywhere making the dry half of the basement unusable, and with our own desire to isolate the part of the house that would have people coming in and out of it in the midst of a pandemic and at a time when vaccines were just starting to become available to the most needy, at this point we declared our basement off limits, and resigned ourselves to only having 2/3 of our living space available to us. Prairie moved her workspace up into the living room.
  • Because this was an external problem affecting the interior, the bulk of the repairs were handled by the property management company through our HOA. While our HOA is generally pretty good and doesn’t lend itself to the horror stories I’ve heard from other HOAs, the simple fact of having extra administrative levels (us ↔︎ HOA ↔︎ property management ↔︎ contractors) meant that through February, March, and April, we had short periods of things actually happening, and long periods of anger and frustration as we waited to hear back from the property management company about when the next step would happen.
  • In late April, when the exterior work was done, we finally decided that we were tired of the back-and-forth, and told the HOA we’d handle the rest. Two weeks later, we’re finally done with the reconstruction work. It’s amazing how much faster things go without those extra steps in the middle!
  • Now, we take the next week to re-assemble the room (on a much more relaxed time scale than the frantic, one day “throw everything in boxes and stack them wherever we can” process of disassembling the room) and move Prairie out of the living room and back into her office space, and by sometime this weekend, we’ll finally have a fully useable home again, without us constantly tripping over each other or the workarounds we’ve had in place to make the living room workable as a temporary office for her.

If you’re ever tempted, I do not recommend chopping out 1/3 of your living space for three months in the midst of a pandemic when you’re not leaving the house. Just so’s you know.

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