So, you know your in renovation mode when the sound of power tools gets you happy and not irritated. This is of course, because that sound means work is progressing fine, a good beginning for the blog today.
It’s only the second day of my two bath renovation at my home and it’s starting to take the shape I expected. The workmen were here on time today and lucky so, I had scheduled a meeting with a new real estate agency that wants to come on board the Real Spaces family and didn’t want to miss the time. So,I welcomed the men in and left for the meeting, along the way I though I would get the supplies needed for today, after the initial demo is done and all the old tile is removed.
The meeting went well and then I was off to hunt for material. This is when the days’ drama started. As is stated by Murphy when he developed his witty “Laws” “What can go wrong will go wrong, at the worst possible time”. Enter a strike at the TCL cement factory causing a nationwide shortage, just when the workmen decide that the job absolutely needs, a bag of cement, not ten, not five, ….one. This I thought, should not be a problem as its just the one bag I needed. The closest hardware store I could find after my meeting in St Augustine, was in Tunapuna, braving the traffic I got to a hardware along the main road, I think it was a drive by or drive up or some other arbitrary name.
They did actually have the one bag of cement that I needed, only problem was they were not going to sell it to me “unless I buy other things in the hardware”, now I did need some other stuff, I’m sure the workmen needed stuff they forgot to mention till the very last minute, but the thought of being commanded to buy other stuff or not get the cement, was not a cool feeling. So, I called the workmen anyway and sure enough, they needed more stuff, not much tho, two lengths of white pine straight edges for plastering the walls, and a box of concrete nails, two inch, please. To my further surprise, the clerk calmly let me down by saying, “sorry, thats not enough, to sell you the bag of cement” ….really? I decided instead of getting into a buying frenzy to “win” a bag of cement, that I would still have to pay for, I left.
I then did the only thing I could think of, I called to Roopnarine’s where I bought all the tiles and asked for Janelle, a short spritey sales person that helped me along the way in buying all the tiles, grout, thinset, edges, moulding and more when I needed it, maybe she could help me get the one bag of cement? I got her on the phone, announced it was me, and then immediately promised her lunch if she helped me, …….no cement.
Defeated, the final call went to the workmen, ” Fellas, no cement to be had”, hmmm they thought it over and then suggested, “well the only other thing that can be used was a product from Harricrete called, “Plastermix”. I got all pumped up again, rushed him off the phone and called back Janelle. The offer of lunch still stood, I envisioned the trip to Roopnarine’s in Chaguanas going so well, nice weather, no traffic, …….no plastermix. Dammit!
Then a stroke of genius came over me, grabbing up my trusty BB, I typed in Harricrete, and believe it or not, the number was there on the google search engine thing! I called with a long shot and asked if they sold retail at the factory, “Yes we do, but where are you now” by this time I was approaching Piarco, heading to Baghwansing’s “Oh, she said, well you can come if you’d like” instructions to get to the factory were really easy as its just following the road east of St Helena’s Junction for about ten minutes.
A bit of a country view surrounded me just minutes after the St Helena’s Junction, then two or three turns later in I was turning at the sign that said, Harricrete. Nice.
The security, receptionists, storeroom manager, even the forklift operator who brought the order were all super friendly and helpful, I was in and out of the factory in no more time than I would have been at a large hardware store and the trip did’nt seem to be a bad alternative to buying out a store in Tunapuna just to get a bag of cement.
One tip tho, Apparently, the one bag of cement translates to four bags of Plastermix, and at fifty pounds each bag, its seems to be a lot of material for my two modest bathrooms, and at $50 or so for each bag I think its great deal .On my way back out of St Helena’s, I got the other stuff and arrived at the house a hero.
The workmen seemed to have the second bath under control as it apparently had tiles that were less stuck on, the workmen seemed to have found a rhythm and the work was moving at a pace.
At the time of writing this I still have a way to go till the end of work today, but supplies crisis averted and work moving along, at least the second day of demo is going a little better than the first, now if only I could get a handle on the dust problem!
Look out for chapter 3 on this continuing saga!