My two year old daughter looked at me in horror as she surveyed the state of our brand new villa a few weeks after we received the keys. Eyes wide she hugged me and said, “Mommy, our house is broken!” She was right. In the adorable succinct way only a two year old can be.
You see, in November 2016, we finally received the keys to our new villa in Dubai and were surprised to see what was behind the door. The villa was filthy, ninety percent of the floor tiles were chipped, scratched or broken, the grout was dirty, the aluminum window frames were scratched, the wooden door frames were damaged, the walls weren’t straight and the kitchen had to be renovated. And that was just at first glance.
Within a week, the contractor had managed to chip more tiles in their effort to fix the broken ones and proudly “fixed” all of the scratches on the cheap, shiny tiles with sandpaper (yep, sandpaper). At this point my husband and I agreed we could either try to flip the villa or have the contractor remove all of the floor tiles in the house and find someone else to install more suitable ones at our own cost. Given that we had waited years for this house and my entire family was coming in six weeks to spend Christmas with us, I insisted we stick it out and install new tiles while we renovated the kitchen. Oops.
A few weeks later when my daughter came with us to check on the progress, all of the tiles had been ripped up, the door frames had been removed for repainting, the walls were being sanded down, the kitchen had been torn apart and the bathrooms were now being renovated as well due to some interesting new design challenges we had discovered. (Keep an eye out for the upcoming “Do you shower sideways?” post.) Christmas would not be happening in the new house. The unexpected house renovation had begun and our new house was broken.