Sorry so long…
I am a grad student and I share a one bedroom basement apartment with an acquaintance. We’ve are friendly to each other, but not really friends and mostly just stay out of each other’s way.
It’s not a great arrangement, but it works well enough. We were looking for place from the other side of the country, so we ended up in the first reasonable place that would take us. Our lease is for nine months and will end at the end of May. I view this as a very temporary situation- I don’t see it as a “home” as much as a workable place to crash while I finish my first year and figure out what I’m going to do next.
The apartment has a small wet bar that has been converted into a kitchen. We have a small wet bar sink, a nice two-burner hot plate, a microwave, a full-sized fridge and a very nice large toaster oven. It’s not my dream kitchen or anything, but with a grad student schedule I rarely do much cooking. Most of my meals are of the “sandwich” variety, and when I do find time to cook, what we have works perfectly adequately- I have no problem cooking with what we have. While of course it’d be nice to have a nicer kitchen, I really don’t miss it at all. We live out-of-the-way, so we don’t have a lot of guests or parties.
My roommate, on the other hand, likes to bake. While he doesn’t cook a lot, he does enjoy cooking and having a nice kitchen. He does feel constrained by our minimalist kitchen. We’ve already fought a few times because he would like “us” to invest in nice kitchen stuff, while frankly I don’t care and since i am living on student loans I am really just interested in getting what I need to survive and saving what I can. If he wants to buy nice stuff that is fine, but if I’m happy with what we have I don’t see why I should pay for it.
Recently our landlord has began talking about upgrading the kitchen, installing real cabinets, a stove, a dishwasher, sinks, etc. Our landlord is well-off, and so it would probably end up being really nice. There would be no change to our rent. They are still in the planning stages, and are flexible about when they do this stuff.
My roommate is thrilled.
I, on the other hand, am concerned about the scale of things. My roommate is usually gone in the day, but I take night classes, tend to sleep pretty late, and usually spend the mornings in the house (this may change if I get a job, but no telling what schedule I could get.) I really value my leisurely mornings, and get a lot of reading, research and writing done hanging out in my PJs. I would not welcome the disruption of people hammering and drilling- it’s such a small place that it is essentially one large room. I also am uncomfortable as a women being alone with workmen in a somewhat isolated basement- I might be willing to hang around the house, but I wouldn’t want to take a shower or hang out in my room while workmen were there, which means I’d have to get up and showered and dressed early even when I was just hanging around the house. And in generally I just wouldn’t to be comfortable and productive.
I said I would be willing to put up with a week or two of disruption, but that if we are talking the month or more that a large-scale project would take, I would not be so willing. It’d be a major disruption to my life, for no real benefit to myself, in a place I will be moving out of soon.
Is this unreasonable? Roommate seems to think so. I mentioned that we could ask if they could arrange the work for winter break, when we both will be travelling, and he still didn’t like that idea, saying he wanted the kitchen as soon as possible.