The contractor was terrible at communicating and would suddenly say things like "Oh, by the way, we need the shower valve tomorrow." Usually it was an item we had ordered online and was scheduled to arrive in a week. We didn't have a car at the time, so there were many public-transit adventures and sudden Zipcar runs. One time we took the bus to a plumbing supply store in Southie and carted a gigantic exhaust fan all the way back to Jamaica Plain with us through multiple bus transfers. And then there was the porcelain pedestal sink that we ordered from Amazon. It arrived not once, not twice, but three times completely unprotected and destroyed. Finally they told us they had no more sinks to send us. We felt defeated and everything was awful. I strongly suspected that the staff at the local cafe thought we were homeless.
The plumbing was worse than we expected, so we had to install new sewer lines, additional venting, and other expensive, unsexy things. We found a joist in the ceiling that was completely unsupported, so we had to add studs that ate into our floor space. To this day I am unhappy with the variations in the color of the grout, but I'm sure no one notices but me. The day the plumbers came to install the toilet remains one of the happiest days of my life. Not only did we have a place to go to the bathroom, but strangers were no longer using power tools in our house all day long. The ordeal was over and the house was finally ours.