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Climbing up the DIY Ladder

24 Mar

Editor’s note; if you haven’t, or have, read these 2 previous blogs, well you don’t have to now, per say, but I highly recommend just taking a quick glimpse at the pics. It’ll help string this whole project together. 

https://wordpress.com/post/itzalllogical.wordpress.com/414

https://wordpress.com/post/itzalllogical.wordpress.com/371

As I’ve mentioned previously, most likely a few times, our path to homeownership began with having little to (leaning heavily on this), no knowledge. The amount we’ve gained is immeasurable. Our tool collection has become quite impressive, considering we started out with, I’m sure, nothing more than a few screwdrivers, a hammer, maybe a couple of those picture hanger things and measuring tape, we’ve officially come a long way! And with every project, every new piece of the puzzle there’s almost always that one tool you don’t have so you buy it out of necessity, because you can’t use just any screw, saw, drill or nail gun and so on. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. That’s not how it works with building. Sure, you can buy the cheap version first, thinking you’ll save some money, only to replace it later with the real deal, so spend the money now and thank me later. This cycle is vicious and necessary until one day, suddenly, you need a bigger tool box, a bigger garage, with peg board and shelving Oh My!

This wall/tear down/shelf building/closet project has been our biggest so far. I guess I should say James’ in the way of a start to finish, piece by piece, on his own, project. Tackling this closet, goes like this; tear down the unwanted, redirect two outlets and a switch, frame it out, drywall, mud, apply that wonderful knock down texture and install the door. Easy enough yeah? 😐

Stage 1 and 2, ✔️. I’ve basically become his assistant at this point on, hold the drywall while he cuts, hand him tools, find tools for him, ( I hear a lot of, “Babe, did you see where I put the..) and cleanup duty. Which is how I know where to locate almost anything since they are finally finding their way home!! So while I’m not needed I’m chilling. Guilty tv, writing, reading and the likes, but I get to watch him work.

Working his way around the electrical. Installing the drywall, cutting the pieces to fit the outlets just right. The way he seamlessly goes from one tool to the next, handling them with such confidence. Even when he just stands there, visualizing how he’s going to assemble the door, frame by frame, mapping it out in his head, and I gotta say, it’s sexy as fuck! 😋 And I’ve only heard a handful of curse words followed by, “nothing a little caulk and paint can’t fix.” That’s a comforting theory to have in the back of your head at all times. 

Let’s talk about this drywall, in case you’ve never played with it. There’s the cutting and the resulting gypsum particles floating it’s fine ass as it likes, but oohhh no, that’s nothing. Next comes the mud. The application itself isn’t the worst but you can’t just scrape it on and be done, it has to dry and be sanded, (the sanding comes in handy if you’re a beginner bc it gives you room to fix what needs fixing.) It’s not just a one coat and done thing, there’s 2, maybe 3 rounds of this fun. Now that fucking dust, it settles on every damn thing. In ever corner. There’s no escaping it!! And the depths of which it travels! When the time comes for such an experience in your home, I’m sorry for your impending struggle, I offer this, only drape whatever furniture you plan on putting your feet up with that glass of wine, after you’re cleaned and showered yourself. Don’t waste your time trying to cover silly things as a bookshelf or entertainment center, it wont help. You must hide any utensils or cookware that reside the countertops, any. Tomorrow, well, cover that furniture back up! You may have to live with that horrible layer of dust for days, (unless you’re paying someone but then this blog would makes no sense) but hang in there! For every.thing.must.be.dusted! And I ain’t doing that shit more than once.
We survived the drywall and today it’s time to apply the knock down texture. The simplest breakdown, you’re shaking the hell out of the can while only pausing to spray and to scrape it down, repeat.

 

This is not like shaking a can of spray paint, it’s like arm day at the gym. 💪🏻Got it done, it dried we painted and all thats left is the door!! Well then the shelves but that’s not a worry.
We couldn’t buy a pre-hung door bc they’re all too big for the frame so James had to build it himself. Not the actual door, but the smallest they sell is still too wide for this frame. So he built in the door jamb, we had to trim about an inch off the width of the door, (thank you table saw) chisel in the grooves for door brackets, he ended up needing to shave a hair off the top as well. Door handle and catch and bam! (Hours, days and I guess a week or two later) It’s done!! (Minus the shelves)Fork ✔️

..To the Other Side

10 Mar

Phase 2
So we accomplished the physically hardest part of this project, and don’t get me wrong, there’s more of that physical shit coming but it will be in smaller bits and pieces. Well, except moving the lumber and debris from the house and backyard into the truck, to the dump, and there will for sure be more than one of those trips. Ok, focus Desiree! Here’s where it starts to get tricky. The section of the wall we tore down housed one wall switch, two outlets and a cable jack. Well, those need to go somewhere and they need to go there through a new wall. Technicalities and a bit of brain scratching insert here. Thankfully the couple that we met when we moved here are warm, welcoming, and knowledgeable in the trades.  Those are the people you want to have around, and now is one of those times so I called in backup! Thank you Edward ❤

If you’re new to this blog or missed this past one, here’s a post that highlights said amazing new friends.

https://itzalllogical.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/the-first-of-oh-so-many-overnights/

Electrical is lost on me so when James was trying to figure out how to move
these ⬇️ outlets here ➡️ to come out to ⬇️…The Translation; (1) the wall we knocked down, (2) inside what will be the new pantry and (3) have their new home be on the new wall we’re replacing this door for. Got it? Yeah, me too. 🤔I’m thinking out loud, “Can’t you just run it along the floor inside the pantry, and use those insulated staple things?” That’s me trying to find the easy route and, as Dad is reading this he’s cringing, I just know it. After sleeping on it James says no, “If you’re going to do it, do it right now or you’ll have to fix it later”. And now I just know Dad read that with a smile on his face. This was Edwards idea/handywork for rerouting the electrical inside the wall with minimal damage for repair. 👍🏻The boys have their hands full dismantling the frame and there’s no room for me there. The only other piece of this project I can do right now is the kitchen tile. Little fun-not so fun- fact, whoever built this house laid the tile around the structures in the kitchen so anything we pull up will be a void of said tile. Yay for us 👍🏻, we don’t know where it came from, meaning matching it will prove to be a quite difficult task so it’s imperative that while pulling it up, I try not to break any. The most I’ve ever dealt with tile in my life is cursing at it b/c the fucking grout never seems to get clean, or when I took a sledgehammer to the kitchen and bathroom in our last house. The latter is my preferred method. Now I have to coddle these tiles and slowly tap them out. Just give them a little tap, tap-a-roo ! Well, those tiles were my bitches! I mean half broke, half survived, but it’s enough for us to replace the 3 that were cut into from the old frame and complete the line, as you can see maybe, and then run the new laminate flooring in the living room, (to match with the 2 rooms we’ve already completed) up to it and add the threshold.  Wow! The space really opened up! Now, time to finish that damn electrical! Because if I have to say electrical one more time 💪🏻!

James spent all day today working on that closet. A few, ok many, hours and 2 trips to the Depot later he got it done ✔️ Fork!

Tomorrow, which doesn’t always mean tomorrow, we pull up the cement board that was under the tiles and drywall my new pantry. Then there’s that stupid Knockdown texture, more paint, 😫 shelves, Hardie Board, tile, laminate flooring, a door… Do I really need to list it all off?! How long do you have?

One day at a time.

Break On Through…

10 Mar

When shopping for a new home there are many things to take into account, the 2 big ones, in order I believe. What’s Wrong? And. What can be improved? For us we were in agreement that, floors aside, our major project was to knock a wall down that serves no purpose whatsoever and open up the living room to the kitchen.  
The fact that it was not a load bearing wall was a huge bonus and now, after so many, many weeks, demo day has finally come. I can’t run from it any longer. Tearing down this structure, while it being the first thing we said we would do, still made me apprehensive. There’s electrical and cable in those walls somewhere. In my head I always psych myself out so I may have, maybe, drug my feet on this one. James tackles projects, like everything else, with confidence, something I do not possess, and after the first one or two times I push something back until “tomorrow” it’s no longer a question but more of a, “Ready because we’re doing this!” From him.
So we prep, cover furniture, lay some plastic and get out our tools. As with our past few demo ventures, James lets me take the first swings, and with the first many more flow freely, like a waterfall. I tread lightly to begin, knowing there’s hot wires in there, but once I find their freeway it’s an open road for me. Suddenly I’m in the demo zone. Another important tool to have at your disposal in these times, music. (Pandora Marilyn Manson is a great station, just saying.)

Lily was the first to show her curiosity. While I was on one side of the closet banging on the wall she was on the other side, trying to figure it out. In her defense, she’s always been pretty sure that everything has something to do with her, and must have the Lily stamp of approval.

Lily’s the most emotionally transparent of the family, and yes, we’re keeping her. We’ve broken through! Those little beady eyes are hers on the other side, still curious. Tear down that wall baby! It’s fun, and makes for easier cleanup when you can pull off nice big chunks of drywall instead of piles of crumbled bits. He pulled this baby off and hey, what’d ya know, we found a carbon footprint they left on this house. 🙂 

With little under my belt of the demo/construction/how to build shit circle of life, this, as far as framing goes, seems overkill and ridiculous. It’s a structure. Built for nothing more than to hold a few shelves. Below. It seems to be built strong enough to park a small car on top. I mean the best you could do with the space up there is maybe some faux plants. But then you’d have to climb up there every so often and at least dust them off. I’ve seen it up there. It is a dust collector, all alone, by itself, with no way for anything to ever visit. And dust is not that heavy. 
Our first house we bought we had a similar situation. Open up the walls between the kitchen and the living room. I sense a pattern of preference here, open spaces. 

(I would like to apologize that you had to bare witness to my poor attempt at using a fancy app to trick out my pictures. I don’t know how you people do it.)

We busted out a good 4 hours of demo today. Everybody who knows, knows that you always have to add at least an hour on after you call it quits for clean up duty and to put away the tools in their rightful homes, which make it there about as often as shopping carts get to their homes in the parking lot.

Bring out the big tools baby, because tomorrow, it’s on! As for tonight, my little wrist is tired from the repetitive hammering. Must.Save.Strength to lift my glass of wine. 🍷