Friday, August 11, 2006

Old House Lesson #1:

...Any home improvement project will always be more involved than you expected and take longer than you planned.

Last weekend we decided to tackle the bedroom closet. You can see in the picture that it only has one door--so although it goes all the way back to the wall, the clothes beyond the doorway are impossible to access. Plus, we've been spoiled by a year of apartment living with walk-in closets. So we thought, if we put double doors on the closet and hung two poles instead of just one, we could really expand the usable space in there.

The project got moved up in priority for a couple of reasons. First, we had a second door available for free. We ordered a new, wider door for the basement (since the old one was so narrow that the entire doorframe--not just the trim--had to be taken off in order to get the washer and dryer downstairs) and the old door happens to match the existing closet door exactly.

Second, our conversation last Saturday went something like this:
Amy: So what project do you want to work on today?
Steve: Well, I could start weatherproofing the windows, or I could work on the bedroom closet.
Amy: Which would you rather do? It doesn't matter to me.
Steve: It's so hot outside, I'd rather not be out working in this weather. Let's do the closet. (pause) We will need to go to Lowe's so I can get a sawzall.
Amy: Ah, I see how it is. "I'd rather work on the closet because that means I get to go buy a new saw," not "I'd rather work on the closet because it's too hot to work outside."
Steve: No, that's not it at all!

You judge from this picture whether that was the real issue or not:

Anyway, after the trip to Lowe's, he spent the rest of the day covering our bedroom in three inches of dust. Lovely. But seriously, the closet is going to be great. My wonderful handyman has been building shelves on both sides and hanging two poles so we can use every last bit of space. I love that he knows how to do all this stuff! But, it's taking longer than I anticipated...a week later and all our clothes are still draped all over the living room furniture. Not his fault though...problems from working with old plaster walls.

Ah the joys of living in an old house :)


Anonymous said...

We can totally relate. We are still working on our house and at the end of the month it will be a year that we have lived here. We have a lot of work to do! Its great that you have Steve who seems like he really knows what he is doing.

Kayla said...

I can TOTALLY relate. Josh had to buy a new sawzaw to do the mudroom at our house. Just imagine that same smile on him. I have come to realize that Lowes and Menards are Josh's Kohl's and Old Navy. He can spend hours in there!!!!

Glad to see the house is coming along. I commend your patience!

Anonymous said...

I pray you can keep your "good humor" attitude toward all your projects. I'm sitting here smiling and shaking my head as I think back to all that we have worked through. When I read Michelle's comment(I got the impression that she was thinking a year was a long time), I thought back to 1981, we moved in on Steven's due date, and we still had 60% of the house to 25 years later, we still have parts of the outside of the house we haven't gotten to.
I never lack in ideas for Christmas presents(tools), should have bought stock in the local lumber company, and have become extremely good at clean-up(everybody needs a good shop-vac). We just don't help put up beams in flip flops - do we Amy :) and don't be surprized if you get a hand sander for a birthday present some year!

Bethany said...

We had nine months of work before we could even inhabit our house!!! And we have now lived in it for 2 years and are still no where near done. Welcome to the club. It is fun and annoying at the same time....but very rewarding.