Ebates Coupons and Cash Back My 1905 Kansas Victorian

Monday, December 09, 2013

Back in the swing of things

It has obviously been a number of years since I posted on this blog but that isn't because we weren't working on the house.  I'll get new pictures of what has happened in the intervening years and get them up soon.  Time to get back to chronicling our work!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The "Home Theater"

Doug started working on the "home theater" (and yes, we always do air quotes when we say those words.) I don't remember what I have posted so here is the room as it was when we moved in. This is the middle upstairs bedroom.

Note the 1970's paneling which has been badly painted and the ugly, unraveling carpet. You can't see in this picture that the ceiling is one of those drop, metal-grid, cardboard tile ceilings. It was quite an ugly room. Just as a reminder, it has double french-doors into Rachel's room, a door into our bedroom, a closet, and three windows besides the door into the hall. Big room but not a lot of free wallspace.

The first step in the redemption of this room was to remove the drop ceiling. It looked like this.

Of course, this is Doug on a ladder taking down the metal grid. It was run to hide all the electrical wires. Note that the paneling didn't go all the way to the ceiling, it was just high enough to be past the metal grid. The paint on the paneling didn't even go that high. Above the paneling you see the original plaster and wallpaper. It seems like I've shown that before but I don't remember. Anyway, most of the ceiling was in good shape. Now we just have electrical wires hanging everywhere.

The next step in our "home theater" journey was to remove the paneling.

It had a brownish/pinkish patterned wallpaper that I could easily see in the hotel of "The Andy Griffith Show". That's what it felt like when we had all the paneling down, like being in an old 1950's hotel and I didn't hate it. Of course, it's coming down but I didn't hate it.

In my next post I'll show you some of the things we saw when all the paneling came down.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Some smaller projects accomplished

Doug has done several smaller projects over the past few weeks that have helped how we live in this house. My favorite one is changing the stove. This was on my to-do list and while I was visiting my parents one weekend, he did it.

The old stove-a complete piece of junk

I don't know how old this thing was but it seems you could date it in geological periods, rather than decades. I don't know if we ever successfully cooked anything in it, including Thanksgiving dinner, without burning something. Doug cut the stupid thing out and put in the stove that we brought with us. As I have said, a major kitchen remodel is probably at least 5 years away so this sure makes me enjoy the kitchen more for now.

The new stoveThis stove is about 6000 years ahead of the one we were using. It's not new, but it works! What more can one ask of a stove!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Catching Up

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks for several reasons. Mainly, all work on the house ceased for about a week and a half. I don't know why, you would have to ask Doug. But moving on past that, David was sick for about a week and we dealt with that for a few days. Work has resumed in a much slower fashion than before so let's see what's happened.

Remember this? This was the door of death that opened into the basement stairwell. Very dangerous.

It now looks like his.

Yes, it swings into the hall, like it is supposed to. This definitely turned into an all-day project for Doug because of the way it was installed originally. There was nothing behind the doorjam on the right side. They had just run the sheetrock up to it and put some trim up. He rebuilt that section so that it would be done right. The door is a hideous color and had lots of hooks and locks on it. A lot of the doors in this house have hook and latches that seem unnecessary. It's a little creepy to think what they might have needed to lock in with all these latches.

Work has also proceeded in the TV room. Pictures of that next time.

Update on the temperatures in the house. Kansas is not supposed to have these kinds of winters. We thought we left all that behind when we left Wisconsin. However, we are having one of the coldest winters that people can remember for a long time. If the sun isn't shining, there is no way to get the house above about 65 degrees except in the one room that is insulated which is Rachel's room and our room which is the smallest and has two vents. We are completely use to living in 6 layers of clothes and a blanket. Yesterday, when it was cloudy, I just gave up, turned the downstairs thermostat to 55 and told the family that we are living upstairs until the sun shines again. I covered the openings to the stairways at both ends of the hall upstairs with blankets and we did manage to get it to a comfortable temperature in the bedrooms, tv room and upstairs bathroom. Comfortable meaning about 67. Today the sun is shining and the downstairs is warming up a bit. I can't wait until spring, the season of warm weather and insulating!

Update on the "to-do" list version 2.

1) Repair the hole in the bedroom ceiling-DONE

2) Move the phone cords in kitchen

3) Change the "death trap" door on the basement so that it swings into the hall instead of out over the stairs. -DONE

4) Cut out the built-in stove which is a piece of junk and put in the stove we brought with us. A major kitchen remodel is probably 5 years away.

5) Put a closer on the back door so that it doesn't slam when people go in and out.

6) Put the weatherstripping on the front door.-DONE

Three out of six ain't bad!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It's all about the insulation

Doug hasn't had a chance to work any more on the TV room but today is his day off so we should see some progress. Another issue has popped up that will be our main focus, however, for the rest of the winter.

Kansas isn't supposed to get winters like this. We were use to this weather in Wisconsin but Kansas isn't supposed to have this. We have had a cold winter with lots of ice and snow that don't want to leave. We saw the results of this in our gas bill yesterday. Not fun!

We have decided that all projects not having to do with stopping air leaks or sealing up the house or reducing energy bills will be put on hold. We've been very diligent about keeping our thermostat low (far below what normal people would tolerate.) We are use to staying wrapped up in blankets as we go through our day. The one exception, of course, is in Rachel's room, not coincidentally, the only insulated room in the house. I suspect the vast majority of my posts over the next few months will be about trying to make a 100-year old house comfortable without losing any historical integrity. Any suggestions for living in a 100 year old house with 21st century fuel prices would be appreciated!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

TV room ceiling

As I previously posted, Doug has taken down the hideous 70's drop ceiling in the TV room. We found a couple of interesting things and one happy surprise.

The plaster on the ceiling definitely had some parts that were falling down but they were not the majority of the ceiling. When the drop ceiling was put in, I believe that the plaster would not have been too difficult to repair but the homeowners chose not to. They either were trying to modernize the house or thought it would help with fuel bills or just wanted a place to run new electrical wire without much work. Whether it helps with fuel bills is debatable from what I've been told. We believe it was the electrical wire that made them put in the drop ceiling because there is a ton of electrical wire running up there.

This was one of five rooms in our house with no overhead lights or lights that could be turned on by a switch. Very annoying to have to cross the room to a lamp for light! Now that we can see the original ceiling, it's obvious there was an overhead light in the room. It was gas. Here's what was left sticking down through the ceiling:

Doug says this is a gas line and there is one electrical wire running down next to it so the original homeowners evidently didn't object to overhead lights.

We found three kinds of wallpaper on the upper walls and ceiling. All through are basically boring brown patterns. Fortunately, we won't need to remove them to execute our current plan for the room. Here you see one type on the ceiling and another type on the top of the wall. The type that is on the ceiling is found everywhere in this house. Someone must have been having a going out of business sale on it. The bottom picture shows the kind that was on the walls before the paneling was put up. Again, a brown boring pattern. Definitely not Victorian!

The best part of the work so far, besides the vastly improved proportions of the room, is that Doug found the wire that connected to the wall switch by the door. Even though we had no light in the room, we did have a wall switch which was very annoying. We tried plugging things into outlets thinking it was one of those switches that control an outlet but it wasn't. When Doug got all the ceiling panels down, there was an electical wire laying there not connected to anything on one end. He put a cheapo light fixture that just holds a bare bulb on that wire. Eureka, we now have an overhead light fixture! It's amazing how being able to turn on a light when you walk in a room can make your day! It's obviously not the end solution but it will work until we can get one of the beautiful art deco light fixtures we want to go with our theme of a Art Deco movie theater.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Projects, projects everywhere

Well, I said I would show a picture of the basement all cleaned up. Here is the before:

Here is the after:

I will actually walk down here barefooted now! I actually have no parts of my house that gross me out. Yeah! Here is my favorite part of the basement:

Yes, it's a studbay in the ceiling. But it is a studbay NOT filled with lint and cobwebs! (The little gray things in their are marks on the wood, not cobwebs.) I love knowing that every spider and piece of lint in the known universe are not about to descend upon my head. This was actually hours of vacuuming to achieve this. I would eventually like to do this to the floor.

After finishing the cleanup of the basement I moved on to clean up the attic. It is a huge space and we don't have it full by any means. As we have carried stuff up there, however, we have just piled it around the stairs. Doug wants his tool storage up here because it is so easily accessible. I have started organizing and putting up shelves so that things are easily found. Birds were using the attic as a roost for years so there is tons of cleaning to be done but first I need to get the piles up off the floor.

While I started on the attic, Doug began our Next Big Project-the TV room. It began like this:

Now it looks like this:
Doug is taking down the horrible panel ceiling. Tomorrow I'll post what he found as he took the drop-ceiling.

Monday, January 22, 2007

"to-do" list version 2

Well, I did finish cleaning and vacuuming the basement yesterday. We didn't get the wall around the water heater disassembled. Doug had meetings at church in the afternoon so maybe that will happen tomorrow. I'll post a picture of the basement with all the junk cleaned up on tomorrow's post.

Doug is planning a major project in the TV room starting in February so I am starting a list of small jobs I would like done before that major project starts. I realize that is just a couple of weeks but I hope a few of these can get done. The first two are lingering from the last "to-do" list.

1) Repair the hole in the bedroom ceiling
2) Move the phone cords in kitchen
3) Change the "death trap" door on the basement so that it swings into the hall instead of out over the stairs.
4) Cut out the built-in stove which is a piece of junk and put in the stove we brought with us. A major kitchen remodel is probably 5 years away.
5) Put a closer on the back door so that it doesn't slam when people go in and out.
6) Put the weatherstripping on the front door.

This is a much shorter list than the last one but that is because we are going to start the major project soon. Getting these few things done would make housekeeping easier around here!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A tour of our "dungeon"

After posting the pictures of the basement stairs, we received a comment from a friend saying it looked like the entrance to a dungeon. Well, yes, frankly, it has a very dungeon-like feel. We admit that freely. My daughter has admitted it very loudly several times when asked to work on the laundry. This is why cleaning it up became one of my priorities this week.

We really didn't take any before pictures because it was just not somewhere we wanted to spend lots of time. I'm still not done cleaning it but have made great progress. Here is a picture of the room you are in when you get to the bottom of the stairs.
The washer and dryer are on the right and the stairs comes down right between them. The heater is on the left propped up on concrete blocks. In between is junk I am trying to work through and either throw away or store in the storage room. The ceilings are about 6'4" (coincidentally, the exact height of my husband.) Some parts have the 12x12 cardboard ceiling tiles but most of that has fallen down. Doug wants it all down so he can see all the electrical and plumbing. The previous owners didn't vent their dryer outside so all the lint was just being thrown into the room. Imagine how disgusting that was! I have spent quite a bit of time vacuuming the ceiling and I'm not quite done yet. Doug, of course, vented the dryer to outside so at least the accumulation of lint is not getting worse.

The hot water heater for the first floor is down here and at some time they had evidently built a little room around it. All the walls except one are gone and that one will probably be gone by the end of today. It is so rotted out at the bottom from standing water that it isn't even touching the floor.

This area was just crammed full of old pipes they had pulled out of the ceiling, rotten wood they had left when they replaced things, trash. I have cleaned it out and vacuumed it out and you can actually stand in this area now without wishing for a hazmat suit. As I said, I believe that wall with the pink door will come out today so that the basement is one big room again. This will help light and air flow immensely.

Here is the storage room. This is the room I put all my time and effort into the last Monday. It's nothing to write home about but compared to what it was it's a palace. The amount of cobwebs, spider webs, trash, vines (growing in through the window), and undescribable stuff I swept off the floor, the ceiling and the walls was amazing. Now we can actually find things in here. Everything is on shelves and up off the floor. My daughter even said that the room looked great when I sent her down to the dungeon to bring up the laundry. High praise indeed!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Something you'll probably wish you'd never seen

The basement

Unlike the attic, this is a dark, cobwebby, spider-filled space. In fact, we didn't take any before pictures. I spent all day Monday, 6 or 7 hours, trying to clean it out. It is a million times better but this is so much work to do in this space just to get it out of the "disgusting" category. I just tried to get it to the point that I don't balk at going down there because the laundry is down there.

Here are the stairs going down.

Note that the door opens into the stairway. Obviously, against modern building codes. It make going up and down the stairs with baskets of laundry quite difficult. Behind the door is this. It's a window. It's been sided over from the outside. They left the curtains and everything in place, just sided over it. Opening it up would actually help this stairway a lot. There would be light and air circulation for the basement. It's on our long-range "to-do" list.

On the wall opposite the yellow window, there is an section of the wall that looks like it was framed to be a window also. However, it's the back of the kitchen wall and would only look out into this stairwell so we don't know what that is all about. Here is some of the wallpaper that originally decorated this stairway. Only bits and pieces hang on now.

Here is the section that looks like it might have originally been framed for a window. Another old house mystery.

We'll finish our tour down the scary stairs tomorrow.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Here's something you've never seen before

I don't believe I have given you a tour of our attic. It's actually one of the things that I love about this house. It has a regular stairway leading to it just like it was another living floor (which it may be someday.) I'm so happy not to have a pull-down ladder but a real stairway.

It's also a huge amount of space. Here's what it looked like the day we bought the house.

You can see that it is not the nasty, dark spider-filled space that so many houses have. It has full functioning windows on all four sides. It has complete floorboards. It has lights. Actually, it had one very week flourescent light but Doug and his dad have added several lights and outlets. It's actually a very pleasant space to go into.

Notice that the two chimneys are leaning opposite directions. They were built to do that. I think they make the space very interesting.

I may have posted this picture before when we were discussing insulation but I put it here just to show how much head room there is. Doug is 6'4" so you can see that the ceiling is a nice height over his head. Yes, it slopes but there are only a couple of feet on each side where he can't stand up straight.

This picture is looking from the opposite direction as the first picture. You can see the large windows and the light flooding the space. We have had the air conditioner moved to the side so that it is not in the middle of the floor.
This shows a little of the construction of the attic. The studs that hold up the roof are deliberately curved so that the roof has a little curve instead of a straight slope. Kind of interesting once you realize it. Also, the old sheathing is visible. It's not solid. It seems to be the original sheathing so they have never changed it when they reroofed. You can see the original wood shingles through the sheathing. We don't know how many layers of roofing we have but it's a good guess that we have more than we should. I just hope we don't have to deal with it any time soon.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

My little bit of heaven

OK, so maybe the title is a little dramatic but my finished closet is so much better than any closet I've ever had before. You will remember that we ripped out a old, inefficient, mildrew-ridden closet in the sunroom off our bedroom. Here's what we replaced it with.

If you have a great walk-in closet, this will not impress you. However, if you have a great walk-in closet, you're probably not living in an old Victorian.

Our house was built with closets, one per room. I know some of the homes of our vintage don't even have that. But these closets are very narrow and small. No way they were going to accomodate two people's clothes. That is why someone had put a closet in this sunroom to begin with. This room is only accessed through our bedroom. We haven't decided if we are going to enclose this with some kind of doors but for right now, I'm just thrilled to have neat, useable storage that I can see! Notice, of course, that the floor still needs to be painted because the POs never painted the floors in any closets.

This is a nice size room so as well as being my closet, I have an old dressing table that I am redoing in there. I plan to also have a nice reading chair and lamp. It feels like a private retreat for Doug and I since there is no other access to it.

Yes, this old house is a huge amount of work but the luxury of having enough rooms that you can just use some as a closet-Priceless!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Back on November 9, I said that we were starting to rip out the closet in our sunroom which is right off our bedroom. We finished that project before Thanksgiving so I need to post the final pictures. However, what we thought was interesting was how many layers of wall paper we found in that closet. Let me just share them with you.

This is the one type of wallpaper that I would have liked when it was on the wall. It has a beautiful deep maroon color with a very bold leaf pattern.

This was the last layer that was put on. It was the layer we could see.

This is a very weird 50's wallpaper that apparently everyone in town has lurking in their house.

This looks like maybe 30's or 50's wallpaper.

I just can't imagine how this one looked originally.

These were all layered on top of each other in my closet. It was a real voyage of discovery.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Can we visit that "To-Do" list one more time?

OK, way back when, this list started with 18 things. I'm only going to list that ones that weren't done last time we revisited.

1) Move the phone cords in kitchen
2) Repair the hole in the kitchen ceiling
3) Repair the hole in the bedroom ceiling
8) Reassemble the kitchen ceiling fan
12) Patch the hole in the sunroom wall
17) Hang up a miniblind in David’s room

Wow, my 18 things were down to six. We decided to eliminate number 17. I hate miniblinds! Before Thanksgiving, Doug completed #2,8,and 12. That leaves only #3 and number 1 to be completed! I'm shocked.

That means, actually, that I need to start a new "to-do" list. It's where I keep track of those smaller jobs that are not part of a major project. Our next major project is our TV room but I'll keep a running list of these smaller "to-do's" so they don't get lost in the shuffle. Maybe I'll have that list together by tomorrow.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Another piece of the puzzle

Our house has been extensively "simplified" or as my husband likes to call it, "dumbed down." We have no pictures of what the outside looked like when it was built. Apparently, according to the lady at the historical society, this was the "wrong side" of Main Street for there to be any interest in the house when it was built. There are pictures of all the houses on the other side of Main Street but nothing on this side. We have been trying to find out what kind of outside decorations there might have been since it is now all clad in aluminum and vinyl.

In the past week we have gotten a couple of clues about the soffits. We had a hole in the siding in one soffit.

You can see it up there in the corner. It let lots of birds into our attic which our cat promptly disposed of. (It was really gross.) Doug and one of our friends closed this up with some leftover siding a couple of days ago. Doug said that it was obvious that all the soffits were originally covered with beadboard. Very interesting! Is this common practice on a Victorian? Anyway, we know that when we start taking off the aluminum, we will restore that feature.

Then yesterday, we heard something metallic fall on the roof when were watching "This Old House." Some more of the aluminum soffit had fallen off in the wind. (We do live in Kansas!) When Doug went up to put it back on, this is what he found.

It would seem that this is the original soffit and it had some time of a decorative bracket on it! This is the kind of discovery that only excites renovaters but it's a thrilling discovery for us. We have no idea how ornate or plain this house was originally and now we will feel that we can eventually add some decorative brackets and they will be in keeping historically with the house! Hallelujah!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

What were they thinking?

Anyone who has worked on a house that has had previous renovations will say that over and over. We say it about our ugly ceilings. I left my last entry saying the ceiling in the office is still a problem. When the plaster started to fail, some PO covered every ceiling available with those cardboard tiles. We found some in the attic so when we needed to repair the ceiling where we had taken out the cabinet in the office, we almost had enough to patch it all. Almost is the key word in that sentence. We ran just short.

You can see the tiny spot above the door where we just ran short of having enough of the hideous cardboard tiles to finish.

We have three different types of these tiles in the house and some popcorn ceilings. All will be redone back to smooth ceilings and raised to their original heights. We have done Rachel's and it's beautiful.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Fresh start

OK, I know everything slows down over the holidays but I haven't posted in a month and a half! I'm sure everyone has given up on my blog by now. However, even if I am the only one reading it, I am commiting to posting at least every other day because we are doing a lot of work on the house and I do want a record of it.

My last post left everyone hanging because we were just finishing the sheetrock on the wall in the office. We finished that before Thanksgiving so here are some finished pictures.
The finished wall with bookshelves built.

I realize that this probably doesn't look like much of an improvement to most people but the functionality of this room is improved 1000%. The closet that was here was full of mildew, you could only open about 2 feet of it at at time so you lost lots of useable space and couldn't see what you had in there, and the room felt very cave-like because of the big cabinet over the door. It feels huge in this room now. Also, we can actually see and store our homeschooling books efficiently, all my genealogy notebooks are readily accessible and we can store things like the dog food and coolers where they are out of the way but easy to grab.
Two problems left with this room
Problem #1-The floor

I realize this picture is very dark. You're looking at the shadow of where the closet was. The POs (previous owners) painted this floor black right before they put it on the market. It has the same good hardwood that the rest of the house has but they told us they didn't have time to refinish the floors and had seen this suggestion on HGTV. I actually like the look of the painted floor. Only problem is, our construction took it's toll on the finish and they hadn't painted inside the closet. I need to move everything out of here and repaint and repolyurethane the floor. Only one problem, this is computer central. If the kids' computers are out of operation for more than 15 minutes, their heads explode. Oh well, I'd like to get it done before we start another major project. I'll just have to be prepared to clean up their brains when I tell them the computers are out of commission for about 3 days. (Of course, I'll keep posting using Doug's laptop.)

Problem #2-The ceiling
Problem 2 will be dealt with tomorrow because I can't figure out how to get more into a post before Blogger decides my posts are two long. I really need to do some more research into using Blogger.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Playing in the mud

The wall in the office has had it's third coat of mud. Doug hopes we will be painting it today. He put on three coats of mud.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Another one (starts to) bite the dust

I know we haven't finished the wall in the office but we are down to taping and mudding which involves a lot of waiting so I decided to start ripping out the closet in the sunroom. Here's the only "before" picture I have of it. It's just to the right of the door in this picture.

There are several reasons that this closet is going. I don't just randomly rip out closets and yet this is the second one in this house that we have destroyed. This one, unlike the one in the office, is going to be rebuilt. One reason that this one is going is because, like the one in the office, it had small doors and therefore, you couldn't see what was in at least half of the closet space.

The other reason involves the tornado that went through here in 2000. This house was hit by the tornado in this back section and the roof was torn off. Water poured in for several days as they had quite a bit of rain after the tornado. The house was reroofed but the homeowners didn't clean up all the damage from the water. The back of this closet is in terrible shape.
Water damage

Mold and Mildew

Layers of peeling wallpaper

This should have been cleaned up right after the tornado but it wasn't so we're doing it six years later.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A little sheetrock is a wonderful thing

I said that I thought we could sheetrock yesterday and it actually happened! Actually, Doug and our friend Bill sheetrocked. I spent all afternoon raking and cleaning up the back yard. Anyway, here are the "in-progress" pictures.

Sheetrock can make a room look so finished. I know that it's still several days away from painting because of the taping and mudding but it's such a step forward.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The "To-Do" List revisited

OK, just a little accountability for what I said that we would do this fall. We seem to have done everything except what is on this list.

1) Move the phone cords in kitchen-STILL NOT DONE

2) Repair the hole in the kitchen ceiling-STILL NOT DONE (but definitely on the short list)

3) Repair the hole in the bedroom ceiling-STILL NOT DONE

4) Put in more electrical outlets for office-DONE! There are now 6 new outlets in the office.

5) Put up the face plates in guest room-DONE!

6) Run the electrical to air conditioner-DONE! And we have the heating hooked up and working as well!

7) Put in the plexiglass panel for screen door-DONE!

8) Reassemble the kitchen ceiling fan-STILL NOT DONE (but definitely on the short list)

9) Put in the glass for guest room French door-DONE! Doug did this a couple of weeks ago. It looks great!

10) Get a screen panel for the back screen door-DONE!

11) Shave off the door of the sunroom-DONE! and Doug fixed the latch so the door will actually latch and stay closed

12) Patch the hole in the sunroom wall-NOT DONE (and not on Doug's radar)

13) Put a longer coaxial cord on the tivos so we can move them-DONE!

14) Assemble David’s bed-DONE!

15) Build a bed frame for our bed-DONE Actually we got a frame for our bed from the Labette Freecycle list. I love getting things for free!

16) Get the dining room table and other furniture out of storage-DONE!

17) Hang up a miniblind in David’s room-NOT DONE I really think we have decided against this so it will probably come off the list

18) Cover the french doors in Rachel's room-DONE!

So 7 out of 18 are still not done. 2 will definitely be done before Thanksgiving, one will probably come off the list so it is there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Destruction continues

It's been quite a while since I posted anything but getting this closet out of the room became a major battle. This closet was designed to NEVER come out of this room. The people who built it nailed in every single board from every single direction possible. I spent all day one Saturday tearing out this thing but honestly, sometimes a single 2X4 took me 45 minutes.

When it finally did come out, it revealed all kinds of bad wiring hidden behind it. There was knob and tube, there were wires running into the breaker box that weren't attached to anything. There were wires that they started to run to the ceiling fan and then decided not to, but left the wires there.

Doug has redone and cleaned up the wiring. This took SEVERAL days. He had to fish wires through the ceiling, he had to take down ceiling tiles in the kitchen to find out where things are coming from. He had to rewire the switches in the room and in the process he added three more outlets. That is a total of six outlets he has added to this room since we moved in. Again, if you live in an old house, you know how important that is. We think we are finally ready to begin sheetrocking today.

This was supposed to be a quick project, just rip out the closet and add some bookshelves to the wall. Needless to say, no such thing as a quick project. However, the room feels so much bigger with the stupid, inefficient closet gone, Doug is really happy with the cleaned up wiring, and we might even finish it this week! Don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And a new project begins

Since we have officially "finished" Rachel's room, I started a new project. This is essentially my project because Doug doesn't care too much about it and he has some other things he wants to do. I'm ripping out a closet and some cabinets in the office. I know for most people it is a capital offense to rip out closets but this one is very ugly and inefficient and lack of storage isn't a problem for us. I only have one "before" picture because this particular storage area was so ugly we didn't photograph it.

We don't need a closet here, especially one where a lot of it is inaccessable because the doors don't open very wide. We need shelves so that is what we are going to replace this closet with.

There was a big cabinet over the door that leads from the office into the kitchen. It was so high that even Doug had to use a ladder to get things out of it. Someone said, "You can store things that you don't need up there." I'm not even going to answer that comment. The other problem with this cabinet was that it made the entrance to the office feel like a cave. Now it's gone and it looks like this over the door.

There was a 2X4 as a header for this cabinet. I was standing on a ladder, knocking on end of it loose and the whole thing came down, smacking me right in the face. Not fun! Teaching that DIY, like swimming, is something not to do alone. Fortunately, I didn't fall off the ladder but I did sustain a wound on my nose and an knot on my head. Notice also, that there is mold or mildew on the ceiling. I'm sure that is from the tornado damage when the roof wasn't covered for several days. A lot of rain came in this back section. The previous owners didn't clean it up so now I will be. It is only in the paint, though, not in the plaster so I can scrape the paint off and it should be clean.
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