• Phase 7: Plan B

    Posted by Steve on Wed, 09/13/2006 - 12:30pm


    The animals aren't particularly happy about my relocation to the smaller guest bedroom. The cats seem determined to remain in the master bedroom demolition site regardless. But at least the fold-out sofa's pretty comfortable.

    I began ripping out the funky old woodwork today which is when Plan B started to take shape in my head. No matter how much time I put into planning, drawings and so forth it's not until I actually start the project that the ideas start coming.

    So here's Plan B: the first project will be a new walk-in closet in the master bedroom's alcove, which used to be another (tiny) bedroom. It will be a six foot expansion of an existing closet in that room. The reason I want to do this now is to get rid of the pile of 2x3s, plywood and drywall that's making my shop unnavigable at the moment. I'm gonna need lots of shop floor space to build the cabinets.


  • Phase 7: The Wrath of Details

    Posted by Steve on Fri, 09/08/2006 - 11:36am


    Today officially begins the scheduled start of the next major phase of the renovation at Brooklyn Row House: the rebuilding of the master bedroom and upstairs hallway. It started like most of my scheduled projects. In other words, it didn't.

    Dykes Lumber, which was given instructions to call me before delivery, arrived yesterday when I must have been out walking the grovelers. Granted, it's a contractor size order but, sheesh, even GC crews take lunch breaks, guys. They didn't call to confirm that they were even delivering yesterday so I could at least hang a note. For that matter, I still don't know what the charge is, although I'm figuring in the $2500 range.

    The delivery was rescheduled for Monday which isn't much of a setback because my weekend is shot anyway.

    Speak of the devil, the flooring just arrived from Hosking Hardwood: thirteen cartons of Mannington engineered flooring and accessories.

    I used Mannington flooring in my office and guest room renovations and the jury's still out with it. I'm already seeing some scratch marks from the dogs' claws. I probably won't be ready to lay the floor until around Thanksgiving at this rate. Before then I have to make some serious progress on building a new referral management system for Children's Health Fund. At least the flooring will be well acclimated to the house by then.

    Referring back to an article I wrote last week, Last Lap Crash, I guess I was successful at psyching myself up for this next phase of the renovation. For the past three days I've been running around the house taking care of unfinished business. Yesterday I bought a bunch of drawer and cabinet pulls from The Great Indoors and finally finished off the kitchen, five years after I started it.


  • The Plan

    Posted by Steve on Fri, 09/01/2006 - 9:35pm


    So I psyched myself up and put down the plastic for the next and final major renovation project here: the master bedroom and hallway.

    The way I figured it, if I had a pile of lumber in the shop I'd want to do something with it. I didn't spare much expense in this project although I'm not completely irresponsible with my money. For instance, I'll be using red oak plywood in much of the window and doorway trim rather than solid oak. That alone will save me several hundred bucks. And while an engineered floor is actually more expensive to purchase than a 3/4" raw hardwood floor, it's cheaper to install and maintain while also providing a more durable finish against doggie nails, or so the sales literature says anyway.

  • The Last Lap Crash

    Posted by Steve on Thu, 08/31/2006 - 11:40am


    Most people will experience a major home renovation only once in their lives. This is my third one and I think I've discovered a thus far unreported affliction which I call Home Stretch Complacency. Let's give it an acronym so it sounds official: HSC.

    HSC doesn't appear to be a unique defect in my genetic makeup. I know several tyromaniacs like me who have suffered and are suffering from this dibilitating condition. The symptoms of HSC are, after spending years on a difficult and time-consuming renovation project, crashing on the last lap. That final room doesn't get done, the trim doesn't go up, the primer doesn't get painted. You sink into lethargy and just live with it.


    Some people crash earlier; some only a few feet away from the finish line. One of the early warning signs of HSC seems to be Normphobia: a sudden avoidance of TV home improvement shows. Perhaps it's a mutation of the diY-chromosome but we won't know for certain until more research is done. Maybe we need a telethon.

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