As if!

Here’s the dubious segue to an on-topic post.

My local dog run is under political attack from some nasty co-oppers who started a petition this week to close it down because of barking dogs a block away at 8am. Don’t these people have friggin jobs? But I digress.

So we’re going to have a summit with the various Owls Head dog run groups: the 7:30-9am “breakfast club” (my dogs’ pack), the 10-12 noon “lazily retired”, etc., elect a spokesmodel and assert ourselves in The System to save our precious dog run and perhaps convince the Parks Dept to spend a few bucks making some sorely needed repairs. Screw these whiners; we need a new fence!

I was put in charge of the effort. So tonight Karen and I visited our local Mexican restaurant, Casa Pepe, to see if they would be willing to host our little G8. It turns out that Jimmy, the owner, is a dog owner, uses the dog run and actually helped build it. He was only too happy to help. Cool.

Karen and I decided to stay for drinks and she made the comment that it looked like I was on the last lap of the bedroom renovation. “As if,” says me.

She accused me of dramatizing and asked me what I still had to do before I could move back into the bedroom. Three margaritas and six napkins later, I had it all written down:

  • Complete hallway wall/ceiling prep and prime
  • Remove hallway closet door and re-trim
  • Install hallway baseboard and casing trim
  • Order and install oak crown moulding in bedroom and hall (note to self: eighty feet!! Clear the credit card balance.)
  • Build raised panel under hallway window opening
  • Build raised panels under two windows in bedroom bay windows
  • Build louvered panel for center window in bay for steam element (note to self: contact Richie @ Sessa Plumbing for vent dimensions, which he says are critical for proper convection.)
  • Strip paint from pass-through closet door
  • Rip pass-through closet door to square (currently 1″ out of square)
  • Hang pass-through closet door, bedroom entry door and new closet double doors
  • Construct, hang and trim overhead closet doors
  • Build convex baseboard for curved closet corner
  • Build and install shelf over east wall wainscott
  • Install chamfered trim and cap moulding inside window frames
  • Do final woodworking trim tuning – 1/4″ quarter rounds over any gaps, plane overlaps
  • Prime drywall and plaster inside new closet.
  • Install cedar paneling in new closet (~200sf)
  • Install ten foot closet pole
  • Construct and install three drawers for dresser
  • Construct frames for cupboard doors (stained glass inserts later)
  • Cut shelves for cupboard
  • Construct frames for hallway windows (stained glass inserts later)
  • Sand, sand, sand all woodwork
  • Stain, stain, stain all woodwork
  • Three coats water-based urethane on all woodwork
  • Patch nail holes with putty
  • Re-prime bedroom, ante room and hall with tinted primer (color TBD)
  • Tighten existing floor with galvanized screws into joists
  • Scuff sand floor to remove high spots in bedroom and hall
  • Float wood floor leveling compound in bedroom and hall
  • Install 30 pound floor felt
  • Install staple-down engineered floor
  • Install stair edge trim
  • Cut, stain and install shoe mouldings
  • Cut, stain and install dresser kick
  • Install new door locksets and knobs
  • Final coat of urethane on all woodwork
  • Paint the walls
  • 400 grit sanding on all woodwork followed by Butcher’s wax and buffing
  • Construct media center rack
  • Order new king-size bed and frame
  • Use it!


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Welcome to Brooklyn Row House

This blog is about the challenges of renovating an old (1903) Brooklyn, New York row house.

My last major renovation project was the master bedroom, most of which is about finish carpentry. You’ll find other completed home improvement projects in the Projects submenu at the top of this page.

I’m not a professional builder and don’t pretend to be. I’m just an experienced amateur raised in a family of committed DIYers. I try to closely follow local and national building codes but don’t mistake anything on this site to be professional or even accurate advice! Your mileage may and definitely will vary.

This is the third iteration of, from scratch-built to Drupal and now Wordpress. I hope you enjoy your time here.