Archive for the ‘drywall’ Tag

01-18-2015 Journal – Bathroom Destruction!   Leave a comment

Now that the holidays are behind us and I’ve had two weeks to catch my breath, it’s time to get back to work.  My biggest goal for this winter was to repair and remodel our upstairs bathroom.  It’s been unused for almost two years due to a major leak either inside the walls or under the floor.

Job 1 is to demolish whatever it takes to find that damn leak.  My first step was to remove the old shower unit that had been an eyesore at best.  Three days ago me and my trusty sledge hammer began the process of removing that unit.  Everything I’ve tried to do in this house for the last six years has been a struggle.  The house is almost twenty-five years old and it shows.  The rooms aren’t square and the people who built it should have been arrested immediately after first kicking their ass. The wiring is still a problem even after the entire place was rewired just three years ago. Unfortunately there are still certain areas and other issues that are just waiting to be discovered.

This photo was taken yesterday after I spent three days removing that damn shower and the wall behind it.  The entire unit not only was screwed tightly to the walls but the installer used what looked to be approximately ten tubes of construction adhesive to glue it in place as well. There was no way to just remove the unit without removing the walls too. More unwanted work to be sure.


Once that was accomplished I began my investigation into the leak. I was forced to remove a large section of the floor and after following the water stains it told me the leak was water flowing on the surface of the floor and not beneath it.  There were no water marks within the walls above floor level which told me the leak wasn’t in the plumbing inside the wall.  As best I can determine is that the leak was caused by a faulty drain connection in the old shower unit. 

Over the next day or so I’ll do a thorough cleanup of the bathroom to allow me to double check my findings one last time. I can then begin the process of putting in the new shower, toilet, sink, and floor.  Then add some beaded wainscoting, a fresh paint job, and new lighting fixtures and BAM. Job completed sometime in May . . . . .  I hope.

04-17-2013   Leave a comment

My drywall frustration continued again today shortly after I started priming the ceiling.  I’m enough of a realist to understand that no matter how hard you try it’s almost impossible to do a remodeling  project in an old house that is just perfect.  I accepted that fact and decided early on I would deal with those problems as they occurred. Well, they did.

I purposely made the decision to for this to be a winter project and to take as much time as necessary to do it right.  From the first that freaking ceiling was a problem.  It wasn’t level and the room wasn’t square but I fixed each issue as best I could and proceeded on. In my heart I knew that no matter what there would be certain areas I could never get perfect.

As soon as I began painting today I discovered a new drywall rule of thumb.  Everything good is really bad and everything bad is really good. Every area that I was concerned with turned out perfect and the two areas I was worried the least about became the biggest problems. One area couldn’t be  properly fixed and will require additional repair work once the remainder of the room is completed. It’s just so damn frustrating.

Enough with the damn remodel.  I finally made my way outside and it was the most gorgeous day so far this month.  I managed to complete some of the yard cleanup, chatted with a neighbor or two, and cleared my head of remodeling issues.  After my better-half arrived home from work we sat down and began to plan the garden.  What and where we should plant, buying additional soil to fill the frames, and a possible expansion of the garden to allow her to plant thirty of forty of the larger species of sunflowers.  It was an hour well spent that will make this year’s garden preparation less of a challenge.

One of our neighbors stopped by and he really has a bad case of garden/spring fever.  Over the past few summers he and his wife created a basic home garden and discovered how much they enjoyed it. This year their two young daughters, ages five and seven, are becoming more involved.  The girls are are ready to jump into things immediately and  have already started a few seeds and can’t wait to get a little dirty with their mom and dad in the garden.   It should a great summer for all of us exchanging gardening tips and canning techniques.  I’m looking forward to my first visit from his girls to talk about our gardens.  They’re too cute to be believed.

My book reading goal was reached last night when I completed both my sci-fi and non-fiction novels.  I read well into the night and had a great time in the process.  Now I can finish the third book at my leisure and take a little time to properly enjoy it. 

Slowly but surely I’m making progress.

04-16-2013   2 comments

It seems to me that this one little room remodel has consumed me for a very long time.  It continued today much to my chagrin.  I thought I’d finally begin the priming and painting to move this project into its final stages but I was wrong again.  I decided to do one last up-close inspection before starting to primer and after completing that inspection I put the paint and supplies back in the workshop and returned once again to the joint compound to make a few small repairs. Nothing pisses me off as much as realizing I’m not as meticulous as I thought.

I put down the plastic sheeting one more time, slopped some more joint compound around, and now I’m forced to wait until tomorrow before I can again smooth it out.  Another freaking day  lost that I could be doing other things but can’t.  This project needs to be completed and over. I need to keep in mind that I can’t rush things because if I do I’ll be creating even more problems. So I’ll shut up now and get back to work.

It’s now a few hours later and the minor repairs have been completed to my satisfaction.  Of course, my better-half arrived to conduct her own inspection and make a few comments which always makes me a little crazy. She was somewhat kind and took it easy on me because she knew how pissed off I was. So now it’s time to kick back for a few hours and try to change my focus from drywalling and painting to the garden and yard cleanup.

I briefly checked in on the progress of the Boston bombing but there wasn’t much new to hear.  I realize it’s too early to expect anything new but like every other citizen of this country I’m angry and want justice and some dark and savage revenge on the fuckers responsible for this outrage.  Again I’m forced to wait for results.  I’m a very impatient person and waiting makes me effing crazy.

I have a little extra time today to catch up my reading.  I normally like to read one book at a time but I find myself with three different books only partially read.  I’ve been skipping from one to the other and it’s a little distracting. On top of that, one book is on an e-reader (science fiction), another is a large and bulky hardcover (non-fiction), and the third an old tattered paperback (fiction). It’s effectively ruining all three stories for me and it’s time for me to fix things.  I plan on finishing the sci-fi today which should be easy enough with only a couple of hundred pages remaining.  Then tomorrow I’ll knock off the non-fiction book after finishing the first coat of primer and paint in this freaking room.

The next few days are expected to be sunny and clear but not particularly warm.  I plan on spending some quality time with my camera and maybe walk a few quiet miles through some nearby woods.  It’s a little early in the season to expect much in the way of photographs but it’s really more about getting out  the house for a few hours.  Believe me, it will be a pleasure to take photo’s of anything that isn’t covered with or standing in snow.

C’mon springtime.

04-03-2013   2 comments

I’m celebrating a little today because finally the freaking drywall job has been completed.  If I never see another sheet of the damn stuff again it will be too soon.  I estimate about an hour of sanding and smoothing before we can do a whole-house cleanup which could take a very long time.  That insidious white dust can be found in every room of the house even though I took great pains to control it.  Some things just can’t be avoided I guess.  The mere fact that I’m actually looking forward to doing the priming and painting should tell you how much I won’t be missing drywall. DONE AND DONE!

Other than the remodel things have been very quiet around the house of late.  My better-half’s been working a couple of weeks of some really weird shifts making our time together somewhat limited.  The grand child has brought an illness home from daycare and their entire family has been sick for more than a week.  I’ve been pretty much left alone except for the cat who is also not too happy about the lack of attention.

Today was first day in a while when I didn’t have to get up early and work on the remodel.  A day where I could sleep in and lounge around and even get out of the house to run a few errands. Why did I ever think that things would happen as I’d hoped.  The better-half left early for work and it wasn’t long before I wished she’d taken that damn cat with her.

The feline nagging started immediately since she left without feeding him.  He was unhappy and made sure I was too.  He walked slowly around the bed meowing at the top of his lungs until I brained him with a pillow.  Just as I was getting back to sleep he started his old routine of jumping on the bed, walking all over my body, meowing loudly, and then running away before I could grab another pillow.  He repeated this at least eight times before I found myself wide awake and none too happy.  Once he realized I was awake he disappeared from the bedroom and planted his furry little ass next to his food dish and just waited.  I made my way to the kitchen, fed the little bastard, cursed at him a few times and went back to bed.

Now I’m lying here writing this because I couldn’t get back to sleep.  Does the term "urge to kill" come to mind?  I think a few hours away from this place will allow me to clear my head a little and keep me from drop kicking the cat into next week.  The older he gets the more like my ex-wife he’s becoming.

This appears to be the beginning of what I fear could become a very bad day.  I think a few cups of really strong and tasty coffee just might do the trick to turn that around.  I’m willing to try just about anything to improve my day before the better-half returns from work.  The last thing we need is to have is a stupid argument instigated by the cat.

I think a quick trip to the discount book store might help.  I can calm myself with an hour of browsing through the racks to find a few interesting mysteries I haven’t read before.  This has been one helluva winter.  I been reading two books a week all winter but with the weather finally breaking that should slow down a bit.  I find myself actually looking forward to starting the yard work and preparing this years garden.

I’m out the door searching for a better day.

03-14-2013   Leave a comment

It’s another day I’ll spend washing joint compound dust from my hair. My better-half and I are quite the drywalling team it would seem. We worked like a well oiled machine today which helped keep the remodel ahead of schedule. The construction has really accelerated with the completion of the hardwood flooring.  I always knew that installing a drywall ceiling was going to be a real bitch and I wasn’t far wrong. We were able with the minimum amount of difficulty to get the ceiling installed without a major incident or loss of blood on my part.

As I’ve said many times before I’m really clumsy and every job I’ve ever done requires a quantity of my blood to be sacrificed. Today is the first time in many years where my sacrifice wasn’t required. I’ll be putting the finishing touches to the ceiling tomorrow with the taping of joints and final application of the joint compound. Over the next week I should be able to complete the walls and then prepare for primer and paint.  Hooray!

It’s been another weird weather day in Maine and it starting to get old. The morning started out after a night of rain as gray and dismal and typical for March. Just a few hours later the clouds parted and the sun peaked out for an entire fifteen minutes. It appeared we would have a really beautiful day but I was wrong again. As we were working I walked past the window and looked outside a few minutes later and it was snowing a freaking blizzard. It wasn’t quite white-out conditions but it was snowing hard and fast and beginning to accumulate. I got back to work and forgot about the weather for a few minutes and an hour later, no snow. We’d come full circle back to cloudy, dismal, and gray.

This Spring Fever is starting to work on my head and I’m getting the urge to do things I shouldn’t even be thinking about this early in the year. We were shopping in a couple of local stores yesterday and it was all I could do to stay out of the garden centers looking for plants, seeds, and everything  Spring. I’ve got it really bad and I fear it’s only going to get worse.

Local retailers are not helping to be certain. There are beginning to receive and display their Spring product lines which is going to force me to stay out of the stores for at least four more weeks. I’ve been fooled in years past when I started buying seeds and plants early which all later died a horrible death. I learned a lesson but the Spring Fever craziness won’t get out of my head. Thank God I have this remodeling project to keep me busy for a few more weeks and it should carry me through into the beginnings of Spring.

My better-half has been on a work-related shopping spree today in between times of helping me with the drywall. She’s in charge of an MDA breakfast tomorrow and she’ll be preparing sausage, eggs, and french toast for fifty or more people. I love that she never hesitates to offer her time and efforts to charities but I just don’t know where she gets the energy. Her energy level has always been amazing and much higher than mine could ever be. I’m sure the event will be a huge success.

I have a few more things to do this afternoon then a nice long hot shower and and some good comfort food to round out my day. I started rereading a series of five ebooks that I purchased some time ago and I’m looking forward to an hour or so of reading. I should sleep well tonight and be ready in the morning to do it all over again. Spring is coming and I need to get these winter projects finished.

Posted March 15, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying

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03-10-2013   Leave a comment

Today I’ve just finished washing joint compound dust from my hair, hands, and clothing.  I love working with drywall not only because when finished it looks so good but that you don’t have to wait for days to see the results of your efforts.  Almost instant gratification that you normally can’t find too often.

I made a medium sized mess and was only working on finishing the interior of a small stupid closet.  I’m using this closet to reintroduce myself to drywall finishing.  It’s been a number of years since I last worked drywall and I’m trying to get my "touch" back.  Overall I was pleased with the initial results and this will surely give me enough confidence to complete this remodel to my satisfaction.   It’s just so damn messy and being a "neat freak" really doesn’t help.

The clocks have just "sprung forward" which almost always triggers my Spring Fever issues in a big way.  On top of that the temperature today was in the low fifties which is like tropical weather for Maine in March.  I know the chances of more snow and cold weather are likely but dammit this sure feels good.  If the wind had lessened just a bit I’d have made my way out onto the deck with the cat and enjoyed a few minutes of sunshine.

I made another trip to Lowe’s today for more supplies and a chance to get out of the house for an hour or so.  I think Spring Fever is affecting everyone.  I actually saw a guy wearing sandals and a pair of shorts.  He must be insane, it’s March for God’s sake.

The MDA volunteers were out in force and offering baked goods, smiles, and anything else that could get money from my wallet to their pocket.  I ask myself the same question every year.  How many hundreds of millions of dollars have been collected over the last twenty or so years for MDA?  You would think by now that research that well funded would have shown some results. I’m just enough of a cynic not to believe all the hype that’s put forward on that damn telethon and would like someone to tell me and show me how much of those millions actually reached the researchers. Until then I’ll support only local initiatives where strict accountability is easily measured.

My previously all gray cat just just pranced by with a dusty white stripe down his back. He must have been in the closet nosing around and picked up some dust.  He looks a little like Pepe Lepew from the old cartoon show. I suppose I’d better sweep the closet one more time and the cat as well.  He insists on getting his nose into everything but that OK because he has me to follow him around and clean up after him.

Posted March 11, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying

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