Sunday, October 28, 2007
Home Improvement Hits and Misses
It was a mixed bag this weekend on the home front. PDM and I each had a home improvement project to work on. The front door replacement took PDM and our friend Tim longer than expected and was a little more involved than they had planned on (nothing in this house is a standard size), but it is basically done now and looks great. All that is left is to paint the interior trim and the job will be complete. The ugly old front door wasn't even exterior grade, so this is a big improvement. The glass lets in a lot of light and brightens up the foyer. It looks pretty from the street at night when the house is lit up. And purely by accident, we happened to buy it on the weekend that was a sales tax holiday for energy efficient home items. Since the door was a special order (non-standard size for our non-standard home), it was expensive, so the sales tax savings was significant. If it keeps our house a little warmer in the winter, so much the better.
My "supposedly simple" little two-weekend bathroom project went horribly off track. The first weekend I had planned to strip the wallpaper in the tiny half-bath, prepare the walls in the full bath next to it for painting, and remove the shower doors. Next weekend, I was going to paint both bathrooms and recaulk the tub. I am already way behind schedule.
When I removed the wallpaper, which appears to have been on the walls for the entire 42 years that the house has existed, a whole lot of wallboard came along for the ride. You are probably thinking that I suck at wallpaper stripping and must not know what I am doing. Let me assure you that this is the not the case. I've successfully removed wallpaper several times in the past and was able to do so without mangling the underlying surfaces. Now I know why the wall in the other bathroom looks so crappy and is going to need so much repair before we paint. I am guessing that some wallpaper was removed in there, with similar results, and the previous owners just painted over it anyway. We're not going to be satisfied with that kind of worksmanship. I asked PDM to help, so he tried mudding over some of the bad spots. We'll sand it smooth when it dries and then evaluate the results. If that doesn't work, we'll have to go to Plan B. Plan B involves replacing the damaged wallboards, so I hope we don't have to go that far.
PDM, who is cooking dinner for us right now (chicken burritos), wanted to make sure I let y'all know that I called him in to fix my mangled bathroom wall project. I told him that I was honest about how the two projects went down. But just in case you missed it, I will say it again. "PDM's project went great, looks great, and is 95% done and won't be a hassle to finish. My project turned out to be a horrible mess that will drag on for weeks, and I had to get him to fix the stuff I did wrong, and it is going to be a monumental hassle to finish, and probably won't look that good when it is done. And now he is making my dinner." And he is smiling.