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.

13 comments:

BC said...

UGHHH....dont remind me of the crap that had to be redone in this house. The previous tenants completely destroyed the place. Speaking of bathrooms, they ripped out pieces of the walls. And the medicine cabinet (inserted into the wall) actually fell out when I closed the door. LOL Also there was a ring that was hanging from the ceiling by wire that needed to be replaced.

Now there is 1/4 sheetrock all the way around (because I wasnt about to refinish the walls) and there is a shower built. Existing tub but walls were created on each end.

The kitchen was pure hell. This house is over 100 years old and I think the wallpaper has been up for many many years. Its the kind with the backing that hasnt been made in at least 50 years. Cabinet doors dont even close because of about 30 layers of bad paint jobs. Good thing Im moving. LOLOL

Your new front door looks absolutely beautiful!!!!

fermicat said...

Thanks, BC! Your house sounds pretty scary with all the stuff you had to fix. I'm worried that we might have to re-do the bathroom sheetrock. What a pain that would be. Hopefully the mud will do the trick. We'll know tomorrow.

dr sardonicus said...

The door looks great! Now he's fixing your bathroom project, and making dinner, too! That PDM, he's one helluva guy...

LL said...

You definitely are a sneaky one fermi... making PDM do everything for you...

You should be ashame... nahhh... you should be proud. Not everyone can get away with that. ;)

fermicat said...

dr s - he's a keeper! ;-)

ll - wha? I didn't do it on purpose... Not even a feline is that calculating.

Beth said...

Holy cow, what a difference! The new door is absolutely gorgeous!

I'm so sorry about your project. Feels like you're writing about my life ... except my husband does NOT cook. Haha.

Jeni said...

The new door really looks great! My daughter stripped the wallpaper off the living room and two of the bedrooms about 1 1/2 years ago and it went really nicely for her. Then, she started on removing the wallpaper in her bedroom and has been working on that for well over a year now and still no where near done! Ya know there's an old expression - Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you and looks like you -along with my daughter -just got some bad bear luck with those rooms doesn't it? Hope you won't have to replace the wallboard though.

Kathleen said...

I'm betting they put the wallpaper on w/o doing that thing they're supposed to do to make removing it easier.

The new front door looks fabulous. The old one was so not pretty.

Thanks for the reminder of why I do not wish to own a house.

trinamick said...

That door is a big improvement. I would like to have the one in my house replaced, but then I think about all the work and I decide I just don't care enough.

Dave said...

Is wallboard sheet rock? If it is, unless you pulled most of the "structure" of it off, you should be able to spackle, sand, etc. Even if you have a bad spot or two, you you can patch, spackle, sand, etc. which is a lot less expensive than stripping to studs.

Oh, and tell PDM that his project went so well only because Tim was working with him, dress it up a little, point out that you had nothing, nothing but your own two hands... maybe he'll buy it.

fermicat said...

beth - cooking husbands really COOK!

jeni - glad to know it isn't just me. But sorry that your daughter has to deal with this awfulness.

kat - yes, there are some drawbacks to home ownership, especially if you buy an older home.

trinamick - if your door and rough opening are a standard size, then it isn't that big of a deal.

dave - yes, I think the damage is repairable. But there are dozens of bad spots. I will seal over the exposed cardboard with Killz, then we will go over that with wall compound. This should be good enough. When we go whole hog on the upstairs bathroom renovation and hire a contractor, all of this will become his problem!

magnetbabe said...

Love the new door! PDM cracks me up. Now you know after he finishes up the bathroom, you'll have to post pictures for our inspection...

fermicat said...

PDM will do some of the work, but I expect to be working just as hard! Will post pics when the state of that room isn't completely embarrassing.