Matt and I were at risk of losing vacation days if we didn’t start taking some. So we decided to take some time off and take care of some things around the house. You know all those projects we dream up but never finish?
Our staycation started with the easy stuff. About five years ago, we bought a new chandelier on clearance when a local store was going out of business. Only the reason that it still sat in a box five years later is because of the location — the top of our vaulted stairwell. Matt insisted this would be easy if we rented some scaffolding. So we found some at a local tool rental, but it took us an ungodly amount of time to put it together. Once assembled, we couldn’t help but notice how unstable it seemed. After talking through our options, I decided I was brave enough to climb up and change the fixture if Matt could talk me though it. As we worked, Matt put pressure on the scaffolding to try to keep it steady. That of course brought is to our first lesson of the week: Make sure you have all the equipment needed. As this thing shook back and forth, and Matt attempted to keep it stable, his eyes fell on a warning label plastered across one of the support structures. It read, “Do not use without cross beam supports in place.” Cross beams? We don’t have any crossbeams!
With some balance and luck, we were able to exchange the light fixture and repainted the entire stairwell and adjoining hallway. We added sandbags to the scaffolding, which helped a tremendous amount.
Now that we had some success behind us, we moved into a bigger project…the laundry room.
When we moved into the house, we had some blindingly ugly stripped wallpaper lining the very small room. We took that off years ago (very distracting) and it sat looking like this (except more cluttered) for the last several years.
The plan was to replace the vinyl flooring with tile, remove an outdated cabinet, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and add some open shelving. We barely started when we learned our second lesson: There will always be surprises. We pealed up the existing linoleum to find a second layer of ugly flooring. Pealing that up, we found an extra layer if plywood and the biggest surprise, wood rot. It is about now I realize that I’m going to be doing laundry at the nearby laundromat, because this is not going to be a quick fix. Lots of demolition and investigation later, I came to the conclusion that things could be a lot worse, but the fixes needed extend beyond our skill sets. Consult with professionals when in over your head. I get on the phone and tried to find someone to come out and help repair the sub floor and wall supports so that we could get back to our project.
Luckily for us, we found a super nice guy who came out the next day and spent 12 or so hours fixing things.
So now we have a quality sub floor and some new drywall, but are still many days away from being able to wash our clothing. We go back to work on Monday, and may need to start turning our clothing inside out. Apologies
if when we start to stink.