Kel (ladyjoust) wrote,

Let me tell you a story. Last winter, my husband approached my fabulously talented contractor brother-in-law with a simple question: how much would it cost to fix the exposed cement/embedded stovepipe behind our kitchen stove? And we ended up with a fully remodeled kitchen.

~*~The End~*~

The saga of 'FrankenHouse Gets a New Ceiling' isn’t going to be anywhere near as rich and layered. We’re not ripping down the sheet rock from the walls; we’ve not called in the electricians (though I wish we were able. *dreamy sigh!*), we’re not tearing up the flooring. There’s no need to call the tile guy, or the plumber, or the stone people (who were not, for the record, trolls. I asked). If you’re a homeowner or someone who's done repairs on any living space, you’ll understand this: there is no such thing as a simple home improvement project.*

But more on that later.

You might not be able to tell from this photo, but our ceiling is bowed. As in freaking dips down toward the center of the room. We’d noticed it before, but attributed it to poorly installed ceiling-wainscot. We were wrong.


My brother-in-law, or Bob teh Builder as he shall henceforth be known (did you see how I cleverly skirted copyright issues? I am teh smartypants), studied it for a while, then shrugged. The sheet rock, he told me, is really no heavier than the wood that was nailed up to the cross board slat things (which I KNOW have a proper name; alas, I was too distracted by my drooping ceiling to take accurate notes). Without reframing the entire room (and, come to that, the entire ceiling structure), there wasn’t much to be done. “Is it going to fall down upon our heads?” I asked.

“No,” Bob teh Builder assured me. He’s good with words.

“Then sally forth!” cried I. And, for good measure, “Pip pip!”

Whoever had done the makeshift work had clearly tried to accommodate for the warp. They wedged shims. They wedged them willy nilly.





Just to be sure, they nailed random bits of wood at odd intervals.


This (very blurry - sorry!) pic tells the sad story of a leak, long long ago. I hope.


Remember the corner of mismatched and ill-installed molding? Here’s what lies beneath.


It’s tough to see, but up and to the right, there’s about a two inch gap between the wallboard (actually layers of paneling and thing sheet rock and... I don't know, bubble wrap?) and the ceiling. No matter the material, The Mystery of the Larger Molding is solved. Take that Trixie Belden! Go trot after your rapscallion younger brother and ride horses with your millionaire best friend; leave the home improvement puzzles to the experts.

"So, gentle, readers, at the end of the day, when Bob teh Builder and his sidekick, Spackle n’ Paint Mike, have packed up and gone, silence falls over the house. The dust settles. The plastic stills. Bit by bit, the ceiling droops lower. And lower. And... " Crikey. Is that a Christmas decoration hanging in the window?


If you squint, you can make out icicle lights. They've been there since last November. We’re so classy.

So. That’s where things stand at the end of Day Two.**

Hey, remember when I said, “But more on that later”? Those were some good times. Looking back has brought me to thinking that maybe I ought to tell you what I meant. Long story WAY short, we’re going to have Spackle n’ Paint Mike (who is, by the way, completely lovely and really REALLY good at his job) paint! Once he’s done spackling, of course. Thing is, I’ve had every intention of painting the kitchen, but life does get in the way. Another thing that gets in the way: my fear of screwing up a truly lovely kitchen with my painfully amateur attempts at painting. There is So. Much. Cutting. In. I can’t even. Spackle n’ Paint Mike is going to paint the kitchen AND the newly ceilinged living room/formal dining room. And all of the trim. And the various doors.

I am ridiculously excited.

Except for one thing: I have to pick paint colors. ... and when I say ‘I’ I mean ‘we.’ You lot are going to have to start pulling your weight.

Go. Rest. We’ll talk soon.

*I accept that y’all with your fancy, well constructed homes built to code and the most basic levels of comfort might not have encountered any such thing. Anyone with an older house, especially one built as a summer cottage, or one that the owners deigned to call in professionals for serious repairs, or that are built over a sacred burial ground... you know whereof I speak.

** Actually, we’re an eensy bit further along, but I don’t have the most current photos ready to go. In my defense, I picked up an extra class last night, and ended up teaching three classes today in addition to doing general desk work and gym maintenance. Also, my knees hurt. Stupid weather. Stupid carrying extra weight. Stupid ‘it’s not the years, it’s the mileage.’ In conclusion, I can neither take nor upload photographs due to knees of suck. ::curtsies::


Tags: house
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