Craft Room Project: Recessed Area Design

I never realized how incredibly difficult it would be to design cabinet interiors when you are starting at square one and can do anything you want within the confines of the space you have to work with, so that whole process is going a bit slower than I’d like.

I did have a realization, though. The very first piece that needs to be done is the recessed area that is going to go above my jewelry bench. There will be no way to work on that if I have other cabinets in place, at least not easily because the cabinets would be in the way.

One of the problems with that space is that the final measurements didn’t actually come out as I’d planned and the pieces I’d planned to put there wouldn’t work because they were too deep and would hang out of the space, so the entire design had to be reworked. I spent days looking at all kinds of things, storage boxes and organizers along with all the stuff I needed to find homes for, trying to give me an idea of what direction I wanted to take it.

I think I have finally settled on a plan. It isn’t anything at all like the original, which was just open shelves that would hold existing storage boxes and bins. Now, it is going to end up looking more like an apothecary cabinet instead, something I’ve always really loved the idea of.

Recessed Area Design Layout
Recessed Area Design Layout

This plan works in a few of my existing, but smaller, storage boxes (ones that were supposed to go into a shelf space that has since been removed from the plans), some of my newer fabric sided bins, and a couple of different sized new drawer areas that will be used as a combination of storage for existing stuff and as working “project boxes” where I can keep the various different pieces of current projects contained and stored when I’m not actively working.

Grey Fabric Sided Storage Bin
Grey Fabric Sided Storage Bin

The design also leaves the upper section open as a shelf. I haven’t decided exactly how I want to use that space, but it has to be for things I don’t need often.

There were a couple of issues with this space that made it a challenge to design. One is that it is above my jewelry bench, which is one of the deeper countertops, making my ability to reach this space interesting. I could most likely grab the drawers while standing on the ground easily enough, but anything above that is going to need a step ladder (so much fun being short!) That makes accessing some of these places inconvenient.

The other issue is how messy this area is going to get. Anytime I work on a piece of jewelry that requires polishing or grinding, a ton of really nasty black dust gets kicked out everywhere, so all of those places really need to be enclosed as best as I can to keep the dust out. That is the biggest reasons why the drawers work best in that space. I might even have to seriously considering doing something like adding a large roller blind or something similar that I can drop over the area when I’m doing those kinds of projects to help cut down on that and the open space at the top would give me the room to go that route.

There are still a couple of details I need to work out, like what kind of pulls I’m going to need for the drawers and some of the finer measurement details to make it all fit exactly the way it should, but I’m pretty sure this is the final design.

Now I just have to pull off actually building it!

I think it’s finally time for a materials run.

Bright Center

Yesterday, I got the new filters installed, which made me happy. It made me even happier that they were the easiest plumbing project I’ve ever done. I had them both in and working in about 20 minutes.

I learned in my research yesterday that I can use the same underlayment I’m going to use for my floor under my cabinets to protect them from any moisture that might seep through the concrete. That means I don’t need an additional material that I don’t already have since I have enough to cover the entire space.

Craft Room Overview Layout
Craft Room Overview Layout

One adjustment to my cabinet plans that I’d been tossing around was to change my plans for the the “L” section that came back into the room (lower 36 x 72 section pictured above). The original plan was to have this built with a base cabinet and counter top like the rest of the space. Since this is in the middle of the room and sits in the open space to the rest of the basement, I was concerned that it might interfere with moving things around either in the basement or in and out of the storage space under the stairs since it narrowed down the space.

I finally decided that the best option is to make that section into a large, moveable work table instead. I’ll lose some cabinet space, but it makes the space a lot more versatile. This way we can move the table out of the way if we need to and open the area up for anything larger to get through the space (like the couch that is currently in the basement).

My concern about doing that was matching the table height to the counter height so that I had a consistent workspace all around. The solution is to get the table built first and then build the cabinets to match that height. I can do that since I’m building these cabinets from scratch and they won’t have to be standard, which they weren’t going to be anyway.

I then also had to actually build a table base. I already have the top, but no real place to start to build the base. If I was going to do a table, I’d want decent looking legs and not just square blocks. I found a place that makes the entire base in a kit form and you can customize it with the kind of legs you want, the measurements of the overhang and the table top size it needs to fit. After a lot of debate over the cost and eliminating any potential options I had here, I decided to go that route and have a base on the way.

It will take a bit to get here, so that gives me time to go through the rest of my plans to see if any other adjustments are going to need to be made. With the problem solved of what I need to do for the cabinets against the concrete and the decision on the table made, that is the last piece I need to resolve before I actually start getting all the wood I need to start building.

That and I still have to decide if I need to do something to level out the concrete before I can do any of those things.

I also have my inspection scheduled for tomorrow morning, so all fingers and toes are getting crossed that I actually pass this time.

 

 

Carnation In Black & White

Well, we have a nice new working shutoff for our waterline and no filter.

The no filter bothers me as I haven’t used water without a filter (a really heavy duty one no less) for over 22 years when I got a notice from the town I lived in that we had extremely high levels of a pesticide in our water and that we’d had those high levels for over a year. That was when I learned that there are ranges of what is acceptable in your water and times when they have to notify you when those levels are too high and that those points aren’t always soon enough for you to do something about it. Those regulations don’t always make since. I found out about those levels when OC was still a baby and realized I’d been drinking that water while I’d been pregnant and mixing their formula with that water for over a year.

So a filter is a absolute must in my house as I just don’t trust what comes in through my pipes.

The problem is that when we got our whole house filter, they pulled all the things from the water that I was looking for, specifically things like the pesticides. Now, almost all of those don’t work the same anymore. The only ones that really do are the under sink kinds, though I have no idea why there is such a difference. Considering the cost differences between the two, you’d think the whole house filters would do the better job, but that isn’t the case.

I had to do some research on what to get as a replacement as almost all of the under sink filters require their on faucet and my counter in the kitchen can’t handle another faucet. I did finally find one that just connects into the waterlines and goes directly to your existing faucet, but I had to get one for both the hot and the cold.

While those are going to do the job, I’m going to really miss not having to think about where I get the water in the house to drink. Cooking is kind of obvious as I would only ever use the kitchen faucet, but we have a waterline in the fridge too that isn’t being filtered. Our fridge has the filter option, but we don’t have a filter for it as it wasn’t needed. The filters for those aren’t as good as what I’d like, so I haven’t decided what I’m going to do about that one. As of right now, I’ve irritated the hell out of Hubby as I’ve locked out the water option forcing him to use the filter pitcher I got for MC to take to the dorm with him, but have temporarily stolen back.

My new filters won’t be here for another day or two and it is so weird having to stop and think about what I’m doing every time I go to use the water. I’m going to really miss the whole house filter, but it will also be nice to not have to worry about a repeat with another unit in the basement.

Well. Okay Then.

I cannot decide if someone really hates me and is sending some seriously evil curse vibes or I’ve got a massive number of lucky stars shining down on me. Maybe it is a bit of both. It kind of feels like I’m the cartoon character that just barely avoids getting hit by a bus because they tripped and fell into a mud puddle.

I had managed to get all the doors and door trim painted yesterday. It seemed to all go amazingly well. The doors covered beautifully and didn’t require too many layers. The trim was almost as good, but still came out looking nice.

Of course, to paint the doors I had to take them off their hinges so I could get to the edges. The problem came when I went to hang them back up. Both of the two new doors would get one or two of the hinges to line up, but the third simply would not no matter what I did or how I positioned them. I didn’t really pay attention when I took them off as to which ones went in which spots, but they should have all been identical. I did keep each door’s hinges separate, but not the individual ones for each door. These apparently needed to go back exactly how they came off.

After a really annoying game of musical hinges, I finally got both doors hung and the door nobs temporarily in place to make sure everything lined up and worked before I did anything else, but one of the doors is now catching the door frame at the top. It works, but not the way it really should. I’ll still need to fix that and paint the inside of the doors, which I can do with them hanging, but it was a huge relief to get that part done. Technically, I should be able to get inspected now.

The wild, cursed/lucky part of the day came about 30 minutes after I got done hanging the last door. If you look at the photo closely, you will see the 3rd door set up in the cat room. That’s were I painted that one as I didn’t have the space to lay it out in the new room and I wanted to get all 3 done at the same time.

I had been standing in that spot, painting that door and then getting it hung back up so close to where disaster hit that it isn’t even funny. Because right above where that door was chilling out waiting for the paint to dry is our whole house water filter. Or, that is where it was at the time I was painting. It’s no longer there because it broke off. The base shot off and slammed into the concrete floor and shattered. Because it is connected to the water line, you can guess what that also meant.

Water everywhere.

It was a huge mess and nearly everything in that room got wet.

It was completely awful, but I cannot help but look at all the things that could have gone wrong with it but didn’t. It could have happened later when we were all in bed asleep and not even known it broke and water would have flooded the basement, including doing major damage to my new space.

As it was, Hubby was working in his office on a major software upgrade for work and heard it. He doesn’t work often on weekends and definitely not that late, so it is such a freak thing that he heard it when it broke and was able to get downstairs and turn the water off right away. Because he was able to get to it immediately, we were able to avoid any water getting to the new walls. We were within inches, but we were able to stop it from getting too far.

The cat boxes are normally just under where this fell, but were upstairs because I was painting and didn’t want the cats in the way. So many things could have happened if they’d been there. The mess alone would have been horrendous with the kitty litter and water combo. Then you have the chance that one of the cats had been in there at the time. I just don’t even want to think about it.

I’m now ridiculously grateful for all the headaches and delays I’ve had on this project because if I’d been even close to where I thought I’d be by now, the floor would have been down. While we did keep the water away from the walls, it still got into that space where flooring would have been and I’m not certain the water wouldn’t have done major damage to it. Even worse would have been having to pull up flooring AND take out cabinets to do it.

Then you add in the fact that I was standing right underneath that sucker just a short time before it broke is kind of terrifying. It came off with all the force of the water pressure in the line and it is hard plastic. I don’t even want to think what kind of damage it could have done.

So very many things could have happened with this. Yes, it was a horrible mess and a couple of cardboard boxes are probably ruined. Yes, we are going to have an ugly plumbing bill because we have to get someone out today to fix it all. Our main shut off is dripping (because of course it is!) and we can’t get our water back on full yet because of that and what is left of the broken filter needs to be removed entirely (which will require some pipe replacement). But… it could have been massively worse with so much damage. I’m going to be thanking those lucky stars profusely for a very long time.

 

Craft Room Project: A Whole Lotta Nope

Were you betting that I wouldn’t pass inspection? Well, you won that bet.

Why didn’t I pass?

Because I didn’t have the outlet overs, vent covers, doorknobs and main light fixture installed. You know, all those things I held off on because of the inspection since I wasn’t given even a clue what exactly they were inspecting.

Because of course the idiots that made this stupid appointment couldn’t check with me to see if those things were actually done before they made the frickin’ appointment in the first place and wasted even more of my time.

This means I’m STILL not done with these assholes. Since they were the ones to pull the permit, they have to make the appointment so I have to go through them when it is time to reinspect.

Ugh!

Thankfully, it is all mostly minor stuff, but stuff I’m not doing until I paint (I have no time constraints to get this done on someone else’s schedule, thank goodness!) so, while incredibly frustrating and annoying, nothing huge. All that just means that I’m working on cleaning up the walls and starting to paint today.

Oh, and that sound you hear? It is my head smacking into the wall repeatedly. Don’t worry. I’ll fix it if I manage to punch a hole through it. The wall. Not my head. That sucker is too damn hard for me to manage punching a hole through it.

Craft Room Project: Not Much, But…

It took me 2 days and two full coats of paint, including edging everything twice (because my sprayer never did work) and used almost every drop I had, but my ceiling is painted and my small lights are up.

This was a reminder that I’m used to painting walls that already have a decent coat of paint and it doesn’t take nearly as much paint because the walls don’t soak it up as much as when they are unpainted like this. I’m going to have to seriously consider getting another gallon of my wall color as I really don’t know if I’m going to have enough.

This doesn’t show a noticeable amount of progress, but it is a MASSIVE relief to have it done. Rolling a textured ceiling is kind of a nightmare and incredibly difficult to get covered completely.

It’s one more step checked off as done, though. Now I need to get the idiots to agree they are done for good and I can work on the next step. The walls!

Craft Room Project: Color Pallete

I realized that I hadn’t shared my specific color pallete for this project. I thought that since I’m getting started on painting today it would be a good day to do that.

The creamy white, which looks more white than the creamy color it shows here once is is on a larger surface and from a distance, is the color my cabinets are going to be. The sagey gray-green is going on the walls and the gray wood is the floor (again, the color is a little off and it really is a little more gray).

It was seeing this color and floor combination in a random photo that popped up on my FB feed a while ago that really kick started the more specific plans for this room. Until then, I didn’t have a direction I wanted to go, so hadn’t been making any kind of progress. It figures that what I needed to get it going was some color.

I’ll be covering and taping off the lights and spraying the ceiling today. It is going to be a straight up basic white to help keep the room bright. My goal is to get that done, get the small lights in place so they aren’t hanging anymore and then to start on any fixing/repairs that need to be done on the walls and doors today. How much I get done really depends on how many issues I find and how much work it is going to take to fix them.

And as I sit here writing this, I just realized that I’ve got a huge problem I need to try and solve. I have no way to block my cats from this room unless I lock them in another room again, which they did NOT appreciate. When I go to paint the cabinets and to some extent the walls, they are going to need to be out of there until the paint dries. I don’t want cat fur embedded in my paint and I REALLY don’t want to have to figure out how to get paint off a cat.

It is my hope that I can get the painting done so that I can start on the floor by the end of the weekend. I’m apparently going to have to spend some of that time brainstorming what to do with the furry monsters.

Watercolor Edges

I have SO much to do and get before I can dig in and get started on painting my room. There is a lot more clean up that is going to need to be done than I realized yesterday.

I’d been fully prepared to to whatever touch ups needed to be done on the drywall and maybe a little on the new trim around the doors, but what I ended up with? It’s kind of a disaster.

The new doors had a couple of decent sized nicks in it that I’m going to need to fill and/or sand down. They aren’t huge or horrific, but they really shouldn’t be there if they are brand new doors. With that and all the scuffs (which are easily covered in paint, but still), they kind of look like they came out of the returns/scratch and dent section.

The door they moved, they did the one thing I REALLY didn’t want them to do and that is put up the old trim. I know for a fact that is nearly impossible to remove old trim without doing major damage or out right breaking it. A couple of pieces, they did break and had to replace. The others are just a huge mess with small chunks missing, some large, uneven cracks or gouges.

Guess which side of the door they installed the nice, clean, new trim? It wasn’t on the finished room side. They put the absolute worst trim pieces on the craft room side of the door. Yeah, there were a whole lot of brains going on there.

I was just going to try and repair it, but I decided I’m not. I’m not wasting hours and hours of time just to have it still look like I repaired it. Been there and done that when my house was built and I hated it. Not doing it again. That means I have to pull off the old trim, hope I don’t do more damage to the actual door frame (which has a few problems of its own) or to the new dry wall and replace it with new. Seeing how many new holes are in that trim, they nailed it up tight, so that is going to be interesting.

Now that I’m about ready to paint, I realized there are things I need that I don’t have. Because I want to spray as much of this as I can, I’m going to need to block areas that shouldn’t get painted, including the brand new opening that no longer has a door.

I also desperately need a new ladder. Our existing one is really not safe any more because it is so wobbly. With the plastic sheeting, trim, and all kinds of other little things, I’ve got a massive list of stuff I need to go get.

My plan is to give my neck another day to finish loosening up and spend that day doing whatever running I need to do to get those things picked up. If I can get everything I need today, I should be able to at least prep for painting the ceiling tomorrow.

Even with all of that occupying my brain, today has been so amazingly peaceful. I was able to sleep knowing I didn’t have to be up early only to have those people not show up when they said. I don’t have to worry about what kind of mess I might have to clean up in my bathroom. I no longer have ugly paper and plastic on my wood entry floor or on my carpet (which they didn’t remove, BG and I did when I realized it later in the afternoon yestereday). It is also phenomenally wonderful to not have to sit around my own house with a mask on all day.

I have so much work ahead of me, but I’m so excited to get started.

 

Out Of Commission

Oh, the joys of coughing! In the past, I’ve had my abs get messed up from all the coughing. I’ve either torn or strained a muscle in my back (while I was 8 months pregnant no less) that made it nearly impossible to move without tears. I’ve been just utterly worn out from it. But I’ve NEVER jacked my neck up. Until now.

I’ve felt better and had more range of motion after a car wreck. So, I’m going to be over here trying not to cry or move my head even a fraction of an inch and hope like hell the guy shows up and gets done and out of here really quickly today.

Then I’m going to enjoy that today is a brand new day with a whole lot to look forward to because the infected boil poisoning this country has been removed. Finally.

Craft Room Project: STILL Not Done

The start of this day had me seriously wondering if I was going to need bail money and a lawyer because murder was sounding pretty good. (Okay, no. I’m not REALLY that vicious, but the thought did cross my mind)

As is par for the course with this company, the electrician didn’t show up at the time I was told and was about a hour past that. He shows up, sans mask, that he didn’t put on for most of the day. At one point, I’m close to him and talking to him about the lights, wearing MY mask, and he has the nuts to back up a step and ask ME if I have Covid. Are you seriously shitting me?

He takes one look at the lights I have and runs into the first cluster of the day.

Why?

Because the guy that did all the wiring (not the actual electrician) put boxes in for the new fixtures and those boxes don’t work with those fixtures. Even though I provided him with the fixture and told him that I thought they were supposed to be installed directly into the drywall and didn’t need a box. But, nope. He said that a box was required, so he installed them anyway.

This is such a HUGE problem because those boxes are mounted to the joists in the ceiling and wrapped in drywall. It isn’t an easy thing to change without potentially doing major damage to drywall that is already sprayed with texture for the ceiling.

Let me tell you I was absolutely fucking livid. I made it VERY clear I was unhappy. The scenarios of what would be required to fix it that were running through my head were not pretty.

We talked options. The electrician talked to the main guy at the company. At one point, the main guy said we may just have to go with some LED’s that they had on hand. I pretty much said hell no. I did a shit ton of work to make sure my lighting, one of the most important aspects of this space, was done exactly right. I wasn’t going to half ass it because of someone else’s incompetence.

I provided these lights way ahead of time. It isn’t my fault that your guys didn’t actually take the time to pull these out of their boxes or look at their installation instructions. I don’t think the main guy was too jazzed with me, and I overheard a couple of things while the electrician was on the phone that let me know he thought the fault was mine. Yeah, not happening.

It took some figuring out, but they decided to cut the boxes out to be able to install these the way they were supposed to. Grudgingly, but they did it. The lights are hanging in the photo because that is how I told them to leave them since I still have to paint and they have temperature adjustments on them I need to make (not 100% sure how warm or cool I want them) and I don’t want to keep popping them in and out.

When the guys showed up to do the doors, it brought up another couple of things that pissed me the hell off today. Crawling in on the heals of the lighting issue, that was not a good thing at all.

First was when the guy told me that he has the doors, but they didn’t get door knobs.

Why, you ask?

Because they didn’t know what I’d want.

Um… are you shitting me?

I was not once, in this entire 2 month nightmare asked what kind of hardware or knobs I wanted on the new doors. I just assumed they do the same thing with them that they did with the doors and go with what we already had. Apparently not. It is also apparent that actually asking me what I wanted and presenting choices or telling me I needed to get my own was too much for them.

Did I mention that the hardware for the doors is actually in my bid and is something that I’m supposed to be paying for?

It is then brought up, in a weird side way like he was trying to confirm it, that I’d be moving the existing door myself.

No. No fucking way. Not happening.

Moving the door is something I’d talked to this guy about several times throughout this whole thing, so he KNEW it was something they were supposed to be doing so why in the hell was he trying to pawn it off on me? He even jokingly said that if I could build the cabinets I should have no problem moving the door.

I again, quite bluntly, said they were supposed to be moving the door. Again, it got done rather grudgingly.

Because of the amount of time it took to cut out the lighting boxes, the electrician didn’t get finished today and will be back to set the electrical outlets in place tomorrow. I mean that is ALL he apparently has left and there are, what? 6? 7? It would have taken him maybe another half an hour, but no. I have to be up early for him to show up late and have yet another asshole in my house that apparently thinks the masks are stupid.

He said he was done with the light fixtures, but when I went down there after he left, he hadn’t done the closet.

And I can’t find that fixture. I set it out with the others when he showed up. We even dug through the trash bag that was left behind and it is nowhere to be found. I’m pretty sure the guy thought it was one of their temporary fixtures and took it with him. It was just the crappy bare bulb fixture that was in place before I put up my new light, but it was ours and it was supposed to get installed. So, yes. I’m pissed about that, too.

I also apparently don’t get paint ready trim on the doors either, but I no longer give one single crap. At this point, I’d rather do it myself and make sure it is done right than have them here even a single day more. I’ll be filling holes and caulking and cleaning that all up on my own before I paint.

I was told when I spoke to the main guy the other day that they would go through my “punch list” of things that needed to be done or fixed up, like any drywall issues, but I’m thinking that isn’t going to happen either. The electrician will most likely come out and do his little thing and be gone and I won’t see anyone from this company again.

No, I’m not joking about any of this and it isn’t some horror book I’m working on (still missing the dead body, though that was a close call today), though I really wish I could have come up with a plot line this screwed up, but I seriously doubt I’d get any positive reviews because it would be so utterly unbelievable. Seriously! You cannot make up how shitty this has all been.

You know the ONE thing that has consistently happened on time? Getting an invoice in my email. This mess isn’t even done yet, and they didn’t even hesitate to send off the last one.

In an attempt to find something positive in all of this, there isn’t much other than knowing that they SHOULD be done tomorrow and I won’t ever have to deal with these incompetent assholes again.

Broken Snowflake

Any bets on whether or not my craft room actually gets finished today like it is supposed to? Yeah, I probably wouldn’t take that bet either, but I sure do have my fingers crossed.

Supposedly, the doors are getting installed today. One of which I had to change because, shocker! They didn’t get what I asked for ordered in time. I could either wait another week or just change what they installed. I opted to change it. I don’t love it, but I really want to be done. It might end up being a blessing in disguise, so I’m not overly upset, though I’m irritated as all hell that they waited so long to order when they knew this was coming up.

They are also supposed to finish up any other details like outlet covers and, I’m really hoping this is on them, installing the can lights. They also have an electrical issue they need to fix.

When they were getting all that in place before the drywall got put up, the outlet that our sump pump plugs into quit working because of something they did. They fixed it and it wasn’t a huge deal. Until we realized that another part of the electrical that runs through the basement also wasn’t working, but it isn’t something we use often so we didn’t catch it. I can only hope the issue is at the main breaker box and not some funky thing they did that is now hiding behind drywall.

Overall, it doesn’t make me feel too confident that I’m not going to have issues later after they are long gone.

I’m just hoping that today goes smoothly and I can get these people the hell out of my house once and for all.

Craft Room Project: Blocked Access Done

It is a little bit of a Frankenstein job using materials I already had on hand, but it should work. The small area that was open from the cat room to under the stairs is now blocked off.

Under Stair Access Before
Under Stair Access Before

I was so focused on getting it done that I spaced taking a good after photo before I put everything back, so I was only able to a photo of one small section. That section is how I did all 3 of the sections and the angled piece to the right just had a smaller piece nailed over it.

Under Stair Access Blocked
Under Stair Access Blocked

Once the door is on the storage area, they will no longer be able to access that space. Hopefully, I managed to rig this enough that the cats can’t still push through, but they really shouldn’t be able to. Granted, our introverted kitty, Midnight, is going to be royally pissed at us as this was her favorite place. She is also the most destructive of the two, so if either one of them can, it will be her.

I also did an initial clean up job, getting most of the drywall dust off the floor and walls. I will need to do a major wipe down and mopping before I can paint or put the floor down, but it is one step closer to being ready for me to get busy.

I had a major moment of being absolutely freaked out that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew when it comes to building the cabinets. I realized that the few test runs I’ve done with the circular saw were with thicker material. I realized when cutting the pieces for this that the thinner stuff I’m going to need for my cabinet doors is going to be a nightmare because it is incredibly difficult to keep the saw completely straight. It isn’t horrible, but it wasn’t completely straight and means that my cuts are not going to be nearly as clean as I’d hoped.

I mentioned it to Hubby and, as much as I hate it, I’m going to have to look at table saws. I haven’t a clue where the damn thing is going to go if I do get it, but I don’t think I can pull this off without it.

One plus side? My new speakers sound phenomenal in the space. Now I REALLY want to get in there and work!

Revisiting Icicles 2018

Today I’ll be working on doing some clean up in the new space (SO much drywall dust!!) and making an attempt to close of the section under the lower landing on the stairs from the cat room.

Of course, I’ve gotten so used to the cats being shut in a room during the day, I didn’t even think when I went to check progress yesterday and left the basement door open. And also of course, our introverted kitty snuck down and immediately wiggled her way into that space and hid.

Everyone attempted to coax her out, but she refused, so we had to leave the basement door open, hoping she would eventually come out to eat or use the litter box that is still in another room. It took several hours, but she finally came back upstairs. Now I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

The closer this gets to being done, the more antsy I get to start working on something creative. It is kind of driving me nuts at the moment. I know that doing all the parts I need to do – the painting, floor, and cabinets – is going to help with that, but I don’t think it is going to soothe it enough. Even more so now that I have stuff to go in that space, like my amazing new speakers for my computer that Hubby got me for my birthday.

I’m seriously considering taking them down there while I work today, just because. That and neither one of the kids have classes today so I won’t get scolded for turning it up too loud!

Gift From Mother Nature

As much as I’ve complained this winter about not getting much snow, I’m going to take the timing of this as a gift. We aren’t supposed to get much and we are hovering on the edge of blizzard conditions with the wind, but it is snow, so I’m happy.

Though I will say that it is not at all uncommon to see snow on this day. I can remember numerous birthdays where there was so much snow on the ground, plans had to be canceled. I used to hate having a birthday this time of year, but this year, I’m gladly sitting here where it is warm and watching the snow blow around.

It may be the only peace I get for much of the day, so I’m taking it.

The drywall guys are supposed to be back today to do some more sanding and cleanup of what they did yesterday, so I’m not actually going to get my day free from people tromping in and out of the house. While they did fix and clean up most of the areas I pointed out, the existing area they were supposed to fix is still a long way from where I think it should be, but I’m done with them. Once everything is done and it is back on me, I’ll clean it up myself before I paint.

But that isn’t today. Today, I’m going to watch the snow and, later, indulge in some amazing creme brulee.

Craft Room Project: Drywall Done? Um… No.

I just want to be DONE!

Again, this crew didn’t bother to show up until nearly 11 am (because of course we were not given a frickin’ time) and were only here for about 45 minutes.

I was extremely leery when they said they were done. I had reason to be. While they did caulk up the worst of the bigger cracks, that was ALL they did. We still have a lot of really ugly areas that they didn’t even bother to touch.

Rough Corner On Old Mud Job Not Fixed
Rough Corner On Old Mud Job Not Fixed
Rough Upper Corner On Old Mud Job Not Fixed
Rough Upper Corner On Old Mud Job Not Fixed

You can see how messy it still is. These aren’t the only areas in the original drywall job that I’d asked to be cleaned up that still aren’t fixed, just the worst ones. There are also several really sloppy areas that they did that also didn’t get cleaned up. Looks like one entire area got missed in the sanding. I don’t see how anyone can look at any of this and think it is okay and paint ready.

Narrow Wall Not Sanded
Narrow Wall Not Sanded

To spike my level of frustration up into nearly pissed off is the mess they left behind. Yes, drywall and sanding is a horrific mess (as you can  see in the foot prints in the above photo). I’ve been completely prepared for that from the start of this project, but I kind of expected at least a token effort to clean up after themselves. I certainly didn’t expect an massive pile of crap to be left in our cat room.

Trash Pile
Trash Pile

Or that they’d leave stuff they actually work with behind, though I really shouldn’t be shocked by the random bits of trash (again, more than what I’ve posted here). I’m sick of my house being used as any of these guys’ personal trash can.

More equipment Left Behind
More equipment Left Behind

Needless to say, I was on the phone with the main guy at the company. Turns out, this is a thing, leaving all the crap behind. So much so, that that they actually have a guy that comes around behind them and picks it all up. That would have been something that would have been nice to know instead of, “Hey! Were done!” and then practically leaving rubber on the street in their effort to get out.

Even that really isn’t enough. The big pile simply shouldn’t be a thing at all as we can’t get to our breaker box right now without feeling like you are playing a game of twister. This is a huge problem as I have got to access this area before they do the doors to close off the remaining opening that us under the lower landing of the stairs to keep the cats out.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I had really, REALLY hoped to have all of this done by then. That isn’t going to happen. I’m apparently not even getting my doors in until TUESDAY. Seriously?! You have known about this project since before Thanksgiving and you wait until you need to actually install them before you order them?! And I have to wait, AGAIN, for you to finish your damn job?!

So, no. I’m not a happy camper today. Originally, I was told someone would be out tomorrow to do the clean up, but then he called back and said someone would be out this afternoon. But of course, I can’t get a frickin’ time.

At least this means I don’t have to be up at the ass crack of dawn on my birthday and no one is going to be in and out of my house for the day. So, I guess that is  a positive, right?

Craft Room Project: Too Much To Ask

It is apparently asking way too much of anyone from this company to communicate or actually do their jobs.

As part of the contract for work getting done, I’d asked for any cracks and dings and flaws in the already existing walls going down the stairs to be repaired and made ready for paint. I clarified this with the drywall guy when he showed up the first day. I was assured it was getting done.

It wasn’t done by the time the guys left yesterday, so when the main guy showed up to spray the texture on the ceiling, I asked again and was again assured it would be taken care of.

When the guys hauled some equipment up from the basement just before 1 (only about a hour after they’d been here working for those 2), I assumed they were just heading out to lunch and would be back. Especially because the stairs had only gotten a couple of small fixes filled, but the major crack and one of my bigger issues was STILL not done. I look up a few minutes later and their van was gone, though nothing had been said at all to me.

When 2:30 rolled around and no one was back, I sent a message to the main guy. He called me back and I explained that the area in question was still not done, that there were a few other areas of concern, and questioned if they were done for the day.

Apparently they are.

Four times. I have mentioned or asked about this 4 different times now. How frickin’ hard is it to simply follow instructions?!

They will be back again tomorrow to sand an finish the remaining issues, though the plan for the cracks are caulking and I’m not loving that solution. For that, it really does need to be nearly perfect and I don’t trust they they will do it that well. The whole point was to make those areas look better, not just a different kind of bad. And with caulk, you can’t sand it if it’s bad.

It is looking like at least tomorrow at the earliest before they finish, assuming no major repair requiring another round of mud and sanding. I still haven’t heard from the guy in charge of everything else as to when they will be here for the doors, which is their final piece.

So much for them being done by Wednesday. Damn, do I want them done and gone!

But, hey! I have texture on the ceiling and they got in all of maybe 3 hours of work total today. SO much progress, right?

 

Craft Room Project: Mudding Almost Done

So, so, SO close!

Pretty much everything is now taped and mudded. The corners are all in and the issues I had at the end of the day yesterday were all taken care of. I do have one issue they need to address as they haven’t done any fixing of the cracks on the existing wall going down the stairs. I’m really hoping that doesn’t cause a delay as that mud takes time to dry.

At this point, there will be some touch ups of what they did today and then sanding. They are supposed to spray the ceiling with texture tomorrow. After those things are done, the drywall guys are done and all that is left is moving our existing door and installing the new ones.

Finished Drywall: Fixed Join Between New and Old Wall
Finished Drywall: Fixed Join Between New and Old Wall
Finished Drywall: Access Opening Cut Out
Finished Drywall: Access Opening Cut Out
Finished Drywall: Back Corner
Finished Drywall: Back Corner

Craft Room Project: Drywall, Taping, & Mudding

After a late start (because of course they didn’t show up on time and didn’t let us know) of nearly 11 am, we got the remaining drywall installed and they started the taping and mudding of the seams, screws and any “oops” places along the way.

I had pretty high hopes to see more done, including the corners in place, but with the late start and them still bugging out at around 3:30, they only put in about 4 hours of work, so not as much got done as I’d expected. There are a couple of places that I need to get some clarification on, like the fact they covered my access opening in the new wall. It is easy enough to cut out, but it seems odd that it isn’t already.

There is also a really weird sort of “jog” between new wall and old that really shouldn’t exist. It should match up evenly and be smooth, but for some reason, they didn’t make that happen. The top sticks out farther than the bottom and creates a gap. I don’t know if this was a framing issue or what, but there isn’t an excuse for that. You can’t see it well, but it is in the first photo below near the top where there is an obvious change in color from the small wall over the door into the cat room and the wall next to the stairs.

Finished Drywall: Entrance to "Cat Room"
Finished Drywall: Entrance to “Cat Room”
Finished Drywall: Back Wall & Recessed Shelf Space
Finished Drywall: Back Wall & Recessed Shelf Space
Finished Drywall: Closet & Storage Space
Finished Drywall: Closet & Storage Space

I’m really trying hard to not be cranky about little shit, because if it bothers me bad enough, I can fix most of it. As long as they take care of the parts I can’t do, then I need to be okay with it. I’m also keeping the calm with the mantra of “Only 2 more days! Only 2 more days!”

It is incredible to see walls that are so close to being ready for paint. That part makes me very happy.

More Frozen Fog Spikes

Today starts MC’s second semester in college. While almost all of his classes are from home, he is going to be spending a large chunk of time almost every day at the school for his eSports practice.

It does make me nervous, but there are protocols in place. Everyone on the team had to take a Covid test before they could participate and they have the space in their gaming zone for plenty of spacing and distancing.

The amount of time he has to be there for practice also means that he won’t be home at dinner time most of the week. While that isn’t different than when he was on campus last semester, it is still going to feel a little weird. It is also throwing one hell of a wrench in the car situation as there are conflicts between when he needs it and when BG needs it for dance. It is possible I’m going to have to go back to taking her and sitting in the car for the entire time she’s there.

It may be that things get a little crazy around here until we can settle into a new routine. At least the contractors should be done this week, removing that mess and stress from the mix.

3 days.

I’m counting.

And planning.

Craft Room Project: Start Of Drywall

There was some back and forth and a little confusion yesterday about when the drywall guys would start. We got a text yesterday afternoon asking if they could come today.

It was a really difficult decision. I really, REALLY want them done, but I also desperately needed a day away, so did Hubby. We talked about it and the headache with corralling the cats and all the mess and went with “get it done ASAP” so they started today.

Drywall on Back Wall And Ceiling
Drywall on Back Wall And Ceiling

We had a crew of 4 different guys working. They were here for about 5 hours and got the ceiling (except the dropped section around the duct work), the entire back wall, and a start on the inside of the new closet finished, so they are moving quickly.

Drywall On Ceiling and Start of Closet
Drywall On Ceiling and Start of Closet

There was some talk of them working again tomorrow, which I really wanted to avoid because of that much needed break and the cats, but in the end, they opted to wait to do more until Monday. This guy says everything, including doors, will most likely be done by Wednesday.

As desparate as I am for them to be completely done and gone, I’m also exhausted. It is incredibly stressful having all these people in and out of my house, worrying about the cats, having to get up at ungodly hours when I’m so NOT a morning person at all after getting little sleep because I’m worrying about the project getting done and making sure something doesn’t get messed up, stressing over what idiotic or stupid thing might happen next, and, more and more, worrying about how with each new person that walks through the door, it is one more potential point of exposure. So I am glad they won’t be back tomorrow and I have a full day and night’s rest away from that stress.

My poor cats are going to hate all of us by the time it is all said and done. Their litter box space is down there and having to shuffle it back and forth to the spaces they have to get confined to is stressing them both out. With all the mess from the drywall dust, we’ve decided to keep them completely out of the basement until all of this is done. They currently have free reign of the rest of the house, but both are confused and not happy they can’t get downstairs, especially our introverted kitty that likes to hide out down there.

And drywall dust is the worst crap ever, by the way. It is nasty. It gets everywhere and is hard to clean up. I’ve dealt with it before and I’ve not been looking forward to this part of the project because of that. Really for the first time since this project started, I’m incredibly grateful that they laid down floor protection before they started because my entry floor would be a disaster right now.

But… approximately 3 more days and I can be done with all of that! And it is looking frickin’ awesome!

I have 3 days to decide my first steps, but I’m leaning towards paint first. At the very least, painting the ceiling, which isn’t going to be fun. The fact that I’m actually at the point where I can start working on specific plans for my parts of the room is amazing.

Craft Room Project: Electrical Complete

We passed the rough in inspection and the electrical has been completed so I now have both lights and power in the new room.

Recessed Shelf Corner of Room With Lights
Recessed Shelf Corner of Room With Lights

The lights that are currently in place are only temporary. My fixtures will go up once the drywall is done, which is supposed to start on Monday. The one sad thing is that means the one guy we’ve actually liked working here is done with his part and we will be dealing with yet another crew for the remaining pieces.

Under Stair Storage and Basement Access With Lighting
Under Stair Storage and Basement Access With Lighting

By my calculations, the drywall will take maybe 2 or 3 days and then the doors have to be installed, which is about another day. So it is quite possible that by Thursday of next week, I’ll be done with contractors in and out of my house and the rest of the work is down to me.

I cannot wait to get started!