Craft Room Project: Slow And Steady

It is probably kind of hard to see exactly what I spent all my time doing on this today, but really, I got a lot done. I would have gotten more done if I didn’t have to spend so much time trying to figure out how to keep my boards level with my cutting surfaces instead of actual cutting.

I got all of the outer walls cut (yes! I finally turned on the table saw and all fingers and toes are still attached) and the top one nailed into place. The bottom piece got the grooves routered for the dividers for the first section. I also got the side walls routered for the first shelf and got that shelf cut.

Other than the top, nothing is nailed into place just yet because I’m kind of having to build this like a puzzle as I go. Once I have everything cut, routered, and I know everything fits the way it is supposed to, then I will start gluing and nailing sections together.

I found out when I was doing the top board, that the contractors didn’t do a very good job of making sure their boards lined up. I ended up having to cut a notch in the upper board to fit around a 2 x 4 that stuck out by about a quarter of an inch. It was a pain in the butt to do, but thankfully, the side pieces cover it.

There are a few places where I didn’t do a great job and are a tiny bit on the ugly side, but that is one of the reasons why this is the first part I’m working on. Those mistakes are going to be a bit easier to hide than they would be on, say, a cabinet door. It is also why things like wood filler and caulk were invented and one of the many reasons why I’m painting all of this.

It is helping me to identify the areas I struggle the most with. One is getting a really precise measurement and I need to work on that a little bit better. I did learn the best way to set up a fence for my router to keep my grooves in line, though I learned it after I goofed a little.

Seeing the walls up inside of this makes me feel a whole lot better about being able to put up a piece of trim around it. Not only will it hide some of my goofs, but it will look so much better. I just have to figure out what is going to work best because it is still too small of a space for a standard door or window kind of trim.

I had hoped to get all the grooves routered in the shelf and the dividers cut for the spaces on this lower section today, but I just ran out of gas and decided it was better to stop than push myself and make a big mistake.

I still have two more shelf sections with dividers to cut and router before everything comes out so I can nail in the sides and put the back panels in. THEN all the inner pieces will get assembled and put back in. All of the filling and painting is going to need to get done before I can start on the next part, so there is still a lot left to do.

There are still a whole lot of little drawers to build, too. I’m not sure where in the process I’ll do those as they can be done at any time. I’m not sure if I will do them before moving on to cabinets or not.

Even with the little not so pretty or perfect areas, I’m really pleased with how this is looking so far.

Craft Room Project: Little Bit Of Extra Framing

I didn’t get nearly as much done today as I’d hoped, but I did get some done.

It took way longer to get the new bolts I needed and get the stupid table saw set up than it really should have (seriously, who designs some of this stuff??) I also had a few other things that I needed to do before I could do any actual work.

With the new paneling pieces I’m using for the cabinet doors and the back wall of the recessed area, I have to do that back wall in 4 different pieces. The layout of the existing 2 x 4s made it so that some of those edges would be “floating” without having anything to nail into, especially the top and the bottom. I wanted to ensure that they were really stable even if a drawer gets pushed into the panel a little hard, so I decided to add a little extra framing to give me more places to nail into and add some stability.

Back Recess Wall Before Extra Framing
Back Recess Wall Before Extra Framing
Back Recess Wall After Extra Framing
Back Recess Wall After Extra Framing

As you can see, it isn’t a whole lot. I was able to use some of the wood from my Halloween wall frames, which was awesome.

Sadly, this is all I really got done today. I was hoping to get the panels up, but I decided that this really needs to have the pieces that make up the outside frame of the inner section done first otherwise those boards will stick outside that recess by about a quarter of an inch instead of sitting flush.

There are several places where I need to router channels for the shelves or divider pieces in those boards, which was a whole lot more work than I had time for today, so I had to call it quits. I will start back up tomorrow fresh.

I at least have a really good work space set up at the moment for both my saws. It isn’t perfect, but it works. I’m not going to have any more excuses to avoid actually turning on that table saw starting tomorrow. I’m still a little scared of that one.

Standing Out In A Crowd

I have to make yet another trip to the store today. This time, it wasn’t my fault.

I was putting together my table saw stand yesterday, managing to do a whole lot of guessing because the instructions were absolute crap and would have about the same understanding even if I were reading it in the other languages, getting my first project wound because I didn’t have the right tool to hold a nearly microscopic lock nut in place while tightening and having the pliers slip and pinch the hell out of my finger (said wound is now an ugly blood blister in the most inconvenient place on my finger of my dominant hand and felt like a cross between a bad cut and a burn it was so sensitive), only to find out when it was all done that the bolts provided to actually attach a saw to the stand were too big.

This is for a stand that is the same brand as the saw and every comment I found said that it works with my saw. Well, it does. Technically. Because it fits the stand and is within the weight tolerance. I just need different bolts. FUN!

This means that I might, just might, be able to actually do something building like later today. Maybe. And very, very carefully. With fingers and toes crossed that the project wound I got yesterday is the worst I’ll see for this entire project. Because… power tools and saws.

While I sit over here and whine about stupid instructions, wrong bolts, and manufacturers not providing the tools for weird specialty parts, please enjoy some of the last snowy pictures I have. I doubt I’ll have many more past the ones I’ve already taken. I’m so ready to be done being cold.

Craft Room Project: A Whole Lotta “Well Crap!”

So… those wonderful materials I went and bought yesterday and had to rent a truck to get home? Yeah, they aren’t going to work.

I honestly don’t know where my brain was at when I was picking the panels out I thought I was going to use on the fronts of my cabinet doors, but it certainly wasn’t in my head where it should have been. The panels are way too thin to work for what I had planned. Not only that, but the back side is crap and wouldn’t look good painted at all. I don’t know why those things didn’t click when we were pulling them down. Even seeing the mess of the edges, because these are the standard composite kind of crap you often see in these kinds of things, didn’t tip off my brain that something wasn’t right.

Do you know when I realized that I probably wasn’t going to be able to use these? When I was supposed to be sleeping, of course. I spent half the night tossing around all my options and not really coming up with a solution.

When I ran out today to get the other pieces I needed and couldn’t get yesterday (completely different pieces and actual wood, thank goodness), I looked at some other options, but again, couldn’t come up with a solution.

The problem of this being too thin is that it won’t fit in the grooves of the framing for the doors. I considered getting some other material and putting it together with these to fix that and give me a decent paintable surface for the insides of the doors, but none of the options I looked into are going to work.

The other major problem is how fragile this actually is. Again, I really should have figured this out when we were looking at it and known it would be a bad choice for a cabinet door. It doesn’t take much to dent it or break the surface to where you see the dark core material, a really bad thing on doors that are supposed to be white.

I had really wanted wood for this, but couldn’t find what I wanted in the sizes I needed and was one of the biggest reasons I looked at these panels in the first place. Now that I’m looking, I can find this in wood, but in much smaller panels (which do not need a truck to haul home) that are more expensive by quite a bit when you compare the overall square footage price, which is honestly to be expected when getting wood vs. composite crap. That said, I’m not certain the actual size will fit my groove.

Have I mentioned the fact that I absolutely despise that building materials aren’t the actual size they say they are? A board that is label

Now I’m struggling to figure out what to do. I have 5 panels of this stuff that I can’t use the way I’d planned. To return them, I’d have to rent a truck, again, to get them back to the store.

The pieces that I think I might want to use aren’t big enough to do the few bigger doors I have planned. I might be able to pull off doing those doors with a center cross section making them a two panel door instead of one. It is doable and will look good, but it is a little more complicated to pull of than the simple single panel.

We have seriously talked about doing a semi-finish in parts of the rest of the basement when this project is done and using something like a nicer paneling like this that we can paint in those areas. These could work for that, but it may not be all that clean and it wouldn’t completely match the pattern of the cabinets (which is kind of what I was thinking it would do). That and we are so far from ready to do that, these would end up sitting around the house until we were ready, taking up room and potentially getting damaged. Again, it is still an option that would keep me from having to return them, but it isn’t a great one.

I knew that I’d most likely make some mistakes along the way that would force me to get more materials than I planned for, but I honestly didn’t think I’d manage to screw something like this up. Of all the things that I could have managed to get wrong, it had to be the biggest pain in the butt pieces to get home.

What is funny and not at the same time is that I had just bragged to Hubby about how I’ve been doing a really good job of taking advantage of sales and cash back rewards and, in this case, using my rebate I’d gotten on my counter tops to keep costs down on this project. Apparently I’m just as good at turning around and negating those savings.


Yesterday, I got the majority of the materials I had planned to get to start the first part of building the recessed area in my craft room. Unfortunately, the store we went to didn’t have enough of one of the boards I needed, so I’m off to a different store today to get the rest. Grateful to every lucky star out there that the pieces they were short on weren’t the pieces we had to rent a truck to haul home.

I’m still waiting on one thing I ordered before I can actually get started, but that should be here in the next day or so. The waiting part sucks, but I’m getting there.

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.

Craft Room Project: I Have A Table!

I got the table put together today! It looks so amazing in the space!

Table Base: Assembled
Table Base: Assembled

I had finished getting the base put together yesterday, but realized I couldn’t attach it to the top because I needed my own screws. I knew that, but somehow forgot about it while I was working on painting and putting together the base. Hubby had some errands to run yesterday evening, so he ran by the store and got the screws I needed so I could finish. It’s frustrating because it only took me about 15 minutes to attach the top, but it is now completely together and I absolutely love it!

Assembled Table
Assembled Table

But, HOLY HELL, that thing is heavy! Even with both Hubby and I flipping it to move it into place, it was difficult. Yikes! I’m really not going to want to move it too often. At least I know it is going to hold up really well.

The top still needs to be stained, but I won’t be doing that until I’m ready to stain all the counters. I have it basically in the space that it will be used so you can kind of see how it will all work together. I’m really glad I opted to go with a table and not a fixed cabinet as it would have really closed off the space and made it feel really claustrophobic.

I still have to work out the specific designs for each cabinet so I can start putting together a materials list. I’ve been kind of dragging my feet on that because I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing there, but I’m at the point where I really can’t procrastinate on that part anymore.

But, I have a table!! Have I said I adore my table?

Craft Room Project: Table Base Painted

I got the table base painted and partially assembled today. I realized when I went to actually screw the pieces in place that I needed a really long drill bit, which I didn’t have. It is a good thing I probably wasn’t going to be able to work on this for the next several days because now I have to wait for that to show up before I can finish putting it together.

Table Base: Painted
Table Base: Painted

I also figured out that the dresser I wanted to use in the space and thought I couldn’t is actually going to fit. The plan before was to paint it the creamy white of the cabinets and paint the hardware to match what I pick for the cabinets. Thinking about it today, I decided that I’m still mostly going to do that, but I’m going to take it a step beyond that and refinish the top to match the gray I’m going to use on the counters. I’m so thrilled by the idea because the whole thing is going to look fabulous when it is done.

Dresser To Be Painted
Dresser To Be Painted

With being able to use the dresser and my plans to also use the other cabinet, I now have two big pieces I can reuse in this space. I’m already using the ugly gray cabinet in another area so that really only leaves the crappy desk that my jewelry bench was sitting on and a really wobbly and damaged but beautiful antique table that I don’t know what I’m going to do with.

I really love the table, but it is in pretty bad shape and needs major work. You can actually just see the top edge of it under the new table base in the first photo. The biggest problem it has is that it’s top is split in a way that I’m not certain is fixable. I’ve considered taking it apart and using the pieces for other things but I really cringe at the thought.

I am thrilled that I’m going to be able to make use of at least 2 of the older pieces.

Craft Room Project: Table Base – First Coat

The initial dry fit on the table base is done, so everything fits the way it is supposed to.

Table Base: Dry Fit
Table Base: Dry Fit

I also managed to get the very little sanding done that was needed (really impressed with everything about this base and the company I got it from) and I’ve got the first coat of paint on.

Table Base: First Coat of Paint
Table Base: First Coat of Paint

So far, it looks like it is covering really well, so it probably won’t need more than another coat and some touch ups. I honestly expected it to take a lot more. I am absolutely loving it all so far. I’ll get the base finished and attached to the top, but the table won’t be completely finished until I stain the top.

I’m waffling on when to do that as I will also have to stain the other counters. One side of me wants to get the top on this stained just to see all the colors in the space at once, but the realistic side of me says I really need to wait and do them all at the same time.

Working on this today just has me giddy. I’m absolutely loving how it is looking. Just seeing the base sitting on the top is exciting even though it isn’t attached or stained yet. I am not regretting losing the cabinet space to the table. The more I think about it and now seeing this, I’m so happy I made that change.

It is going to be so gorgeous!

Craft Room Project: Plans & Table Base

My table base showed up today!

Table Base Pieces
Table Base Pieces

I’ll have to do some light sanding and painting before I can start putting this together, but it is here. It is the first piece I need done before I can start building my cabinets so I can make sure everything is the same finished height. I’m absolutely stunned and how quickly this showed up.

I also finished my new layouts for the cabinets.

Cabinet Layout Plans - 2nd Round
Cabinet Layout Plans – 2nd Round

I have one corner I haven’t decided on for certain as to how I want it to work, but everything else is done.

I actually took the time to color code this so it was easier to tell what was upper cabinet, what was lower cabinet and what was counter top. It is so nice and clean now in comparison to my original drawing. For the most part, the changes are on the small side with little tweaks here and there to make every space work better and more efficiently as well as fitting around the outlets. I think I have it all down to how I want it.

The time it takes to work on the table, which is my next step, will allow me to work through the new changes in my head to make sure everything is how I want it. Then, I’ll have to actually plan out each individual cabinet so I can figure out materials. I have a feeling I’m going to need Hubby in on that to make sure I don’t absolutely botch the math, which is prone to happen.

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.



Craft Room Project: Change of Plans

I was all ready to at least prep the room for the floor today. I found out last night that the flooring itself needs to really be in the space for 48 hours before it can be installed to acclimate to the room, so I knew I probably wouldn’t get to any actual installing today, but I still needed to get some prep-work done.

I start scraping up the chunks of drywall mud and I’m realizing that the floor really probably isn’t as level as it should be. I go to research whether or not I need to level it before I can start installing the new floor, but that lead to a rabbit hole of a whole other problem that I had no clue about. Apparently, you really aren’t supposed to install cabinets on top of laminate flooring because it prevents it from expanding and contracting as needed.

So, I now have to swap my plans around and start working on the cabinets first, which I really wasn’t quite ready for. I knew I was going to most likely need to make adjustments to my original plans, but I hadn’t started really working on those things. Now I no longer have a choice because the cabinets need to come first.

Now that I realize they can’t be installed on the floor, I have to figure out what I do need to install them on concrete, so that is going to be fun.

This is what happens when you have plans but they aren’t completely fleshed out and you try to fly by the seat of your pants for parts of it. It comes back to bite you in said seat of your pants. Apparently it is now time for a deeper research phase of this project and for my panic about my ability to actually pull of the cabinet builds to settle in.

In the mean time, I have a couple of filters that showed up and need installing, so the craft room is temporarily on hold. I guess I really did need a break.

Craft Room Project: Ready For Floor? Possibly

I finished painting the insides of the doors, the closet, and the railing today, so I should be done with paint for a while. At least until I’m ready to work on the cabinets. Even then, I think I may do most of the painting on those, or at least pieces of those, in the garage.

All the door knobs are on and all the plate and vent covers are in place, so I am ready for them to come back out and reinspect, which was my main target in pushing to get all of these done.

I also realized today that I did something that I really knew better than to do. I taped my already painted walls so that I could paint my trim. There are reasons I don’t tape. Mostly because it can be really messy and ugly if your paint gets under the tape. I thought I could do a good enough job to not need to worry about it and painting over the trim paint to touch up mistakes is a pain, so I opted for tape.

When I took it off today to start my clean up when I thought I was done, I was reminded of ALL the reasons I really don’t like to use tape.

Why You Should Never Tape
Why You Should Never Tape

I had forgotten that if you have any paint on the tape that is really thick, the tape tears and leaves pieces on the wall that are nearly impossible to get off. And, even though this is painters tape that is supposed to be completely safe on painted surfaces, you can still sometimes have it pull off paint. The tape did ALL of those things. On all of my doors.

So I had a whole lot of repairs, clean up, and touch up painting to do today on my already painted walls. Because of course I would!

Honestly, I probably should have just painted the trim before I painted the walls, but, again, I really didn’t want to have to paint over any trim paint with the wall paint, so I did it the other way around. When I paint, I don’t usually have to paint the trim, so I just really wasn’t thinking about the logistics of it all. At least not clearly anyway.

It is all, mostly, touched up now. I have a couple of spots that didn’t completely cover and I’ll need to hit them again, but I’m just going to do that when I have the paint out to finish off the stairs. I’m so done painting for now.

Assuming I don’t do anything else incredibly stupid that delays me even more, I should be good to go to start on my flooring tomorrow.


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: Adrenaline Crash

I apparently hit a brick wall with regards to my energy and motivation today, because all I managed to accomplish was to get the doors and trim caulked up and ready for paint. After that… nada.

There just wasn’t the energy to get everything set up to paint today, so I just took the afternoon off to be an absolute slug. I think the high stress and effort over the last couple of days was a tiny bit more than I could handle without some downtime and my body was giving me some warning that if I kept it up, it would take me down whether I wanted to go or not. I can only hope that the lazy afternoon is all I needed and I can get back to it again tomorrow.

Last night I did manage to get the new trim on the door that was moved. Even though I was stressed about actually cutting those pieces correctly, I managed it. Mostly. My measurement was off a little bit, but in an area that you will never notice, so I’m good with my first ever trimming out of a door.

I may not have gotten much done today, but it is still nice to see those baby steps of progress.

Craft Room Project: Lighting Completed!

Okay, you KNOW it couldn’t have been simple. That just isn’t how this project has gone.

Even though I’d already been dealing with the tangled mess that was the epically weird electrical box they installed for the main light and all the research we did to figure out what we needed to do to get that sucker installed, it STILL didn’t go up without a lot of extra effort.

The newest problem was the fact that this box sits so that it comes outside of the drywall a bit and doesn’t sit very deep. The depth issue made it incredibly difficult to get the fixture in place and all the wires tucked in. This particular fixture has a ton of wires because there are lots of lights. At first, I didn’t think it was going to work at all because there was zero room in the box itself, so all the excess wires had to go inside the housing on the fixture. A little creative problems solving and some electrical tape to hold everything in place and that issue was fixed.

But of course, those weren’t enough problems and headaches for a single light fixture.

Once I was finally able to get that fixed and the fixture in place on the mounting bracket, I discovered that the bracket cannot sit deep enough into the ceiling for the fixture to sit flush to the ceiling itself. Because of that damn box. There was about a 1/4 of an inch gap between the base of the fixture and the drywall when the nuts were screwed on as far as they would go.

So, back to the research and the creative problem solving. Again!

There were things I could do to kind of solve the problem, but none of them would look even remotely good and would have been obvious that I Frankenstein’d the whole thing. I seriously considered a decorative medallion, but realized that they probably wouldn’t be thick enough to solve my problem and what I could easily access were just too elaborate for what I’m doing in the space. Gorgeous, but too much.

The other option was to use some sort of a spacer on the mounting bolt between the fixture and the nut so the fixture would be pushed up against the ceiling, but none of the options I could find would match my fixture and I’d have to do something like paint whatever I used. I decided to at least see if I had something that might work as a test to give me an idea of what would actually work. Turns out I had several nuts that were the same finish as my fixture that were just barely larger than the mounting bolts and they slid on easily and were the perfect height when I stacked two of them together. Yay for being a bit of a pack rat when it comes to extra parts!

It was just an amazing bit of luck after one of the biggest headaches I’ve ever dealt with when it comes to electrical. I’ll do electrical any day over plumbing. Hell! I think I’d rather have needles shoved under my nails than do plumbing and this was worse than most any plumbing I’ve ever done.

But the lighting headache is officially over and done. I’m never touching that thing again unless it is to change a bulb.

I also managed to get the vent covers in place, so that should be the last of the breaking my neck to work over my head pieces completed and another thing off the final inspection check list.

The new door frames have all the nicks and holes filled and sanded and the new trim has a layer of paint on it. Once that is dry, I’ll be cutting it and putting it up and getting it ready to finish. My plan, fingers crossed there are no more bumps along the way, is to have the doors and trim ready for me to paint tomorrow. I still have to caulk the seams and edges, so the painting may not happen until Saturday.

I’m getting SO close to being able to work on the floor which is going to leap the look of this forward so much!

Snowy Nest

I’m trying really hard not to feel too satisfied that I was right and the contractor guy was WAY wrong, but… I am totally satisfied by that fact.

The electrical box that they installed for my main light was NOT in fact a standard box no matter how much the guy swore it was, but one designed specifically for a ceiling fan. Even then, it is a funky design that requires you to mount your fixture not to the box itself, which IS standard on pretty much every single box out there, but through the box and into the beam in the ceiling. I haven’t ever heard of a fixture mount like this before and they don’t look all that popular because you can’t just go grab one off the shelf.

The only reason we figured that out was because both Hubby and I had to do some deep digging in researching what we had. Hubby won the search race and found the actual installation instructions for our box that explained what you are supposed to do. It also said it came with the mounting screws, something we did not get.

I now know why the existing hardware for my fixture didn’t work. I also know exactly what I need now, but I don’t have it, so it is yet another trip to get screws so I can get this light installed. The one bright side to this is that I can avoid having to get the electrician back out because I can still install this myself now that I know what kind of a mess they put up.

I do have to put the temporary back up so I can actually get some work done today, though.

In looking for the positive side of things, I’m so exceptionally grateful that my husband is infinitely patient and willing to make a hundred trips to the store for me. He can’t always take care of it all and I do sometimes have to go out, but he makes sure it is the absolute minimum.

Today’s to do list is to start painting the trim and doors and putting up the new trim on the old door.

Craft Room Project: Mascot Must Be Murphy

All I wanted to do today was get the touch ups done around the outlets, start prepping the trim and doors for paint and maybe, MAYBE, install the main light. The touch ups and prep were relatively easy, though I may still have to consider a couple of larger plate covers because I am not thrilled with the look, and the trim around the new doors was an absolute disaster (someone went staple happy and left a crap ton of holes that needed to be filled), but fixable.

Getting up my light fixture? Isn’t happening today.

Why? (Damn, I’ve asked that SO many times throughout this project)

Because the screws that came with my light, the ones used to install this initially on the old box with zero issues, do not work on the new box.

It’s not like light fixtures come with a variety of sizes. It is a standard thing. I’ve installed maybe a dozen lights and ceiling fans over the years, including in a 100+ year old home, and not ONCE did I ever have a problem installing a fixture because the screws were the wrong size.

I called the main guy and, so frickin’ typical, was given the run around and the insistence that what they installed was standard and typical. No. It isn’t or this would have worked. He tells me that sometimes you have to get a different mounting bracket and screws to get it to fit. Um… this CAME with a specific mounting bracket and screws. And AGAIN it worked just fine on the old box.

So, in other words, the company isn’t going to do jack shit and I’m on my own to try and figure this out. And spend more money doing so.

I’m pissed and frustrated and kind of just want to sit down and cry because not one damn thing in this has been easy, even the stuff that absolutely should have been. If they’ve touched it, it most likely had a problem. I’m tired and sore and feeling kind of crap because I’ve been working my ass off the last couple of days to get to the point where I can finally get these assholes out of my hair for good and I just keep hitting road blocks.

I’m not doing anything else the rest of the day outside of going with Hubby to Home Depot to try and get what I need to fix this newest pain in my ass they’ve left me with.

And I don’t even want to talk about the fact that I have zero clue which breaker they put my outlets on because it sure as hell isn’t anywhere it would have been obvious. With my luck, they tied it into the furnace or something else equally stupid and would be very bad if the breaker tripped.

Craft Room Project: Main Walls Painted

I didn’t quite get as much done today as I’d hoped, because yet again, I ran into a couple of issues.

I did manage to get the walls in the craft room itself edged out and painted, which was the bulk of what I wanted to accomplish today.

Craft Room: Edging Out The Walls
Craft Room: Edging Out The Walls

I don’t bother to tape anything when I paint because I’ve learned over the years that I do a much cleaner job if I just freehand it very carefully. It also takes a whole lot less time than taping and then cleaning up the places that the tape didn’t quite sit right. I edge everything that the roller can’t hit and then just a little over that so that I can have a good overlap of coverage.

Craft Room: Finished Paint on Walls, Stair Side
Craft Room: Finished Paint on Walls, Stair Side

The color looks amazing and covered better than I expected after I had to do the two coats on the ceiling. I didn’t paint the lower section of the walls where cabinets are going to go, so that blank area is intentional.

Craft Room: Finished Paint on Walls, Recessed Shelf Wall
Craft Room: Finished Paint on Walls, Recessed Shelf Wall

I made the decision when I started edging that I wasn’t going to do the stair walls right away. With all that is going to be going up and down until this is finished, I’m waiting until everything else is done first that way I can easily fix anything that might get dinged up along the way.

I had intended to get the plate covers on the outlets and switches as well as potentially put up my main light, but the covers became a problem. The drywall guys cut all the openings just a bit too big, so I have to go back and either mud a couple of areas or paint quite literally to the very edge of the drywall. As it is now, I was able to get up 2 covers with out issue out of 10 boxes.

When I realized I had to get the paint back out after cleaning up and not even being able to paint the worst until I repaired it, I decided I was done for the day as I didn’t want to mess with it. It goes on my to do list for tomorrow along with prepping the doors and trim for paint.

I do love my walls though. It always amazes me how much a coat of paint can completely change a room. In this case, take it a huge leap towards looking more finished.

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.


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!