Project Mania

It’s hard to get anything done when you have so many projects to do and limited time to do them in.  I find my priorities shifting around as new projects come up or as I run into different pitfalls along the way.  It’s unfortunate for Carlie and I that I will have to return to working for a living soon because the speed at which we things done around the house will decrease dramatically.  Thankfully we have had enough time to get the necessities done before I start disappearing for half the day.  It’s tough to live inside the renovation.  I find myself feeling guilty for taking a break or a night off but sometimes you need to step away from the projects and just enjoy what you have.

About a week ago I started on the tile for the downstairs bathroom.  I had hung backer-board, drew template lines, measured, re-measured and then ripped through some tile on the diamond saw.  Later that day I mixed up the whole bag of mortar because I thought I had all my ducks in a row.  This is as far as I got…

It turns out even if you measure twice you can still transpose numbers in your head as you set up the tile-saw and I ended up with tiles that were 2 inches too big and too late at night to do any more tile-cutting as the kids were asleep.  The whole bucket of mixed mortar turned out to be a very nice door-stop after it set over night.  Maybe it wasn’t time to do a big project.

One of the small things that got done was the installation of a storm door/dog door.  Like almost every project in this house I was met with quirks as the hand-made doors and door frames were not exactly the normal dimensions.  The frame was a little too wide and a little too short, and because of this I had to spend some extra time modifying the frame and the door to fit the way I wanted.  After-all it fits rather snug, but at the request of Carlie we will be flipping the door so that open out in the other direction (later).

We thought that since the kitchen was reaching very close to completion, mainly just the rest of the appliances being installed, that we should take a moment and address the 40 year-old electrical outlets.  All of the outlets in the kitchen were not protected with a GFCI outlet on the circuit so I included that in the new set.  We also decided to change the switches to paddles instead of traditional switches.

About 95% of the painting is being done by Carlie (thank you!) and she has been going to town making this place feel much bigger with the white trim.  Tonight we got to dressing up the window seat area and your eye now focuses more on the outside during the day rather than stopping at the window itself.  I fit a plywood panel into the base of the window-box to raise it up and make a better painted surface.  This area will be waxed tomorrow and lined with pillows for a fun window-seat.  We eventually plan on building out this space into a bigger window-seat area.  The top will also have a new insert made and painted to match the rest of the white trim.

In-between all of these things I also took time to whip up the upstairs closet.  When we got here it had two metal rods for hanging clothes and that was it.  We decided this large space would be better utilized for linens instead of long-hanging clothes so I slapped in some quick and dirty shelves as I was probably too focused on prepping for tile-work when this was made.  It’s not pretty but we were just going with functional on this one.


All right, enough of the confidence boosting small projects, I admit I was a little timid about returning to the tile.  So I just had to jump in and mix up more mortar.  I thought, “If I mix the mortar I have to tile or else I will be wasting it.”  It was a very interesting project for me as I am a perfectionist but I found that worrying about perfection and taking your time does not mix well with time-sensitive mortar.  Slowly I got into a groove and got this tiled up.  Here we are with an almost functional shower.  The grout will be set tomorrow and I can caulk the seams, clean the tub, and re-install the fixtures so that the kids will be able to take a bath after we visit the Deerfield Fair.

Not too shabby for my very first dip into masonry.  I definitely learned a few things I can use if I ever do this again.

1 thought on “Project Mania”

  1. Congrats on what you have accomplished so far Rob. You are doing a great job. I am sure you get frustrated some times but I know you will accomplish everything you set out to do. Keep up the good work.

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