Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fixing the walls upstairs

Along with other walls upstairs the inside of Kassi's closet had big holes knocked into it by the previous residents. I hope to make these exposed large under eave areas into storage bins/cubbies. In preparation for painting we needed to repair the walls and cut the holes for the new closet doors. Here is the "before" hole in Kassi's closet.

Since there is another close by access point for the proposed new closet I was just going to replace the drywall in her closet hole and call it good. Lamenting that I would need to go and buy another sheet of drywall and staring at the problem I had an idea to build some shallow shelves out of wine boxes and recess them into this hole. 

There is a huge semi-trailer sized dumpster of wine boxes down by Oakland airport. I visit it occasionally for the infinitely useful replenishment of nice quality wine boxes. 

I use them for storage, fodder for shelves, and general construction of little stuff. The kids play with them and eventually turn them to rubble. When that happens I simply stop by the huge dumpster of wine boxes and reload. I had several of those "Priorat" boxes that would make a perfect set of recessed shelves.

I cut out the hole a bit larger to accommodate the stacked together box shelves. After screwing them to the existing stud I added additional support. 

I used the very last of my remaining drywall and pieced it in to close the rest of the hole.

I taped and plastered the uneven pieces and just need to let it dry. Now it just needs some paint and trim. I'd be doing it now but I am waiting for the plaster to dry so I can paint these walls with cover/sealer/primer.

Sadly, I did discover live knob-and-tube wiring with blown-in insulation covering it during this recent work. It is a fire hazard to cover post-and-tube wiring with insulation. This means that I must rewire this entire area of the house. This news kinda knocked the wind out of my motivation for today. :(

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Upstairs flooring

The returning urine stain of doom has given us a physical and emotional setback. After a myriad of repetitive steps to neutralize, sequester, and remove the urine stain we finally got it to stop smelling, stop rehydrating, and dry out. Yesterday we rented an orbital sander and sanded two of the rooms upstairs.

The night before I had to repair a section of the flooring.

I initially cut the hole square and larger to expose proper tongue and grove to receive new pieces. I used my little battery powered saw and a chisel. Normally it is recommended to not a have a horizontal single seam but there are many other areas that have this type of seam and it should add to the rustic nature of our house.

I then cut exact pieces from Tristans future room since the floor is generally already trashed there. We will need to replace the entire thing so it makes for good pillaging.

Tabitha asked, as I was cutting exact sized pieces, "if I shouldn't cut them larger and re-saw them to fit." No, because I don't have a more accurate saw than the one in my hand.

I watched plenty of you-tube videos of how to do this and felt confident that I completely understood the concept and nature of the task. My new belt sander was invaluable to making a very tight fit.

I cut the bottom tongue from the groved side so the last piece would go down. 
Avery tight fit, I drilled and nailed them down. 
Yes, I am getting old and need glasses for reading and exacting work of this nature,

Here is the floor after the sanding and staining.
Kassi's room.

The main play room and stairwell.

After church today we will polyurethane the floor and protect it from the years of abuse ahead. 

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