This picture gives you a good idea of how confident I’m feeling lately about our ability to renovate:
Seriously. This is what we should be doing with tools — playing. Not renovating actual rooms in an actual home. A home that we expect to live in. What the hell were we thinking?!
Needless to say, the kitchen renovation project is kicking our butts. We spent last Saturday and Sunday ripping out the old sink, cabinets and counter top, and then repairing the wall behind them in order to install the “new” sink, cabinets and (eventually) counter top. Because the plumber was due to arrive first thing Monday morning, we had to finish the job before the end of the weekend — we worked until after 9:00 p.m. on Saturday night and until almost midnight on Sunday night.
Here is some of what the work entailed:
- removal of rotted floorboards and replacement with pressure treated plywood (it won’t show — it’ll be under the cabinets)
- removal of two layers of paneling from the walls
- scraping old paint/plaster in preparation for four or five more hours of spackling and repair with tape and joint compound (I don’t care what anyone says — I am now officially and without question the Queen of Spackle. It’s a dubious distinction, I know, but one I will defend to the death. I’ve earned it.)
- several unsuccessful holes in the wall for outlets and more than two hours of trying to run wire through the walls for said outlets
- a few gauges in our custom-made, newly-painted sink cabinet
- a long period of shimming to achieve levelness (I’m sure that’s not a word… What is the word for the state of being level? Levelity? I have no idea.) of the new sink cabinet
- and the long haul from the garage to the house (the sink is a two-well, enamel-over-cast-iron deal which weighs at least 150 pounds)
After all that, we tried to put the sink into the new cabinet and it didn’t fit. The sink — for which the cabinet was custom-made — did not fit into the cabinet. No, I’m not kidding. There’s a lot more to this story (shrieking, tears, etc.), but I’ll spare you the ugly details. Let’s just say that Joel managed to find a workable solution and the sink is now installed. The plumber didn’t show up on Monday like he was supposed to, but he should be at the house right now attaching the water/drain to the sink, installing the faucet, and installing the dishwasher.
I want to get excited about these new developments (new sink! my first dishwasher ever!), but I’ve been burned, so instead I’m just cautiously optimistic. In the interest of maintaining some positive feelings about this whole freakin’ project, I’m bringing back top ten tuesday! And so I give you:
Top Ten Renovation Tools — tools we’ve used throughout the project, that were indispensable, that were never far from our hands (in no particular order):
10. framing square and carpenter’s square
9. tape measure – Duh.
8. jigsaw – Being about 100 years old (not really 100, but it was my Dad’s so it’s old), ours doesn’t look like the one pictured below…but it still kicks a$s.
7. dimpler a.k.a. drywall screw setter – Considering Joel used an entire five-pound box of drywall screws for this project (so far), this tool was an absolute must.
6. power drill – Did I mention the five-pound box of drywall screws?
5. 1-inch chisel – You wouldn’t think such a basic, old-fashioned tool would be so critical, but we’ve used it quite a bit…you know, in a pinch.
4. circular saw – Our neighbors are probably so sick of the sound of this saw coming from our garage…
3. torpedo level – If you have even a slight propensity for OCD-ish behavior, like me, you need one of these. I don’t know about you, but it drives me absolutely bonkers when things (pictures, towel bars, shelves, etc.) are crooked.
2. multi-tool scraper – I’ve used this tool so much over the past two months, it feels like it’s an extension of my arm.
1. drywall lift – Simply put, the best $50 (rental for $25/day) we ever spent.
Ok, so there you have it — our “by experience” list of necessary tools for home renovation. Although, I must warn you to take our advice at your own risk — we’re obviously not experts. We may not even make it out of this project alive…
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