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losing my renovating mojo?

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I admit it – I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Maybe I felt like this last year and I’ve just conveniently forgotten, but I’ve had two days of total non-progress.

Yesterday I went upstairs to start working and instead did a lot of sitting – a lot of sitting – and a lot of listening to This American Life and changing the radio station.

I blamed it on not being able to find my drywall knife, but then I didn’t really look that hard.

The day before I did make the hole in the ceiling a little bigger to see what was going on and try to remove the old water-damaged drywall and insulation.

You can see above that what happened was they had a major roof leak, which we did know about (thank god replacing the roof was the first thing we did).  Instead of fixing the damaged plaster ceiling, they put in a false ceiling about a foot lower.  You can see the original mouldings above the false ceiling (or ‘moldings’ – is this another English/American thing or am I just spelling it wrong? Home Depot has a ‘u’ but Wikipedia doesn’t and it’s all driving me slightly crazy).

I had a brief moment of wanting to tear down the whole false ceiling, but as you can see, not even the ceiling medallion where the light fixture would go is fully intact.  So it seems like it would be a major, major job, when really I can just patch the drywall and be done with it – when I find my drywall knife.

We did pull up the floor in the bathroom.  The main reason (apart from the lino tiles being held down by thumbtacks) is that the toilet looks like this:

See all the caulking around the bottom?  Even I know this is Not a Good Thing, and probably means the floorboards are rotten – such are the laws of life and renovation.

So I need to replace the toilet.  I was all set, but annoyingly, the government’s energy plan isn’t finalized yet, meaning that if we wait a bit longer, we could get more money back for a low-flow toilet than we would now (there’s a provincial plan, but it’s likely to be matched by a federal plan blah, blah, blah – the upshot is, after bugging a guy on the phone for half an hour, I found out we need to wait before doing anything energy/water efficient in case we lose out on gov’t funding); very boring, highly irritating.  The plan should actually be called the ‘how to de-motivate home-owners from making energy improvements by making them wait an indefinite period of time’ plan.

I digress…

I then got excited about removing the bathtub and installing my long-coveted clawfoot tub.  I even found one on Kijiji for $100.  Then I read this in my handy ‘Home Improvement 1-2-3’ book:

“If nobody has mentioned it yet [they hadn’t], here it is in black and white:
removing a bathtub is a big deal.”

Oh dear.  For the beginner, they estimate it will take 14 hours to take out one tub and install another.  So I’m imagining about 2 days, plus the drama of trying to dispose of the old tub – and goodness knows we don’t need any more junk to get rid of.

So I started pulling up the lino floor in the hallway:

– which is really kind of dumb as it’s a lot of work and doesn’t even result in a liveable space.

But I feel a bit paralyzed at the moment.

I should probably go and look for that knife.


5 responses »

  1. No, really, you are doing great. I have a lifetime of professional remodeling experience, and I consider it a very valuable exercise to just sit before I start a job. I turn a 5-gallon bucket upside down and sit on it in the middle of the job. I think and ponder and plan. I do the job in my head, often cutting each board and driving each nail before I ever touch a tool. I turn and turn on the bucket, looking in each direction just to put all the pieces together in my head.

    And then and only then do I start the hunt for the drywall knife. I think I own ten of them. Maybe I’ll buy one of those RF key ring finders!

    So don’t be too hard on yourself, although it does make for a good blog post. I look forward to you finding that darn knife.

  2. Maybe it’s just the photos, but the original flooring actually looks pretty nice – or like you could definitely salvage and make it nice. So… I guess there’s that?

  3. It’s hard trying to do something when you really don’t want to. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a day off and chill out, unwind, take a step back and make a plan of action. I know there are days in the studio where I want to work, but just CAN NOT DO IT. That’s when I know to give up and give it a more honest go the next day. I think there’s something about guilt in there too for taking the day off to motivate me….
    But you’re doing great!
    I wish I were there to cheer you guys on, and all I have left to say is take your time.


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