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Project vs. PROJECT


On Saturday morning we stayed in bed all morning and lazily pondered what to do with the wide-open day in front of us. I distinctly remember saying “Lets do something fun – we deserve some fun.” and “I’m feeling really unmotivated.” So how did we go from a quiet slumber to demolition in less than an hour???

The magic word – electric. Every time we start a wiring project, it becomes a PROJECT. See the difference? “Project” is something fun and kinda easy, something that should take no more than half a day. “PROJECT” is something that grows with each passing minute until suddenly you look up and realize you’ve just opened a can of worms, and they’re squirming away at an alarming rate.

First, we got into play clothes – because nobody is allowed to do work without play clothes!

Then, Teague opened the access hatch in the downstairs bathroom ceiling and started crawling around. There is about 3 feet of crawl space above the downstairs bathroom and the adjacent kitchen. This makes fishing wire down through the walls a heck of a lot easier.

Soon, we had taken out the bathroom light fixture, wall receptacle and the hideous medicine cabinet because they weren’t centered over the sink. And while I waited for Teague to get the wire in the ceiling ready, I started peeling the nicotine-stained vinyl wallpaper off in strips. My rational? It was already peeling – it couldn’t look worse.

By noon, the bathroom was torn apart and had huge holes in the wall. Like this:

Then we started on the kitchen, where we rewired 2 receptacles and 1 overhead light fixture, and moved a light switch so that you don’t have to cross the room to turn on a light. (Yay!)

We added another receptacle under the cabinets, where the toasters and whatnot plugged in. But since it had a laminate backsplash, Teague decided we may as well pull the backsplash off to simplify things. So at dinnertime, our kitchen looked like this:

We were up until midnight chipping off the rest of the backsplash, rewiring outlet boxes, and cleaning up parts of the mess. We slept like babies that night, and are still amazed at how quickly a little rewiring turned into all out demolition. But we’re also amazed at how much we got done in one day! It’s good to have those days every once in a while…. they keep things interesting.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 02.14.05:

As you said on HouseBlogs, got to keep up with the Jones’ … which means we better do some work this week to keep up with you guys! You have done so much in such a short time. We are the slackers in the neighborhood, I think.

Peter Carey had this to say on 02.14.05:

Just wanted to let you know you’re among other “crazy” Italianate people. Ours is an 1850 in Michigan and I have done all new wiring and plumbing this fall. Now I am doing a total kitchen upgrade and there’s plenty more to come…
Would send a picture but I don’e have an email address for you guys.
Good Luck and hang in there

Alex had this to say on 02.16.05:

Don’t forget “F@$%#&* PrOjEcT!?!?” Which is what happens to a PROJECT when you realize that what you just spent the entire day on was either not necessary, will need to be un-done, was not done correctly, or just plain looks like crap. If it hasn’t happened yet, feel fortunate, if it does happen, don’t worry, it happens to the best of them…

mindy had this to say on 02.17.05:

Oh yes, Alex, we have had our share of those too! I was looking around your photo albums some more, and am so impressed with all the work you guys have done. That stairway paneling you did is great. And I love the diamond patterned front hallway! I am totally impressed – pass my admiration along to your wife as well ;)

derek had this to say on 02.17.05:

We did our electrical a year ago… and we still have holes in the walls. Plan is to wait until we fix the room to repair the walls. Ours was half done though, that panel looks ancient! I found some strange knob and tube stuff, in the attic there was a switch that looked like it was from a frankenstein film

Alex had this to say on 02.18.05:

Thank you again, and I’ve passed the word along to my wife, she says thanks as well. The stairway is all by hand, no prefab panelling. It just took lots and lots of measuring and angles. It is poplar on the rails and stiles and MDF raised panels, all routed on site.

The diamonds also just took a lot of measuring and 3 rolls of painters tape. No bleeding at all though since the wall was perfectly smooth once I had skim coated the walls. If you want to do something that like on bumpy walls, use the painters caulk over the edge of painters tape trick.

My wife and I both love your house as well. We will surely be keeping track of your progress.

jason had this to say on 06.09.05:

You guys are probably all done with your re-wiring, but I thought I’d pass along a link to you that you might find interesting. It’s part propaganda by the copper pushers out there, but in my case, I have quite a few lights and outlets located about 80 ft from my panel. Upsizing the electric really helps minimize the voltage drop and save money on electric bills, over the long run.

We love to hear from you, dear readers.

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