I started my day off with grounds in my coffee, moved on to some emails being ignored, and then went to the basement to try and put some ceiling tiles up that should have been done two years ago. The ceiling tiles started, because I wanted them out of the garage where they were both taking up space and expecting to get destroyed with all the moving and shuffling going on out there. I had intended to put up the ceiling after the drywall was done, but screw it. They’re up now. I’ll work around ’em.

Doesn’t look like that big a deal. Am I right? It was not much fun, but I was listening to Artemis by Andy Weir while I worked. Nothing like a little corporate sabotage on the moon to take your mind off your troubles. I need to raise that trim on the door. Stupid ceiling.

There is a main drain that runs about a quarter inch above the face of the grid along the wall there. And there is some plumbing and a gas line as well. Oh, and there are like three full tiles… everything else needed to be cut. All of these things made this a bit trickier than it should have been. But I got it done and I hope I never have to replace any of those tiles, because about half of them were a pain-in-my-ass to get in place.

Once that was done I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some doritos for lunch, like I’m in 4th grade, and went back out to the garage. I decided to order drywall for the walls. I ordered 12-foot sheets from Menards, because that’ll mean less seams and because Home Depot couldn’t deliver that to me until May 8th. Should be here tomorrow. But because it’s supposed to be here tomorrow I need to get the other wall cleared off. Unfortunately, I’m running out of floor space to put things. Fortunately, I have a van in my driveway that gets almost no real use.

Well, it’s full of garage stuff now. Hopefully, things I will not need anytime soon. But don’t be fooled, the garage is still a mess of stuff and I’m not done yet. At this point I can’t imagine a scenario wherein I get this stuff put back where it belongs for months. And because I know you were worried about the whole email thing. I received a reply tonight, just about 7:30. Timely. We’re shooting for Friday to do the work. Now all I have to do is arrange the access. Nothing to it. Later.

And so I finish my week of paid time off–you cannot call this a vacation, a vacation is very different from this–doing the same tasks with which I began: laundry, mowing the lawn, and cleaning up.

Looking at my To Do list… This week was a failure. I am not ready for carpet. The ceiling has not been painted. Hell, the drywall hasn’t even been primed. It’s been that kind of week. Sure, I did a bunch of stuff, finished parts of this project, fixed some stuff that had been bothering me, and I’m far closer to the end goal of getting carpet in this basement. But I can’t help but think this was a failure of a week.

cleaning up the mess

I have a Nest thermostat story, but I think I’ll wait to tell that one. I need to step away from the Nest family of products for a day or two. Why, you ask.

I have been defeated by a Nest Hello doorbell. This should be easy enough. I don’t have a doorbell, so everything is new–transformer, chime, Nest Hello, even the wiring is new. All new. Still not working properly. The doorbell rings and rings and rings some more. I’ve looked at the Nest documentation, I’ve watched YouTube videos, I’ve tested and metered and checked everything and it still doesn’t work properly. In the end, frustration set in and I ended up frying the transformer. I hope that I didn’t also fry the doorbell camera. I go back to this later in the week.

Cracks in the drywall seams on the south wall of the basement. No cracking since I started this years ago. They weren’t there Thursday. They weren’t there yesterday. Today… every seam has a fine crack along it. WTF. This is beyond frustrating.

everything is cracked

I am exhausted. Mentally. Physically. Spiritually. And tomorrow I go back to work… that should make everything better. Fortunately, it’s only a 3-day week. I can do this. No worries. Later.

I broke down and went to Home Depot this evening. I bought tools that I know I already have, which is frustrating, and I took the opportunity to fill up the gas canister for the lawn mower. Who has more fun than me?

Today was just another day of finishing drywall. Doesn’t make for very good pictures, so I’ll share with you some doodles I did during a meeting a couple weeks back.

meeting notes

My back is very sore!

That is all. Have a great day.

drop ceiling / soffit
drop ceiling grid / soffit
wiring straightened
wiring for lights
put wall back together
tunes, tools, and time off to relax and enjoy life

Just kidding. Lots of drywall mudding, sanding, seeing errors, mudding, and sanding. But pictures of that are boring and hard to see any change. Maybe once things are primed. The ceiling grid is up, but it’s not hung from wires yet. I spent an hour in the garage yesterday trying to find my hanging screws and the special bit that goes with them… How can I never find what I know I have in my garage? Anyway, I’m not making a run to Home Depot just for that. Wiring for the shelf lights is done and the wall at the bottom of the stairs put back together. I decided against rerunning the three electrical wires that run across my basement and opted instead to just straighten them up. It’ll have to do. I feel really close to being done with the drywall.

I’m sure primer will change that opinion. I’m going to go eat and let my back freeze up nice and tight. Oh, btw, thanks to my neighbor, Ted, for saving me a trip to the hardware store and for giving me a piece of ceiling grid.

I’m out of here. Later.

Saturday, I did all the usual stuff mowed the lawn, did laundry, and some yard work. I knew that it wasn’t going to be a project day, as we had a graduation party to attend, those things usually fall around mid-afternoon and kind of eat up a day. This one was no exception, 3-6. Only difference is that Friday night we got a call letting us know that the family was coming in for this shindig. So we threw in some house cleaning on top of the other stuff. Turned out to be unnecessary, as no one came to the house. Which was a good enough excuse for us to go to dinner at the new BBQ joint in town, City Barbeque. Their food was really good.

Today, I started in the basement. I don’t have any pictures, but then nothing much I did would look like anything to you anyway. I started by doing some mudding and tapping of the shelves by the stairs, mudded some rough spots around the basement, addressed all the torn up spots on the wall where the cat has torn things up… crazy cat. While I let that dry I pulled the staples out of my existing wiring so that I can either rerun it or pretty it up before I paint the ceiling.

Afterwards, I pulled open the wall at the bottom of the stairs where I need to add an additional wall stud to sturdy up a stretch of drywall that had too much flex in it. When it flexes like that the mud cracks and then it looks like sh… terrible. It looks terrible. But now that the wall is open I think I’m going to add lights to the shelves on the other side of the wall. So now I’m adding more electrical to the project.

I also, came up with an idea to box in the plumbing and add one more light to the basement. So, I worked on getting the soffit built for that part of the ceiling. I think that’s about all I did today in the basement.

whatcha' got there?

We ordered chinese food and about 8:30 I stopped working, cleaned up, had some dinner, and watched a movie, Skyscraper. Food was good, arrived in about an hour, and the movie was pretty typical action movie stuff. Enjoyable but not particularly noteworthy.

Tomorrow, more drywall, more carpentry, more electrical, and more fun. Later.

Crafting station. Gone. Stationary bike. Removed. Assorted shelves, rugs, and clutter. Outta here. Lots of tools left, but I may need some of those. Otherwise, the basement is wide open.

School is out. I’m done with Biology and with any other classes until next fall, when I hope to be starting the bachelor’s program at Ferris State. In celebration, I’m taking a week off work. In preparation for my vacation I have cleared out the basement living room area. This means that all the other rooms in the basement are now extra full. But it also means that I can get down there and work my ass off. The plan is to make this my only focus for the coming week. From the time I get home on Friday and until I go back to work on the second Monday following, I am making it my mission to get the basement done and ready for carpet. I want this thing done folks. Enough is enough.

  • I have some drywall finishing to do.
  • I want to box in some of the ceiling and straighten up the wires so that I can spray the whole ceiling.
  • I need to prime and paint the walls.
  • I need to prime and paint the entertainment wall.
  • I need to hang a light.
  • I need to flush some of the nails in the floor and secure a couple of pieces of plywood.
  • I need to do a couple small carpentry tasks.

That’s the list. I’m not going to worry about putting trim down until after the carpet is in, because I think it’ll just be easier that way. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’ve got to get this done. Worst case scenario and I don’t get it done; I have the Friday after Independence Day off and that’ll give me four extra days. But I’m not counting on those days. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it.

I dragged the vanity and sink top upstairs and into the bathroom. I slid the vanity into place and realized that this isn’t going to work. There is a center rib on the back of the cabinet that is there to hold the brackets for the drawers, it is also perfectly lined up with the drain and water line. I tried to think of someway to re-engineer the cabinet, but no can do.  So, plumbing is going to need to be moved. Let’s cut into the wall…

it took a lot longer than this gif

I know that drywall patch looks terrible. I’ll be putting a second coat of mud over it, but it’ll be behind the vanity and no one will see it, until the next remodel. I feel bad about it, but not as bad as I feel about having to cut into my new wall. Grrr…

Tomorrow is the big day! They’re coming to install my new garage door and all the goodies that go with it.
Tonight I came home and moved stuff around in the garage, so that they’ve got room to work their magic. Moving stuff around meant putting stuff away and organizing, which needed to be done, but still, I’ve got other things going right now… But I did it. That’s done. Then I went through and touched up about a half-dozen small spots in my drywall where there were pock marks or missed spots and in a pair of corners that just didn’t look right. I’ll let those dry and then dab some primer on them and be good to paint.
Speaking of which, I found some semi-gloss white in the basement that I’m going to use on the ceiling. Why semi-gloss? Because it’s a bathroom and because I want as much protection from the water,  steam, and moisture as I can create. So, semi-gloss paint on all the walls AND the ceiling. It just holds up better than satin or eggshell, and I wouldn’t even consider a flat.
Then I started editing a Truckcast while I ate some tacos, worked on my house plan for my duct design class, and then I realize you hadn’t gotten a post today. So here I am, putting up a post. The Truckcast isn’t done, so that’ll be up Friday, what with school tomorrow and all that jazz.
Lot’s going on here at home and at work. Things are busy, busy, busy. But I did take the time to make this .gif of my face. I was going to use it in place of that profile picture over there on the right, but it didn’t work. No .gifs allowed. Which is kind of a bummer. But I’ll share it with you, because we’re tight like that.

I finished up my sanding and put some PVA primer on the walls. I still need to vacuum the floor really well and then cut in the floor, but I had a issue with my Shop-Vac on Saturday. Seems, the filter got clogged and came loose from the weight and the bag blew apart…. I turned around and the hallway was just one big cloud of drywall dust. Anyway, here’s what things look like after one coat of primer.

first coat of primer

still a bit of a mess

I used the Kilz primer this time and I really like it. Last time, I used Behr and the coverage was terrible. It just seemed really thin and watered down. I think I used three coats, and probably could have done with some touch-up after even that. With the Kilz PVA primer the coverage was a little better, still not great, but the best part is that it goes on grey and dries white, which is super handy for 1.) knowing what’s been painted and what hasn’t and 2.) knowing when it’s dry enough to repaint.
Overall, things a looking good. Ceiling seems to be passable and the walls are not telegraphing a bunch of flaws. My corners and edges could be straighter (they’re a bit wavy), but definitely passable. I only had to go and touch up four places, and none of those was very large. I’m starting to think that this may work out.

Word from the Facebook grapevine is that there is definitely some Irish in my ancestry. This comes from those who have had their DNA tested, so it’s legit. And that’s not even from the McCarrick side of the family. It’s not all that surprising, but definitely more verifiable than a google search on my last name. 😉
I did get some sanding and some touch-up mudding done this weekend, but not as much as I should have. I also started a project to build a rack, but it went off the rails and ended up being a waste of 2-hours. I did get laundry done… so that’s a thing. The new plan is this; next weekend Lady Ronn is going to throw her sister’s bridal shower and will be away, I’m going to have everything primed and cleaned up  when she get’s back. Once that is done, things should really start to move as I already have all the finishing bits piled up in the garage and basement.
And since it’s Sunday, here’s the inspirational image for the day…

now i want hunan chicken for dinner

Firstly, I must confess that I neither started early enough nor worked hard enough to accomplish my goal of completing the main bathroom in our house. I had 9-days and that should have been plenty, but through a series of discouragements, demotivations, and distractions things did not progress quite as planned. I’m not saying nothing got done, but not enough got done. And I’m fine with that.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike finishing drywall? Yeah. Yeah. Join the club. I know it’s a big club, but I’m definitely in it. Hanging drywall is okay, what with all the cutting and fitting and screwing; it’s the rest that is miserable. Mixing the mud is messy. Waiting for the premixed stuff to cure takes forever. Getting the tape to not bubble or keeping the mesh from coming through the mud is a pain in the ass. Spreading the mud and smoothing the mud always seem okay, but then you realize what a shit-job you’ve done of it. Which leads to the scraping and the sanding. Oh how miserable is the sanding? Pretty damn miserable. Drywall dust is everywhere. Sure it’s in the bathroom, that’s where the work is being done, but it spreads, and spreads some more. I think every surface in my house has a coat of fine white powder on it.  And the sanding takes forever. Every time you think you’re good to prime you find some little section that needs to be touched up, top coated, or sanded out. Every time. And I haven’t even gotten to priming yet… once you’ve primed, then you see how all that time and effort you spent in getting the drywall ready to prime wasn’t enough. Because apparently you were drunk if you thought these walls were done. Just look at that mess. Go get the knife and the mud and fix all those spots. So disappointed in you.
And that’s how I feel about drywall. But I got a lot done and it mostly looks pretty good.
I’d show pictures, but it doesn’t look that different. However, I am at the point now where I’m just touching up the rough spots, filling in the small bits in the corners, and tidying up everything for the primer. There’s still a good bit of sanding to do, but it really is almost done. At this point I’m using the premixed topping mud to fix the little things, and while it takes 24-hours to dry, it really is a lot more convenient to use and helps me knock out these small flaws.
Hopefully, I’ll be priming next weekend.

Yesterday was quite full of not doing drywall, as was the weekend before. However, today, today was full of more drywall mudding. Much of the work has been done previously and I find that I am making single pans of 90-minute mix and doing mostly touch-up work. Well, that and sanding. Lot’s of sanding. It’s really not an enjoyable way to spend one’s PTO and I would not recommend it to most folks. But as I have proven, time-and-time-again, I am not like most, and so this is what I have tasked myself.
This may be the least effective way to do this project, but it seems to be moving along pretty well. Anyway, if I made larger batches it would probably become unworkable on me, as it does not have 90-minutes of actual usability… it’s more like half that before it gets too stiff to apply smoothly.
I’m at the point now where I need to, and probably should have done much earlier, fill the gap around the shower where the surround and the drywall don’t quite meet. The internet tells me that I need to use 20-minute hot mud for this. It also tells me that I need to add some screws to the flange, every 6-8 inches, so that mud has something to grab onto. So that will be tomorrows project.
The plan is to get some 20-minute mix, throw some screws in the surround, and then apply the mix. Once the first mud is in place, then I’ll add some mesh tape, add another coat of mud, and feather the whole thing out. Easy as pie. Nothing to it. I might even try to document the process.
So, to recap. Today, lots of sanding and spot mudding. Tomorrow, something new.