Sunday, January 11, 2009

Digging in

So I've rung in the new year with dust and dirt and just a little bit of anxiety. Renovation territory, I suppose.

Tearing up tile was cathartic, in a way. Demolition gave me something to do, a place to go every day for the last month or so. A job for the jobless. And the challenge of beating a foe whose back-breaking stubbornness could make you cry at the end of the day. Imagine tile glued to particle board glued, stapled and screwed to de-laminating plywood.

It was my Everest for this past month. You reach one point of accomplishment only to see what lies before you. Almost endless, it seems. But you plug yourself back in, because, well, there ain't no turning back once you've set off on this particular challenge. Especially when the challenge ahead is a direct result of the accomplishment just made. In this case, tile removed, only to realize a weak sub-floor must be addressed.

Renovations are full of surprises. Taking the floor to the joists was one of them. Guts exposed, the hidden workings brought to light for the first time in 24 years. It's amazing how much has both changed and stayed the same in the construction field. Solid wood joists? Rarely find those anymore. But the method of framing? Pretty much the same now as it was then. (Though our house was probably a particular nightmare for the contractor back then.)

It's been an interesting way to ring in the year. Much different than the office job which filled my time last year. But, at least I'm still learning. Like, how the size of a prybar does not always relate to its effectiveness. Or how to walk across beams quickly (a useful trick I hope to use in the future). Or how important your fixture choice is when you know you'll be living with it daily.

In a couple of months, I hope this Everest will be surmounted. Until then, I'll continue taking it a step at a time. It helps, however, to be able to look back, and see at least something has been done.

It also helps to know that you have people helping you who know what they are doing.


Blogger blacktealeaf said...

What a project! You really are gutting that house! Well at least you feel like you have accomplished something at the end of the day, I feel like the minutes tick by just to tease me as I sit idle in a cube.

6:04 PM  
Blogger mkf said...

ah, i love it when an architect gets his hands dirty ;)

i've enjoyed your fine blog for awhile, and while i seriously doubt you'd feel the same way about mine, you might--especially in light of what you're doing now--find the following post of interest (and maybe even the one after that):

3:05 AM  

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