Sunday, November 9, 2008

The House

in my quest to be a good husband, i'm trying my hand at mr. fix-it. i've had the lunacy to take on several projects at once, to my chagrin. i began with the basement.

this house, for some unknown reason, has 18" wallspace in the basement. that is to say that the sheetrock on the inside wall is approximately 18" from the concrete of the basement. as a result, we have deep window boxes and a waste of space. at first i thought it to be duct work, perhaps aluminum, running behind the wall. there was a spot in the extra room of the basement - known as the apartment - where the wall suddenly jogs back to the concrete and is no longer taking up that 2' of space. I expected this to be the termination of the aluminum duct work.
when we took the panel off the end of that wall section, i was astounded to find dead empty space. the duct was a one foot in diameter flexible tube lying on the floor and plugged into the return in the wall. no aluminum. there was also a pipe and valve, which i discovered to be my water main.

the first project we undertook was to take back that 18" of space. or at least some of it. we tore down the wall and my roommate Lone, a framer for the last two years, framed me a new wall. total space acquired: 15 square feet. not bad. we moved the wall back about 14" on a 10' length of wall. We left a portion of the wall around the water main to be network closet, wired romex for power, network cable, and new lights along the wall. all in all, not a bad renovation.

this took approximately 4 weekends to get 70% done. the wall is built, the wires are run, the sheetrock is up everywhere except around the network closet. we need to finish the closet, plug in the power, and tape/texture/paint.

in the interim of this project, my wife became annoyed with having the dish washer in the kitchen.

this house, for another unknown reason, has one of the smallest kitchens i have ever witnessed. the total size is 10'x10'. not too bad if its a bedroom, but then bring all four walls in by the two and a half feet of cabinet and counters, and the area is significantly smaller. the dishwasher, a roll-away, perfectly rolled into the opening between the counter and the fridge, and hooked up to the sink. she has been telling me for the last year that she wants it permanently mounted to the end of the counter. i could not figure out how that was supposed to work, but after cabling the basement and wiring for power, i felt confident i could figure it out. to ensure i would not slack it off and only half finish it, i cut the connection to the faucet from the hoses, and off we went to home depot.

we bought fittings, irrigation pipe, and teflon tape, and took our treasures home to properly mount the dishwasher in its now irrevocably permanent home. After drilling holes in the walls of the cabinets, feeding through the hose and running the dishwasher several times, i have tightened the fittings down enough that no water leaks from the connections; not as easy a task as you might think. Forget screwdrivers for this type of torque. Rachets are a godsend.


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