Monday, October 13, 2008

Where the heck did the weekend go?

Jim and I have been talking about repairing our front steps before the snow starts flying.
They were in such bad shape that we've been starting to live in fear of everyone slipping on them this winter. And it's a real fear because some of our friends HAVE taken a ride down those steps in the winter! So has Jim for that matter. Ouch.

As usual, what looked like a simple task has turned into a huge ordeal.
After Jim removed the old warped and badly cracked treads, he saw that the risers also had to be replaced thanks to carpenter ants having a great meal. So, it was yet another trip to Lowes for some ready cut risers. One problem with the new risers was that they were made to be a 5 step and ours was a 4 step.

Our Mr. Fix- It pal Doug came over Sunday morning to help get the construction under way.
I hadn't even finished my first cup of coffee and he there, was all ready to get to work on those steps!

Jim and Doug decided it would be easier to go with 5 steps instead of trimming off a step on the risers and attaching them to an apron like it was. This of course meant Jim had to run back to Lowes for a 5th tread and a bunch of hardware.

Meanwhile, Marty scootered over to provide moral support... and to have a cup of coffee.
The two of us got out lawn chairs and cheered on Jim and Doug.

Then came the decision "Do you want a vertical board between each step or do you want to leave them open?" Well, of course I want it closed to keep out the leaves and critters. So that meant another trip to Lowes for vertical boards.

They made great progress, and the steps are looking really pretty. Except now, since they went with 5 steps, we can't use the old railings because they won't match up!

Even though we're going to submit the entire bill to the land lady, it is frustrating that it went from being a $50 project to a $150 project.

The railings will have to wait until Thursday when Jim gets paid. As will the before and after pictures. Can you believe it? I actually remembered to take Before Pictures of a project!

Stay tuned Thursday for the latest update on that. They really are looking quite pretty!

On a related note, I was sitting in Jerry's room the other night watching television while he and Daddy were watching something I didn't want to watch on the Living Room Television. As my mind wandered, I looked up at his ceiling and got to thinking. It's a dropped ceiling. That fake foam insulated type. And it looks like hell. And I got to wondering just how bad does that ceiling look underneath? So I started pulling out ceiling tiles, and seriously, it's not as bad as I had feared! That's real plaster and lath on his ceiling - as are all the rooms in our house. It's mind boggling that the old land lord felt it was easier to put up an entire false ceiling instead of repairing two bad stretches of broken plaster. I don't know what a dropped ceiling cost in the 90's, but I'm sure the cost of one sheet of dry wall was a mere $10. And that ought to be all it will take to fix that ceiling. That, and a few tubs of plaster. But first, I need Jim to move the light fixture and reattach it to the real ceiling so that I can start taking down all the metal parts of the dropped ceiling.

I'm sure this will be yet another one of those tasks that starts out simple but ends up costing more than I bargained. I know I'll need another gallon of paint as well, because the yellow walls end at the false ceiling. But, Jerry's room needs a little love any way. And I really like doing this sort of thing!

I'll have to remember to take some... well.... almost before pictures (I've already torn out the tiles! Ha ha!). And I'll keep you posted on my progress.

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