Five Days of Renovation Hell
I have been told there is a rule about doing renovations: they take five times as long, cost five times as much, and are usually five times bigger than you could have imagined. I have gone through this process a few times over the years but, this year, I was doing it almost entirely on my own. It all started about six months ago when we heard that a local furniture store was closing. We wandered into one of their locations and found they were selling their stock but also their store knick-knacks like shelving, cash registers, etc. We took one look at the shelving and realized immediately that it would match the decor (well, if we HAD any) of our home.
You see, we have 16 foot ceilings. If you've ever been over, the place doesn't seem or feel all that small. But, when you've lived here long enough, you notice that you can't hide anything. You know those moments. When someone comes over to visit and you want to hide that pair of underwear you had laying around for three days... under that pile of six hundred other bits of junk that you just hadn't put away yet? For a lot of people, there is one place you can toss all that stuff so that guests don't see it -- the bed room.
Yah, we don't have one of those. We have a loft and tossing things out of the way isn't a reality we enjoy.
Back to the shelves.
We had been looking for shelving that did everything we wanted for months. We did the whole IKEA Hacking thing, we looked into custom shelving, and we even thought we may need to build our own. But when we walked into that shop and noticed the shelves they had for sale -- we were hooked. Three car rides and the shelving was in our place.
And then the renovation monster arrived.
"Oh, if we put up those shelves, we'll need to paint that wall."
"I... don't... know."
"What about what kind of paint? Glossy? Flat? What about an accent wall?"
It has been driving me mental for weeks and weeks. We couldn't agree on a colour, we couldn't decide on if we should do a dual tone thing or if we should just do an off white. We ended up deciding that we should just get the shelves up and ultimately paint at a later time. Enter the ladder, hammer, wood, nails, and glue from hell.
Wow. I never knew just how much crap we have. It took us three hours just to put everything we'd stored on the previous set of shelves and bits of furniture into a pile for sorting. We decided it was time to ditch a bunch of stuff and we wanted to go through everything. But, three hours? How much shit do I have? Oh. I have books. If you have ever visited me, you'll notice right away that I have a lot of books. I mean... I lot. We're talking somewhere in the neighbourhood of five hundred or so. I hope I never have to move a long distance... I often wonder how much all of my books weigh.
Then came all of the delicate things. Breakables and the like. Let's just say... we lost a few on the operating table. A few glasses and a plate went bye-bye.
We first put up one wall of shelves and, as luck would have it, everything went smooothly. We went out and bought some nice fur wood to use as mounting plates for the shelving legs (you'd have to see these brackets to understand what I am really talking about) and we drilled a few holes, drilled a few more, and, amazingly, they were up. It took another few hours to get all of the shelves in but, sheesh, what a pain the ass.
Then came the second wall. Did you know that some buildings have steel lined walls? Neither did I... until I tried to drill a hole into it. Just behind our eastern wall is some protected area -- presumable to be some sort of communal thing. Wires from the front door for the buzzer system or, maybe the conduits for power -- who knows. But this caused me no end of grief as I wasn't able to mount the damn shelves! We couldn't do a damn thing. I called my dad and he suggested glue. Good hard as nails glue. Who knew this either... not I.
Sixteen hours later, I could mount the damn shelves on the other side of our loft. More money... more time, more nightmares. I should really act this out again on video... it would be a far more entertaining experience.
Resorting and Remounting
Now that the shelves were up... it took another two days to put everything we decided to keep back on... and sorted. And what more things could we purge.
Anyway... boring notes for the day. I think I ran out of steam on this post. I am going to now go lay down on the couch (that was recently uncovered from under piles of construction crap) and veg out with a book. I may recite more in future posts but, really, how much can you handle of some guy talking about his shelves.