One room at a time? HA!

October 15, 2009

Post image for One room at a time? HA!

Every once in a while, someone who hasn’t seen the house yet will ask me what our strategy is. “Are you doing one room at a time?” they say. And I just laugh and laugh and LAUGH.

Take the upstairs bathroom and guest room, for instance. The plan was to do the guest room, then the bathroom. Simple enough, right?

Wrong. Mid-way through drywalling the guest room, our pal T told us he’d decided to move out West—and take his truck with him. Which meant that if we wanted to haul any demo debris to the landfill, we’d better do it pronto. So we abandoned the guest room to knock ALL the plaster out of the bathroom and schlep away the dusty mess.

When that was done (cough, cough), it was back to the guest room…. Until the windows we’d special-ordered for the living room came in.

It always happens like this. Just when we think we’re closing in on a kind of closure—a pretty little before-and-after diptych to post—instead, little tornadoes spring up all over the house. Demo dust in the bathroom. Construction dust in the guest room. Piles of tools and screws and shims and wood filler and paint cans and brushes and rags and masking tape—and don’t forget the huge mounds of cardboard and Styrofoam packing materials—all over the living room, none of which we manage to clean up for weeks after the window-installation marathon is over.

And then it hits me: Summer is ending. If I want to strip the paint off the stairwell before the cold weather shuts us in and shuts down any fumey, open-window-type projects, I’ve gotta do THAT pronto.

And I do. And just as I’m starting to feel really smug about my progress (pictured here), having completed no less than 85 percent of the job, Dylan and I catch a bad cold, and we’re forced to spend the last few warm days of 2009 on the couch. Blarg!

So no, dear friends. Our strategy is not one room at a time. We’re happy if we can just take this one DAY at a time.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

neill October 15, 2009 at 10:48 am

Stairway looks amazing! One of these days I’ll have to check out the wreckage/progress. :) I need a plaster lesson from Dylan…let me know when you guys are doing plaster (not drywall), and I’ll be a gofer for the day.

Nicole October 15, 2009 at 10:49 am

Wow! I SO get this. Was just lamenting how the season is about dead and I HAD to shore up the carport — time I could have spent FINISHING the bathroom. Hope you and Dylan feel better soon. That only compounds the disastrous effect. But … there’s always my mantra:
“It WILL get done. It WILL look great. It WILL ALL BE WORTH IT in the end.”

Nina October 15, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I get the “do one room at a time” comment all the time too. Screw that. Much more fun to live in a total construction mess. And the options are endless. When you get bored with one project, you can just go back to one of the other ones. I have tried to leave the upstairs alone so it’s a livable space. But the rest of the house, inside and out, is all torn up.

Bennington Colonial October 16, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Just looking at what you have accomplished with your stairs makes my hand cramp and shoulder ache… Awesome job! I’ll be staying tuned for the “after” photos.

The Repair-Home Team October 21, 2009 at 9:05 pm

While you’re going through one room at a time, make some time to enter our contest!! We think your home would make a great entry in our “Share Your Project” contest. You can win up to $2,700 just by uploading your project description and the before and after photos you’ve already taken. We hope you’ll consider submitting your project!

For more details check out:

Courtney October 25, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Sam and I looked around our house yesterday – a ladder here, random wood there, and said, well, this is what our home is going to look like for a while, anyway! It’s too bad we don’t have any extra $$ because the four of us could go in on a cheapo truck and share custody…of course, I bet that works out better in my head than it EVER does in person!

Corbin Dodge May 17, 2016 at 10:24 pm

TOTALLY get this. And I’m with Nina—it keeps me motivated to always have a choice of projects to choose from for the day

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