Sunday, June 28, 2009

office repair

Ouch! My office remodeling project has morphed into the never ending project which is made more problematic because I can’t work at the same speed I did a few years ago. I had planned to be finished with it by the end of this week but I am still hip deep in work. Like many people starting a home repair project I underestimated what I was facing.

The first problem I encountered was the extent of the water damage. I thought I would get by with pulling down a small section of the ceiling, replacing the damaged insulation, checking for any damage to the wiring and then putting up a new piece of drywall. It didn’t work that way and by the time I had finished tearing out all of the water soaked insulation and drywall at least a third of the ceiling was piled in my driveway. I also had to contend with several studs and supports that had become soaked and had to be replaced.

There was also the issue of repairing the dog kennel. Cookie has had a few months more than five years to work on her kennel and I had to do some repairs on it as well, from replacing some well chewed studs to repairing the fencing that she worked on whenever she became bored.
Now I can honestly say the “repairs” are completed. After that milestone I patched all the holes that had been punched in the walls over the years to support photographs or serve some other purpose and completed a bunch of other small repairs, sanded the patches smooth, washed down the walls and ceiling and started the painting. As of now all of the priming is finished, I’ve painted, the indoor portion of the kennel and tomorrow I’ll complete the painting before turning my attention to leveling the floor to repair last winter’s frost heave that cracked the concrete.
I’ve got several more days of work before I can move back into my office and until then I am using a TV tray for a desk, which means I am taking up room in my living room. Not fun.

I suppose I could have shifted a few things around and made the office continue to function and avoided all of the problems I’ve had to deal with over the past two weeks but that wouldn’t have offered much of a reward for my efforts. This way, when the office is finished, I’ll have a sense of accomplishment that will be with me every time I sit down to work. When I do finish I’ll post a couple of photos just for an FYI for my readers. Until it is finished and I can again focus on my writing I’m afraid you’ll have to forgo any truly thoughtful writing from me. glg

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dog Kennel and Office remodeling

Lucky me! With spring now in full swing it is time to recondition the dog kennel, which means washing down the walls, scrubbing the floor of the inside part of the kennel, repairing breaks in the wire outside, and then putting on a fresh coat of paint. To my way of thinking it is something I have an obligation to do because of everything my dogs do for me. There is, of course, the affection and companionship they bring and for Cookie there is the work she does for me throughout the hunting season. So, I try to make their home comfortable. Some might even say I spoil them since the indoor portion of their kennel is 4x8x4 and is air conditioned in summer and heated in the winter. Their outside portion is 6 feet wide, 10 feet long with a concrete floor and is roofed. The inside kennel is at the far end of my office and I usually leave the door open so they can roam in and out at will

All of that freedom has had a price—flies and mosquitoes! Before this space became my office it was my shop and the sawdust seemed to keep the bugs down. I also admit I was not being too observant because I hadn’t noticed flies and skeeters bothering the dogs. Last summer, which was the first summer I truly worked out here, the flies and skeeters pestered me every evening, even when the air conditioner was running, and I had to keep spraying the dogs to keep the flies off, especially their ears. Maybe it was just a bad fly season but I was starting to have doubts about changing my shop into my office and if the winter drove me into the house I’d drop the idea. I held on through the coldest days and when I decided that having my office out here was what I wanted I also committed myself to doing something about the flies and mosquitoes. I decided to start by keeping the pesky bugs out of the outdoor kennel. For the past week I’ve been tacking, stretching and fastening fiberglass screen. (I opted for fiberglass because it is stronger and although the dogs are going to find some way to punch holes in it unlike aluminum screen the fiberglass will not cut their pads.)

My next project is to complete the conversion of the shop into a real office. I’m pulling out all of the makeshift book shelves, my plywood writing desk and the work bench that I’ve been stacking books on. Once everything is cleared out I’ll scrub the walls, ceiling and floor then paint the walls and ceiling before building new book shelves. Finally, I’ll put down indoor/outdoor carpet (so the dogs can still roam in the office) and move in the desk I bought at the auction. With a little luck I’ll have the job finished by the end of next week and I can settle down to some serious writing.

I guess, when everything is finished I can thank the dogs for pushing me to the remodeling job. My desire to insure they have a good home started me on this project and in the end I’ll have a comfortable home office.

Have a good week, all! Glg