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19 May 2006 @ 11:47 pm
During the course of yesterday's yard work, I discovered that the outside lights are powered by a plain electrical cord laid in the dirt around the pine tree. No conduit.

Tonight, I discovered that the windowsill of the small dining room window has had a chunk gouged out of it to make room for the Frankensteined-in air conditioner. WAY TO RESPECT THE ORIGINAL ARCHITECTURE.

And it took over two hours and much frustration just to remove the curtains off that window. Not only was the top rod mounted at a height that's very uncomfortable for me to try to work with (I have to crane my neck and reach all the way up, and I can't keep good control of the screwdriver and I start getting fatigue all over my neck), the screws were goddamned impossible to remove until Ogre had at them. One of them had been inserted in such a way that it cracked the drywall, requiring a patch. Others have some weird sunk metal washer thingies underneath them, and I have a feeling those are going to have to get crowbarred out somehow. Oh yeah, and the jackass previous owner painted over the rod mounting hardware, so there are bare spots on the wall.

To top it all off, I'm now seeing unmatched patches of paint on the wall. As in multiple shades of white. Some of these were hidden by the previous curtains, and they're going to be seen now because I'm not hanging mine ridiculously high and wide. Somebody please tell me that you can paint over latex one wall at a time. Please. It's going to drive me batshit because it looks like ass, but I don't want to redo the entire room at the same time. And I have enough patching to do on the bare spots anyway. Oh yeah, and whoever painted the wall has no idea what painter's masking tape is. There are splashes of white on the dark wood window frame.

I'm starting to feel like Sisyphus and his rock. And I had been having fun. Somebody please tell me it gets better. I'm thinking we might want to pay the drywall contractor to help us have at the stupid curtain rods, too.

Seriously, what in the hell happened to DO IT CORRECTLY OR DON'T DO IT AT ALL?! This shoddy workmanship pisses me off. This isn't a Halloween costume that you made in a week on short notice and are only going to wear once. THIS IS A HOUSE. Home improvements are supposed to hold up well for years.
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
setupweaselsetupweasel on May 20th, 2006 04:00 am (UTC)
Over the past two weeks I have been treated to a problem with a living space that has put many things in perspective. Don't get upset. Just plug away, because it can be worse. Oh yes, it CAN be worse.
The Heavy Metal Matador: Meatwadrydain on May 20th, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
True, true. I just felt the need to asplode.

At least we figured out how we're going to rearrange the furniture (Inkscape makes playing Tetris with your living room fun and easy), at least the fireplace isn't quite as foogly as I used to think it was, at least we did get one set of curtains down. At least repainting the room might actually be a cool idea. At least I got a good recommendation for a contractor (the people who did an entire addition to Julia's parents' house). At least I went all Leeroy Jenkins on the dead patches in our yard and put down some mulch to keep away the weeds while I figure out what we want to put there. And at least I'll get to see couch fabric samples soon. Yay! I love fabric samples!
Andreaasd109 on May 20th, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC)
Just a warning--those metal washers will take a chunk of wall out with them when you take them out if they're what I think they are. They are fantastic for holding up heavy things, but the wall takes a beating when you remove them. Luckily, the hole should be small enough to just spackle.

Our house had a horribly crappy paint job done on it too. All the windows painted shut. All the switchplates painted over (and then covered with enormous brass ones!). They didn't bother to paint the trim which deseratele needed it, etc. It amazes me how badly some people paint. Our painting asn't the best in the world, but it was better than there's and we did the whole house in a weekend.

On painting just the one wall--if you want to paint it white again it's probably going to be difficult to get the color to match (even if it's the same color as the original there will have been fading or dirt or whatever). What about making that wall an accent wall and painting it a color? It could add some drama to the room AND you'd get to cover up the splotches.

You may be interested in:
The Heavy Metal Matador: South Park - Happyrydain on May 20th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
I think we're going to be best off just painting the entire living room. We have three more curtain rods to take down, and I'm sure they're going to leave more bare spots and metal bolts that have to be dug out. Josh says that since we're calling in a drywall contractor anyway, we might as well have them take care of patching the holes for us. He also wrinkled his nose over the patchy paint...and of course repainting is best done before the new curtain hardware is hung up. So I'm now considering repainting the entire living room. In the long run, it would probably be the best thing to do. And it's a good time of year to do it because the house doesn't need heating or cooling, so temporary lack of insulation from curtains won't be a problem. Though I want light-colored walls for the new living room, I think I'd rather have cream walls than plain white. They'll seem softer and more natural, which will go well with the sage and wood-based color scheme.

I really like the idea of an accent wall. I'm already planning to put some sort of variegated paint job on the fireplace and TV area corner. That will be the focal area of the room, and it will need a new paint job anyway, and it just seems like a great place for interesting color. It's small and seems to stand on its own, and nothing that will go there (fireplace, TV, tall wooden bookshelf) won't be overwhelmed by the color.
Skurtchasorskurtchasor on May 20th, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC)
Ditto on the metal washer things--FYI, they're probably either drywall anchors or toggle bolts.

Shiny Pictures!

The ones with the plastic sleeve aren't so bad to remove (some can just be unscrewed), but for the others it's probably better for your wall to sink them in a bit further and spackle over the hole, assuming that you aren't putting the new hardware in the same location.
kaiten-konekokaiten_koneko on May 20th, 2006 03:33 pm (UTC)
as for the electrical cord outside, my daddy is a very qualified electrician, and he's been running our pool filter off of a extension cord since we got it - about 5-7 years ago. but he does use a heavy-duty insulated construction grade cord, and he made a cute little rain shelter for the GFI protected outlet wher he plugs it in. so extension cords are not all bad, if you do it right.

though i get the impression that your previous owners didn't do it right....
The Heavy Metal Matador: South Park - Happyrydain on May 20th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
Well...this one does appear to be a construction-grade cord, so I'll give them credit for that, but as far as I can tell, it's permanently installed. I can find where it goes into the sheltered metal box below the light on the stair railing, but I have no idea where the other end is. I just thought that a permanent cord would be buried better than that. It freaked me out when I was digging away old pine needles with my hands.

Speaking of electrical mysteries, we have two outlets where one plug is 120V and the other is 40, and we have no idea why. We thought there might have been a dimmer switch hidden somewhere, but that wasn't the case. We'll have to call in a pro to take a look at it. Hopefully it's something simple, but at least the outlets in question aren't used very often (though that may change when we shuffle our furniture around).
MattressGnomemattressgnome on May 23rd, 2006 05:47 am (UTC)
Now you do know that you have a state college friend who has done ridiculous amounts of contracting (electrical, drywall, moulding, plumbing, decking, etc) work and will gladly help ya out, and who also might be working for Lowes while he whittle away a Post-Bacc, so don't be shy and give him a call if ya want help -or- to play axis/allies, barbie tea party...
The Heavy Metal Matador: South Park - Happyrydain on May 23rd, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)
This is very true...and I really appreciate your offer of help. We would of course repay you with free food (which has worked for Josh so far) or whatnot. Of the things we're having done to our living room in the near future, painting is the one we'd most likely choose as a DIY project because it could be divvied up well between people and it doesn't seem that difficult if you take care to prep the room properly. It's not something I'd want to do all by myself, but a day with friends could take care of it. Would you be up for a painting party?

There hasn't been any board gaming (or Barbie Tea Party, for that matter) at our place in a while, but next time it does happen, we won't forget about our favorite Uncle Scrotor. ^_^

Also, the summer bar league is starting this upcoming Sunday, and we don't have a fourth. Would you be interested?