Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Lesson 136: Timelines are relative

Well, howdy stranger. Long time, no update! 

So, news flash: Renovations apparently take longer than expected. 

Our original time frame was to have the upstairs hallway and all three bedrooms completed (read: demo, electrical, drywall, paint, etc.) by June. Looking back now, that goal was truly comical. Because, as of today, we only have one room completed. You read that right. It took us over four months to finish one. freaking. room. 

We knew that this first room would be our "teaching room." Where we would go slow, learn how to change out the dated wiring, and see if drywalling was really as hard as people warned. But we never imagined how long it would actually take.

But let's back up a bit and re-orient you to the layout of the house. If you recall from the house tour, our house is split level with the bedrooms upstairs. In the image below, the "kid's bedroom" is the room we decided to renovate first. I don't understand the biological desire to insure your children have it better than you. 

We began the demolition in mid-March and it took us the rest of the month before the electrical was completed.  When we tore down the drywall and paneling we discovered lots of strange decisions previous owners made. Exhibit A: The east wall (wall on the right) we believe used to be a half wall, joining the now two bedrooms. It has paneling halfway down, which due to stupidity on their part we were required to leave.  

Exhibit A:
View from closet

View from doorway

Link saw us stand, arms crossed, staring at the walls and each other too many times to count. We were often baffled at what we uncovered throughout this process. I'm that much more apprehensive about what the rest of the house has to tell us. 

Once we stripped down the walls, we had to deal with this mess. 

This is old, outdated wiring from the 60's and every electrician that saw this shook their head in disbelief. The system is known as a "Low Voltage Switch System." This was apparently supposed to be the big new thing back then but never took off. You can see why.

I won't bother you with the details about this debacle, but if you find yourself having trouble falling asleep at night, just Google it. You'll be out in seconds.

This system is non-compatible with modern switches, so instead of dealing with strange switches and wiring the nightmare of a breaker box, we decided to update it. Through tons of online research and trusty ole' YouTube, Josh figured out how to remedy this disaster. Which essentially consisted of ripping out old switches, wiring, and relay boxes.

This room was utter chaos for so long. Luckily, a board propped against the doorway was all that was needed to deter Link from being too curious. Maybe hazardous living conditions is just what he thinks is normal? 

Such a great helper. Bubble wrap only served as a distraction for a short time; power drills and screw drivers are like candy to a toddler. 

Josh's trouble shooting and determination was impressive to see as he had to refer back to some old electrical engineering concepts he hoped to never need. 

I have never been so happy to have a ceiling fan and light. To walk into a room and just flip a switch felt like a luxury that we once took for granted. Now, 10 months after buying this house, we felt like we had arrived. 

Except for the little things, like walls and doors. But that's for the next post. Stay tuned!

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