Falling in Love is Hard on the Knees

I love my house.  I spend a lot of time and energy working on it, getting it back to its former glory.  Obviously I’ve learned a lot.  One of the most important things I’ve learned while working on my house is how stupid and stubborn I can be.  I’ve also confirmed the fact that I’m not 18, over and over again, to the loud complaint of my lower back.


The big project this fall has been getting the “sleeping porch” turned into my cousin Emily’s bedroom.  Despite the blue sponge paint, asbestos tile and creepy fake bear skin rug (I have pictures somewhere), it’s actually a really nice room.  Albeit creeptastic.

Emily has done a huge amount of work, some of it psychological.  She painted, pulled tile, and swept.  We both sweep.  A lot.

Now that work is underway, it’s apparent that I know how to do all of it, have the tools and skills, I was just daunted by starting.  The photo above is the early stages of cleaning and paint-prep.  Below is one of the new ceiling fan going in.

12274303_10103468655947565_6251382623792358193_nThe biggest task is the floor.  I say “is” in the present tense, because while I started working on it a month ago, I’m still working on it.  but progress is very encouraging.



You may notice some swirl marks on the floor in this photo.  You can see that the wood trim is in good shape, and the floor is really great hardwood; I was a little worried that the tile was covering up some serious problems.  No serious problems, but the swirl marks are from someone running a circular sander across the floor so the glue would stick the tiles down.  And now I’ve got to sand until they’re gone.

The first task was moving the radiator.  Did you know radiators are heavy?  I’m not talking casually heavy, like, “Oh this is stout.”  I mean, iron-age, steam and hammers, coal-fired, cast iron heavy.  The photo above doesn’t really give a sense for how big that radiator is.  This one does though.



That wrench that sits atop it?  That is the largest wrench they sell at Lowe’s.  Even my handy man was remarking on the heft of it.  And the thing is, even when it’s open all the way, it is just barely large enough to get around the bolts.

I have started lifting weights at The Y so that I can keep doing this sort of work without killing myself.  I’m glad, because moving the radiator out to the hall took four hands, six wheels, and two non-eighteen-year-old backs.

At any rate, sanding is progressing slowly.  I have a couple different types of power sanders, but white oak is very hard stuff.  100-year-old white oak is even harder stuff, so I’ve switched tow 40 grit sandpaper, and it’s finally starting to show results.



I wish I had a pretty picture of the finished results, but I don’t.  I wish I had known it would take harsh chemicals, harsh (est) sandpaper, and harsh language to get the floor done, but I didn’t.  There are a lot of things I’ll do differently on the next room.  Like hire someone.


1 Comment

  1. Hey Dan. I have always wanted to either build my own home or refurbish a 100 year old one. You will be so satisfied when you are done… It will take awhile, but what a grateful day that will be. Have a sper Thanksgiving, and be thankful that you have that place to enjoy!! And take care of that back, too. Don’t overdo it.

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