The Renovation Shuffle

Posted by Dane Carder on May 19, 2019

I painted interiors of houses for twelve years or so. I have helped my brother build a couple of houses. My understanding of the extreme availability of misfortune in house projects is keen. That being said, I haven’t until now put myself in such harm’s way. My wife and I have been discussing the idea of finishing out our one car garage for about five years. Sketches of the design have fluttered around the house from time to time, and it always seemed relatively straight forward. That’s not really a thing in Renovationland.

First, at this juncture in Nashville, just getting a contractor that you trust to give you a price that makes sense is a holy miracle. We survived fits and starts, and finally pulled the trigger on someone who we were just going to have come in and help frame it. I had basically decided to do the job myself to omit the relational land mines of working with others. Then, the potential framer wanted to take the job on as contractor, and we were willing to get an estimate and consider again this loaded option. We are well on our way in the project, and I am still glad that we hired him as contractor, but it has certainly proven par for the Renovation course. There have been weird issues all along the way… with every step, basically. Today, the drywallers came back for day two, after a strange first day, and we have all boards hung and mudded with a first coat. But, when the first of the three girls in the house went to take a shower, there was no hot water. Upon quick inspection, the pilot light on our water heater had somehow been extinguished… not sure how. Re-lighting it was easy, but there was an unexpected inconvenience.

There have been issues with the electrical, when I arrived home to all the kitchen appliances being without power. There were issues with the plumbing, when a miscommunication led to the lines being run on the outside of the framing. The framing was quick and easy… five guys took two hours to complete it. We are moving closer by the task, and regardless of the speed bumps, we are grateful to the contractor and the workers. Our extra little two hundred square feet of mud room and laundry room (and big desk/makeshift office) is going to be dreamy.

The open wall that is the back of the laundry cabinets is slated to be an “easel,” and I will install lighting to help make it space where I can work on a painting at home. I have not tried to have a home “studio” for a very long time, and I hope that this will work. As I transition into the next career (still a bit of a secret), I will need to utilize night time painting to keep pushing the artwork forward. I haven’t a good clue what this is really going to look like. I’m excited.

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