Monday, February 16, 2009

New versus old

One of my projects over the three-day holiday (President's Day or is it?) was to put up shelves in my daughter's room like I did in my son's room a few months ago. I'm not the world's best handyman but I know how to do some jobs around the house. I know how to find a stud in the wall. I know to use a level and I know how to measure correctly. Putting up the shelves in my son's room took longer than I thought it would but they ended up looking nice. They're not fancy. They have two metal support rails vertically mounted to the wall and the brackets clip into those support rails and the shelves rest on the brackets. They look like the picture to the right. I got them at Lowes but I could have bought them at any number of places.

When it came time to do the ones in my daughter's room, I figured I'd done the hard parts in my son's room. As with all my "engineering" projects, making decisions about how to do the job are really the hardest parts of the project. In this case, the hard part was deciding how high to put the shelves and where to put them along the wall. My wife and I decided that the shelves in our daughter's room could go in the same same way as in our son's room. So, it was going to be quick. And it was. The picture on the left shows how they turned out. They won't show up in a magazine or anything but they're useful. You can see one of our cats, Rosie, inspecting my work. As a side note - if you look closely at Rosie in the picture, she seems to be tinged in pink. Don't worry. She didn't rub up against a newly painted wall. It's just a strange effect caused by the light of the flash bouncing off the pink walls.

The funny part, to me, was how much easier it was to put up the shelves in the two rooms in our new house than it would have been in our old house. The old house was built over many years starting in 1928. It was an old farm house (a strawberry farm) for a long time. Then it was rented out as a group home for special needs children and, later, as a halfway house for runaway girls before I bought it. There were very few level or plumb walls in the house. And they didn't have any idea of keeping even measurements for the studs in the walls (as we do these days with 16 inches between studs in the wall). Sometimes, I'd locate a stud in the wall only to find that it didn't go all the way down to the floor or up to the ceiling. There would be unexplained gaps in the wall or extra studs when I was expecting a open space. If I'd been putting the shelves in the old house, it would have taken three to five times longer! I thank God for this new house all the time but especially on days like this. Everything is where it is supposed to be in the new walls. It is almost a pleasure to do jobs like this now.

1 comment:

chaplain Frank said...

Hi Jed, Great job. I too had a bad experience with an old house and to beat that was our trailer. I finally gave up on nailing the panneling and used glue. I am new to blogging, but saw your profile under cycling. I am a old man on a bike too. I hope this year to bicycle Ohio in June with my good friend I met on a bike in FL a few years ago on a bike ride. Read my blog and tell me what you think, I too am a born again Christian and minister to truckers. Hope to hear from you again. God bless.