Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Something More for the To-Do List

Today or tomorrow I have to send my computer processor away to be repaired. Which means for ten days to two weeks I won't be sitting in front of the monitor surfing the Internet.

The grand plan was to spend the time madly stripping woodwork. I still plan and hope to, but maybe not madly. I messed up my lower back muscles somewhat due to an intimate meeting between my car and a guardrail in early January, and they tell me at the chiropractor's office that if I do physical labor for more than a half hour at a time I'll tear them up worse.

But maybe with breaks (for the heating pad?) I can get something more done.

But as of this noon I have something else to put on my To-Do list. Last week's plumbing repairs left me with holes in my kitchen ceiling and the wall of my guest bedroom (Kitten Room!) closet. This morning, the drywall guy sent by the home warranty company came and did his work.

The plumber told me the surfaces would be left primer and paint ready. I was prepared to tackle that. But the plumber was wrong. Turns out the drywall guy's authorized only to patch the holes and apply the first coat of patching compound. Subsequent sanding and succeeding coats of joint compound are up to the homeowner.

Meaning me.

Could be worse, hey? I could be some helpless schlub with no clue about DIY or house renovation. I've got the ladder, the wet-sanding blocks, the drop cloths, and the plaster spatulas. I need to get another bucket of joint compound, but I've worked with it. I know how.

So even though I wasn't planning for this project in the next two weeks, I can do it.

As long as I don't spend more than thirty minutes at a time on it. Right.

And I learned something useful. The drywall guy used a product by USG, "Sheetrock Patching Compound," which can fill deep cavities without sagging on walls or on ceilings. It's said to be compatible with both drywall and plaster. It comes in 5-minute, 20-minute, and 40-minute workability grades. The 5-minute kind was used here today.

Hmmmm. I've got some places underneath the trim I've removed where the plaster or old patches to the plaster are in pretty bad shape. A product like this could prove to be very useful.

In other news, the concrete steps from my front walkway to the public sidewalk are crumbling so badly that I'm surprised the Borough hasn't come through and condemned them. I have to get them repaired before they give way under someone.

Of course, I have to be cute about it, even in this economy. Before I give in to the dismal reality of glaring white concrete, I want to get some bids on replacing them with stone.

Not sure exactly what kind of stone: the kind the house has as windowsills and entry stair cheekwall caps. I'm thinking it's Pennsyl- vania bluestone or else limestone that's gotten very, very dirty. The stoneyard guy who's coming Thursday afternoon to give me an estimate should be able to tell me what it is.

The tread edges would match the existing caps in thickness and cut. The risers, maybe in the same stone? Or maybe in soldier-course brick to match the house. That'd look good. All over a concrete base, of course.

That's the plan. Maybe I'll get on a computer at the public library and blog on what I find out. I do plan to update my woodwork stripping Project Tracker when I'm there, however. So keep an eye on it! 58% done now.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Whew! That's a whole lot of work, there.