Thursday, July 28, 2011

Door Frame Dilemma

I was all excited last night for a trip to Home Depot to get sheetrock and related supplies, and some 1"x4"s in anticipation of starting the installation of the new door frame trim in my bedroom.  Red came over and we stood in front of the trimless door frame to conjure up a plan.  Hmmm.

We concluded that when the trim and sheetrock was originally installed (we shall not guess what year that was...) that the trim was installed first, and then they sheetrocked around it.  Having done it that way means that the sheetrock butts up against the edge of the trim, as opposed to the trim laying on top of the sheetrock.

This photo shows that the trim was 3.5" inches wide -- precisely the gap left between the door jamp and the edge of the sheetrock. (The measure shows 4, but you can see that my tape wasn't flush against the jamb on the left.)

I want the trim to go on top of the sheetrock so that I get a cleaner look.  My plan was to add a vertical strip of sheetrock and then affix the trim on top of that.  But when I do that, the sheetrock bumps my trim out away from the jamb and gives me a gap.  Here I am holding a scrap piece of 1"x 6" up along the door for illustration (my finished trim will not be that wide.)

And, the resulting gap on the side

We talked about moving the door jamb over/out to match the sheetrock, but that only leaves me with the same issue on the other side of the door. 

Also complicating things is that I was going to use 1"x4"s for the trim -- which in reality would give me the 3.5" trim.  But that isn't wide enough to cover up the would-be new sheetrock seam; the seam would be right next to the edge of the trim.  Does that matter?  Maybe not.  Is it optimal?  Definitely not.  So I may have to rip 1"x6" into 4" trim and have my trim a bit wider than I wanted.  (My baseboards are 6" but I think that would look too heavy around doors.)

Then Red suggested since I'll be ripping the boards anyway, to rip a narrow piece to insert behind the trim to fill the gap.  Here I am holding a random block of wood up to illustrate (obviously the final product would be the same stain... ahem.)

Yes, for a while it will be natural wood trim against a painted door jamb; not the most asethetically pleasing scenario, but hey it's a work in progress.  I don't know how to build new doors and jambs yet... although perhaps I should tackle all that now... hmmm.

We also talked through whether or not pulling down all the sheetrock on that wall and re-sheetrocking it would solve the problem, but it doesn't seem to.  When we arrive at the door frame, we're in the same situation.

We also talked about re-building the door jamb, and using a 1"x 8" rather a 1"x 6"... or possibly ripping it down so that it's 1" x 7" -- but then I'm back to doing the door jambs and doors before I am really ready for all that. 

Do all doors (pun intended) lead to just a total door trim, door jamb and new door project on a doorway by doorway basis vs. doing the trim now and the jambs and new doors later?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

About that De-Cluttering...

Speaking of downsizing and de-cluttering...

The last time I visited one of my sisters she was radically cleaning out clutter and downsizing in preparation for a 9 month backpacking trip across several countries.  I knew her trip was on the horizon, although it was several months away.

When I got back to Dallas and unpacked, I found a little framed item that she had stashed in my suitcase when I wasn't looking.  It held some quotes credited to Don Miguel Ruiz.  I realized that during my visit I had remarked that I really liked the quotes, and that they really spoke to me.  She apparently had decided that I should have them!  I was so touched by her thoughtfulness...  I don't have a lot of knick knack items in my house (I loathe dusting) so I removed the quotes from the frame and taped them to my bathroom mirror.  I do love their sentiments, and I really do find they serve as good daily reminders for me.  It's a little bit of clutter on my mirror, but it's okay.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

                                                                                      ~~ Don Miguel Ruiz

Monday, July 25, 2011

Door Trim: Master Bedroom

This afternoon I removed the door trim from around the inside of the master bedroom door.  It took me 30 minutes, including clean up.  Not bad.  But what's the old saying?  Demolition is the easy part?

It went astonishingly fast.  First I used a razor knife to break the seal of the caulk.  One thing I've learned living here is that some owner before me really loved caulk as the fix-all.  My goodness it's everywhere.

Then I used a hammer and a cat's paw and moved up and down the side trim, and with very little effort I was able to pop it off all in one piece.  I took off the strip above the door next.

In this close up photo you can see the end of the horizontal tongue and groove boards, (well, really it's tongue and tongue... lol, there's not really a groove...) and the infamous linen vapor barrier that is nailed in place.  It all feels really solid and it's bone dry with no evidence of water leaks.  Excellent.

I was worried that when the trim was off, I'd being saying "hello" to my crawl space -- along with any living creatures that may call it home --but thankfully that isn't the case.  The space doesn't have my hardwood floors in it, but it's some type of wood:

The important thing here is that something is there other than a dark and breezy hole that goes under my house.  In this photo you can also see a horizontal piece of trim sticking out from behind my baseboards.  Who knows what version of baseboards that is from...

Here's a view of the top left corner:

Again, wisps of the vapor barrier and some dust.  Considering this space hasn't seen the light of day since 1929, a bit of dust is just fine with me.  We found.... other things when baseboards were pulled off.  I'll just leave it at that... (although two of the "other things" were two old black and white photographs -- THAT was super cool.  I should scan and post those so you can see them...)

Would you agree that we are all grateful for different things at different times?  The thing I am grateful for this afternoon is that nothing skittered out from anywhere.  In my book (on my blog?) that makes a successful project kick off!  Here's the last photo, with the trim off all three sides:

(My closet door is a mirror, that's why you see what looks like a second door on the left)

The quandry now is, do I continue and take off the door frame?  (Door jamb?)  My current thinking is no.  I think it makes more sense to wait until I have a new door to put in.  That way I don't have to mess around with hanging each door twice.  I've never hung a door, but I've heard that it can be tricky, and since nothing in my house is square or level to begin with, I think I'll just delay that fun for the next phase of the project...

I'm excited to have this project underway.  We'll see how excited I remain when I start cutting sheetrock to fit... but it already feels better to have some of the old paint gone.  Recall my friend up the street who also owns a very old house, and who, when she replaced her baseboards said, "Now any dirt I find behind the baseboards is OUR dirt"?   When I told her I was pulling off door trim covered in 81 years of paint, she said"Liberating."  Yes, yes it is.  Nevermind that I have 12 16 door sides to do... that's a lot of liberation.

Moving Indoors

Okay I give.  Heat, you have outlasted me. 

This weekend I pulled up the remaining contents of my raised garden beds, except for my hot peppers and my basil that still producing.  Gone are the 8 foot sunflowers, and the cucumbers, which were the last hangers-on.  Gone are the sugar baby melon vines, and birdhouse gourd vines.  I still have my herbs --scattered about in various places -- my backyard butterfly bed is still doing well, and I am still tending to my raspberry canes and asparagus.  They both produce next year; they weren't expected to this year.  I have to say, it's sort of a relief to not have so much to water...

I also gave my front butterfly bed some much needed TLC, and got it spruced up a bit.  I need to add some fresh mulch.

So -- I'm moving to indoor projects for August.  First up?  Interior door trim and I suppose by default, interior door frames.

If you've been following along, you know that I've already removed and replaced all the old baseboards.  You can read the final post on that here:

I've long wanted to tackle the door frames, but other interior projects kept line jumping.  I also had some fantasy that the door frame project could encompass new windows, wall insulation* and new sheetrock, on a room-by-room basis.  I think I will save the new sheetrock for new windows -- there is no point in doing all new sheetrock around those very old windows -- and move ahead on the door frames.  Although I suppose that once I start pulling off door frames, I could get inspired to do the whole wall and add insulation on the walls that do not contain windows. I know for sure that at some sheetrocking will be involved in the door frame project anyway.

Here is Exhibit A -- the door trim on the inside-side of the master bedroom:

And before you strain your eyes trying to read the blue sign, here's a close up:

It's true!  New shoes cure most ailments.  But I digress --

The door frame photo is looking out of my bedroom into the short hallway.  To the right is the bathroom, and you are looking into the guest room.  (I don't know what that vertical swath of lighter color white is on the wall; it's some sort of trick of light; it's not really like that.)  I won't even guess how many layers of paint are on the trim -- and in most cases on the door hinges.  (Some day I am going to teach myself how to make new interior doors... Have you ever priced solid wood doors?  Ridiculous.)  And of course, many layers are lead based paint - awesome!  (Not.)  Here is a close up:

At some point, the edge of the trim sunk into the sheetrock -- like it is tipped back -- so you literally cannot find the edge of the wood.  The baseboards were like that as well, and when we took the old ones off we found that the sheetrock didn't extend all the way under the baseboards, so there wasn't anything supporting the wood.  I think that is what is going on here as well.  So, I'll dig the wood trim out, then add a new strip of sheetrock, tape, bed, and then add the new trim.  I used 1" x 6" boards for the baseboards, and my plan is to use 1" x 3" boards for the trim.  I'll stain them, but I am not going to route them; I prefer the clean lines.  I am hoping that I can get away without texturing the new sheetrock, but I'll have to see how it all turns out before I make that decision.  Certainly if I decide to re-sheetrock the whole wall I've have to texture and I can't say that that prospect is appealing to me... 

I'll keep you posted on my progress... if you have any advice or experience, please, share.

*  And by wall insulation I mean "some" not "new" or "additional."

Rain Barrel Follow Up

The concrete pad I poured last week dried, and I got the rain barrel back up.  Only one layer of cement blocks now! 

And another view:

(I am going to turn the cement blocks the other way so it looks better from the front.)

That is one down, 2 to go as far as pouring pads.  I still have this barrel and one other to paint.  I'll probably go with a faux terra cotta color to match the barrels that do not need painting.