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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Closet Construction Chaos

It has been a fun few days at Casa Deborah...

As some of you know, I live in an approximately 130 year old farmhouse. It's not large--only 1,200 square feet, and most of it has been added on to the original even smaller structure over the years. Usually by people whose ambitions clearly exceeded their skill sets. In short, there are lots of crooked walls, slanting floors, and odd bits and pieces.

Take my bedroom closet, for example. This is what it looked like Monday morning.

The outside
 It looks like a small closet, right? (And it is short, only about 68" high instead of the normal 80".) But in actuality, the closet runs the length of the wall to the left towards the dresser.

The inside
Of course, the problem was getting at anything shoved in that far side, since you kind of had to sidle in sideways and pray the giant spiders didn't get you. It was, in short, a pain in the patootie. The door was also sort of jury-rigged and only half attached. I put up with it for 15 years, since I moved in, and finally hit the wall this spring. Or maybe hit the closet. Anyway, I decided to have it redone. I also discovered that the overhead space was actually empty--a continuation of the cupboards on the bathroom wall on the other side, so I figured I'd get them cut out too, so I could actually access the whole space.

Easy, right? [Any of you who have ever had work done will be laughing at this point.]

So the Guys Who Do Stuff came in and did the work yesterday, and it was sort of right, with a lot of not so right mixed in. (Also, the cats were very indignant about having to be locked in the upstairs room so they wouldn't accidentally get out while the Guys were running in and out.)

This is what it looked like when I got home yesterday.

Two of the three Guys Who Do Stuff

The mess, to be expected
 Even Magic, when she got to come take a look at the "finished" project, was not impressed.

That's not right.

The doors didn't line up

Seriously? WTF is this?

Nails coming through on the inside of the door for me to get snagged on
I'm a pretty easy going person, in general (stop laughing, people who know me) but if I pay for a job, I expect it to be done right. Also, HELL NO.

So the Guys came back today and fixed it. It's not perfect, but that's at least in part because nothing in my house is straight, including the walls, ceiling, and floor in that room. But it is a lot better.

Much, much better!
 I still have to paint it (or maybe stain it, I haven't decided). Probably paint. But now I can actually access the whole closet, so I get to reorganize All the Things, and hopefully move some stuff from other closets into this one. I'll probably get a few organizer thingies to help with that. I love organizing messy things and making them neat. Even though I know it won't stay that way. I call it my "Organizational Neurosis." LOL.

Look, I can get to the whole closet now!!! (Don't look at how ugly it is in there. There are limits to what I can fix.)

Of course, now I have to take the original contents of the closet and put them back in. I'm pretty sure I have too many clothes. My plan is to look at each one as I get ready to put it back, and hope that about 20% of them will go to the Salvation Army. Do I really need 8 black sweaters? (The answer to that, of course, is YES. They're all different!)

I have too many clothes.
 Still, at least one of the things that has been bugging me since I moved in is finally fixed. Only 527 left to go...

What construction project have you ever lived through? Did they go well? Or did you want to kill the Guys and bury them in the back yard?


  1. More closet space means more stuff! Yay!

  2. Interesting closet! I've never seen one like yours before -- at least in the after photos. I would have called Home Depot. They came over to my house to fix my closet which needed a door because the door had been removed years ago. The guy was very precise in his measurements and how it would look. Unfortunately, I have had to put this repair on hold until I have funds for it. Meanwhile, you could paint the inside of your closet which might improve it. And yes, it is very difficult finding reliable contractors. Almost everyone who has worked on my house has left it in worse shape than before or altered in not the way I wanted it.

    1. Home Depot would have cost a LOT more than my regular guy. I never could have done it. But oy, the contractor stories I could tell...

  3. Our house was originally built in 1864, and the "remuddles" are endless. (As you worded it: ambition exceeded the skill set.) I feel your pain! Personally I'd paint it off-white, to coordinate with the wall... But feel free to do something new and different. What does the hardware look like? You could get a super cool latch or medieval looking door pulls. As a fellow Midstate NY'er, I feel like we accumulate more legitimate clothes than anyone else in the country. Looking at that pile I don't think you have too many but maybe it's the angle. Have fun!

    1. Har! Remuddles...I love it. I think I probably paint it cream to go with the rest of the room. The hardware is brass-tone. And yes, we have more seasons in upstate NY than most...thus necessitating many different levels of clothing.

  4. We do our own home improvements, Hubby and I, and that is it's own can of worms. I can honestly say that I have contemplated homicide during these projects. We recently tore our bedroom floor and walls out (down to the studs) and replaced the hardwood floors and drywall. We also redid the ceiling. Many threats of physical violence were issued, by both parties. Hubby comes from a family of DIYers and we own the family home, so there is much that was done where the ambition far exceeded the skill set. We are slowly fixing and improving these things (one of which was the electrical!). We're preparing to do our bathroom sometime this year and I'm fully prepared to become a widow. I feel your pain.

    1. My ex-husband was famous for starting project and then realizing he was in over his head and abandoning them. But not being willing to admit that and hire someone to finish them. He's not dead, but we are definitely divorced :-)

  5. Let's see . . I've been through a kitchen remodel (shudder), a tile roof replacement, whole house window replacement (best remodel experience - great company), new tile floors in the great room, wood floors in two bedrooms, one bathroom remodel (one and a half more to do), new driveway and new garage cabinets to do next week. This all occurred over a thirty year period. Recovery time was needed between each remodel.

    What have I learned? Always be sure the contractors are licensed and insured, be EXTREMELY explicit in contracts, keep your own record of hours worked if you're being billed for work done by the hour, NEVER be afraid to require workmen to do what they are contracted to do, never make the final payment until all work has been completed as specified in the contract.

    Yes I do live in south Florida, home of the Shady Contractor School of Remodeling, why do you ask?

    1. Ah, the kitchen remodel. I had lots of plans to redo things when I first bought the house, and had to do the kitchen right away, because there barely was one. I don't think I did another major remodel for 5 years :-) I did two roofs in two years (house and barn) not too long ago, and windows the year before this. And all your points are so true! (Also, the cheapest quote isn't necessarily going to get you the best job.)