The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Homes

September 8, 2012

What a workload

With renovation behind schedule, Emma hopes to pick up pace

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — It’s a great feeling to create a schedule and stick to it. At least, I imagine it is. My renovation is almost to the June 1 point on my agenda — although not quite.

But this is not my full-time job, and sooner or later I intend to stop hitting my head on a steep learning curve.

I have gotten faster at many tasks. I can quickly tie a sink into the water supply, wire an outlet and shimmy through the crawl spaces. Finishing one room at a time, however, means something new at every turn.

When I first walked through the Alexandria house, I knew the kitchen would be a problem. Even though most rooms boasted 10-foot ceilings, the kitchen only had an 8-foot clearance. Small in square footage, it was also to double as a laundry room.

Tim Miller, a friend and contractor, stopped by to give advice. Walking into the dining room, he turned in a slow circle.

“This should be the kitchen,” he said.

I knew the words were genius. Since I was going to have to replumb and rewire the entire house anyway, switching spaces wouldn’t add to the work load.

Since this area opens into the living room, I designed an island with a sink and dishwasher to allow the chef to take part in the family’s conversations while prepping and cleaning.

Hoping to simply strip the wallpaper and replaster, I found hours of scraping only uncovered ruined walls. Deciding it would be easier to drywall over the paper, I finished running the wires and rented a drywall lift.

Contractors had recommended I “slap up some drywall” all over the house. After I began the process, I questioned their understanding of the word “slap.” Installing drywall is hard, especially on a 10-foot ceiling.

A family affair

In a 100-year-old house, walls are not square, so Carl Bowen, my dad, and I measured and measured and measured and were still dumbfounded at the number of botched cuts we made.

Eventually we got the pieces of the puzzle to fit and it was time to mud the seams. Laughably, I thought that would be the easy part.

While YouTube videos can be a huge help, they can also lull you into trying some pretty ridiculous things simply because a professional made it look easy. I rented an air compressor and air hopper gun to spray mud on the drywall to add texture.

Whatever mess you conjure when I say “spray mud” isn’t even close to the mess my dad and I were in that day. If the mud is too thick, it won’t spray. If the mud is too thin, it won’t spray. If someone accidentally unplugs the air compressor, it won’t spray.

Never rent an air hopper gun. Seriously.

But we lived through it and the texture does look nice.

Hiring Miller to lay ceramic tiles in the kitchen allowed me to pepper him with questions so I could tile the bathrooms and laundry room myself. He also installed my cabinets, which were from Direct Kitchen and Bath.

Mark and Debbie Alexander, owners of the downtown store, were very helpful and even explained how to build a knee wall that would serve as a bar for the kitchen. My sons, Elijah and Isaac, helped me anchor the cabinets to the floor, build the wall and anchor the wall to the cabinets.

Rotted floor joists in the bathroom may have been due to the bathtub running parallel to them instead of perpendicular. After they were replaced and the drains were moved, my dad and I added a shower and bathtub.

Kris Bowen, my sister-in-law, helped me drywall the room. I stomped texture on the ceiling and tiled the floor. My husband, Rich Meyer, helped put in the vanity, mirror and light. Together we also added baseboards and trim (after I received a half-hour lesson from my new favorite Lowe’s employee, Tim).

We’ve already started work in the laundry room. Now that I’ve got some new skills under my belt, I’m hoping to make progress a little faster — and maybe with a little less gnashing of teeth.

Emma Bowen Meyer has purchased a dilapidated home through the Madison County tax sale. Her column will occasionally follow the continuing saga of the restoration project.

1
Text Only
Homes
  • FEA - HB0413 - 0959 Starting over

    Ryan and Janae Ledbetter may not have moved far geographically, but the differences in their lifestyle and surroundings are huge. A new style of house has called for new décor and furnishings, which is suiting the family well.

    April 12, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0406 homes photo 0861 Home of a Thousand Transformations in Edgewood Kevin Miles carefully chose an Edgewood home, and then carefully chose a wife. Upon wedding Stephanie, he freely relinquished the reigns of decorating his home.

    April 5, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA HB0330 0485 Crafting a headboard Since the headboard of a bed is often the focal point of a bedroom, crafty people are resourcefully using a number of unusual items to create an original piece with flair.

    March 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • FEA HB0323 Homes_0798 Sold at the view When Ryan and Sarah Smith moved from Little Rock, Ark., to the land of cornfields, they thought they were leaving fun-filled woods and hills behind. After touring an old home in Forest Hills, they discovered a wonderland that reminded them of home.

    March 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA HB0316 Homes 0757 Topping off the kitchen Countertops can make or break a kitchen remodel. No matter how beautiful the cabinets, the eye will always be drawn to the surface area of the smooth, glossy top that will provide workspace for meal preparations.

    March 15, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0309 Homes56 Re-entering society Transitional housing for women re-entering society after incarceration has been available through the faith-based Sister 2 Sister program since December 2009, but the facility has only been able to house four women at a time. The ministry recently purchased a house that will service three times as many women.

    March 8, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEAHB03020701.JPG Oriental flair

    Trish Janutolo may have only spent 3 1/2 years in Japan, but the experience touched her life in such a way that she remains surrounded by the culture through her home accents and furnishings.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA - HB0223 Homes 0662 Time for a change — again Shortly after their marriage 14 years ago, Phil and Catrina Cooper moved into a new home near Killbuck Lake. Two babies arrived and kept their itch for something new at bay for a while, but the need to shake things up resulted in a total remodel of the interior in 2011.

    February 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA - HB0209 Homes 0557 Dressing the panes Many clients have been stepping into Grace Place, the new home décor shop in Anderson, and asking owners the same question: "How can I change the look of a room without a lot of expense?"

    February 8, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA HB0202 0456 Travel treasures Sue Taylor began her life in Anderson and is enjoying her retirement years in Anderson, but traveled the world in the meantime. Remnants of her voyages fill her home, especially from her three years in Japan.

    February 1, 2014 7 Photos

Galleries
Photographers’ pick
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Poll

What do you think of Anderson's decision to have an Independence Day parade and other festivities on July 3?

That's great!
Should be OK
What a waste of money!
     View Results