Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cubist Swiss Cheese

I should know by now that the dominant rule at This D*mn House is that nothing is ever easy. I now think that even the Lawrence believes this. But you have to love his ever undaunted nature.

It started out early this morning with Lawrence and the return of his ginormous drills bits. He started drilling from the dining room into the basement family room to run wire through for a new outlet. (This was the one he didn't have time to do back in August.)

It was my intention to do a step by step with Lawrence on how to do this job. We would hit so many snags though that I can't do that. It was too overwhelming and too, too much. So, my apologies to those looking for advice on adding an outlet. You won't find it here.

I knew we were going to have to cut out a section of ceiling in the family room so I wasn't at all disturbed when a rectangle the size of a Marathon bar (remember those from the '70s?) came out of the ceiling next to the window downstairs. After a while though, it became clear that that wasn't going to be enough space to work in. So out came a bigger hunk. The space now looked like this.

I still wasn't that upset, because I spotted a hole in the space that I could now see into. Not the one Lawrence had been drilling though. I pointed this out to him. We began rooting around in the hole with a hanger, with me upstairs seeing if it poked through. It didn't, but it was trying to so we were able to stop drilling upstairs. (You can see the hook of the hanger on the blue window trim.)

That's where the problems started. And why there were a series of holes from a previous attempt to do exactly what we were doing. There were 3 other holes. And we soon saw why whomever had drilled the original holes had stopped: Joists. Joists. And more joists. We cut through one and there was another. This was supposed to be a single hole. So then we graduated to a second and even bigger hole in the ceiling.

OK. This was good. It would be fine. We would drill through here and then just push the wiring over into the unfinished part of the basement behind the fireplace. Except that didn't work.

And that led to a third hole. The third hole led to a DOUBLE JOIST that I didn't think Lawrence would ever be able to drill through but he did. "OK, now we should be able to drop it over there," says Lawrence. Except when I looked behind the fireplace from the tiny closet beneath the stairs that's not what I saw. "Are you sure?" I asked.

"Well, no," says Lawrence as he stepped onto the ladder, flashlight in hand. "Hmmm," I hear him say next. "Looks like you were right to wonder."

I'm not always the brightest bulb in the pack but instead of trying to drill through and run wire back into the laundry room, I had to ask if we couldn't just run it to the closet. There's an outlet and a box there. Would that work?

I had Lawrence's attention now. He was getting incredibly tired of drilling holes in the ceiling. I was getting incredibly tired thinking about the holes I would ultimately have to patch in my ceiling that was starting to look like cubist Swiss cheese. If we weren't planning to do redo the ceiling next year anyway, there's no way I'd ever let it get this far. But since we were ...

He looked at the setup and deemed it acceptable. While he drilled through one more joist, I had two shelves of glassware and knicknacks to move. Fun times.

We fed the wire into the last of the holes. Then Lawrence went upstairs to make the upper connection while I went outside to find some scrap wood to use to put the drywall back into the ceiling. He was downstairs working on the boxes in the closet by the time I finished.

A little while later, we put the drywall pieces back into place. The rest of the remaining Lawrence projects would have to wait for another day. We were both pretty worn out from the wiring adventures. I started picking things up downstairs and making sure Lawrence had all his gear.

He had gone upstairs where he had two battery chargers in place. When he came back downstairs he said: "I plugged my charger into that new outlet and the darndest thing happened. It worked."


Kay said...

hahaha! I'm so glad it worked! congratulations. you had me worried with "cutting through" joists, but I take it you just meant drilling through. whew! what an ordeal!

Vicki said...

Oh! Would you have just stood there and start crying if it hadn't have been working? I would have. I'm happy that y'all got that one accomplished!

Jayne said...

What an ordeal!! I'm glad it all worked out in the end, though.

Karen Anne said...

I have decided that I really don't need to have ceiling fixtures installed :-)

NV said...

KayO --It sure did. Yeah. It was all drilling through to cut out holes to feed the wiring through. Fun stuff. NOT!

V -- I probably would have cried --and then burst out into a string of unintelligible profanity.

Jayne -- Thanks! Me, too. :-)

Karen Anne -- There was a point where I was ready to just say stop. But, now I'm glad I didn't!