“Laundry Room Progress.” Literally the most boring title I’ve come up with in a decade of writing this website. But let me just say this… It’s 10:45 PM, and a film crew is showing up at my house at 9AM tomorrow, and I still don’t have lumber– or really any kind of coherent plan–for the project I’m supposed to start building in the morning. Also, before I go to bed I need to patch the hole in the crotch of my work-jeans or else shit is going to get way too real on camera tomorrow.
So, that’s where I’m at in life… don’t judge my post titles.
A week ago, the laundry room looked like this:
I’ll give you the blow-by-blow account on how I built the shelves next week. It took slightly longer than I anticipated (by like three days) but at this point I’m pretty immune to the “worse” part of things getting worse before they get better.
This was my life for a solid 4 days.
And let me just tell you, the simple act of changing the one light fixture out in the laundry room? Enough to make a grown woman cry… or drink.
At this point in my life two things are certain. 1.) Changing out a light fixture is damn easy in theory, and 2.) In this 150 year old house, all your theories go to shit. Like when you take the old fixture off, and this…
Why is the box hanging out of the wall like that? Oh, because the plastic that attached it to the bracket that held it up had completely broken off.
I made a desperate trip to my local big-box, bought every ceiling-fixture electrical box they had…
And then proceeded to try to Frankenstein something together to work…
I found a box that was the right depth and had holes in the right place to attach to the old bracket, but in order to actually attach it I had to tape the bracket on to the metal support, then, after pulling all the wires through the new box, somehow (miraculously) screw through the box and the holes of the bracket. With all the wires in the way. And no real way to hold the box or bracket in place.
All I can tell you is that I sweat more in the 30 minutes it took me to accomplish this than I do in most of my actual workouts. I mean, I know better… there is literally no version of reality in which this should work. I spent 30 minutes on the ladder going “this isn’t going to work, this isn’t going to work, why are you still attempting to make this work, it’s not going to…”
Oh. Holy shit. It worked.
Fuck winning the powerball, I’m just happy when the fates in charge of impossible-ideas-that-shouldn’t-work step in and, well, make it work.
So, here’s where I’m at: The walls are painted, the shelves are built, the outlets and light fixtures are changed. I can basically make a temporary kitchen out of it now, which is good because I’m about 48 hours away from starting kitchen demo.
At some point soon(ish) I’m going to put a butcher block counter over the washer and dryer and install a new laundry sink, but that will be it for a while. (Of course I’ve got a Phase 2 planned, but, let’s be honest, I’ll be lucky if I get to that in the next year.)
Now it’s off to build this well-thought-out project on camera… after I patch those jeans of course.
(In the meantime, if you didn’t see it before you can check out the last thing I did with this production company here. I’ll be updating Insta and Facebook as often as possible over the next 3 days with “behind the scenes” if you want to follow along!)
Bravo on that light fixture. I’ll be watching (reading?) your camera crew updates. Let me know if you need anything!
Good luck mending the crotch of your jeans… I have done this many, many times… a disturbing amount really.
Good luck with the film crew!
Great idea, buying several different boxes at once. Saves you 4 or 5 trips!
This always seems to be the way with me too, even with my relatively young 38-year-old house. The online videos seem so simple, and then reality hits you.
I have been following you since the memorial house. You are so inspiring! Keep it up!
Seems like every project I start has a “WTF?” moment like this. And then I cobble together something that works and I imagine someone 100 yrs from now taking it apart and questioning the deranged person who put it together.
I have days when I dream about being 1/8 as badass as you. I don’t know you, but still… #hero
So there is a lot to be said for life just working out all right. When I stopped reading the last post there was a women trapped behind the washer who was naked from the waist up (the entire plot twist for several movies I watched in college) and then today that same heroine has put several amazing shelves on the wall, painted those walls, and fixed an unfixable light. So either life does work out in the end, or this is all fiction to keep me reading with a lot of product placements to pay the bills.
Wonder if you could have used an “old work” ceiling fan box…. the kind with the bar that expands and grips the ceiling joists and you bolt the box to the bar with a u-bolt? That’s the first thing I would have grabbed. I hate plastic ceiling boxes because what you found.
That’s basically what was already in there, but in order to remove the old bar (or put a new one in) I would have had to tear out ceiling drywall, which I was trying to avoid. I basically bolted the new box onto the old bar.
Don’t need to disturb the drywall with one of these. I’ve used them in several installations and they work like a charm.
Can’t wait for the rest of the updates!
To bad the big box stores don’t sell jeans, I know you didn’t have the time, but buying a new pair over patching a crotch sounds a hell of a lot easier 🙂 though I know “easier” isn’t in your vocabulary 😉
I hate breaking in new work jeans! (I do usually buy them at tractor supply though, so that’s convenient…)
You make me feel like anything is possible. Great work!