Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Laundry Overhaul

When we moved in September, I thought, "Oh good! A whole list of home improvement projects to blog about, instead of food every day!"

I'll just spoil it now for you. Turns out my idea of "home improvement" is interior decorating. This isn't good.

The first big project was hanging gutters around the office patio. I wasn't very involved, but I did help out a little. It ended well for the house; it did not end well for my foot.

The next big project was completed over Christmas. My in-laws love home improvement projects (in the traditional sense), and there was a decision made to tackle the laundry alcove in the garage. I'm kind of fuzzy on the decision, because I probably wasn't paying attention. Sorry!

Now, we'd discussed plenty what to do about that corner of the garage. The first and foremost was to get rid of the water softener. It's huge, and in an awkward place in the garage, and annoyed me to no end. There was nothing wrong with the water softener itself. It just bugged me. (Anyone want to buy a water softener? It's for sale on Craigslist). The next was to replace the sagging cabinets with shelves that a shorty like me could actually reach and use. On top of that was putting the washing machines on some sort of platform. Finally, my secret wish was to paint it a crazy bright color. Yeah. I read too much Apartment Therapy.

Here's the before:

Yup. I know. Nothing particularly wrong with it; it's perfectly functional. You can see my arch nemesis, the water softener, pretty clearly. One thing I should also mention: our garage is tiny. Two car, but just barely. And aren't our washer and dryer great? I think they're awesome. I love that we didn't get white.

When my in-laws arrived, there was much discussion and planning. I heard some talk about drywall, but like I said, my idea of home improvement gets about as grandiose as ... painting a wall. And given the gutter incident, it felt like my job was to know where the emergency room was. Which, for the record, I didn't even go to the doctor for the gutter incident.

Based on this, you can imagine my utter shock when a hammer was taken to the peeling, stained drywall in the ceiling. What you can't see in the before picture was the water damage that never got fixed from a leak before we moved in. You might think I was shocked in a bad way, and upset. But honestly, I couldn't imagine anyone knowing enough to go about fixing the ceiling! I was totally fine with it, really. First, because it's the garage. If something disastrous happened in there, it's nothing that would really affect daily life. Second, if something got dangerous, I wouldn't have a problem calling to get someone to finish the job.

I pretty much relegated myself to the kitchen and prayed for no bodily harm.

Here's what essentially happened. The cabinets came out and were gone. A chunk of drywall was cut out of the ceiling and seamlessly replaced. The water softener was unhooked, and the pipes traveling across the middle of the wall, ugh, were cut. That required a plumber, but I'm glad because it involved a blow torch of some kind (and gave us a decent plumbing recommendation!). A platform was built from scratch to raise the machines even with the concrete foundation. The whole thing was primed and painted. And I helped paint!

Now, while everyone was worrying about the pipes, the platform, the drywall, and on and on, no one was really paying attention to the color I picked for the walls. It's bright. It's crazy. It's awesome.

Here's the after:

It. Is. Awesome. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the work that went in to it. Sure, the rest of the garage looks like total garbage, but that's a project for the future. The far future.

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