Sunday, March 4, 2018

Dirty Jobs? Oh Yeah, We've Got Those!!

Every project has its share of dirty jobs and this one is no different.  I sometimes think I should have a list of the top 10 worst jobs on a remodel.  And right near the top of the list?  Wallpaper stripping.

It's truly a thankless job.  You spend hours & hours (and in this case days and days) steaming it off the walls.  The old glue reactivates and your fingers start to stick together.  And invariably, when you walk down the hall your find a piece of paper stuck to your shoe.....sort of like the embarrassing moment in middle school when you were walking down the hall, dragging toilet paper behind you.  

The back bedroom on this house was a real chore, but after that I discovered the dining room walls have painted wallpaper.  PAINTED WALLPAPER - seriously, there should be a special place in hell for people that paint wallpaper.  It's a nightmare to remove, because you really can't soak it with water or steam.

Somehow it looks better in this photo.....much more drab and dingy in real life
Which brings me to the hall closet.  This is a small closet with metallic wallpaper - which is particularly heinous to remove.  Probably 70's vintage.  I get claustrophobic just looking at this space and think I'll end up with a steam facial for my whole upper body if I try and remove it.  And after many days of wallpaper removal throughout the rest of the house, I finally decided to paint it.  I KNOW!!!  Someone in the future will hate me, but I'll do it carefully and once it's painted I'm not sure anyone will be able to tell, especially after it's full of coats.   But I'll start preparing myself for a toasty future :-) 

But an even worse job???  Insulating underneath the office.  We nicknamed this room 'the freezer' - everything we put out there kept freezing.  Not a great selling point!  We need to make this room nice and toasty!

So the first step was to insulate the crawl space underneath.

The guys cut an access panel on the back of the siding (oddly, there was no way to get in there!).  And poor Chris drew the short straw and got the unlucky task of having to get the job done. 

Worst job ever!!!  
 It's a good sized room, so it took a lot of insulation - but what a difference it made!!  Not only is the room warmer, but it's also much quieter now!
It's easy to smile when you're just the helper!!
Oh, and as luck would have it, our electrician couldn't get out to add new outlets until after the insulation was done.  He had a pretty rough time of it as well!

So those are the top dirty jobs on this project.  What are your worst dirty job??  Do you have a favorite?  I'd love to hear!











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9 comments:

  1. Agreed about wall paper removal. It was a true mess when we moved in the current house. Multiple layers of wallpaper, sealed with paint on the top one. It as such couldn't be even steamed off because the paint prevented liquid from penetrating into those paper layers and loosening the glue. So it was *entirely* up to elbow grease. No paint over wallpaper, please!!

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  2. My in-laws are selling their house and they just painted over wallpaper in their half bath with flat paint. It looks horrible and more than one person at their open houses said it made them not want to make an offer. I have no doubt you'll do a better job (and it is only a closet!) but this post made me think of our sorry situation.

    I always love to see you take care of the houses you do with the insulation and the things that can't be seen but make a house so much more livable.

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    1. The trick with painting over wallpaper is you need to use oil based paint, so it won't absorb the water and expand. Hopefully my results will be better than your in-laws!

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  3. We've painted over wallpaper at our previous house. The wallpaper was really stuck to the wall with no loose pieces or edges. We used several coats of oil-based paint, and it turned out fine. I gotta say though, I think the wallpaper you have in that closet is really pretty and current. Can you clean it up and keep it? I rather like it!
    Marilyn

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    1. Somehow the wallpaper looks good in the photo - but in real life it's pretty dirty and dingy. The rest of the house will be bright and fresh! The closet needs to look like that too!

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  4. My worst dirty job was in our last house, when we pulled off the ceiling wall panels - very old, smallish ones that looked like the original model for today’s wallboard - in the “new” part of the house. The “new” part dated to 1861. Though the ceiling panels certainly weren’t that old, they were old enough so that the debris that rained down onto our faces/heads was beyond revolting. We were new to renovation at that time and that ceiling was an education. Never again.

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    1. Yikes - ceiling tiles can always be a challenge. Lots of stuff (including rat and mouse droppings) can accumulate and rain down. Been there - done that!!! Yuck!!

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  5. Well I emptied a hoarder's house once, that was a dirty job. Also, my last little rehab had the kind of insulation that was blown into the walls, my goofy contractors took down the walls but had forgotten to order themselves a dumpsters so everything went out into a shed that had a big hole in the roof, where upon it got rained on. Soon after they quit and I had the true challenge of cleaning that thing out all by myself. Although I am a good solid worker I am very slow and tackled it over three or fours days, thereby dragging out the horror. I had to keep telling myself that I am not above any particular job and that it was ok for me to be the one who cleaned that up after them. It got done eventually and I did feel pride in my work but it sucked!

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    1. OMG - so the insulation was wet as well? Wet and nasty??? You should get a medal!!

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