house projects

*2 thoughts on 2 things “2 on 2” *

Two thoughts on Architects

Always use an architect.

Never trust anything an architect says... You hired them to make a pretty picture and specify materials.

Two thoughts on General Contractors

Always use a General Contractor

So there is that adage “You can have fast, good, or cheap, pick two.” it is absolutely true. Have that conversation with your General Contractor after you have honestly decided how you lean.

Writing about writing implements

I think I don’t have anything to write about my 12 inch PowerBook G4. Ok, there is one thing... I’ve been trying to get the laptop to stream Netflix. I have no interest using the laptop to play Netflix. I just thought about it one day. Bear with me. I get totally obsessive about eeking performance out of computers. I also take some odd pleasure in getting equipment to do something it was never meant to do. This habit of “I wonder if...” usually occurs when I have nothing to write about.

So I found myself with nothing to write about and was just curious. And since I know you probably own a Powerbook G4 yourself and want to know the answer, it is possible. I haven’t gotten it to work, but it is totally possible, or at least I haven’t given up on it, yet. I’ve currently been having trouble getting into the osX 10.5.8 package.

Getting into packages changes with each version of osX, which if you’re an apple person isn’t so confusing, but if your a windows person it sounds a bit weird. The part where Apple totally rewrites the desktop and OS underpinnings on a regular basis is also weird. And I cannot figure out the terminal command line to write out that will get me into the package and extract it to a desktop. So I keep going back with different syntax trying.


I have this area in my kitchen where my sink, my dishwasher and oven live. This area (sans oven, which we just bought) was a part of the “remodel” that occurred to the house before we bought it. But by remodel I mean some really lousy remodelers took scrap materials and fashioned a partially functioning counter, sink and dishwasher. Like they literally pulled some discarded kitchen materials and cobbled them together to make a kitchen area. The sink leaked, the dishwasher didn’t work, the carpentry (how dare you sir) is of the worse kinda construction. And all of this work was recently done. It’s pretty terrible. No part of this area is level or plum.

To make matters worse redoing the area would require decommissioning the oven, dishwasher and sink and keeping them offline till I rebuilt the space. Rebuilding the space would require literally taking the area down to the studs and rebuilding everything, so daunting. Any compromise means that I have to pick a place where I take my stand.

Do I take the wall down to the studs? If I do, I might get into a bigger project than I imagined. i have to contend with are some really weird framing choices that were made. The sink had one of those ledges behind the counter, y’know that spot. When the house is for sale it would have some olives and peppers floating in oil, all artfully arranged in a ornate glass bottle. Usually that would mean that the framing would extend out to accommodate the ledge and drywall would go around that framed outline.

I know what happened. They changed the layout of the space and brought in the dishwasher. they also did not want to spend a nickel on any change in the piping they had worked around. So they made one cut and added the breath pipe for the dishwasher and then they hit it in the ledge and also rigged up the electrical. Shoddy. Still with me? So I have framing that is extended past the original drywall and not tied into the wall structure at all and then it was also drywalled. So either I rip out the entire structure, all the framing and both layers of drywall and the plumbing and then start over.

That’s what it all boils down to, how much do you want to spend. How much are you willing to inconvenience yourself and your family. And how much do you have to change to achieve your goal? Otherwise, you have to pick a series of compromising starts and work around the structural issues and still manage to make it look good. Pretty tricky, unless you want to wash dishes in the sink and not have an oven. To be utterly honest with myself i’m doing the same wrong things they did. i’m looking at some really warmed over shit and trying to shape it into something else.

In the heart of remodeling this is the big question; what wrongs do you build on? Indeed. Every day we have to make that call.


*It would be like if Microsoft made Windows XP and then named the next seven operating systems Windows XP1-7 and then stuck on “Windows XP 7 Banana Peel” and then named the next one “Windows XP 7 Orange Rind” and then “Windows XP 7Almond shell” cause that is what Apple did. *

*After we bought the house the Owner/Agent offered to loan us his man to fix the “minor issues” the house had. That was like having the “buy here pay here” warranty, you’re not getting a quality car and you are not getting quality repairs. We declined the offer and closed on the house and got our own guy. *

*We gutted about 85% of the house, guess what we didn’t gut. *