October marks the 6 month anniversary of owning the Allen Abode! It's hard to believe it's already been half a year. We've been working on 11 rooms, painted almost every interior wall, refinished 1,000 square feet of hardwood, re-carpeted, painted cabinets, decorated, demolished, sanded, screwed, drilled and pounded almost every object in the house. I can't believe how much I've learned about all this house stuff. My mind has been opened to a world of construction, circuits, plumbing, insulating, moisture, structure, color, and design. A friend bought an old house near us a few weeks ago and we lent him some painting supplies. I walked around the house and could talk knowledgeably about all kinds of house concepts. I don't say that to brag, because just 6 months ago I hardly knew a thing and there's still tons to learn... It's hard to believe anyone let me buy a house and work on it. I made more than my share of mistakes and learned a lot on the way.
I think that's the essence of DIY work: Jumping in with enough confidence that you can get yourself out of a bind and enough naivety to think it's a good idea.
When I was writing the post about our kitchen reveal I went back to one of the first posts we wrote about tearing up linoleum in the kitchen and all the surprises we ran into. It seemed like a simple enough project. Just pull up some flooring and reveal gorgeous hardwood! Yeah right! We spent 20 hours on our knees chipping away at that linoleum one inch at a time. Not only did I underestimate the amount of work but I failed to recognize how everything in a house is connected. In order to refinish the floors in the kitchen I had to remove the radiator. That led to having to drain the boiler, which led to having to bleed every radiator in the house. Not only that but when we hit a cold snap a few weeks later I had to rush to hook the radiators up and refill the boiler. Because it was my first time refilling a boiler and I did it hastily, I ended up missing a key concept: water line pressure is higher than the boiler circuit pressure. That meant when I left the water intake valve wide open to go upstairs and remove air from the radiators, the system eventually filled all the way with water, then built up too much pressure and the boiler's release valve opened to get rid of that pressure... spilling gallons of water on the floor in a matter of minutes.
There I stood with soaking socks in an inch of water in our utility room all because I had tried to remove the linoleum from the kitchen. That's the essence of DIY. And I love it.