Sunday, June 21, 2009

Return of the Handyman

When the washing machine leaked a few months ago, we replaced it and thought that was the end of it. Then we noticed that there was a depression in the floor in Hyrum's bedroom just as you walk in the door. I lifted up the carpet and found that the wood was molded, warped, and indeed cracking and splintering.

This looks like a job for the Handyman!

In theory, the repair is quite simple. You roll back the carpet, cut out the old wood, replace it, and Bob's your uncle. It's a small hole, so I don't need to replace too much, just the area in between two support beams: 16 inches by 24. Theoretically, I could get it done in a good Saturday's work.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice there often is.

1) The job got bigger. I rolled back the carpet and discovered that several sections of the floor are really supremely molded. In the right you can see a discolored section against the wall. There's another over by Hy's bed. Make that 4'x4'.

2) The circular saw I bought couldn't do the job. It started smoking. I spent more than 2 hours just in travel back and forth between Lowe's on Saturday, not counting time in the store.

3) I made the mistake of wearing my well-worn walking shoes one day and went through the floor, as seen below. There's just insulation and then a minor drop of two-plus feet to the trailer's underbelly. So now I have some insulation to repair as well.

Actually, I made that mistake twice and fell in again. I scraped up my leg pretty painfully, put some big marks on my back, banged up my shoulder, and did a number on two pairs of pants.

Then I decided to just expand the project to the back wall because that's almost the size the plywood comes in and it's less cutting for me, so now we're at 4'x7.5'.

Here is the debris in the hall from taking the wood out all the way to the other wall. It took from Saturday to Wednesday with all my free time on it. Hyrum slept in our room two nights and we slept with our mattress in the living room so I could have another couple hours to work on it. A friend from church who runs a construction company also loaned me his tools, which sped up the job greatly.

4) The support beams on the ends of the room were tucked under the wall. So on one side I had to nail in another support beam next to it and on the other side I had to rip out the insulation so I could put it some more frameworking.

It was a wonderful thing to put down the first section of reflooring. To be able to walk without fear of falling again was an amazing thing I had taken much for granted.

After sliding it around and cleaning and prepping, I finally put both pieces of wood down Friday and secured them to the support beams. (That's when problem 5 happened: the screws were worthless. Most of them stripped in the process of drilling them into the wood. Plan B - nail it down. I felt comfortable doing that since the floor had been secured by staples before.)

And finally, here I am on solid ground. Fri-Sat I rolled back the carpet, tacked it in place, repaired and replaced the heating vent (problem 6), tucked the carpet into place, vacuumed, cleared out the wood remains, and otherwise started restoring the room to its former pristine condition ... least ways until we decide to go after the rest of the moldy wood in the room. And I only got 8 splinters deeply enough embedded in my hands that I couldn't tweezer them out.

Next week I try to get the insulation repaired, but then again, maybe it'll wait to the week after. It'd be nice to have some time with my family this week....

1 comment:

Shari said...

It makes me feel tired just from reading about it. I'm impressed that you were willing to do it yourself.