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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Many of my SparkFriends know that DH and I have been working on a project here in the apartment. Our landlord, dear soul though he is and always here when we need him, is one of those get-it-done-as-fast-as-possibl
e people, never mind if it's right. So we decided to do our projects without him and just maybe inform him later of what we did. So, project number one was to put up a light in the hallway over the pantry door. We had tried other solutions to this, such as buying one of the battery-operated pullchain lights, but this is the best it ever gave us:

It had to be a pullchain light because the original wiring was for a hard-wired smoke detector, which has since been replaced with a battery-operated one, leaving this silly looking plated gap in the ceiling.

Last week I finally bought what I thought was the perfect light for the space, and DH and I began the installation. What we did not anticipate was the stupidity of the builders of this place (not our landlord, he only bought the place) and how difficult it would be to overcome. First of all, the drop ceiling panels were not only painted, but caulked onto the ceiling hangers! Then when we got the old smoke detector fixture down it turned out that it was never anchored to anything at all, only caulked into the fiberglass-backed ceiling panel! Sorry, didn't think to take a photo of that! So we had to take the whole thing down and buy a new junction box to put up, to attach our new light fixture onto.

But the subceiling under the drop ceiling has oddly spaced joists, so in order to be able to anchor into one, we had to put up two pieces of 2 by 3 board, then secure the junction box to them.

I was very pleased at how well this step of the project went. But then the foreign-made materials supplied with the fixture began to fail us, and we ended up having to buy not one but two different fixture brackets and I just cannot tell you how many wire nuts and ground clips we went through! Eventually we got everything working together, after having to actually drill through a portion of the metal junction box to get the bracket to fit!

That was last Monday afternoon, 2/7 (we started the project on 2/4). Between then and now I have of course, worked both my jobs, and DH has fought with the wiring and the cheap wire nuts, not to mention checking that the breaker is turned off every time we wanted to work on it, then the wires nutted off and the breaker turned back on when we were too exhausted to continue!

We began again at about 10:00 this morning, running into yet more difficulties when it turned out there was too much insulation on the top side of the fixture, and the junction box was too far up in the hole on the new piece of fiberglass ceiling panel. It wouldn't allow us to tighten the fixture down without pushing the ceiling panel up nearly 3/4 of an inch. We had to take down the entire assembly and add another layer to the 2 by 3s that were holding up the junction box, to make it come down far enough so the fixture would sit properly against the ceiling panel. This was after I had already had to go back to Home Depot to buy another ceiling panel because I had botched the cutting of the first one we bought!

By the time we got all that done and FINALLY got the fixture attached, it was nearly 4:00 p.m. "Simple" home improvement projects just should NOT take that long! LOL! But this one did. Anyway, it finally is finished.

And now we can see into the pantry!

I went and did two hours of grocery shopping after we finally finished. I do think I got my exercise in for the day! Now it's past time to get dinner, so I'm going to wrap this up and chop veggies to put in the oven with the swai fillets.

A recent blog I read suggested that "Some couples attempting home improvement projects may need to find a marriage counselor as part of the process." Luckily, DH and I are not one of those couples!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JURI62
    Oh my! What's the next project?
    2920 days ago
    LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!! ALL home improvement projects ALWAYS take more time than one thinks!!! Great job on the project; good for you for your perseverence in the face of shoddy construction. It never ceases to amaze me what people will try to get away with and the silly cut corners that make a simple job a huge headache!!!

    And I do think it's a good sign no marriage counselor was needed -- when The Hubs and I built our deck, the fact that we hadn't killed each other before the wedding spoke more for us than the vows we took on it lol!!!
    3073 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6481422
    What an awesome job! You are so right, the pull chain light on the wall did not work!

    3282 days ago
    Great work Laurie! Looks good! It's good that you and your hubby work so well together....that's usually not the case at my house. LOL!
    3283 days ago
    This sounds SO-O-O-O-O familiar!!!! LOL!!!! emoticon
    3289 days ago
    Hi Laurie!

    Awesome!!! Way to go! I know this turned into way more than you thought you had bargained for, but great job! It looks great, and what a difference the light makes! And yes, you've got in a lot of exercise on this one. Fun side bonus!


    3291 days ago
    Your work looks great. I love a good pantry it saves so much money!

    3291 days ago
    Nice work! No more mood lighting in the pantry! Ya'll ROCK!!!
    3291 days ago
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