Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Productive Weekend

Note: Yes, I realize this post is rather long. However, it isn't nearly as long as my Saturday afternoon/evening felt with The Great Light Project. Read on to find out more about it.

As I mentioned in my last post, we were out of town last weekend, but we got a lot done around the house the weekend before that.

Our project for that Saturday morning was replacing the door handles. I don't have a "before" picture, but the old ones were patterned and brass. Most also had a few paint splotches from when the doors had been painted. It was time for an update.

We went to Lowe's and looked around and picked new ones that we liked. They were rubbed bronze and had a satin finish (which the Lowe's employee told us was what was "in" now), and best of all, they matched the hinges already on the door. This was a big deal, as we didn't want to have to go through and change all the hinges, which would most likely have been expensive and taken quite awhile. Also? The new handles matched the ones to the front and side doors that my dad put in whenever I first bought the condo.

After a slight obstacle (during which we returned the handles, thinking we couldn't use them, only to repurchase them about 15 minutes later, after finding out we could), David installed them all in less than an hour.

Here's a photo of the finished product:


After we finished this, we went to Qdoba for lunch. David explained that, in the past, whenever he successfully completed a home improvement project at his house, he would go to Qdoba for lunch or dinner.

"Like a victory meal?" I asked.

"Yes, exactly."

When we got home, David started examining the light fixture over the dining room table. We'd talked about updating it, too, but I was under the impression that the door handles were the only project for the weekend. But David must have had other ideas. He took a sip of his Coke and told me, "I'm just going to cut the power real quick to get a better look at this."

I knew where this was going. Another project for the afternoon, apparently. And he hadn't even finished his victory lunch. That's some confidence.

After a bit more time studying the light, he said, "I'm going to unscrew it at the top and see what it looks like. It shouldn't be too difficult to replace."

Ah, famous last words. Our afternoon project ended up carrying on into the next morning.... but I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Before David took the top apart, we took down the glass plates hanging from the light fixture. Then a light bulb broke in the socket. It was at that point that he announced, "I think we've passed the point of no return."

Here's a visual:


Yep, time to upgrade.

This could be an extremely long story, but to summarize, we spent the next five hours buying a new light from Lowe's, assembling it (with extreme difficulty, which including quite a few "discussions"--AKA arguments), discovering, when it was almost finished, that the frame was bent and we wouldn't be able to use it, returning it to Lowe's, feeling dissatisfied with their other products, going to Home Depot to buy a different light, and attempting to assemble it instead. Oh, and throughout this whole process, there was much grumbling, mumbling, and cursing at the various light fixtures. Most of it was from David, but I threw in my fair share, too.

By 7 p.m., the daylight was gone (the power was cut, so aside from a flashlight, the light outside was all we had to work with), and our sanity wasn't far behind. I'd spent more than an hour holding the second assembled light fixture above my head and shining a flashlight toward the hole in the ceiling where it was supposed to connect, while David stood on a stepladder and tried to attach it.We couldn't get it attached, and we couldn't figure out what the problem was, but finally we decided it was time to call it a day.

The next morning, we studied the light, studied the old light, glanced again at the manual, and watched a couple of YouTube videos about installing light fixtures. The videos were especially helpful, and we went back to work.

About an hour later, it was finished! The light was successfully installed! I don't remember now what our exact problem was, but basically, I think a couple of the five or so parts that needed to be lined up to screw the light into the ceiling were mixed up in the wrong order. Ugh.

And here it is:


Beautiful, right?  :)

In case you haven't figured it out yet, neither David nor I are very handy. We have good intentions, and we try hard, but we automatically triple the installation time that the manual gives us, knowing that we'll come across a few bumps in the road in the process. We're proud of the work we did that weekend, but I think we're finished with home improvement projects for a little while.

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