As an adult, I’ve done a few handy things, but nothing can compare to the kitchen remodel we just finished.
I’ve always been the one in the family who, due to my artistic tendencies, has been the least likely to pick up a power tool, hammer a nail or fix a broken something. However, I, like most men, am drawn inexplicably to hardware stores, and the wonders they hold. Plus, I’ve always wanted to be handy, but like Maverick in Top Gun, I had my own demons to deal with. Fortunately for me and my spouse, it didn’t have to involve the death of anyone and in the end, we got a sweet kitchen.
I bought this book from Costco (of all places) and I can’t recommend it enough. Clear, easy to read and great illustrations. Also, I spent a lot of time talking with the electrical people at Home Depot. They were very informative and helpful, unlike the goombah in tools who looked down on me because I didn’t want the $170 jigsaw and instead opted for the $29 one. He and his ilk are the reason you never want to buy anything.
There are a few things that I bought for the project that need recommending. The first is kneepads. Spare me the oral sex jokes; these things saved more than my knees in the attic. They take some getting used to, but because I bought the rigid kind, they add a kind of balance helper when sprawled across 4 joists, trying to get leverage to pound in U nails.
Don’t buy the serrated blade hole saw. Buy the one that looks like it won’t cut anything with all the chunky bits on it. That thing cut through lathe and plaster like butter. I almost bought the nasty blady one and the guy was all, “That’s gonna dull after your first hole.” Done. I’ll be able to use the diamond grit saw when we install recessed lights throughout the house (Heather really wants them in every room now, despite the trauma).
Another big recommendation is for wearing rubber gloves (the kind that doctors wear). Heather thinks I’m insane for wearing them, but I saw an auto mechanic wearing them several years ago and if he can get away with it, so can I. The gloves act as a protector as well as a clean up aid. All the dust, dirt and pinching happens to the glove, not your skin. When we started the demolition, I didn’t wear them, and by the end, I was going through pair after pair. Fortunately, they are cheap and come in bulk packs. You can purchase them near the paint section of your favorite Home Depot.
The final recommendation is to wear a respirator. We stirred up a lot of crap with the sanding, moving, wedging, crowbarring and demolition. Lord only knows what chemicals are being used, even in modern products.
I had a great support in all my tasks in Heather. There is no way I’d ever dream of climbing into our attic if she wasn’t there giving me encouragement. There were a few very long days and she was there, holding light fixtures as I wired (and unwired incorrectly wired light fixtures twice), tiling at midnight and stripping the floors at 6 a.m. Did I mention she’s pregnant? She is a rocker and we’d never have a kitchen like this if it wasn’t for her work.
Enough of my yackin’, let’s boogie.