What we are doing:

In what spare time we have, we decided to spend it (and our savings) on remodeling our rowhouse in South Philly. When we purchased our casa it was a 3 story, 5 bedroom, 1 bath that hadn't been touched in 50+ years. It's currently a 4 bed, 2 bath construction site with so much more to do it's hard to believe.

We use this blog to mark progress, say hi to friends and family, rant about the process of remodeling, and try to have some fun along the way.

- Bryan and Christina

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pondering Parker's Playroom

After what has essentially been something like 7 months off from construction, we're back at it. And man, getting back on that horse was a tough one! Granted I’d much rather dabble in framing, electrical and the major items instead of trim and paint (ugh), there is an essential factor that you must have for any major work: time. That is far and away our greatest challenge right now.

With our daughter Parker now at a whopping 11 months old, she officially needs her own space to do what little kids do. So we decided to take this as our chance to redo the front bedroom on the second floor into a playroom that will eventually be her bedroom when she’s ready. As it happens, her nursery has an adjoining door to this front bedroom, so in the end it’s like she is getting her own suite at the Bellagio or something. It has a bay window that I'm already itching to make into a window seat!

(I’m banking on that move meaning that her nursery room can be taken over by me. What man doesn’t want his own cave with a mini fridge and HD cable?)

The room had been packed to the gills as a storage room for 18 months, so once that clutter was jettisoned I had to tackle the closet. Now, we’re pretty sure that the closet was original to the house, and it was built like a brick s#$%house for sure. The kicker is that I could barely ever use it. See, in the olden days, people must have had REALLY small feet or didn’t wear shoes. Because the original closet (you might be able to tell by the pictures) is a nice like 36 inches wide, but a mere 10 inches deep. I wear size 12 shoes, and putting my shoes in there was a pain in the butt. Not only that, but any shirts that hung we on one of three rods that ran perpendicular to the closet opening which made it weird to look for that long lost Cosby sweater in the back.

So I got to smash it apart and throw the whole thing away. As usual this meant a huge mess and since I’m paranoid about that level of dirt in the air, I had both doors sealed up like a bio medical lab. So getting bags of trash in and out plus ladders, compressor, etc was a chore. But you have to do what you have to do right?

Anyway, the original closet has been replaced by one of Christina’s design that I had the pleasure of constructing. If you can’t picture it with the framing, there will be an upper and lower closet with little “wings” off the side (you can see the header of the bottom closet, but you can’t see the studs running to the back wall to make the separate between the two boxes). The left side boxes in the radiator pipes for the third floor, and the right side will be open inside for shelves, TV equipment…whatever. Pretty decent use of symmetry and space if you ask me….

The other task for this room is getting more than the current number of working receptacles since keeping only ONE for a room this day and ages is not only against code, it’s pretty lame. The challenge was in the party wall opposite the closet, since there was no way I was going to grind into brick again for two boxes and the channel needed. Not going to happen in the room next to my daughter’s crib, and since brick dust goes EVERYWHERE and takes eons to get rid of; I elected to just frame a wall against the brick/plaster that’s there.

So in the end I got to build a closet and a wall plus add four new recessed lights and relocate the existing overhead fixture (still to do because I keep forgetting). I hope to get the new receptacles in next weekend, and then hopefully get our man Jose to sheetrock and paint the room by the later half of Feb. Like I said before, it’s just time…and when you get about 4 hours over the entire weekend to get anything done between naptime, and bedtime, it’s all a shell game.

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