Sunday, September 22, 2013

Home Remodel Disaster

Ava and C.I. redid Trina's kitchen and living room as a result of last week's "Media: Syria's not a simple upgrade" (honest, we're not making that up, read Trina's "Mexican Corn Chowder in the New Kitchen").  It turned out great.  Marcia already had the remodel bug but it really grabbed her after she saw Trina's remodel.

She asked Ava and C.I. about her living room and what she could do quickly, easily and inexpensively.

Marcia has soft brown walls (painted two years ago and they still look great).  A red throw rug, a leather couch and matching chairs (all black), a variety of framed prints in a variety of different colored frames, a glass and black wood coffee table, three bookshelves from college (white), a black wood end table with a red vase.  Ava and C.I. suggested she go all black except the walls. 

Get a black rug, get a black vase, get black curtains for the window, get black frames for the prints and paint the bookcases black or get new black bookcases.

Marcia liked the idea and the rug worked, the frames worked, the vase and curtains were no problem.  (She had blinds and no curtains in the living room.  "I just never got around to it," she explained.)

She didn't want to paint and figured she'd just move the old book cases into her bedroom ("where they are needed badly").  So she went looking for inexpensive book cases ("cheap") and that took her to Big Lots where she found three black book cases for less than thirty a piece.

"I should have known I was headed for disaster when the man in the furniture section refused to help me load the heavy things into the cart -- he said he was waiting on someone to finish an order," Marcia explained.  "But I managed.  I then asked him to ring me up.  He couldn't even manage that.  You want to try pushing a cart with 3 five-shelf bookcases sticking out through the store without knocking things over?  I should have known right then that I needed to go elsewhere."

But she took them home and that's when disaster hit.

"I'm handy," she explains, "I can replace a washer by myself on a faucet, I can rewire an electrical socket all by myself.  I'd put together all my bookcases before.  I couldn't do these."

The problem?

Well, the problems.

The screws, nails, et al were not all there.  This was true of all three cases.  In addition, drilled hole -- drilled at the manufacturer -- did not match up.


Oh, and the instructions.  Stapled together and useless.  For example, the drawing for step 3 shows you how to attach 3 primary shelves but fails to explain how or what devices you're to use.

She was about to toss all the wood out when she mentioned the problem to Ava and C.I.


Ava and C.I. told her to get carpenter's glue.

That turned into another problem.  Marcia couldn't find it anywhere.  Not even at Home Depot.  Ava and C.I. then suggested Elmer's Wood Glue.  Glue the framework together (top piece to the two-side pieces, glue side pieces to the next set of side pieces, glue the bottom shelf, glue the shelf at the top of the first section of side panels).  Let that sit for 24 hours.  Put the pieces on plastic before you start so that the plastic will catch the falling glue.

It worked out perfect for Marcia.

"My only complaint was I had plastic freezer bags stuck to the bookcases where the glue had dripped.  But, it turns out, those just peel right off.  And I'll never buy anything to assemble at Big Lots again."

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