Being a Grownup sucks sometimes…

…most of the time you can get away with doing whatever you want (at least I can since I only work part-time) but then reality bites you on the ass and you have to follow through with your responsibilities. For me, reality comes calling at minimum three times a year – in April, July and October. Being a bookkeeper, I have at least one client who waits until the very last minute to give me their tax info which means I spend those six weeks a year doing data input like a madwoman.

So, in case you were worried or something, that’s where I’ve been for the last week and a half. Inputting the entire year of 2006 and fighting with banks getting statements, etc. Fun times.

This weekend, however, I managed to pull my head out of the sand long enough to do two things: Spin at the Hancock Shaker Village (post forthcoming) and rip apart my porch to install a new door. I know it isn’t as interesting but let’s go with the door install first since I have the pictures all ready and a post half written in my head that I don’t want to forget, k?

Yesterday, in honor of Columbus Day and the spirit of exploration, we decided to explore the way our porch was thrown together. Around here we like to call this “Hillbilly Construction” ;o)

Apparently the former owner of our house decided they wanted to put in two windows and a French Door on the mostly enclosed pre-existing porch (which is also the only room in our house big enough to hold all of us at Thanksgiving. It gets a bit chilly, to say the least). To do this, they needed holes. They cut these holes using God only knows what kind of saw but we did learn that they liked to ‘start low and go high’ or, as we like to put it, ‘wing it’ and not use a level.

Seriously, how expensive is a freaking level? Or, how hard is it to get your not-as-drunk cousin Carl to come over to eyeball it for you?

Anyway, at least they cut out the parts between the load-bearing two-by-sixes. Mostly. I have a couple of pictures for you, ‘before and afters’ if you will:


You can’t really see it very well but those up/down 2×4’s in the picture do not reach up to the roof. Why, you ask? Because they had a drop ceiling. This, according to Hillbilly Logic (there are rare occurrences – and Hilbilly Logic is secondary to Hillbilly Construction), means that anything that happens above the drop ceiling doesn’t really matter since you can’t SEE it.

This includes large holes, wasp nests, rotting…well, rotting anything and 2x4s that end halfway up the wall and pretty much do nothing but hold up your horrifically ugly circa-1976 paneling. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there was even paneling.

Wanna see what else we found?


That arrow is pointing to the last remnants of the asbestos-laden shingles ETA: I have been informed that they are asphalt shingles. No tent required for removal. ;o) that covered the entire house from top to bottom. We found some of this on the porch itself during our ‘clean up’. Where, you ask? Under the paneling. Why rip it off when you can cover it?


Here is an example of the color that was used on all of the trim. When I say ‘all’ I mean ALL. Inside and out. Seriously. Oh and do not adjust your monitors, it really is that hideous teal-blue. It belongs on my Fiestaware, not on the outside of my HOUSE.

Now for the fun part, what did we put in the gaping hole that was formerly a screen door…


That would be a freakishly heavy sliding glass door. The cost of said door? For us – FREE. Sometimes it pays to have men in your life who work at job sites where they throw out expensive stuff. We also have six or so sheets of drywall from the same site for the Laundry Room (aka the Project from Hell) and three or so more doors. ;o)

It isn’t completely done, RR still has to trim out the door and I have to find the green trim paint from three years ago (cross fingers it’s still good) however, we are both very proud of ourselves. If he hadn’t had to go rescue some dumb hiker from the top of Bash Bish falls yesterday he’d be 100% done but nooooo, the sun had to go and set.

So, to sum up, MasterC*rd style:

Ripping out Hillbilly Construction: $0+hours of frustration and mocking of said Hillbillies

Installing sliding glass door and all wood for framing, trim, etc.: $0

Not having to listen to your Father complain that he’s freezing at Thanksgiving: Priceless.

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17 thoughts on “Being a Grownup sucks sometimes…

  1. Its so amazing the things you find when you start pulling your own house apart. I think the people who lived here before were crazy.

    Yay! new door!

  2. Sing it.

    In our house, the question that comes up with every single “improvement” done by the previous owner is, “Why…?”

  3. Better put a nice warm throw on FIL’s chair, just in case. Better safe and all. But that door is WONDERFUL! I love to see the progression. And the hillbilly construction company may have built our former porch! :D
    LOVE your morning glories! LOVE!
    Congrats on a working door to keep out the cold. Which is knocking on that door right now, right?

  4. I think the same contractors built our previous house. There wasn’t a single stud which ran completely from floor to ceiling in an entire wall of our house… the entire thing had been odds and ends nailed together in the middles to make “posts” which ran the heighth of the walls. And we too had paneling covering it all up. Yours is looking pretty good right now. It will all be worth it. Oh, and the previous owners of your house probably did the safest thing (for them) by covering up the asbestos shingles. You have to have the entire house covered with a “tent” and have hazmat “specialists” come in because of asbestos dust and then you have to pay special dumping fees too. Aaack!

  5. The mocking part is by far the best part! (But you did do a fantastic job with the door too!) I wonder if someday the next owner of our house will look at our home ‘improvement’ projects and wonder what the hell we were thinking. Yup.

  6. OMG…it reminds me of my brother’s house in upstate NY…an old farmhouse with hillbilly construction. Hahahah. Wow, it will be wonderful when it is finished and much better when the hillbilly style is gone. Hahha. Your post made me laugh so much, I have to email it to my brother (it will make his day since they are renovating right now).

  7. Whew! I’m tired just looking at that. And I have experienced hillbilly construction first hand. 1920s comics from the newspaper used as insulation around an outside door in my parents house. No joke. It was kind of cool looking at old Andy Cap comics before they disintegrated though… ;)

  8. It’s a scary thing to reveal what is underneath in a house – especially one constructed by Hillbillies!

    Looking to your end-goal is a good way to get through it.

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