the years, I have worked on several projects around our home.
(Check that… homes… plural.) And as any homeowner will confirm,
the list of items and projects and more that need attention is
always growing, never completed, and occasionally a bit strange.
strange part falls into an endless run of possibilities. One of
the most fun for me is the curveballs that appear. Those unexpected
twists that make you wonder about what happened. Those unexpected
twists that make you wonder what someone might have been thinking.
Those unexpected twists that… well…
was fortunate to have some great friends come over to work on
stuff around our first house. We built a tremendous deck. Added
a shed from the ground up to a barn-style loft and roof. Renovated
a bathroom. Fun projects. And those were just the start.
of the fun things we bumped into occasionally were 2x4s that were
so old they actually measured 2-inches by 4-inches. But that’s
a fun twist. It’s not an unexpected twist.
unexpected twist would be the electrical in that house.
am not kidding you when I say that we used to trip the circuit
breaker that was involved in power heading to the living room
when we used one of the outlets in the kitchen. Those two rooms
were on opposite sides of the house, in diagonally opposed corners.
would occasionally be working in the garage, using power tools
like a circular saw, and the power would go out… in the garage…
in the mud room… in the dining room… and you get the idea.
outlets and wiring paths were strung in interesting runs and connections.
we are in our current house, and these days I often find myself
wondering about things like the framing of a closet door in the
not equal. One side is thinner than the other.
general, it’s a very interesting effort in carpentry. At first
glance, the lines are so straight that I thought a thinner piece
of molding had been used. It was only on inspecting it more closely
that it became apparent that the entire strip of molding had been
cut to thin it from 2-1/4” to 1-7/8”.
the kicker… I discovered that it had been cut when I was painting
the bathroom and got a really good look at the molding while attempting
to paint the barely accessible but still exposed strip of wall
between the edge of the molding the corner of the room. Guess
what? That amazingly tiny strip of exposed wall was only exposed
because the molding had been thinned out. The amount of the gap?
ahead… do the math… I’ll wait.)
full-sized strip of 2-1/4” molding would have fit. Perfectly.
And it would have covered that segment of wall that I needed to
paint… a segment so close to inaccessible that it took me almost
as much time to paint it and clean up my mistakes from painting
it than it did to paint the rest of the bathroom.
the molding down was a great and intense-effort solution for a
problem that didn’t exist.
given it some thought… just as you might give thought to the adventures
and discoveries in your home. For instance: Did they measure something
else wrong, would have needed to head to the store to get more
of the 2-1/4” stock, but had a 6-foot-whatever length of leftover
1-7/8”? Probably not… as I haven’t come across the thinner molding
in any other room of the house.
weird part is that these types of things are all over the place.
In every room of a house. And not just mine. Yours as well.
plates for outlets and switches hide uneven cuts in drywall that
had been made for electrical boxes. Baseboard molding hides gaps
where the wall and floor don’t meet. (Ditto the result of crown
molding.) And let’s not even begin wading down the possible items
being used to shim something here and level something there.
long as something works, it doesn’t earn our attention. If something
looks good, it must be. Often times, that actually is the reality
of the situation. Items are sturdy and placed properly… the work
was (and is) structurally sound… everything is good. But when
something needs repair… something leaks… or you break out the
prybars… welcome to the unexpected twists.
are often head-scratchers to behold and joys to correct. Especially
when the craftmanship offered was from generations ago, when the
measurements truly were from a different age.
to notice. Usually fun to consider. And now, I need to grab my
tape measure. I just remember a cabinet in the second bathroom.
I wonder if the molding around that…