Almost Ready for Prime Time
Art Studio – Before and After
Here we go – before and after. This is the first time I ever undertook a project as comprehensive as this. When we relocated to Arizona, I told Liz that I was not concerned about the size of the house – the houses we were looking at were all older and typically more compact. It was quite a change, I must admit, going from a 3-story Victorian style Italianate to a bungalow that had less than 1/3 the floor-space. The only caveat was that there be an area that can be used as studio space.
Our property has a 16′X24′ outbuilding with electricity. That was more than ample for our needs. It only needed a little work…
The electrical was nothing more than a line coming in feeding one outlet and an overhead fluorescent fixture. There were no windows. The door had been hobbled up out of plywood and 2×4′s, and would wedge against the not quite level floor when open. There was probably not one stud that was both level and square at the same time. The only barrier between the inside and outside was T-111 siding.
The first order of business was to install windows, and create a permanent opening for the AC unit. I already covered that part of the process. This past week concentrated my energy on replacing the door, and completing phase one of the interior. It seems that most of the inclement weather blows in from the south – the portal for the door had been rotted away from years of neglect. I cut the crumbling wood away and replaced it with new lumber. I cut a one-foot wide area out of the floor, framed and it poured a new concrete sill. That should take care of any future weather problems.
We hit the same salvage yard that supplied the windows, and I picked up an unused trailer door and frame. Since the shed had been framed with 2×4 studs, a regular house-sized door would not be easy to install. The trailer door fit like a glove… well, it fit after I performed a massive re-frame job around the door opening so that every stud and cross-beam was actually square and true.
The door went in without a hitch. A couple of coats of Zuni Blue on the door, and touch-up with paint the former owner was kind enough to leave behind on the building, and we are ready to rock and roll!
With the door installed, I was able to finish the dry wall around the interior, and then continued on to complete the inside. Yesterday I was able to wrap up most of the baseboard trim, and gave it a coat of semi-gloss white.
As you can see in the before and after pics of Liz’s corner, there is quite a difference.
I still have a bit of work ahead of me, and none of it is going to be fun. The first order of business is to patch a hole in the roof – during the last rain we had a small flood on one corner. I discovered the culprit, a hole in the roof. I have to repair that before I begin phase two – installing the ceiling.
I also have to clear all of the loft/storage areas and insulate and dry wall those spaces. I am going to need a taller step ladder before I start that project.
It is Superbowl Sunday! I am rooting for Baltimore, I always go for the underdog. Today I plan to relax – there are a few boxes in the studio that I have to move so that Liz has space to work. We are in dire need of a storage shed – the house has little space for storage, and the studio needs to be kept clear of clutter so that I am not distracted – too much clutter triggers OCD impulses in me.
Anyway… we purchased a barbeque grill this week. Money is still tight what with the studio renovations, and my futile job search. I have been putting out at least one resume per day, some days I will submit a dozen. I am now applying for jobs that I know I will absolutely despise. There is nothing worse than putting in time at a shit job that pays nothing, that offers no challenge, where you are working with people with which you have nothing in common, waiting for the clock to tick away so that you can clock out and vacate the miserable place. That sort of drudgery must be why corrections officers are generally brainless assholes. Having nothing in your occupation to challenge you mentally has to cause brain cells to die off slowly. I need to have some sort of task that challenges me mentally, and something that keeps me occupied the entire shift. There is nothing I despise more than trying to find work, or doing made-up jobs to keep busy.
But I digress… instead of a propane grill we opted for a good old-fashioned charcoal grill. Food always tastes better when cooked over hot coals. And add some mesquite chips… that chicken was delicious!