It's not about the house.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Day 43: Window Mistreatment

I actually didn’t feel like doing anything today, because I’m sunburned and I’m tired and it’s a grand, soft day outside, and it just feels like a good day to crawl back in bed with the newspapers I never got around to reading yesterday…

But I didn’t do anything yesterday, and I didn’t really do anything on Saturday, and I didn’t do anything on Friday either, and – yeesh, now that I’m looking I really haven’t done anything much around here since the joint compound incident last Tuesday. Phone calls, furniture pick-ups, poetry – none of that counts as work so much as noodling around avoiding work.

And I know I’m not doing anything tomorrow because it’s my birthday. So I absolutely had to do something today.

Easiest job I could think of was to move those curtain-rod brackets. You know, the ones I hung in the living room too close to the picture window, so the curtains wound up looking all pinched and – I believe the phrase I used was “anal-retentive looking”? Just move ’em over a couple inches, spit spot, easy peasy.

Well, yes, except for when I went to use my drill there was something not quite right with it all of a sudden. When I switch it over to “unscrew,” the drill itself keeps loosening until the head falls out. Took me three times climbing down and picking the damn thing off the floor to realize that was happening. I just thought I was leaving it in the wrong position. I’d pick it up, put it back in, tighten it, climb back up and – zzzzz, plop.

So I got my girlie screwdriver. Not as quick, but much less frustrating. And for only four little screws out and back in again, not that much of a waste of time.

Now, I long ago tired of the “what size hole should I drill in the wall to accommodate this anchor” question. The size they tell you is always – but always – too small, and if you try to bash the anchor into it anyway because they said that was the size, it smushes and gets stuck and then you have to cut it off with an exacto knife and make another hole right next to it. Then you have to inch up in drill sizes until you get to the point that it’s too big, then you have to find a bigger anchor, and then a bigger screw.

Screw that. Nowadays I start with an industrial-sized screw-and-anchor and a size 6 drill bit. At least I know whatever it is I’m hanging won’t fall down.

Except for – whoops. You’re going to be able to see these screws. And they’re in the living room. So I really kind of want to use the original black screws the bracket came with.

(Speaking of which, why can’t you find black screws in any hardware store, when every single hardware-fixture-thing I’ve ever bought is black and they don’t all come with them? The closet to an answer I ever got was a recommendation to buy brass screws and color them with a magic marker. Oh, take my word, it’s lover-ly.)

So I want to reuse the screws I just took out, but I just put industrial-sized holes into the wall. I don’t want to go drilling yet another hole, so my options are to use the big ugly industrial screws, or use the little black ones and hope they hold.

Well, the big ones don’t fit through the holes in the hardware anyway, so I guess we’ve got our answer.

Sheesh, I’m a great planner-aheader, aren’t I?

I used the black ones (obviously). They’re a bit slippy – if I pull on the thing I can pull it right out – but I don’t really see anybody pulling on the thing, and they seem to hold the curtain up all right.

I could only find one smaller anchor for the other bracket, and there was no way I was going to Lowe’s at this point for another. So I decided to use the little (a.k.a. “proper-sized”) one on top, where the fulcrum of the weight would be, and the bigger one on the bottom where it was less likely to slip. I marked my spaces, put the smaller drill bit on… and hit a stud.

Dang! If I’d known there was a stud there I wouldn’t have needed the anchor in the first place! I could have used the one small one on the other side and just put screws in here! But now that I’ve drilled the gol-dang hole I have to use the anchor even though there is a stud, because the hole of course is too big for the screw alone.

At least I got to skip the too-big anchor, though. Just put the bottom screw straight in to the stud and called it a job well done. The curtain rods might look a little saggy, but there’s no way I’m moving them again.

When I went to take the “after” picture to compare with the “before” one I posted a few weeks ago, I tried thirty different angles, with lights on and off, standing on things and laying down. I simply could not figure out how I had managed to get the entire window in the shot. Finally, I backed aaaalllll the way up into the dining room and, with every single light on, I got this:

(yes, that is the funky futon I was fomenting discontent over the other day.)

And then, when I actually went to the computer to look at the “before” picture, it turns out I didn’t get the whole thing in the shot at all.

So you can’t really compare the two, you’ll just have to trust me. Even if they are a little floppy, they look much better now…

Day 43: Accomplished
Time: I don’t know, but shorter than it took to write this, that’s for sure. Half an hour, maybe?
Cost: Nothing.
This Fellow I’ve Just Heard Of Who’s Decided To Do A Blog Entry A Day For Thirty Days About His Renovation Project: Oh, I know there’s a P word I could use here, but it’s not one a lady in my line of work likes to throw around…


Robert said...

Is there going to be a P word contest?

EGE said...

Okay why not?

Popo said...

Hmmm, could it have something to do with a slight P of the finger with a pin???