Remodeling Blues

by | General

Whoa. The reason I haven’t had many entries in the past week was due to what we thought was a small home modification. What we believed would be a simple removal of the acoustic (popcorn) ceiling material from three rooms in the house turned out to be a huge effort which took two day’s plus…..

Once the cottage-cheesey looking stuff was scraped, the house literally looked like a war zone. Everything ; floors, walls, and furniture was covered  and sealed in plastic. And dust….everywhere.
I couldn’t get into my sound booth or access the internet.

Thankfully, before the contractor began I took my laptop, mic, and port-a booth, just in case something came in  from a client.

Because I couldn’t access the web at home, I took off to my local library  where I spent most of the day while the contractor did his thing and I used the library wi-fi. I accessed my email box, and lo and behold there were several projects needing attention.
On day one, there was so much dust insde the house, it was catching in my throat . Hard to do voice work!

On day one, only the first phase of the job was done. The popcorn was scraped off, and plaster was troweled on the ceiling. It had to dry. The heat had to stay on with fan going and the tempurature set at about 72 all night. Much too warm for me. And the dust was circulating too. The windows steamed up as it was so humid from the plaster. What a mess.

In addition to my studio and office, one of the affected rooms was the master bedroom and bath. The contractor failed to mention that we’d might want to consider sleeping elsewhere for the night. We had to cut through sheets of plastic and re-tape the slits in order to to retrieve tooth brushes and a change of clothes.

The good news was, I was able to record some jobs in my port-a booth in the spare bedroom.  Then I drove over to my local grocery store at 9:30 at night (the library was already closed) and uploaded files over the store’s free wi-fi using my laptop from the store parking lot.

We  didn’t retreat to a hotel and slept in another bedroom, with the window open.

Next morning at 7, the contractor returned, sprayed very strong primer, and then painted the ceilings. I had to leave again. The fumes were intense. But the job was almost over. He left at 2. Even though he did a good job of cleaning up, I had to do more.  Having such a sensitive throat, I feel most comfortable when dust , allergens, and particulates are held to a minimum, which was one of the reasons we had the procedure done.

Things are now back to normal, thankfully. The ceilings look amazing, and clean….not the off grey color, and micro spider webs they’ve sported for years on end.  The weather was beautiful this weekend so we could open up windows and air the place out. My studio is back in operation and all is well.

But it really helps to have a contingency plan. I am so thankful for my laptop, port-a booth and wi-fi!

Oh yes, and next time we’ll grill the contractor about potential ramifications to our normal life before his work begins.


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