Sunday, November 1, 2009
All you need is Light
We have begun the project of 'finishing' the dining room. Well getting it close to finished. When we moved in we painted the living room, hallway and our upstairs bedroom. Then shortly after we moved in we painted the kitchen. We left the two main floor bedrooms and dining room for another day. Well this day (or month) has come for the dining room! We plan to change out the trim, paint the window trim white to match the new base trim, paint the room, install crown molding and install a light. There was no ceiling light in that room and we wanted to change that.
Yesterday was the day of gathering supplies and installing the light. I was determined to get the light installed and done with yesterday, where as Kyle didn't have as much faith as me... but fear not, it WAS done... and ten minutes to spare before midnight :-)
We started the day with a trip to Ikea to look at their lighting and get a few things we had been wanting: a table for the study corner we are putting in the dining room, curtain rods, and then we also ended up with two stools that fold up for if we have more dinner guests than we can currently fit (which is 2, but now 4) When we got home we put the stools together and realized we got the wrong size, so we are making another trip to Ikea for a return very soon. After Ikea we made the trek to Home Depot! Ahhh I love Home Depot!! Our list consisted of paint, maybe a rug, trim, a light (since we didn't find one we liked at Ikea), the supplies needed to install the light, and whatever else our hearts desired.
Phew, by the time all that shopping was done and we had everything unloaded it was almost 5:00... but we started on the light anyway. First task, getting the wire fished through from the switch to the ceiling... luckily we have access through the attic, since our upstairs bedroom is just a half-story, we have attic space on both sides. This ended up being a hassle! We fished the line (the little metal thing that you put in first then once that's in you attach the wire and pull the fish line out with the wire attached and VUALA you have the line at the switch and in the attic feeding to the light) first going up... I could hear the tap tap tap on the board in the attic, as I yelled down "Kyle I hear you, I hear the tap, it's right here, but I'm not sure where" So we both decided maybe if you cut a little bit we'll be able to see where the line is trying to get through... this was our first mistake, but a helpful mistake at that.
That little cut I thought I was making in the top of the wall... ended up being the ceiling drywall. That's okay, that's okay at least we know where we're working at now. So after a few calls to my dad, who is very helpful in these situations, he said it is easiest to fish the line down through the TOP then retrieve it through the switch box at the bottom and attach the electrical wire there. SO change of plan, we brought the fish tape into the attic and proceeded to drill a hole in what we NOW know was the top of the wall. Luckily we had just purchased a little tool kit consisting of a hand saw, drill, flashlight, and some weird saw thing. I had tried using our old little drill that is ran by 4 double A batteries, and that ended up being a fail, so out came the new drill. Only problem was we didn't have a big enough bit to make the size hole we needed.
Back to Home Depot (the sun is still out at this point)
Okay we now have the right size hole we need in the top of the wall, luckily we knew where to put it thanks to the ceiling slit, see it was a good thing we made that mistake. So we fished the tape down, tap tap tap. Okay where is it? We couldn't find it. The fish tape has measurements on it so we knew how far down we needed to go and how far down we were. Something isn't right. Let's try again, no movement near the box. "Okay you try" so we switched, nothing, switched again, nothing... this probably continued a good couple of hours, but this time it was dark out and trick-or-treaters were out.... well since we had the breaker turned off to the front room switch where we were working, it also meant we had no outside light. Which isn't a good thing on Halloween night when you have a bunch of candy you are trying to get rid of. So when we saw little kiddos walking by we would open the door and bring candy to them since they didn't think we were 'open' since our light wasn't on. Oh well, we'll have better luck next year with them, handing out candy just was not a priority at this point. So we continued to try and get this fish line through, when we just decided to cut a hole in the wall to figure out what was really going on inside of there.
And boy are we glad we did because less than ten minutes later we had success with getting the line fished through. What a great feeling it was just getting that little piece of metal tape to go four feet and out a hole!
We were on top of the world at this point, it was all down hill from there. But there was still a hill. We fished the line through, got the box placed where we wanted it.
Got the hole cut in the ceiling where it needed to go
And FINALLY got to open our new light fixture!
The rest is just history... getting the light all hooked up. But it was a great feeling flipping on that breaker and then the switch to seeing light... I could hear the angels sing
Until we made sure the outlet that the switch used to control worked, and it did. And we checked the outside light which was the other switch and NOTHING. Yup, we have one light and lost another. But it was almost midnight at this point and we were both in dire need of a beer so we dealt with it later (we did get it fixed today by the way) and we did go to a local bar/restaurant/bowling alley to have a beer to finish the night, which also reminded us that it was Halloween. We were both 'dressed' as home light installers, clean ones at that since we had just showered to get all that insulation off, but it was fun to see everyone else dressed up!
Today we got the trim pulled up, the rest of the furniture moved around or removed from the room and got the first coat of paint on the window and door trim. We hope to have everything done by Thanksgiving and I'll have before and after photos for you at that point.
Next weekend we're taking a break (and a trip to Chicago) so that leaves two weekends before Thanksgiving. I think we can do it, hey we got a light installed in one day :-)