{House} Patching Things Up

After I removed all the riffraff around the window, I was left with a lot of holes.  Which meant the next step before painting is patching.  The supplies:

I started with the center of the window, since it had the most holes and a ridge where a piece of wood used to be.

First, I sanded the sills a little to rough up the surface, take the shine off, and remove any bits and pieces.  Then, I took a little bit of the patching plaster out of the container with the putty knife, and smushed it into the holes.  I ran the putty knife over it again to smooth the patching plaster out, and make it level with the surrounding area.

Here, I’ve filled in the top two divots, but the bottom one still needs to be filled.

I was having so much fun patching the window, that I ended up running a layer over the whole piece!  There were a few paint drips that I wasn’t having luck sanding off, and with all the holes and divots, this made sense to do.  The original paint is bright white, while the patching plaster is off-white.

Then I reached up to patch the holes on the top sill.  So smooth!

The top of the window got attacked next.

This picture makes it really obvious where the patching plaster was applied.  The bright white is the existing paint, and the off-white is the patching plaster.

Remember when I said that the bottom of the fire escape gate was gross?  I wasn’t kidding!

It just took a little cleaning and some patching to become good as new.

Good thing I had so much fun patching up the window, because the walls are just as bad!

{House} What Wood You Do?

I have a pretty sweet deal at my company: working from home.  Basically however often I want, too.  Most of us spend Fridays working from home, and that’s what I was doing one day when I heard a lot of commotion down the hall.

I went to look, and noticed a huge cart full of bundles of hardwood floor.  More or less the same floor I have in my apartment!  The floors had been completely removed from the apartment.  (This makes me sad, because it is perfectly good flooring!  As my mom likes to say, “they don’t make things like they used to.”)

I asked the men what was happening with it, and it was all going to the garbage!  So sad!  I asked if I could take some, and they carried a few bundles to my door.

My apartment already has wood floor, so what do I need with more?  Well, let’s talk about the kitchen floor.

That picture is from the tiny closet near the stove.  The original wood floor is visible under the red tiles (interior of the closet), but it looks to be in poor condition (or at the very least, in need of a serious refinishing job).  The rest of the kitchen has the peach tiles below.

I believe these are the second layer of tiles on top of the original wood floor.  The threshold between the kitchen and dining area is kinda wonky as well.  In my grand kitchen renovation plans, I’m hoping to refinish the original wood floor underneath the tiles.  But given its possible condition, having wood floor that was installed in another apartment at the same time as my wood floor was installed in my apartment is huge!  And it was free too!

As I was looking at the bundles, I had to walk the fine line between having just enough and not having enough.  The good news is that I only really need to do half of the kitchen area, since what’s under the cabinets isn’t important.  The bad news is that I have to find a place in my small apartment to store it for a year until the kitchen gets renovated.

{House} Please Don’t

Well, it’s on to the last of the items previous renters and owners had added to the window.

It’s two plastic pieces, which look to be clips for blinds…

…and a metal piece, which could also be from the blinds.

Both of those were easy to remove (with the manual screw driver).

Then there are two of these things.

I’m not sure what they are, but they weren’t easy to remove.  They’re also fairly small and already painted over a few times, so I’m temped to leave them, and they’ll blend in.  No one’s the wiser, except you for reading about it here 🙂

The bad thing about the items I removed, is that they had used anchors!

What kind of blinds need anchors into the window frame?!  I tried prying one out with a screw driver, but wasn’t successful at getting it out.  I might just end up painting over them or trying to cut them with a knife.

And then there are the two from behind the metal piece…which are directly in the metal window frame.

WHY?!  Please don’t!!  I can’t repair the metal frame.  While it bothers me that so much was screwed into the wood moulding around the windows, that’s easy to repair with some filler and a coat of paint.  The metal frame doesn’t get painted, so there’ll always be two holes in it.  So please don’t do this to your house!

On the up side, I got a goody-bag out of the deal.

Behold, all the pieces and screws that came off of the window!  Even with a few small things left behind, it’s still been a successful mission.

{House} Alright Already!

I seem to have a lot of issues removing screws (I’ll save myself the embarrassment of linking to them all here).  Every time it happens, someone suggests I get an electric drill and try that.  I have a drill, but I felt weird about using it for those sorts of projects.

My drill, courtesy of my dad.

First up, was trying it on the door knobs.

Nope, didn’t work for that one…

…and didn’t work on that one either.  Those two screws are flat head, and it seemed like the drill couldn’t catch on them.  It was also a tight fit for the drill in the small space between the knob and the plate.

Then I tried it on my most recent foe: the fire escape gate.

It took a minute or two for me to get the drill in the proper placement, but then a few seconds of drilling at full speed (once I set it to reverse) the screw came out!  The next seven came out so quickly, I wondered why I hadn’t tried this before!

Ahh, the window keeps looking better and better!  The bottom metal piece is there because the sill and moulding are very dirty, and I didn’t want to look at it.  And there’s a few more small bits around the window that I’ll have to remove now too.  Luckily I have a new trick up my sleeve 🙂

{House} Back to Normal

Remember how just a few days ago I was excited after my screw driver attack was successful?  Well, I took on the fire escape gate, where I won the battle but lost the war.

This is where I left off, with the riffraff removed, but the gate remaining.  It’s interesting that there’s a gate at all–it’s not required, and the left window is on the same fire escape as the one with the gate!

remove fire escape gate metal

I started with the gate itself, which was attached to the frame by three hinges.

Luckily, one of the screws had already been removed for me!  It only took a little elbow grease to get the other eight removed.  The harder part was moving the gate off the sill–those gates are heavy!

And now it’s so much more open!

remove fire escape gate metal

Then I turned my attention to the remaining metal pieces.  The bottom and top have three screws each.

The first screw on the bottom came out fairly easy.  The other two…not so much.  Since this is on top of the radiator space, I’m tempted to think that the bottom part of the screws aren’t in wood at all, making it harder for them to come out.  I finally got the radiator cover back in place, so I’m not eager to open it up and take a peek.

Well, ok, let me try the vertical part.

Again, one of the screws was missing!  But the remaining three on this side were just as impossible to get out as the two bottom ones!  Though I’m not entirely sure what they’re problem is.  I think it’s simply a matter of pulling on the metal piece as I’m unscrewing–though that made a loud noise and didn’t seem to make things move much.

And after those two strikes, I decided to not even try the top metal piece.  So things are back to normal, where the apartment beats me at what should be simple tasks.