Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lights: Take 2

Back in October, we purchased lights for the house. Yeah, I know that was 6 months ago. I'm not exactly an electrician. No shame here. Sometimes projects take a while... take a long time.... take much longer than we expected.....

I finally managed to call an electrician to discuss the installation of said lights. Much to my dismay, he informed me that this project would cost around $1000, maybe more depending on the amount of labor involved. WHAT? This has to be some kind of sick joke. I can't afford $1000 to install lights! Keep in mind, this is for labor, installation, and wiring not the actual lights themselves! We paid around $500 for all of our light fixtures, some of which have already been installed (see my previous post regarding our kitchen and hallway lighting).

Since our house is void of overhead lights, I couldn't stan it anymore! I had to find a way to make it happen. I was ready to whip out one of my grandpa's teach-yourself books and learn how to do electrical work. I'll be darned if I'm paying $1000 for this! I'll pay myself with a nice vacation for $1000 after I learn how to install lights!!!

Then along came some sheer brilliance. Not by me, I'll admit. My mom asked my Uncle Rex to help her install a new jacuzzi tub in her bathroom as well as some new light fixtures. Quite a bit of electrical work there, eh? Rex is certainly a handy guy! So I convinced my mom and Steve to drive down here with Rex and help with lights. How did I get so lucky to have such great family? Here's the worker bees busy:

Rex working in the attic... for hours. He probably spent about 10 hours up there running wires, hanging boxes, etc. The process went something like this: get in the attic, string some wire, and hang the box and framing; get out of the attic, hook up the switches, realize it's not working, mess with it for a few hours, try 7,364 configurations of wiring, finally get it working, celebratory dance.

Not exactly what Rex had in mind for Easter weekend. I fed him lots of Easter casseroles, generic pop, and Reese eggs. Small price to pay for finally being able to see at night. Rex thought this would be a quick in-and-out kind of trip. Not so. He, Tim, and my mom spent around 14 hours working on lights?

I honestly forget what this picture is about, but I remember it was complicated... probably trying to get the switches to work properly.

The hubs... hard at work... supervising. He was Rex's assistant throughout the weekend. He helped hand screwdrivers, wires, etc. like a surgical nurse. Here's the finished products in all their glory:

This beauty rests in our bedroom. Look familiar? Yep, we bought the exact same one for our kitchen. The guys worked on this one into the wee hours of the morning. Sullivan tried to sleep on the pillows while insulation and other debris came crashing onto the bed. I finally hit the couch downstairs at 3 am. Tim and Rex stayed up working on this tricky task until 5...

This light my mom switched out while I played surgical nurse. I'm a pretty crappy nurse because I forgot to check to see that all of the shades were in tact before hanging it. I realized at the end that one of them had a big crack. We just bought another fixture, swapped out the cracked shade for a good one, and will exchange it later (we plan to put the same light fixture in the downstairs bathroom also). This light is now in tip-top shape and looks fantastic! Just pardon the ugly mirror, we'll eventually get to that bathroom reno!

Check this out... looks simple right? This is actually a light/vento combo. Our upstairs bathroom had no ventilation system installed. There were constantly drips along the walls even if you showered with the door open. The only way to avoid this is to open the window that's in the shower. Sure, that works well in July when it's 70 outside at 7 am, but not so in April with morning temperatures around 40. Now we not only have a light, but also a vent in our upstairs bathroom!

The best for last... or really the hardest first. This light took the longest. Rex, Tim, and my mom worked on it all day long on Saturday. It's in our dining room, which happens to be the darkest room in the house without an overhead light and also the brightest room. Huh? Well, when the sun is setting, it beats into our front window glaring you in the face. The moment the sun passes behind the Meadow home accross the street, you have no idea what you're eating for dinner. That was a long winter of mystery food! Just kidding Chef White who lovingly prepares most of my dinners. :)

The previous owners used this room as a sitting room/formal living room. Other than the huge stain on the carpet, it looked like they used it twice. A dining room is more functional for our needs. We didn't want to eliminate the possibility of future owners using it as a living room, so a chandelier was definitely out. That screams put a dining table under me! We also didn't want a boob light (yes, that's a technical term- see our hall lights for an example). Instead, we opted for a Goldilocks light (not too hangy, not too flat, just the right light)!

While all of this light madness was occuring, Steve and I worked on another project. Steve and I refinished a large hutch that used to belong to my grandparents. It's still in progress, so more on that later.

Coming Soon: Dining Room Phase 4 (Trim & Closet Doors), Hutch Refinishing (mentioned above), and several outdoor projects. Yeah, we're a little behind on posts- what's new?

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