This weekend my goal was to get a lot accomplished on my project. I found that I was very nervous to start this step and knew that it would take some time to do it properly. It wasn’t something I could rush. It seemed like the task was simple yet it took hours. I think the part that took so long was measuring multiple times to make sure I had things correct. Once I knew the board fit into the space I was working in then I was able to put it in. Screwing a screw into place isn’t new to me. I have done this numerous times. Have I done it well? Probably not but it works. This time though, I needed to drill the screws in using an angle screw. I could have gone out and bought the kits you can use but instead I challenged myself to learn following a technique I found on YouTube.
The time it took to make sure everything was level was very time consuming and a bit frustrating. As I drilled and fought with the drill a bit the boards would get sucked out of position. I used a screw in the middle of the board to help hold it in place. I would get my husband to hold onto that screw while I drilled the screws into place. With each board I was getting better and gained more control. I know this will come with practice but man was it a pain. In the end we were happy with the results and knew the dry wall would hide some of the mistakes. The bottom wall was one we really need to do well. For the most part it turned out ok except it was maybe high on the west side. We were sure to level it running north south or lengthwise. I am not sure if we took enough consideration to each board being level width wise. Here is the end product.
Sunday morning I tackled drywalling the space. I anticipated this wouldn’t take too long. I was wrong. I think I measured things out four or five times to make sure it was good. My first cut fit really well. The two side pieces needed a little extra shaving after I was done. In the end I was happy with the cut. In order to cut my drywall I found a youtube video guiding me through the process. It is fairly simple but I also had to make sure I was cutting straight lines. I know my drywall corners would fix any uneven edges but I still wanted to do a good job. I used a piece of versatek siding that we had on hand to keep a straight line. I ran the utility knife along the edge a few times. Then I bent the drywall and ran the knife along the edge to get the final cut. I moved slowly but my cuts turned out pretty nice. That was the end of the work for the weekend as it was time to go trick-or-treating!
Things I learned:
- The more experience I get, the more comfortable I become with power tools. This comfort makes a world of difference. I found as I made my threw each board I became more and more comfortable with the power tools and therefore the product was cleaner. The signs of a good contractor are those that can finish well. We walked into houses when we were looking and so often the finishing was so sloppy we lost interest in the house. If that is what the workmanship looks like where we can see it..what does it look like behind the walls? This is something I thought of often during this project and therefore was feeling the pressure. This needs to look clean!
- This leads to the little tricks and tips that come from being in the trade. Most of the videos I have found don’t go into the details around use of the tools or in specific situations what you can do. I had my husband helping me and he has a great deal of experience using power tools so he shot me a few tips to help me in the moment. This is something you do not get from social media learning experiences. The instant feedback specific to you.
- Having a second hand to help hold things proved to be very valuable. This was most evident when I was trying to drill the screws into the top wall. The boards tended to shift as they bit into the studs so they would move and we would lose the level edge.
- Using the vacuum when cutting the drywall was very important. That dust gets everywhere and we forgot. It was a disaster. Plus it clogs your vacuum so using your household one is not a good idea.
Overall, it was a good weekend. It seems like little was accomplished but what we did do was time consuming. Next up, researching mudding and taping. Then sanding and mudding and sanding and mudding. I might look for our countertop this week too in order to get that process started.