While I have never personally completed a marathon, I have finished a couple of 10K races. I can imagine that installing sheetrock, mud, texture, trim, and paint is the slow and steady construction equivalent of a marathon. In our case, the finish line meant the sweet relief of new carpet upstairs!
When we hit the ground running, my husband and I had a few weeks off while switching careers, and we were really motivated to get this work completed during that time frame. With those precious days off, we also wanted to travel and see some family out of state, as well as enjoy some much needed downtime from our hectic work schedules.
Before the sheetrock could go up, we had to finish the framing for new windows and doors, plus close up the portions of the house where doors were no longer needed. This was no small task downstairs. We closed in two doors leading to the garage and created one new opening where it made more sense.
And it was no small task upstairs. We created space for a larger window in the guest bathroom and built a wall to separate the toilet from the shower/tub. In the master, we opted to take out a sliding glass door that opened up to a small, shaky balcony and replace it with two large windows with a great view of the mountains. We also framed in a new entrance to the nursery and adjusted the closets in each bedroom.
I learned how to tape and mud in order to follow behind my husband as he installed sheetrock in 7 different rooms and on the ceilings. Drywall mud is like putting frosting between layers of a cake to make a smooth, seamless surface between pieces, and it generally requires multiple coats with sanding between each step. It’s tedious and time consuming, and for a novice like me, it was too big of a job.
If we had not searched for outside help, I might still be mudding and smoothing today. The company we went through gave us a date they could start helping, as long as we finished getting all the drywall hung. Trying to finish in time turned into an all out sprint.
You can see in the pictures we moved a bed into the master and covered it with a drop cloth to protect it during the day. We ended up sleeping over there some nights to put some distance between us and family members from out of town, who brought the flu with them. We were out of the “hot zone” but in the midst of a construction zone.
I wish I could say the outside help for the mud and texture solved all of our problems, but the company we used was very unreliable with their timelines. They often delayed for days at a time, even after my husband stayed up all night to finish our portion of the work. They would call 30 minutes before the stores closed and ask us to get more materials for the next day’s work.
In running terms, we had hit the wall and were moving at a snail’s pace. We delayed our carpet install at least three times, because we needed the walls finished in order to do the trim and paint ourselves. It was frustrating to have that company cancel or no-show multiple times, but we had to remind ourselves that the work was going to get done….eventually.
The finish line was not exactly in sight, but we ended up needing whatever energy we saved for the final stretch of the upstairs renovation.