Saturday, February 8, 2014

Anxieties. And weather.

Last week, I'd set my stern gaze upon the workshop, to begin drywalling this weekend, panic attacks be damned.  Though a small job, I am often beset by paralyzing anxiety at the thought of these endeavors.

One of my many obstacles to a project this size is the idea of the cost.  You see, I have a hard time spending more than $10 on any project (and most of them clearly reflect this quirk of mine), but there's no way around it, drywalling is going to cost in the range of $150-200.

I know I need a real interior to my workshop.  It will help keep out the inevitable attempts by rats to take up residence, and it will create a nice space, encouraging me to work.  Also, I know that when I complete a job like this, I get a serious morale boost.  Investing that kind of money pretty much guarantees I'm going to finish it, too, because I shudder to consider the alternative (shudder).

Still, I can't seem to get down to the store and get it over with.  Typically, for a project this size, I first go into the store and draw up a bill of materials, looking for the cheapest, but also making sure I've gotten everything in my calculations.

In the case of drywall: walls, tape, nails, and mud for materials; and nothing I don't have for tools.  Not bad.

The dimensions aren't daunting, either:  two five-foot walls, two eight-foot walls, and one sixteen footer, with heights of six and one-half to seven feet.

My next obstacle is usually figuring out a way to get materials to the house.  In this case, the cars simply won't carry 4'x8' gypsum panels.  My Dad's truck has been hit-or-miss lately, what with it being a 22-year old truck with over 600,000 miles.

I could buy a trailer for the Subaru, but then I'm looking at more than doubling the price of the project (feeling my chest tighten).  Additionally, I don't have any protective storage space for a trailer.  Perhaps I should buy one of those heavy-duty canvas garages, one of which I saw at Harbor Freight along with the trailer (a dream, and a terrible one, and now I'm short of breath and my shoulders are creeping up towards my ears).

So now, in my head, I've calculated the actual costs, added 20% for a typical overrun (mostly for gas, to pay for the dozen or so trips I'll have to make back-and-forth as I remember things, and for the cheap things I first bought, as they break and I have to replace them with slightly more expensive versions), and I've added approximately $400 in auxiliary equipment I'll need just to maintain what I've got after I'm finished.  My project has gone from $150 to nearly $650 in one brief anxiety attack.

I need to take a deep breath.  And wait a bit.

To get over these attacks, I usually have a series of short conversations about the proposed project with my loving and supportive wife.  This series typically lasts about 3 years.

This time, however, I've got a considerably shorter time frame, because I already put it out there in public, and I've made a resolution (I'll take Dad's advice on resolutions next year, I so solemnly resolve).

So think, man, think!

I finally came up with a fun, quirky, some might say red-necked solution to the transportation problem:  I need additional OSB panels for the floor of the attic (also on the list of resolutions -- if only you'd given your advice earlier, Dad!)... so, I'll just strap a panel to the rack of the Subaru and strap the gypsum panels on top of it.  Then, it's just three short, bumpy miles home.  I'll be that guy you get stuck behind on the road; I won't care, either, so just relax and enjoy the pace.

My plan fully fleshed-out, I re-set my stern gaze upon the workshop, clutching my dollars in hand (figuratively), and prepared to make the leap today, to actually buy the materials for the job.  It being the worst drought on record in California, I was sure to have a wide open sky under which to...

And of course, it's raining.  Four inches, they say, in two days -- about one fifth of our entire annual precipitation.

This rain is absolutely critical to our State, so I shouldn't be upset.

Take a deep breath.  And wait.

I guess its on to more interior labors:  A stitching pony for leatherwork, and maybe some additional floor space added to the attic.  

There it is, just waiting.  And getting wet.  And, slowly rusting every tool I own.

7 comments:

Kev Alviti said...

I hate having to spend on projects but in the end I'm always glad I did and then I think I wish I'd done it sooner so I could be suing it for longer!

Josh said...

Thanks, Kev! That's a good point, and more help getting me over the hump.

Donald "Bud" Stark said...

I wish I could say that the Pickup is now running. It's not. Enthusiasm was bubbling over about five days ago. I pictured in my mind how simple it was to trace down malfunctioning modules and wires and fuel pump connections. Then, under and back out from under the old pickup ( 28 years old actually) a thousand times and I finally faced reality--I will never get this thing fixed. With that admission great joy flooded over me, something like I have imagined a mystical experiance to feel like. I'll leave it to the kids to decide what's to be done with the pickup, I told myself. Following my euphoria a cool blast of reality set in the next morning--a scalding blast actually. I turned on the hot water to wash my face and the water was boiling hot. I slogged around the side of the house--during the night the rains I had prayed for had arrived--and found that the bottom of the hot water heater had rusted out. So I hauled in a new one in the Subaru, laying the thing on the very side that said "Do Not lay hot water heater on side." I assured Mom it wouldn't hurt it, fingers crossed behind my back. It didn't. Heater is now installed and working. The installation I will not go into, at least not now. I have to remind myself that this is your blog, not mine.

Josh said...

First off, Dad -- you are supposed to call me when something like that happens. Really, we were home all day long and I could have helped.

Second, with the truck gone(?), maybe I should invest in a trailer...

Actually, that truck has been through a lot with me, not the least of which was finding Irma. Maybe we'll have it towed up and a good mechanic we know take a look at it. I'll get back to you.

Last, feel free to wax poetic, prophetic, etc., on my blog any time!

Hippo said...

Hopefully Saturday the electrician will come to wire up the first four cottages and then we can start dry walling them inside. At the rate you are going, bet I finish first!

Josh said...

Hippo, if this were my attempt at a business enterprise, I dare say I'd be a tadge faster at it. As it is, I've got nothing riding on it (but my pride, now that I've made it public -- so, still nothing...).

Since our rains, I've decided that a roof must go up, first, anyway. We shall see what happens.

Mr. Fashion House said...

As it happens I have 90% of a bucket of wall mud sitting in my garage. Can not say that it is "as good as new", but last I checked it was still viscous... so it might save you a couple of bucks.