2015, behind the kitchen wall stood a large, yawning, washer/dryer closet abandoned by the previous owner. Inside were cut off pipes, plugged faucets, a ceiling vent and odd things hung on the wall—an old clock with tiny knick/knack shelves and a little drawer. A clock in a closet? My first thought: “What a waste of space!”
What to do with this big “hole”?
Move the back wall forward. Result: a functioning closet! And the small kitchen would be larger! First I had to investigate if the closet was a support wall. It was not! With care, I ripped out the walls conscious not to cut pipes or wiring.
Next, with guidance and assistance from Brother-in-law, the water was turned off as was the power. We redirected the plumbing and wiring seen at the right as they were connected to the basement and the second story bathrooms. This alleviated the clutter of four individual switch plates and a furnace thermostat on two wall surfaces.
After Brother-in-law left, I moved all switches to one multi switch plate at the kitchen entrance from the hallway whose lights were also part of that grouping. The furnace thermostat was relocated to the opposite wall near the cellar door.
At left, the ceiling is ripped out to install plumbing and wiring and to relocate the ceiling fan above to where the stove would sit.
The chimney back was now exposed. Although it had great point work on three sides, the grouting was sloppily applied within the interior walls. Who would ever peek inside a wall? Well, I did. With chisel, maul and a step-ladder, I tapped the excess grout to a decent finish. Finding similar colored grout from an old project, I filled the voids.
I designed a special, fireproof kitchen wall. The aim was to allow our wood stove to sit seven inches away from the wall instead of a foot and a half (or so) per regulations involving sheet rock and wood framing. And to keep the wall cool.
First a reflective foil was stapled to the wall, then metal studs were added onto which cement backer board was attached with a cut out gap for air space above and below allowing a convection of cool air to travel behind the wall as it warms from the reflective heat of the stove. Brother-in-law constructed the metal studs and helped install the heavy cement backer boards. I coated the entire wall with cement compound similar to stucco. Brother-in-law then constructed a sheet-metal panel which Hubby attached to the stove, suspending it a few inches away from behind the firebox. Works great!
2017, back to the closet, behind the kitchen, I had had visions of a closet on the right side for work clothes and boots. The left side would house the vacuum, trash cans and shelves for foodstuffs. However, that was two years ago.
Sometimes it pays to stop a project taking another look at it from a different vantage point. Like writing a MS (manuscript). The story is going well. Why wouldn’t the public love my story? Some scenes are so sad and heart wrenching, they never fail to make me cry at each edit. That is when I exclaim, “This is it! I must be done.”
Finding a beta-reader to give me an honest review was the next step. After a lot of searching, I found three! One was a relative with no interest in Young Adult. He was encouraging but he did not understand Deep Point of View. Nor did the other two. However, all three pointed to nearly the same parts of the book that need re-write and they provided pointers about character development. The encouraging part was I had great and believable dialogue. BUT in their opinion it was not truly a YA but a Middle Grade story. It was, in two reader’s opinion a great MG manuscript. But that is their opinion and we all agree that I must make the decision on my own.
What do I do? Nix the YA challenge and stick with and develop the MG aspects of my MS? That notion rolls around in my head as I build additions to the house. Since I have started a second MS depicting the same characters, but two years later, perhaps it makes sense to make that the YA story I had hoped for. The protagonist in the first MS is on the cusp of young adulthood. Perhaps the reviewers are right on. Something to ponder.
This spring we finally sold our NH home! How wonderful that felt. No more long trips to maintain property a three-hour drive away. We finally moved into our present home, lock, stock and barrel! And believe me, we have more stock than available storage.
After the move and now standing at the closet with a new perspective, I nixed the original closet design.
Since I had already inserted one shelf and a dividing wall, I painted everything white and proceeded on with my second design. A complete closet for jackets, boots and deep storage shelves above. As you see, there is abundant shelf area making great use of the height and width of the closet.
Share and like. Tell me about your great projects and decision making during those projects.
It’s great to hear a few words from all of you.