Sunday, March 23, 2008

This Olde House - Failed Project: Hall lights

I get depressed when things don't go according to plan. Totally depressed today. Didn't get anything done after an early setback. Just too bummed to be productive.

I had bought seven recessed lights to go in the hallway. New ones to replace the horrible disco tract lighting in there currently. I measured out the hallway and figured out the distance between each light. Measured the studs and recalculated. Found marked and measured. Marked and measured. Marked and measured. Got each location down perfect and had some tape to mark the exact center for each light. Finally, unbelievably, both Cindy and our decorated (Cheryl) actually approved my plan. They said it was perfect. No arguments or wrestling matches needed.

With everything blessed by the dynamic duo, I took an awl and pushed through the ceiling. Something got in the way. Maybe some petrified drywall? Picked up a hammer and tapped lightly. The didn't budge. Tapped harder. Nothing. Tapped MUCH harder, and heard the familiar sound of metal striking wood. Followed by the realization that the awl was now embedded in something rather wood-like.

So a trip to the attic was needed. And it was there that I'd see my downfall.

Not only does the ceiling of the hallway have wooden slats traversing the entire length of it (which I'd have to drill through in order to push up the lights) but squatting ominously midway down the top of the hall was my prehistoric ductwork. At least 70% of the hall is covered by several feet of metal. There is absolutely no room between the bottom of the ducts and the top of the ceiling. Maybe, possibly, one inch. Absolutely no chance of getting six plus inches of recessed lighting. Would never happen.

Turns out I had wasted my time, my money, my mental cycles, and Cindy's approval on a flawed plan. I should have checked out the attic FIRST. Instead I didn't think about it, until it was far too late.

We'll have to come up with something else to illuminate the hall. Maybe sconces. Maybe some other tract lights.

I was defeated and depressed. And squandered the rest of my day in a hot bath of anger.
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