Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Most annoying project EVER!

Where to begin.

We finished the upstairs bathroom a couple of years ago. It's fabulous and we love it. But we didn't like the look of the cover over the vent fan and it didn't fit properly. After a couple of feeble attempts to find a nice, antique-looking register cover or something, we gave up. And we made the fatal mistake of saying, "someday we'll do something better up there. This (sawed-off plastic hideous thing) is good enough for now".

As you might remember, we've been hacking away at our punch list, and the time came to replace the cover. Also, Ken innocently noted one day that there seemed to be a draft coming in when the fan was off - despite there being an external hood, it gets damn cold here and there is, indeed, a tiny draft.

So he temporarily binder-clipped a piece of (not color-coordinated, by the way) fabric over the sawed-off plastic hideous cover.

Mind you, I am about 8" shorter than he is, so anytime I wanted to take a shower and he wasn't home, I had to jam all kinds of headbands and random items in there on my tippie-toes to try to tent the fabric so I could turn the fan (and light!) on.

Yup, enough of that.

Finding no local source of teak*, I ordered (online) a nice piece of teak plywood and strips of 1/2"x2" teak from which to fashion a little door that we thought we could put over the sawed-off hideous cover when not in use. The teak arrived last week, and I got to work. (We're using teak because the floor and other accessories are teak or teak-esque, plus it's insanely weatherproof.)

I mustered all the skill from a couple of DIY picture framing sessions at the frame shop (and called on Ken to help with cutting a groove in the rails), and put together the lovely little door. Got some stainless hinges and headed upstairs (with the new scaffold - it's great!) to install it.

Not so fast. So, the thing didn't fit over the sawed-off hideous plastic cover. One late-night trip to the store later, I had a brand new round, smaller metal cover. We sawed (cleanly) the very top off, to make it fit the ceiling, and the teak cover still didn't fit. Sawed more off - now it fit, but wouldn't open. Argh.

Two days later - back to the store and I found a compact, flat rectangular vent cover and - it fit! Except the hole that attaches it in the center needed to move a little bit. So I drilled that out.

And - half an hour ago and three vent covers

(plus a lot of lost patience) later, voila! A teak cover with a handy-dandy handle that short people can reach, that opens up when you're ready to take a shower and closes to prevent drafts in between.

Now that was a challenging punch list item. Glad the freakin' list is almost done (for now - it's never really done, is it?).

* The funny teak story - so I went to a big box store - I'll let you guess which one - and after looking around the hardwoods section and not finding any teak (not that I expected any), I headed to the flooring department. My thought was that if they were going to have any teak whatsoever, it might be a strip of floor I could snag.
Me: "Do you have any teak flooring?"
Associate: "Any what?"
Me: "Teak wood, you know, teak?"
Associate: "Never heard of it."
Me: "What!? Teak, T-E-A-K, you know, like they use on boats? And floors? Teak?"
Associate: "No, I've never heard of it."
Me: "Wow. Thanks...(mumbles as she walks out of the store, bewildered)".


Holyoke Home said...

That is BEYOND belief in its brilliance! Good job!

Diana said...

That's genius! I love it!

Also, as much as I wish I could say I'm surprised about your encounter at the big box store, I'm not :P

Sandy said...

You are totally awesome! Great job. And I can't believe that maroon never heard of teak wood. What planet were they from?!