Why I Don’t Have a DIY Reno Show

before renoMy wife and I have always done our own home renovations. Some big, some small, and all to varying degrees of success. As I get older I realize that I’m not as flexible or dainty as I once was, so some things are better left to experts. But not this time! Our first LCD TV finally died so it was time to replace it. I had originally mounted it on the wall above our fireplace. I ran the wires along the surface of the wall in a stick-on plastic channel. I vowed to hide the wires in the wall with our next TV. Black Friday 2015; I bought a 55″ TV. It patiently sat in the basement until January when I started Project Mount It Already!

I wanted to hide the wires to the TV, so I cut strips out of the wall. Then I figured I need to run speaker wire for surround sound along the ceiling. I had to hide it with crown molding. The crown molding made the ceiling look yellow. Now I have to paint a 23 year old textured ceiling: twice! I moved the furniture and exposed the wear in the carpet. The look on my wife’s face meant we needed new flooring. We chose a fancy laminate but now the baseboards looked cheap: out they must go! I hid the wires in the wall and patched it, so now it was time for paint. Our color scheme is very earthy so I wanted to punch it up with a burgundy feature wall. After way too much debate we chose a deep cherry color. The paint lady said it “may” take multiple coats.  So after FIVE coats I declared the wall complete.

It came time to mount the TV. I unpacked it and noticed the mount would not attach without “bolts or bolt adapters”. The TV manual said they were included, but I didn’t happen across them. I called the TV company for replacement, they called me a liar and said I had to find it online. I did and they were priced at $32: ya, no thanks! I drove all over looking for bolts, a guy at Lowes said go to Ikea, they may have metric bolts for free.

After Reno

Wife and I drove to Ikea for free bolts, but none to be found. But we got to talking and shopping and bought $2,000 worth of furniture for the family room and bedroom. A quick calculation led us to U-Haul that same evening to rent a van to bring the stuff from Ikea to home; but still no bolts. I went to work one day and noticed a fastener store hiding in plain sight across the street from my office. I went in and explained my story, the guy gets me 2 bolts for $1. Wow! Finally amid the flooring install, Ikea furniture assembly and new baseboard painting, I go to hang the TV with my new $1 bolts. I had to get something from the basement and as I move the TV packaging I notice a small plastic bag: The missing bolt adapters were taunting me from inside that bag!

Having to face my own mistake I announced to my family that I found the adapters. Let’s just say that they found it very amusing. I finished the painting, floors and baseboards; mounted the TV, reconnected and organized the spaghetti mess of AV wiring. So after 2 months of snail paced renovation, never-ending scope creep and too many frustrations to count, our family room is the fanciest room in the house! Now I can relax and watch those DIY Reno Shows where they rebuild a house in a 30 minute episode… just like I did!

I’m going to call in a film crew because I’ve already started on the basement with Project Finish It Already!

Rob-Kulig-Headshot-2015– Robert Kulig
Computer Systems Technology ‘98

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