On Friday night, we started to talk about the closet. Our entire house is filled with these cheap white wire shelves. They are horrible. Not only do they look bad, but they don't hold things well (because things fall between the wires), and you can't slide your clothes hangers on them because they have individual holes for all of the hangers. Before we painted, we ripped the horrid wire shelving out of the closet. We didn't get a "before" picture with the wire shelving in place, but this picture shows the nasty carpet, removed door and wire shelving, and the dots where we spackled the holes from wire shelves. You'll also note that you can see the adventurous off-white color that the room was painted before we got started.
So many decisions to make here! Do we do buy a pre-fab shelving unit? The cheapest ones at Lowe's are around $500!! There is no way we're going to do that. Do we do a single rod or a double rod? Could we build shelving into the side or would that look weird? After much researching online (and another 4 am researching session on Saturday morning with my pregnancy insomnia), I decided that a double rod and shelving built into the right-hand side of the closet was the way to go. Here is the very precise detailed sketch I created:
I left on Saturday morning to pick up something from Craigslist and to stop by a church yard sale (bought a few clothing items for the kids for 25¢ each!). When I got home, Jason had already started cutting the boards for the second half of the floor. It took us probably about 2 hours to finish the entire floor. Jason did a vast majority of the work here - measuring, running up and down the stairs to cut the pieces, carrying the heavy boxes of laminate. The floor looks awesome (and only 62¢ per square foot)! Here are some pictures:
Rolling up the nasty old carpet
Pulling up the tackboard
Our lovely subfloor
With the underlayment - almost ready to get started!
Jason proud after Laminate Day 1
Cutting boards with our neighbor's table saw - notice his sporty "safety goggles"
Hard working Daddy
Laying the last row - whoohoo!!
We still need to put quarter-round around the bottom and paint the trim, but I think we're going to have to find a truck for getting the quarter-round from Lowe's to our house.
After we finished the floor, we went to Lowe's to get the things we needed for the closet. After debating plywood versus melamine versus MFD, we decided on cheap pine for the cleats (that hold up the shelves) and melamine for the shelves. We were at Lowe's for two hours (I'm not even kidding - and that is with a drawn plan).
When we got home, we realized we needed a 1/2" drill bit for the toggle bolts that we were using for the side supports (there are no studs in the side walls of our closet - only two studs in the back). Jason went to Ace Hardward to buy the drill bit. Then when he got home, we realized that our wimpy drill (the only power tool that we own) can't even hold a bit that size. So Jason went out again - third trip before even really starting this project - to buy a real man's drill at Lowe's. He came home with a great drill and I think we really got started around 7:30 at night. "We" (mostly Jason with me watching from the glider and occasionally helping with an extra set of hands) worked until about 10 PM.
Putting up the first shelf
We had the two long shelves and two short shelves finished before we went to bed.
On Sunday, "we" finished building the rest of the shelves pretty quickly, and I primed and painted the cleats white.
Shelving complete - needing a coat of white paint on the cleats
Ta-daa! We had to hang up a few baby clothes to get a half-decent picture.
Of course, you must keep in mind that we do not own a single decent power tool - not one. We have a wimpy cordless drill and no cutting technology (except for borrowing our neighbor's table saw). We also borrowed another friend's circular saw last-minute on Sunday morning to cut a few remaining pieces.
I'm washing the babies' clothes today, and I hope to stock the closet and take a real picture with it full of our babies' things before the end of the day. I may or may not finish in time.
Though this was not exactly rocket science, we are both really proud that we essentially built something (something aesthetically pleasing and well supported) ourselves. We're ready to start thinking about other rooms and maybe even buying a power tool friend for our new drill someday...