Ask DJ Lyons: Office Renovations Before Look

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Home Office Before Look

Behold the before look of my home office that also doubles as my dressing room. This room is 10 foot by 12 foot. That includes the tiny closet. The date is January 30, 2011.

Motivations for getting the room re-done:

1. Biggest problem of all - The room has a downhill slope.

My husband bought this log cabin long before we met. The ground shifted through the years. So the room is lower in the center than around the sides. As a result, we had to place items to prop up furniture so that they would not fall over. Additionally, when you sit down in the rolling chair in front of the computer, you literally slide down a hill. Then you have to use your strength to roll the chair back up the hill so that you can be positioned in front of the computer desk.

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Two built-in dressers attrack mice and wooly caterpillars

The next big problem are the two built-in chest of drawers. Because these chest-of-drawers were built in to the log cabin, mice and woolly caterpillars find their way inside the drawers. One of my favorite outfits got a big hole chewed in them. The drawer would often be full of mice droppings. Finally, I had to place all the clothes inside rubbermaid bins inside the drawers. To try to make certain the clothes would not smell musty, I would place several dryer sheets in each bin. That did not always help.

Sometimes, I would open a drawer to see the lid of the rubbermaid bin covered with mice droppings. This really bothers me!

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Built-in bed is hard to make

The next big problem is the built-in bed. It is really hard to make the bed as the bed is attached to the wall on two sides. That means that when anybody tries to sleep on that bed, he or she would often wake up to find most of their covers have slid off the bed to the floor.

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See my tiny closet

The tiny closet is a real challenge; however, there is nothing much that can be done to fix that.

On the other side of the closet is our lovely stone fireplace out in the living room.

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The door does not close

The last challenge is the door. It does not close all the way.

My husband is excited to have this done because he would like our den to return to being just a room where we can exercise and watch TV. For the last several months, it is the room where I mostly work on my laptop computer as I find the other room so claustrophobic and depressing.

Renovating Books & Products that might help

What Your Contractor Can't Tell You: The Essential Guide to Building and Renovating
What Your Contractor Can't Tell You: The Essential Guide to Building and Renovating

Creating a dream home shouldn't be a nightmare. Hiring a contractor is an enormous investment and a high-risk endeavor involving decisions that will last forever. This book equips homeowners with the information and strategies needed to turn their vision into a home or a renovation that can be built on time and within budget. This book was previously published by Warner Books (2004) and titled What the "Experts" May Not Tell You About Building or Renovating Your Home.

 
If Walls Could Talk: A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery
If Walls Could Talk: A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery

Melanie Turner has made quite a name for herself remodeling historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But now her reputation may be on the line.

At her newest project, a run-down Pacific Heights mansion, Mel is visited by the ghost of a colleague who recently met a bad end with power tools. Mel hopes that by nailing the killer, she can rid herself of the ghostly presence of the murdered man-and not end up a construction casualty herself...

 
Instant Home Design
Instant Home Design

Discover a world of virtual possibilities with the home renovation tools --create bathrooms, master bedrooms, dining areas, all with a mouse click

Design a vibrant new look for your home before doing any work -- import photos of your home's interiors and work with them digitally

More than 10,000 images of furniture, appliances, and housewares -- just pick what you like and add it

Experiment with wallpaper and wall colors to bring out your sense of design

 
Renovating Old Houses: Bringing New Life to Vintage Homes (For Pros By Pros)
Renovating Old Houses: Bringing New Life to Vintage Homes (For Pros By Pros)

For those who love to live in old houses or want to invest in one, this completely revised and updated book leaves no stone unturned. From evaluating a property to making foundation repairs to adding on a porch, it's a comprehensive guide to every aspect of making renovations and repairs — whether you already live in, or are contemplating buying, an older home. Over 450 color photos and drawings are featured.

 
Renovation Style
Renovation Style

Every issue is full of dramatic before and after photoso of projects large and small. Inspiration, usable ideas and professional tips and advise to make your house your dream home.

 
The Homeowner's Guide to Managing a Renovation: Tough-As-Nails Tactics for Getting the Most from Your Money
The Homeowner's Guide to Managing a Renovation: Tough-As-Nails Tactics for Getting the Most from Your Money

Major home remodeling isn’t for the faint of heart; there is huge potential for design problems, cost overruns, or just unsatisfactory workmanship. Here, a professional construction manager who masterminded the redesign at New York’s famed Avery Fisher Hall as well as a massive institute-wide renovation of St. Luke’s Hospital, offers an indispensable guide for homeowners who need to manage a large-scale renovation. There’s advice on how to articulate your thoughts clearly to designers, architects, and contractors; tips on negotiating contracts; suggestions for protecting yourself from legal and financial threats; and help understanding warranty claims. Each step—from initial planning through the completed project—is covered in layman’s terms, and sample contracts, floor plans, cost estimating worksheets and other forms are provided.

 
Black & Decker The Complete Photo Guide to Home Improvement: More Than 200 Value-adding Remodeling Projects (Black & Decker Complete Photo Guide)
Black & Decker The Complete Photo Guide to Home Improvement: More Than 200 Value-adding Remodeling Projects (Black & Decker Complete Photo Guide)

In which denim-clad men and work-booted, pony-tailed, mom-jean-wearing women measure, fix, and construct various aspects of homes. Coverage of the entire home, from attic to basement, are illustrated well enough to make a grown man drool. From installing a new vanity to a sleeper floor in the basement, this offers enough instruction to step you through the major operations of each project, but watch out—it does not deal with covering everything that can (and will) go wrong or be freaky with your miserable excuse for a house. From installing metal ceilings to ceramic tile to three ways (three way switches, you filthy-minded galoot!), it’s all here. Other topics to pique your dude radar: installing wallboard. Bullnose edging. Installing an undersink garbage disposal. It might as well be a picture of Jessica Simpson—you can’t look away, can you? - Library Journal, April 1, 2010

 
Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live
Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live

For more than a decade, [Susanka] has urged people to build better, not bigger. Now, as the U.S. economy struggles to climb out of a tailspin and environmental concerns rise, her message has gone mainstream. New homes, after doubling in size since 1960, are shrinking. Last year, for the first time in at least 10 years, the average square footage of single-family homes under construction fell dramatically, from 2,629 in the second quarter to 2,343 in the fourth quarter, Census data show. The new motto: living well with less. --USA Today March 17, 2009

Latest book from 'Not So Big' priestess lays out steps to take the expense, disruption out of remodeling. Soft-spoken Sarah Susanka wouldn't seem to be the "I told you so" type, but ... well, she told you so. For more than a decade, the architect has campaigned for houses to be built smaller but better. Her basic message: Figure out how big a house you need, and then subtract about a third of the square footage. Good design will make up the difference. Her eighth book, "Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live" (Taunton Press, 330 pages, $32), co-written with architect Marc Vassallo. It aims, she says, to help homeowners make smaller remodeling gestures, or, in her parlance, "Not So Big moves." Susanka's buffet of remodeling solutions leans toward less expense and less disruption of daily life. She places them in three Not So Big categories: working within the existing footprint; creating room "bumpouts" that extend the space by a couple of feet; and smallish, cost-effective room additions. --Chicago Tribune

About 10 years ago, architect Sarah Susanka released a book that became a marker for the housing industry's turn toward "building better, not bigger." Her new book, out this month, has the potential to do the same for the remodeling world. In "Not So Big Remodeling" ($32, Taunton Press, Susanka and Marc Vassallo apply the same concepts to existing homes, and offer room-by-room considerations to help homeowners determine what they really need, and how to more efficiently use the spaces they have. --Cincinnati Enquirer

 
The Big Adventure Series: The Big Renovation
The Big Adventure Series: The Big Renovation

Studio: Vintage Home Entertainmnt Release Date: 08/28/2006

 

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Comments 2 comments

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 5 years ago

Debbie you have a few challenges - the downward slope sounds interesting! Lots of great wood to work with there.


Ask_DJ_Lyons profile image

Ask_DJ_Lyons 5 years ago from Mosheim, Tennessee Author

Thanks, Billy, for visting. The finished office is amazing.

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