I sometimes have trouble getting started on a project. I spend time getting my thoughts organized, but there is fear or worry that I’ll make a mistake as a project begins.
This worry can lead to inaction. In the case of the wall surround I am creating, the stumbling block was taking what I created in SketchUp and making it a reality. As I began to layout the position of the framing needed for the wall, I was worried since a mistake early on could lead to larger problems later. The only way to fix this condition is to simply get started; dive right in and do something even if it is just a small step.
The Small Step
The position of the whole wall surround is mostly driven by the location of the stairs. The first little step in this project was to make the outer edge of the stair stringers flat. The builder of my home added a long 2×4 to the outer edge of the stringers to take some bounce out of the stairs. I needed to remove one of the two 2x4s to restore a flat surface to the stringer which faces my workbench.
This is what the builder should have done – locate the 2×4 on the inside of the stringer. I put what may be an excessive number of lag bolts along the length of the 2 x4, but at least I know it is securely in place.
Locating the Wall
Next, I used a plumb bob to transfer the outer edge of the stairs to the basement floor. I then measured back one inch which will be the outer perimeter of the framing. The one inch distance is derived from the thickness of the plywood wall (1/4 inch) plus the stock needed for the panel grid (3/4 inch).
I had dreaded this step the most. In the past, I have had trouble drilling into concrete. The plan was to screw the framing into the concrete floor. To help with this, I bought a hammer drill. It proved to be important for this step.
This drill is awesome (the image above does not show the masonry bit I used). The price: $125.00. I thought about renting one, but the cost of renting combined with the time flexibility I wanted made buying the drill prudent. It made quick work of drilling into concrete. Fortunately I had hearing protection since this process was loud as all get out. But having the right tool for the job was extremely satisfying.
Yesterday, I worked on adding a support for the stairs. These stairs have always bounced a little as we walk on them. The support added some much needed structure and marks the outer edge of the future tool cabinet.
So, like with many projects, the early stages don’t look like much, but what you see here is the result of a ton of thought and planning with some significant stress thrown in. The big thing here is that I am underway.
I’ll start on the wall framing this week.