I have spent the past several hours turning a perfectly clean, tidy and neat spare bedroom, only this morning vacated by Gorgeous Daughter, into an absolute unholy mess.
There are two dry built kits on the desk, and the bed is littered with boxes of electrical bits, wood mouldings, wallpapers, doors, windows and all manner of fixtures and fittings.
I've beat a strategic retreat to regroup and gather my senses, and ponder on a course of action.
I have discovered why my toy shop basement kit has remained in kit form for two years. If I just wanted to build it as a straightforward basement it would have been finished ages ago.
I want to kit-bash it so that there is a pavement level with the outside of the shop, and cut out apertures for a door and windows in the front. The problem with this is that none of the MDF sections in the kit is the right size for what I want to do, so I'm faced with two unsavoury options.
1) Buy some new MDF and have them cut to size. In theory, this would be the simplest, but has the major disadvantage that the newly cut sections wouldn't have the routed slots etc.
2) Somehow utilise the existing parts and conceal the fact that there has to be a bit of a bodge in order to overcome the pavement problem.
I had a lovely but short lived 'eureka' moment when I was sorting through all my boxes of fixtures and fittings, some of which date back almost 25 years. I found a wooden shop front which I'd bought back in the mists of time, intending to use it to front a room box shop.
When I saw it I thought for one lovely, inspired moment, that it might fit perfectly in the front of the basement, removing in one fell swoop the need for me to cut separate door and window apertures. However my elation was short lived as the shop front is almost 3" too tall.
At this point I called PP in for a second opinion. It's not for nothing that PP stands for Perfectionist Partner. While I was all for just hacking it down to size, PP came up with a plan which was both amazing and great. In a nutshell, she suggested taking out the top row of window panes, and dropping the top fascia down to fit flush with the top of the wall.
Simple and brilliant.
But I would never have thought of it. Mainly because PP's solution, though wonderful, will require precision and patience, neither of which I have in abundance when it comes to woodwork. And so, since she came to my aid over the bay window debacle, I thought it only fair to offer her the opportunity to do the same for my basement front. Small Dog might even deign to schlepp upstairs to the 'hobby room' to offer help and guidance as she did when I built the original toy shop three years ago.
In addition, I have sorted through and identified all the lighting bits and pieces which will be going into the basement and the day nursery, although when testing the LED striplight I was disappointed to discover that instead of a lovely, mellow candelight glow I ordered, the light was harsh, bright and blue-white. So I have requested an exchange, which will hopefully be forthcoming, and since I haven't got beyond the dry build stage yet it won't hold things up at all.
Next stage is going to be the assembly of the basement, day nursery roombox and pavilion, although I'm minded to leave the ceilings off the two former, so that I have unrestricted access for electrics, etc. It's also immeasurably easier to do flooring, wall decoration etc without the ceilings and just add them and any associated cornicing etc at the end. I've had my fill over the years of trying to manipulate paintbrushes, screwdrivers, soldering irons etc in tiny confined spaces with restricted room heights.
Sometimes I DO learn by my mistakes.