(Sheet) Rock and Roll

Posted by Donna on 7:38 AM with No comments
I realize that it's been quite some time since I posted, but I just couldn't fathom writing about electrical wiring, gas lines or insulation with any eloquence. But sheet rock, well that's a different story!

Sheet rock in our otherwise empty shell of a kitchen was a milestone. It gave us walls were there were none. It was a blank canvas to paint. On Sheet Rock Day, as it has come to be known, Jason and I arrived at the house at 7:30 with anxious anticipation. We would no longer have to look at wires threaded through ceiling beams or copper pipes where my new cook top and pot filler will be. It meant the  floors could be installed, then the cabinets, island and the shiny new appliances soon after. It was the tangible start of the count down to moving into our new house.

The crew arrived early, much to our surprise. The van pulled down our driveway, the side and back doors flew open and in short order, the crew piled out.  It was like watching clowns pile out of a Volkswagon bug, without the floppy shoes and red noses.With scant instructions to the crew chief, Jason and I climbed back into his truck and headed off in search of more coffee. He sighed contently and smiled,"Well, by the end of the day, we'll have a sheet rocked kitchen." I looked at him with wonder and amazement. One day? Really? I remember laborious days of sheet rock installation in our old house, the taping, spackling and sanding. I remember the man maneuvering about on some stilt-like legs (there really is more of a connection to circus clowns than I realized!) to reach our 10 foot ceilings. There was plastic taped to every doorway and a fine white powder on every surface (or so it seemed) when it was done. But, this was going to be complete in one day? It seemed impossible.

Impossible, I learned, was possible. They were using "blueboard", a very thick, very heavy board that goes up with ease and is skim-coated with a thin layer of veneer plaster. No taping, no stilt-walker. While the do-it-yourselfer can install drywall, usually with much fuss, mess and expletives, the blue boards is best left to the professionals. The plastering, more than the installation itself, is not for the faint of heart. And when it's all said and done, the veneer plaster makes the walls moisture and abuse resistant.

In between benign errands, we stopped back to check on progress. At 10:00, the walls were nearly complete, at 12:45, the process of plastering was underway, and at 3:15, they were gone. We stood and surveyed the room, which could truly be called a room now. It had walls. It had a ceiling. It was easy to visualize where my shiny new appliances will be installed.

In the weeks since, we've had the kitchen painted and the new floors have been installed, sanded, stained and sealed. The fiberboard ceiling tiles in the eating area were replaced with bead board and it, along with the exposed beams, were primed and painted. There's still a lot more to do, but it's coming together quite nicely.