When my wife mentioned that we should do something with the living room, I had no idea it would turn into a four-month project that had more than its share of problems and wild experiences.

Ordinarily, painting the living room (which I finally admitted was long overdue), would take a few days, but because we wound up doing extensive remodeling and purchasing new furniture, the few days turned into four months.People who remodel their own house should set aside sufficient time for completing the project, figuring that many things can go wrong when ordering new furniture, trying to sell your own furniture before starting the remodeling and picking out the colors of furniture and carpet you want.

After seeing how good crown molding looked in the Parade of Homes houses, my wife talked me into crown molding for our living room. "No problem," I said, figuring that my experience building houses while I was attending college would get me by.

Down to the lumber yards I went, looking for crown molding. It was expensive, but I figured this is my last fling in my living room so I purchased the widest crown molding possible.

I started putting it up flush to the wall. But after several feet were nailed in place, my wife and daughter said it didn't look right. A friend came by and laughed out loud when he saw what I had done. The molding should have covered the joint between the ceiling and wall, rather than be flush against the wall.

He loaned me his rather crude miter box and showed me a few tricks that he had learned installing crown molding of his own. After that, I worked quite rapidly, sawing the boards and nailing them in place. One of the biggest jobs was to find the studs and ceiling joists so I could nail the molding to them.

All of this was done with the furniture in the room, because I was still trying to sell it. Some friends came by but didn't want it, so I put an advertisement in the newspaper and finally sold it to another friend.

After the furniture was finally out of the room, I started taking up the carpet that I had promised to a fellow worker for his family room. The carpet had so many tacks on the edge that it kept tearing and I wound up sending it to the dump.

So much for the generosity.

At the same time I was doing the crown molding, we spent several evenings in a furniture store trying to decide on the carpet, sofa, love seat, tables and lamps. The furniture store employees thought we were nuts because we changed our minds several times. They were very understanding, saying they had seen nuts like us before.

Meanwhile, back home, the crown molding was in, but it was a job putting putty in the cracks and sanding. My friend suggested we put a small bead of acrylic material on the top and bottom of the molding for a good seal and appearance. That required great patience.

We had recently finished repainting our bathroom and decided to get some new linoleum at the same time we got new carpet for the living room. Several visits to the furniture store were needed before deciding on a pattern.

The living room required two coats of paint, especially the new molding, and that job was rather easy.

On the same day that the carpet layer arrived with our new carpet, the men came with the new linoleum. The linoleum layer said he couldn't do a thing without the toilet being raised. He had to arrange for a plumber to raise the toilet and said he would come back another day.

The carpet layer was instructed to cut a circular piece in the carpet by the front door so our hardwood floor would be exposed. The metal piece the carpet sat on was too short, so he pieced it together, and one spot was flat from a hammer hit.

Not satisfied, I called the furniture company and the carpet layer came back the next day to put in a single piece of metal. My daughter helped him and made certain the job was done right.

Arriving home one day after the linoleum man had gone, I noticed the two bolts in the back of the toilet were too long to put the finish knobs in place and the two bolts in the front were missing.

I called the furniture company again, expressing my dissatisfaction, and they sent out a different person, who showed up the next day and took about 10 minutes to make the toilet look better.

The furniture came as ordered, but a few days later my wife noticed a crack in one table top. Another call to the furniture company brought out a man who said he would order a new top from the manufacturer. I am still waiting for that to arrive.

We special-ordered a wingback chair that took six weeks to be made and shipped to Salt Lake City.

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I even went so far as to replace the electric outlet switches and receptacles so they would match the off-white paint we used.

We also ordered a new vertical blind, which took several days to get from California and have installed. After the installer left, my wife noticed that two of the slats were shorter than the others and the valance had a dirt spot. The people who got us the blind were nice, ordered two new slats and a valance and they were installed once they arrived in town.

It is possible to do your own remodeling, but you must have patience and not be satisfied with inferior work by so-called craftsmen. The ideal situation is to be home when people come to work on your project. But when you have to work that isn't always possible, so sometime you rely on relatives.

The best advice it to do something on your project everyday to keep the disruptions to a minimum.

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