Do DIY’ers know about shrinkage?

Lately the DIY Mess has been singing us Rice Crispy songs: snaps in the living room, crackles in the kitchen, pops in the dining room. These are the sounds of last summer’s work undoing itself, contracting in the cold.

Unfortunately, we did not know about shrinkage.

It could be worse. Nothing has fallen off the wall or anything; it’s just a few cracks in the seams of our new crown moulding and door casings. Since we used wood filler–NOT caulk–we’re gonna have to fill and sand and paint again. Fair enough.

What REALLY stinks is that we now realize it doesn’t matter how much time or money we’re able to set aside for the almost-finished dining-room floor, pictured here in our holiday card–or for the zillion other flooring projects in our queue right now. See, we can’t risk summertime EXPANDAGE. We’ll have to keep walking around on dusty, dirty subflooring until spring. Fie.

Whoever said you either have money or time to spend it never met us. An epidemic of shrinkage has hit both. It’s my fault–a consequence of the feast/famine cycle that is my so-called livelihood. The good news is that for the first time in a what’s felt like an eternity, the gods of freelance work have smiled on me. (Thanks, y’all. I owe you a goat.) The bad news is that all these jobs are happening at once–right now–and they’re the sort that take a looooooong time to render funds to support our Home Depot habit. Oh, how I miss the days of 40-hour weeks and direct deposits every month…

All this is to say that I hope you’ll forgive me, dear readers–all two that are left of you (hi, Mom and Dad!)–for the radio silence. Work is kicking my butt something fierce, and Dylan’s teaching schedule has been nutty. And we hope the DIY Mess will forgive our inattention as of late. At least these crazy couple of months have helped us realize how much we enjoy home improvement. I dare say we actually MISS it.

If any fellow DIY’ers read this, I’m wondering: What do you like to work on during the cold, lean, post-holiday months? Any tips/advice/warnings?

And is there anything else we should know about shrinkage???

Leave a Reply