Saturday, February 20, 2010


With two small (roughly 7") holes in my living room ceiling, the house has been a little chillier the last few mornings. You see, we decided it was time to do the final lights (not counting our own bedroom). We had all the pieces we needed: two new fixtures (cool track lights, with four lights on each set), two flat metal medallions (the top of the fixture is smaller than our current hole), and all the screws, nuts, bolts, and tools we needed.

We shut off the power to that section of the house and got to work. First, we had to remove the old lighting. That included a cylinder-type electrical box, a metal cone, and the light bulb. Keep in mind, these original sets of lights were NOT up to code. No matter how old a house is, you have to attach the casing to the house somehow... these weren't done. Argh. But, it made for easier removal.

When Ace climbed up to the attic, he also found out that there was PLENTY of wire up there, all still good (not a big thing, but nice to know we don't have to run new wire from the switch by the front door). So, all we had to do was install the new electrical box, using a brace between the two rafters. That was detailed, but not hard. Of course, all electrical work is easier when you have someone who knows what he's doing...

We got the first one built, and were ready to put the light up. That's when we discovered that the medallion wouldn't work. Aaaaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh! These were special order medallions, too; we wanted flat ones, white metal. The ones we bought measure 8" round, with a 3 1/2" cut out in the center. Unfortunately, the fixtures we bought have a 4 5/8" part that is supposed to fit into the medallion's center hole.

Now, we're on hold, again... The easiest thing would be to find a machine shop in the area, or a person who has the tools in his garage, and have the hole cut to about 5" (the decorative outer area on the center of the track is a rounded square that's about 5 3/8" at its smallest spot). If we can't do that, we have to order a new set of medallions, putting this project off another couple weeks; until they get here. Did I say "Argh" already?

In the meantime, we bought more locksets. The door going from the garage to the house will get a new deadbolt & handle, to match the front door. And, the garage-to-backyard will get a new handle & keyed deadbolt -- one without a latch -- for extra safety. The cool part about the new locksets? You can program them to all use ONE key. It's the new "Smartkey" system.

I have Monday off work, so I'm hoping to AT LEAST get these new locksets installed... since I can't do anything about the lights right now.

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