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Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

Date:2004-08-24 15:56
Subject:Adventures in room construction.
Mood: hopeful

Despite a long battle with the USCA Board, my current room (2C) is being turned into a double; Kingman will be housing 50 residents rather than 49 starting this fall. So, during the room bids at the end of the spring semester, i bid on another room — 1B, which is not the nicest or largest single in the house, but was probably the largest available single. (There is a rule in the USCA that once you bid into a room, you can stay in it as long as you want. The board decision broke that rule for me, but some of the other singles are still occupied in this way.)

I figured that, although 1B is a lot smaller than my current room, i'd do a little work to make the room nice and it would be fine. linley kindly offered to help me paint, and i had high hopes for a pretty good result. I also started thinking about replacing the old, grungy carpet in the room.

When linley and i moved out the old furniture and removed the old carpet (which was just resting loosely on the ground), we discovered bigger problems.

There was a sheet of moldy, cruddy linoleum under the carpet. There's a board near the floor that's loose and falling off, with broken concrete underneath and a gap between the wall and the floor. The gap runs along the entire wall and gets to be a little over two inches wide at some points. The floor is sloped on that side of the room and the concrete slabs have separated.

This was a disheartening discovery.

After much discussion of the various possible ways to fix the floor, i am now the proud (and somewhat frightened) owner of 600 pounds of self-leveling concrete. nawl, K, rebbyribs, and linley were all really wonderful and came over last night to spend hours and hours removing the old linoleum that was under the carpet, sweeping up debris, spackling the walls, stuffing foam into cracks in the concrete, and scraping tons of glue off of the old concrete floor. Thank you so much!

The room now looks like this.

I've just applied some concrete primer, and the next step is to mix and pour the concrete. It will be a learning experience for me.

After the concrete cures, the plan is to paint (probably Thursday), and then lay a new carpet. I have to move in on the weekend because lots of new people are moving into the house. Anyone who wants to help is welcome, of course! (But don't feel obligated — i've already received so much wonderful help, and it has made a tremendous difference.)

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Date:2004-08-24 23:45
Subject:Self-levelling concrete is cool.

With help from two housemates, who helped mix the concrete, i poured the new section of floor this afternoon. This is what the room looks like now.

The floor is like a huge pancake. It's hard to be accurate when you're trying to pour from a 60-pound bucket of concrete, but it doesn't matter exactly where you pour it. Flowing concrete has a really neat texture — it just kind of gloops its way to wherever it needs to go, and settles out with a really smooth surface. I am officially impressed. For a few moments, i even had the urge to pour concrete over all kinds of things just because it would look neat.

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