First Home Project

by laura.johnson

Look how excited we are to be first time home owners.  Oh the joy!


There is something naturally romantic about firsts. First date, first kiss, you can't help but feel the excitement! As we were purchasing our house, people who knew me well would ask, "what is the first project you are going to tackle?" And as much as I would have loved to tell them stripping wallpaper or painting Lydia's room, there were more pressing issues to address.

Like falling ductwork in the grimiest part of our basement. Nothing romantic about this job!


We did take a moment to pop a mini bottle of champagne and have dinner in front of new fireplace. It was nice to spend a little down time together to dream about our new home. Ahhh, but of course my internal to-do list quickly took over, and we changed into our work clothes and headed to the basement.

Now as you saw, some of the basement has been finished, with a beautiful fireplace and pretty green walls. This was not where we were. Oh no, we were in the room behind that with 'the wall of disgust' as I have come to call it. 

The basement is relatively dry, as Midwest basements go, but at some point this particular wall was not dry and has all of the evidence to show for it. We are somewhat paranoid parents when it comes to air quality issues, so we decided to have this wall professionally cleaned and then run several days of air purification to ensure we are completely done with this gross, potentially hazardous mess before we move one item of ours in.

Great plan you say, but before any of that could happen we needed to seal all of the ductwork to make sure we weren't chasing the problem elsewhere. So here we are, 3 hours into home ownership and we are busting out the power screwdriver and aluminum tape.

If we were smarter, we would have also picked up some protective goggles and respirator masks, but ultimately they weren't critical to the project, and you live and learn. Of course being novice homeowners, we only picked up 3 of the essential 4 on our first trip to the hardware store. But I have heard that is the measure of a good project, multiple trips to your local hardware store.


It was a pretty simple job once we went back to the hardware for the sheet metal drill bit. Cody pre-drilled the holes on the ductwork, secured the hanger into the floor joists and aligned it with the ductwork, and then he hoisted the ductwork into position as I drilled the sheet metal screw into place.  As he worked I would take a moment or two to seal up the gaps in the ductwork with aluminum tape. Funny thing, about the only thing good old duct tape is not good for is duct work! And I found plenty of evidence of old falling apart duct tape to prove it. 


All in all, the whole job took just over 2 hours and that included cutting out and removing some falling apart shelving that was propped up against the wall of disgust as well. Not bad for our first project. 

I'd love to say the projects get more exciting from here, but with an old home comes a long list of 'must fixes' that need to be addressed sooner rather than later.  So for now we will be plugging away at the practical, while I dream of beautiful wall stencils and bathroom remodels.

What was your first home project? Did you dive right in or let your new space grow on you a bit?

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