home-reno_wrong.jpg Getting the kids a Wii for Christmas seemed innocuous enough. This observation, of course, is filled with foreboding. Some friends recently purchased a 47″ flat-panel television and graciously gave us their old 32″ conventional television. It’s a nice RCA which required only the purchase of a remote. Naturally, this goes well with the Wii that the kids don’t yet know about… but they’ve already been using the big TV with the $20 unit we got them a few years ago to play Ms. Pac-Man, Rally-X, Galaga, and a few other classic arcade games. The plan was to finish up the basement rec room so the kids could play on the Wii or watch movies down there, leaving the main floor free and quiet for us in the evenings now that the kids are too old to bundle off to bed at 7:00PM.

It was a good plan. I had always envisioned a sort of “media wall” along the wall running parallel to the basement stairs, so the television and other components could be sunken into the wall, using the space beneath the stairs. This would also enable a little bit of decluttering in the living room, as I could move the stereo equipment downstairs and leave only the minimal necessities in the living room. Downstairs in the rec room, the wall was partially built several years ago when I began finishing the basement, so it seemed to be a matter of just a little framing, some wiring, drywall and paint… how hard could it be? I finished up the laundry room fairly well this summer, so I should be in the swing of things.

According to Larry’s Christmas Countdown (which the kids check regularly), I have only ten days left until Christmas, which leaves me only about 8 days to finish up the project amid whatever other mayhem is going on. In the meantime, I’ve lost track of how many trips to Home Depot and Canadian Tire I’ve made so far and I’m a little afraid to add up the total cost of this little project, but I know this: no renovation or construction project is as small as they first seem. I should have that figured out — this year in addition to the laundry room, I’ve reshingled the roof of the house, redesigned and rebuilt the overhang over the front step, and have been working occasionally on my parents’ house, as they’re building new (my Dad is doing almost all of it himself). That’s not entirely fair — the roofing project went very well, it just ran over budget somewhat.

More than three years ago, I wrote one of my most popular posts ever, which still gets traffic perhaps due to an ongoing discussion about Mike Holmes. I don’t think my little basement reno is going to quite make it up to Mike Holmes’ standards, but I’m pressing on. That popular post (unlike much of the discussion following it) was actually about the deconstruction and reconstruction process that we’re undergoing with our ecclesiology. At that time, we were busy deconstructing church, and I think now we’ve begun a reconstruction phase.

It’s still early days, but ecclesiological reconstruction seems to be slow work. Like the story about how to build a great cathedral… first you take an acorn, and you plant it in the ground…. The idea being that in order to build a great cathedral, you start by planting an oak grove. It takes patience. If it’s anything like a home renovation project, I can surmise that it will take longer and cost more than it first appears, but the end result will always be worth the effort, if you’ve taken the time to do it right. Do a shoddy job, take shortcuts, and make a mess of things and you’ll just be ripping it out and doing it over again. It takes even longer and costs even more.


I’d better get this one done by Christmas, or my name will be mud around here. Time to go spit some more drywall dust.

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