Sunday, November 23, 2014

How Two Engineering Grads Install Shelves

You may be wondering why installing shelves merits a blog post (especially since I was MIA for the past 6 weeks). Well shelves take a larger amount of effort than anticipated...(scroll down to the bottom for shelf bit, I had to do a life update first.)

Backing up a bit, we moved in to our house at the end of September.

It was bittersweet saying good bye to the condo, but we were definitely ready to move into our house. Looking back Mike and I both feel that our summer was non-existent due to the whole house hunting process, so we anxious to feel settled again.


Goodbye Condo!

We had a house warming party the last warm weekend of September and got to enjoy the back yard. 
Housewarming Party!
As I sit writing this post on a drizzly (albeit warm) grey November day, I am already looking forward to spring.

After that October was a blur. We had jam packed weekends full of birthday celebrations for friends, last minute thanksgiving, a wedding, a 5km run (the day after the wedding...not the best), visits from old friends and a visit from my family! Whew. (oh yah, and work, tutoring etc.) It the midst of all that we managed to get some wedding "milestones" done, and started to put our house together.

One of the tasks we knew we needed ASAP were curtains and blinds. We had those up Thankgiving weekend. Notice the curtains? They were the ones from this post, where I dyed cheap Ikea curtains the right colour. I had them up in my condo for about 1 week before they fell down and I had them in a box since then. Finally they get their rightful place!

Yay curtains!

While we were at IKEA getting curtains we got some shelving for our kitchen. Our inspiration was something like this:
Oh Ikea...I lurve you. (The pot set is 59.99, shelving was around $20)

We then got distracted from installing the shelving until 2 weeks ago, when we tried to install them late on a Saturday night. Mike and I are both engineering grads. We are "smart people". We got this. We figured we would have the shelves up in less than an hour.

We used our handy dandy stud finder, and marked where we would install them. After drilling in a few (ahem...8) test holes we realized that our shelves were about 3 mm too short to be placed on studs on both sides. So then we had to go and buy wall anchors the next day. Time spent: 1 hour to realize this.  Geniusous right here.

There are 9 million different types of wall anchors depending what the shelf is being installed into. After a heated discussion about shear forces and loading weights Mike and I settled on a giant tub of EZ anchors for drywall (#8).
We headed home with plans to install the shelves that evening after Mike got back from a Bike ride. Well, Mike got into an accident on that bike ride, and we spent the evening at the ER. He is fine, (pulled muscle in his shoulder), but obviously this meant no shelves were installed.

FINALLY, 2 weeks later after Mike was able to lift his arm, we got around to putting up the shelves (and patching up the test holes).


Material Needed:
EZ Wall Anchors (or equivalent)
Measuring tape
An assistant who can lift his/her arm
Electric Drill (recommended)
Stuff to put on the shelf

Putty Knife

<1 hour once you know what you are doing, 2 weeks otherwise

1. Assemble the shelves, and use a level to figure out where they are going to go on the wall.

2. Mark where you are going to drill. Try to line this up with a stud.
3. Drill pilot holes, you will need these if using the wall anchors, but also benefits in determining if you have hit a stud.

4. Install wall anchors.
5. Align shelf again, double check level again. Screw shelf into pilot holes/anchors.

6. Measure location of second shelf, repeat steps 2-5.
7. Decorate the shelf.

Those jars won't say empty for long!
If you make any bad pilot holes, no worries! We used a small amount of spackle/putty and a putty knife to fix the holes. I took a lightly damp cloth to wash away the excess, and you can't even tell the hole was there!

Even though this was a slap of reality that simple tasks aren't really that simple, it made us more savy for future bigger renovations. Since we have no tools/supplies etc. we really need to plan out our actions, and make sure we have the required materials. On to the next project!

(Disclaimer, I have no affiliation with any of the products used in this blog, my blog isn't legit enough for that...yet)

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