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Crimes against baseboard molding

Started: 2013-09-28 14:57:17

Submitted: 2013-09-28 15:33:14

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator atones for a previous homeowner's crimes against baseboard molding

When we moved into our house I didn't fully appreciate the level of ... customizations ... that previous home-owners had made to the house. Our first house was very much a starter house, and the previous owners had treated it as such. We restricted our customizations to painting the walls and stringing Ethernet through the walls. Our second house, though, had been treated far more liberally. The basement was finished without a permit, and Ethernet cable had been strung somewhat haphazardly through the garage and basement. But the most egregious example was the wiring connecting the receiver on one side of the family room with the TV and speakers elsewhere. This is what it looked like when we took possession of the house:

Through-the-floor speaker wire installation base station
Through-the-floor speaker wire installation base station

To be clear, I've perpetrated some crimes against housing in pursuit of networking, but this shining example took the prize for the worst home theater install I've ever seen. We had no use for the wiring as-is, so I pushed the cables into the holes from whence they came and ignored them for the next year.

Over Labor Day this year, while Kiesa was repainting the basement, I undertook to patch the hole. It may not be immediately obvious from the photo above (or any of the photos I can find; I apparently failed to properly document the atrocity in its full glory) but the cables had been run through an inch-diameter hole drilled through the baseboard molding and the carpet. I pulled the cables into the crawl space under the family room, where they had been routed, and removed an arm-full of cables from the crawl space. This left an ugly hole; I nailed a piece of cardboard underneath the hole to plug the lower end and pushed caulk into the small holes and wood filler into the large hole. The intermediate result was not entirely aesthetically pleasing but seemed like a good step:

A/V hole mid-patch
A/V hole mid-patch

The Megafest and subsequent flood distracted me from finishing repairing the hole. Last weekend, while Kiesa was moving everything back into the basement, I found a small scrap of spare carpet and cut it out to fill the hole left by the hole. I pulled the carpet out from the wall, glued the scrap of carpet down, and replaced the carpet on top of it. The patch was noticeable if I looked for it but not as obvious at a glance. (I realized after I completed the patch that what I should have done was to tape the patch into the carpet so it looked like the same thing.)

The carpet looked much better but the baseboard still needed help. Today I sanded, primed, and painted the wood filler patching the baseboard, and while the paint is still drying, I have high hopes that I will finally have repaid my debts to society by atoning for someone else's crimes against baseboard molding.

Baseboard paint drying
Baseboard paint drying
this is a neat, if unintelligable, hack
- Jaeger's comment in BMAS::Service::Domain, 11 October 2002