The quarter round project

Pretty much ever since we moved into this house, Heidi has been on my case to put quarter round in the house.  Once upon a time, the previous owners put carpet throughout most of the house and ripped up all the quarter round in the process.  About a year after moving in, we ripped up most of the carpet.  We’ve been here 8 years and I still haven’t managed to tackle the quarter round project.  It’s not that I haven’t had good intentions – if there’s any one thing I have an overabundance of, it’s good intentions – but for whatever reason, I have just never gotten around to it.  Ever since we found out that Heidi has a pretty bad allergy to dust mites, it’s become imperative that quarter round get done sooner rather than later.  The spot where the baseboards meet the floor is a dust and dirt trap like no other.

Those that know me well know that I am many things, but handy is not one of them.  I want to know how to do the kinds of things that you need to keep up an old house, but more often than not, I end up leaning on my dad who is the home repair god second only to Bob Vila.  He installed a ceiling fan in our dining room the other day, replacing a hideous chandelier that we vowed to immediately get rid of when we bought the house.  I guess our definition of “immediately” is “sometime in the next decade.”  He also fixed a faulty switch on the second floor which required you to precariously balance the switch half way between on and off in order to have light in the hallway.  Anna was super proud of herself because she had the magic touch and could frequently make the light stay on when no one else could.   And yesterday, we put quarter round in the bedroom.

As carpentry projects go, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.  8 foot pieces of pre-primed quarter round we only 3 dollars a piece, making 80 feet of quarter round pretty damn affordable.  It also introduced me to the miter saw, which is used to cut the 45 degree angles on the quarter round that you need to do corners.  The miter saw I have is a manual miter saw and looks a lot like this.

I found out that there are relatively inexpensive power miter saws and now, I’m starting to wonder why my dad was holding out on me.  Maybe he just wanted me to learn the hard way.  No fancy electrical tools for his son!

It also went relatively quickly.  We not only cut the quarter round for the bedroom but also for the upstairs hallway.  The total time for cutting the wood, placing it and nailing it into place was around two and a half hours.  This is a relatively small time investment that pays huge dividends.  It’s especially nice when you have long straight walls that you can do in no time flat.  It’s better than frustrating jobs that you work all afternoon on and make glacial progress on.  In other words, it’s just the kind of home improvement project for me – something I can work on for a couple hours in the afternoon and suddenly, a whole room is done.

It’s a subtle difference, but one that my wife loved.  She told me that the only present she needs for our 15th anniversary this year is for me to finish the quarter round in the house.  This leaves me with the question of what am I going to get from her?  Anyway, now that I know how to do it, I should be able to go one room at a time through the house and before you know it.  In the meantime, here’s the results from my first attempt.

The “before” picture. No quarter round = unhappy Heidi.

The “after” picture. Like I said, the difference is subtle, but it’s definitely there.

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3 Responses to The quarter round project

  1. Elliot says:

    Well I think you can see the improvement there. I’ve been slowly working some jobs around our home. Just yesterday I cut a new ceiling door (access to the roof area), painted that and another. Put up some small fencing panels in the garden, and resprayed the security door (which took forever to tape up, and next to no time to spray paint).

    When I moved over here I got into doing jobs around the house. I was never that handy either so I figured it would be a good time to learn. So I learnt lots of different things and have done all sorts of tasks like, laying flooring, changing doors, changing door holdings and plenty of other things. I often use the manual miter saw, but I did the “man thing” of buying some power tools as well. Some of this work is fun isn’t it once you make a decent job of it?

    • Dan says:

      You sound much much handier than I will ever be. But I must admit that as I was walking down the hall from my office this morning toward the living room, I thought to myself “that would be a really good place to put in quarter round next!” Mostly because the baseboard is white and it’s a bunch of long walls so very little cutting would be needed. I have to program for success.

      But yeah, it feels good, especially when you can see the fruits of your labor.

      • Elliot says:

        In all honesty, I’m surprising myself. I saw some workmen doing some jobs, some time back and figured it really cannot be that hard. So usually I look up what I’m doing beforehand, and if I work through it in a logical manner, it mostly works out fine. A few mistakes but nothing that bad.

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