the Imagination House


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  Questions are answered by email... some Q&As are shown below
 

Q: Why do the directions say to not paint the roof until after assembly?  I'm painting everything else before and it seems it would be better to have the roof done before as well.  What is the reason to do it after?  Thank you.

A: Here's the issue:  If you get paint on the edges of the tile-fills or the tiles along the edges of the pocket where the fills will go, the fills won't fit.  If you keep the paint scrupulously away from the edges of the fill and pocket, you'll have a visibly un-painted edge.  None of these are issues when the roof is on for painting. 
It is certainly possible to succeed with pre-painting the roofs and fills, but the difficulty is increased.  That's why we recommend this sequence.

 

Q: Can you wallpaper before you assemble the doll house?

A: Yes you can (it's your house!) Many experienced builders are advocates of papering before construction - I am not.

My biggest objection to papering first is that you are always too skimpy with glue so none will squeeze out and get on the paper.  I try to use the amount of glue that fills the joint, so some will squeeze out in every joint and be wiped up.  But wiping glue off of wallpaper leaves a streak, so the temptation is to go skimpy, and the joints aren't as strong.
Second, I can always tell a house that was pre-papered because the corners show a void instead of being continuous (see the slideshows about how to crowd the papers together in the corner... you can't do that with pre-papered walls).  Third, I have had to replace paper too often that has gotten damaged by glue or tape during construction... that wastes time and paper ($) and can make it so you are left deciding whether to replace a damaged paper or letting it slide because you don't have any more of that pattern and you'll have to order it and that takes too much time (running out but then needing another piece is a grizzly moment).

Finally, I don't find pre-papering to be faster.  By the time I have done all of the extra planning that getting the papers in the right place requires, I have used up any potential advantage.  I have great big blacksmith's hands, and papering in a finished house is easy for me.  The hardest part of papering the two houses used for these slideshows was getting the camera into the space too.

All that having been said, I do pre-cut the papers used in the attic.  Even though the final size and shape of the paper for the attic partitions is changed in front by the kneewall they slot into, having the overall size and angles right makes the final fitting easier.  And pre-cutting the attic endwall's paper is a piece of cake.

 

Q: My floors (or dividers) are tight in the grooves.

A: Paint sneaks onto the edges of the grooves and makes them narrower. At the same time, paint adds thickness to the floors (or dividers). The thickness of paint doesn't seem like much but it can make the assembly too tight. It's easy, though, to scrape the groove and to scrape for clearance on the edges of the ceilings.
Here's a demo

 

Q: My Porch Post dowel (for the railing) is cracked and crooked. Do I have to replace the post or can I use it the way it is?

A: Glue it back on or press glue into the cracks and straighten it. The dowel is only a convenience for locating the railing, and any little bit of stub will help, but even no dowel whatsoever doesn't make it very hard to find where the railing is supposed to go (it sits on the floor and is centered on the post front-to-back).