Knight Hands Tackle Tough Task

Tony Gonzalez, Itzia & Nydia Mijangos, David Ybarra, Allen Reitmeier, Larry Balagna, Dan Murphy and Jack Ramsden.

Tony Gonzalez , a Sir Knight Brother, approached Knight Hands a short time ago asking if we could help Nydia Mijangos with repairs to her home.  In March of 2019 Nydia’s home caught on fire around 3am in the morning; and while the fire department arrived within 5 minutes of her call, there was still extensive damage done to her home.  Unfortunately she had not been able to afford insurance on her home and so she is now forced to repair her home as funds allow.  So a year and a half after the fire Tony asked if we could help repair two rooms in Nydia’s home – an upstairs bathroom and an upstairs children’s play room.  Both of these rooms had been previously worked on by friends and relatives; but much of the work had to be completed, redone or changed to meet normal construction standards.

Children’s play room, before.
Children’s play room, before.
Bathroom, before.

On Saturday December 5th, 2020, seven members of Knight Hands commenced to repair a list of 19 construction items to make the bathroom and children’s room livable.  Prior to this day on December 4th, Steve Zehnder prepped and textured the ceiling and walls in the children’s playroom.   On this same day Ray Rivera arrived to install the faucet on the shower and repair the lavatory sink drain system.  He also assisted in installing the lavatory mirror while Allen replaced the sawed out portions of two window sills. 

But the main work happened on Saturday when Larry Balagna and Jack Ramsden started by applying a primer coat of paint on the ceiling and walls of the children’s playroom.  That gave everyone else time to setup their equipment for the trim work that had to be done. 

Jack Ramsden helps and supervises the crown moulding installation.

Jorge Ruiz and Jack Ramsden took on the task of installing crown molding at the ceiling in the children’s play room, while Dan Murphy, Larry Balagna, and David Ybarra tore off old bottom trim. 

Dan Murphy carefully removing the old wall base.

They (David and Dan) then turned their attention to trimming out the bathroom which doesn’t sound like too much of a job, but there were many, many intricate cuts in order to get the job done – especially around the tiled section behind the commode.  The door opening to the bathroom was a nightmare that Larry Balagna handled with ease.  Once Jorge and Jack finished with the ceiling crown molding task, they installed bottom trim on the children’s playroom. 

David Ybarra gets down low and dirty as he fills in the very small gaps and tiny imperfections in the base moulding prior to final paint.

Tony Gonzalez and David Ybarra were busy spackling nail holes and joint as the day wore on.  Most everyone got involved in final preparation for painting and then most everyone participated in painting the children playroom.  Dan Murphy handled the task of installing can light covers in the bathroom and children’s playroom and a bathroom exhaust fan cover.  Jorge Ruiz with an assist from Jack Ramsden also rebuilt the attic access doorway.  The final task was clean up and installation of a ceiling fan – handled by Dan Murphy and Larry Balagna. 

Larry Balagna takes advantage of the natural light coming through the window, almost as if daring the photographer to put his picture on the front cover 😉
Tony Gonzalez caulking nail holes before final painting.

Throughout the day everyone dug in and worked in tight quarters with a smile and a happy disposition.  This was a tough job – not a job for amateurs and this group worked like professionals.  We worked from 8am until about 4:15pm with just a short break for ham sandwiches.  Kudos to Dan Murphy, Jack Ramsden, Jorge Ruiz, Larry Balagna, David Ybarra, Allen Reitmeier and Tony Gonzalez for a job well done.   Knight Hands had previously agreed to do the following:

  1. We will install floor trim (6 ½”) n the bathroom.  This trim is provided by Nydia.  We will paint it white – same color as the walls in the children’s playroom
  2. We will fill in the two gaps on both side of the tub- probably with 6 ½: trim.
  3. We will install handles on the shower.  Handles are on site. 
  4. We will install a cap on the drain line of the lavatory sink and seal the C.O. plug
  5. We will install notched trim around the tile area behind the commode.
  6. We will cut ¼” off the bath door to allow it to close properly
  7. We will install outside corner trim and 3” door casing on both sides of the bathroom door.  We will install a thin strip on one side of the bathroom door to cover the current gap. 
  8. We will remove all current baseboard trim and install new 6 ½” trim provided by Nydia in the children’s playroom.
  9. We will remove all ceiling crown molding and install new 2 ¾” ceiling crown molding in the children’s playroom
  10. We will install all receptacle and switch plates in both the bathroom and the children’s playroom.  Some are already provided and on site
  11. We will install a heat vent cover on the ceiling in the bathroom – 6’ x 12’ vent (hole)
  12. We will install a cover for the lighted fan in the bathroom
  13. We will remove the trim around the attic door and install new 3” door casing as needed
  14. We will repair the two window sills in the children playroom as best as we can by adding onto the existing cutout.
  15. We will install a can light cover in the children’s playroom (7-8”)
  16. We will install a ceiling fan with light kit in the children’s playroom.  Fan is on site.
  17. We will prime and paint the walls, doors, trim and ceiling of the children’s playroom – paint is provided by Nydia and it is semi-gloss white.
  18. We will install the mirror in the bathroom
  19. We will texture the ceiling and walls before painting them.
Allen Reitmeier, Knight Hands Founder & Director leans into miter saw toward the end of a long but satisfactory day.

And we completed all of these tasks.  Nydia was most pleased with our work.  In total Knight Hands worked about 64 man hours and spent about $353 in material expenses.  This was just another example of the call to charitable contribution being answered by the Knights of Columbus.  We should all be proud of what we do and the manner in which we do it.