Monday, December 29, 2008
I did my last round of the appliance stores today and am in the same holding pattern as I was yesterday. I mean the best deal I can find is at Home Depot right now. I checked everywhere online Lowes, Sears, etc but HD is so far the best. The only thing is I am not to sure of the Maytag brand. I know it isn't what it used to be as far as quality. But like anything else there is good and bad in everything.
What I think I am going to do is just buy a plainer, and a small fridge. I got to costing out the stripper and as much as I am going to be using I can buy a plainer for $200 and really cut down on the stripping and sanding. You should see the pile of baseboard trim that needs to be redone. And I am not including the trim that is still attached to the walls and around the doors. I will still have to do the crown by hand though.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Below is the closet off the kitchen. It originally had five shelves going up the back wall and was kind of boring. To get my mind off the pipe breakage I thought that this would be a cool Butlers Pantry. So using some left over wood, I framed up the bottom portion of the closet. Underneath the "box" is really a 45 degree slant, starting high on the back wall and sloping towards the front if you are standing in the doorway looking in. Beneath and behind the wall and floor are the stairs that go down to the basement. By putting the box in there I am really hiding the slope and actually gaining some space.
The top is 3/4 ply, and the front is a piece of bead board left over from the front porch project. The bead board piece will flip down on a hinge, just cause I can and to add a small bit of storage space for paper towels etc. My intent is to have a small refrigerator on the right side. That will give me about 19" to have either a small cupboard on the left or a small row of drawers, or small shelves with hanging baskets that can pull out. I can take the wood from the shelving and frame in the fridge and put a decent counter top for a small workspace. Then to carry on I will add some cabinets or open shelves above it all for storage. Ambitious, maybe but I think with the extra wood I have laying around it will only cost time.
Well with the rapid thaw of 6" of snow and ice, then some heavy rain yesterday the basement started leaking. So off to Home Dep-oh again to find some hydraulic cement to stuff into the cracks. I spent another $13 but didn't get the water to stop totally. I did stem the largest flows but it is still weeping and I will have to wait until the water slows a little bit more.
Has anyone been appliance shopping lately? my gawd what a rip off! I have been to every home improvement store, appliance store and outlet store in the area and just cannot believe what they are asking for prices. When I find something decent, I come home and check ConsumersReport.com only to find CR recommends the product but the comments left by people leave something to be desired. I am having a real hard time forking out a $1000+ for a fridge and then have it take a crap on me, only to dump another $300 for a compressor.
Washer and dryers? another scam. I am needing stackable units to fit into closet off the bathroom. Again the prices are crazy. GE and Kenmore Elite series are just crazy $1200 + per unit. For those occasonal drinkers, that is over 2400 beers! How is that for putting it into context?
Cooktops, again crazy and it doesn't matter if it is gas or electric. Ovens and stoves, a cursory look again is a $1000 plus. I can see how the average kitchen remodel runs $25k plus if your not careful.
Cabinets, haven't really looked into them to much but I am definitely going with the RTA (Ready To Assemble)versions already. I worked in a cabinet shop for a short time and from what I have seen that passes for quality is not quality just because you put a stamp on the front. I have a hard time seening people pay big dollars for cabinets and then throw marble tops onto presswood frames with plastic corner braces and drawer runners.
So that is my rant for today, I am sure I will find some more later on in the week.
Oh the last picture is of Sugar after her spa treatment. She was getting a good rubdown from Grandma cause she thought the "shug" was still to wet.
Sometimes I wonder who is the dogs owner.
Princess Sugar wrapped in swaddling clothes
Friday, December 26, 2008
So during the real cold weather, my windshield cracked in 3 nice places and there is a pretty spiderweb crossing the windscreen. Still with me? So, I get up this morning and was doing some running around, paying bills etc. I am at Menards looking at just about everything. I really only needed some tack cloth, some Poly Minwax, and some Zinsser stripper. And I ask the girl in the paint department if she might be interested in going on a date, denied! (actually I had asked another girl late last week if she wanted to go out, denied! and three months ago my girlfriend told me she wanted to be "alone") Well after embarrassing myself badly I forgot the tack cloth and stripper, but did get out with the polyminwax alive, and with some dignity.
Ok, so I come home and get ready to seal the door I have been working on the last few days (more on the later). I was able to get the first coat on one side with no issues. So while I am waiting for the first coat to dry, I jumped into the next project. The area where the washer and dryer hot/cold water pipes come down the wall in the basement were half-assed installed. And I was not looking for a cosmetic change, the pipe themselves were hanging, yes hanging and leaking. The walls in the basement are concrete and brick, and the piece of wood that was holding up the pipes, was also hanging and jury rigged badly in of itself. I took the nail gun and a piece of plywood, nailed that sucker to the concrete for a nice place to reconnect the pipes to the wall, one pipe is CPVC, and one galvanized. I rehung the CPVC, no problems. The galvanized? well the freaking pipe was rusted through and at the "T" joint it broke, water came flying out like a firehose was turned on, and the back half of me was soaked! I ran to the other end of the basement and turned off the water supply coming from the city. So there I am wet, pissed, and looking at what was going to cost me $70 to fix, that I don't have.
The first two pictures are what was installed for water pipes. Not! Now from the city, the water is copper, then goes to galvanized, then CPVC, then back to copper, then CPVC, and back and forth between 3/4" to 1/2" and everything in between. what a fucking mess. The first two pics are what was originally installed. In pic two where the pipe broke, see the "T" to the right of the dripping one? well more on that. So I am standing there, wet ( I think I said that already), got out the hack saw, and could not cut that pipe for nothing. Off to Home Depot (cause I did not want to show my face in Menards again today) bought a saw zaw ( $29.95) , some CPVC and misc. parts I thought I needed. Whip out the new tool and blast through the pipe in 10 secs flat. See that second "T" ? I put the pipe wrench on there and snap the CPVC connect that goes to the tub above. Right where the galvanized and CPVC pipes come together. Christ, back to the store. The guy at Home Depot was very help full, we were both sitting on the floor in the middle of the aisle with plumbing parts laid all over the place. People would start down the aisle with their carts, stop, look, turn around and go the way they came. Kind of funny, considering it has been a shitty week.
Now this is another learning experience, and I hate plumbing. CPVC and PVC are different. The diameters are different, 3/4" PVC is measured from the inside and 3/4" CPVC is measured on the outside. And nary the two shall fit. So back to the store for the third time! I mustered up the guts (the plumbing and paint Departments are next to each other) and went back to Menards luckly I found the exact parts I needed, without help. I headed home and gathered everything I had purchased and assessed the disaster area. Until I get this done, I am not taking a shower, that is what I assessed.
Below is what I was able to cobble together. So far no leaks. The little stub with two 90 degree elbows was originally galvanized with CPVC attached to the upper part, that is what snapped off and resulted in the second trip to the store.
Zinsser, let me talk a bit about the brand of new stripper I found. This stuff is great! No smell, doesn't burn your skin if is gets on you and the clean up is great. It kind of sucks all the paint up, and makes a congealed paste out of the paint and old varnish. What I also found best about the product is that it really gets into the cracks creavasess of the trim and lifts the paint out and makes it kind of fluff up. There is no extra scraping that I have to do and no use of dental tools to get the left behind paint out of the cracks. Very cool and I highly recommend. One of the few bright spots this week.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Now being on a strict budget, I took a 8' length of 1x4 clear pine board that I had left over from the bedroom project, then ran the router and cut a bead down the edge. After making the router cuts, I put the wood on the circular saw and made a few more cuts.
And this is the final product(sorry that I got my fat fingers in the picture). I am sure most folks would just by some chair rail and slap it up there, but being cheap and unconventional I did it my way.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The roof is good.
The insulation isn't.
The wiring sucks, all knob and tube with some half-assed upgrades.
The chimney is not the best, but for being 80 + years old, pretty good shape. The inspector did suggest a qualified chimney person come and look and give a professional opinion.
The foundation is in good shape, some leakage, but repairable.
Good water heater.
So overall not bad and nothing that is going to kill the deal or the budget. I talked to the owner last night and she seemed agreeable in getting the wiring upgraded. So I am hoping that everything works out and no outside influences kill the deal.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Look I live alone and really have nothing else to do but work on the house and feed the dog. Oh and take pictures of potential felons getting cuffed.
I did paint the the front "sun porch" and did some prepping for when I get the bead board installed. Mostly just painted the trim that is already in place and went to Home Depot and priced out the trim that I will be adding later. My mom gave me a plant for the "sun porch" even though it isn't finished.
I finished the the platform for the basement shower.
Now the front right side is missing a piece, so remember that I built the entire thing out of spare pressure treat lumber that I had. So maybe someday I will find a piece that will fit. I did stand on the platform and it is good and solid, and will keep my feet from the cold cement if I ever have to use it. I am not sure how my young apprentice is going to take to it yet, but it can be lifted up and out of the way if she is not into standing on the slats.
Friday, December 5, 2008
There is a small back story to this. Sugar gets dropped off every morning at Grand Ma's house and picked up every night after work. So what those two (Mom and Sugar) get into through out the day is known only to them. Mom never said a word when I walked in and it took a few minutes to see Sugar sitting there looking like; "what the hell is going on?" and "please help me" Then, when I wanted a picture, the forlorn look turned into; oh! oh! ok this is cool, my chest is getting scratched, oh yea! what fake antlers? oh yeah! Dad what are you doing here?
She is such good sport and will do or tolerate anything for attention. She is a groovy dog.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The cool thing is that there is alot of space up there. So maybe someday if I want to expand the upstairs there is space to have a good size room, nothing fancy but a good size open space. When I first stuck my head up, I saw where there used to be some sort of stove vent (oh and more freak'n cob webs) , galvanized metal that was taken off at the header level. So I am sure there is still a good amount of the vent still left in the wall.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Ahh now I understand, our first WET snow of the year! Now having a corner lot has alot of advantages, but having twice as much sidewalk to shovel is not one of them.
My apprentice is surveying the area and deciding how to tackle this new snow. She finally went into the house, laid down, took a nap leaving the bulk of the work to me. How can you get mad at cuteness?
Saturday, November 29, 2008
So what does that have to do with home improvement? not much really. But I got a busrt of energy late last night and FINALLY got the bedroom door rehung! Whoo Hoo! Now being the only person that lives here, I don't have and real reason to shut the door, but it is still a neat milestone to reach. So I guess I did divert all power and compensate and I did get it done.
Found two gallon cans that were half empty and they are a kind of a celery green color that was used by a PO in the second bedroom, so I mixed them together and decided that I would try and paint the front sun porch with what I concocted. At first it kind of looked a bit to pale of a green and then went into it's darken stage.
I was kind of worried that it was gonna get real dark and defeat the purpose of being a "sunny" room. Actually the paint turned out ok . If I get some Boston ferns in there (being a north facing set of windows) they should do nicely and add something to the room. I really am holding off on the trim, it just kills me knowing underneath the white paint is some really nice poplar wood under there screaming to be let out, although a nice bright glossy white trim would really set the room off. The other train of thought, is that with the light color would the natural trim look ok? being so dark? I also was thinking of adding some beadboard and maybe that would help tie it all together and lessen the impact of knowing there is some cool wood under there.