Sunday, April 18, 2010

Small project update

Not a whole lot has happened w/ the house since last Fall. It's spring now and we're slow getting back in to the "Home Improvement Groove."

Today, I decided to see what I could do about the metal bits around the house. Like everything else on the first floor, the door hardware was spray painted over w/ an almond colored paint.

After about an hour of simmering in a water & baking soda immersion bath, the paint sloughed off quite easily. Use a stainless steel pot dedicated to these sort of things to help ensure food safety later.

I have five more of these sets, plus all the door hinges. I plan on stripping the doors down to bare wood (a project for a dry day, for sure) and going from there. I wish I could do the same for the rest of the wood in the upstairs, but I doubt that's feasible.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bad Toilet! Bad!

So, it seems we're going to have to replace the original 72 year old cast iron waste pipe for the toilet. When I have enough time off and emotional energy to deal with that, I'll get to it.

The front window glazing finally got a coat of primer yesterday. It took forever for the glazing compound to set up, but I'm glad I didn't use the latex window caulking in a tube. That stuff looks like crap, if you ask me. I would have painted today, but the new kitchen faucet arrived around 2pm today, so that took priority.

One of the requirements for financing on the house was a new kitchen faucet. While the "newness" of the faucet that was installed is dubious, one thing for sure is that the morons who did the "repairs" on the house need to stick to concrete. They crossed the threads on the supply line for the "new" faucet. The hot water supply started leaking four days ago, and until about 3:30 pm today, we've had no hot water in the kitchen. I ordered the new faucet from Amazon, because a) they had what I wanted for less than retail, and b) credit lines exist for a reason. Anywho, the new faucet outclasses the rest of the house, but it's pretty, and works very well. We also have a sprayer hose now, too! (It only took two trips to the hardware store to get the correct length of supply line.)

Autumn is officially here and I'm going to have to weather proof all the windows very soon. I'm not sure how long we're going to be able to hold out on turning on the heat, but once we have plastic over all 24 windows, things won't be as drafty.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Toilet update

When last I posted, the toilet was installed for the 2nd time. Sure enough, not 10 days later the damn thing started leaking again when Himself used it. When I went to disconnect the water line, I noticed that the tank had a crack down the front. Replacement time.

Fast forward to today. One of my co-workers had an extra toilet new-in-box hanging out in his garage and he sold it to me for $50. Yay! It's actually a better match for the current color in the bathroom (bone), and it's the same style as the old one. Another run to the hardware store for yet another wax ring and a new toilet seat. I figure I'll get around to installing it sometime this evening. Third time's the Charm, right?

I also started working on some of the window glazing on the front of the house. The old stuff was gone on one of the windows, along with quite a bit of paint. I chipped out and pried out everything that was loose and layed in new putty. Had I known that they make latex window glazing in a caulking tube these days, I probably would have used that. Oh well, I think the linseed based stuff will probably be better in the long run. Besides, it looks better than the glazing done by the "professional home repair people" who replace two of the panes on the house during escrow.

Re-glazing project

Re-glazing project
I have to wait until it cures before priming & painting, but I think it'll look ok. I did a total of 5 windows - just the bottom and sides where needed. I didn't see the point in chipping out solid glazing.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A quiet week!

This last week has been relatively quiet, as far as home-repair & maintenance goes. We got the tub mystery leak solved. It turns out the sponge gasket on the overflow drain was buggered. That was an EASY fix compared to the toilet shinanegans. $4 for the gasket, and $6 for the new face/lever plate. We didn't need a new plate, but the old one was seriously disgusting.

I also replaced the shower head. The original stem on the shower has a ball end shower head adapter. There was a few profanities thrown out after I removed the old shower head to find this THING there that wouldn't accept my standard 1/2" water-saving shower head. Eesh. The adapter for that was $7. A bit steep, but I'm trying to avoid Walmart as much as possible and keep the money as local as possible. The Main Street hardware store is as local as one can spend their money in this town.

The garbage disposal is proving to be useless, so we may be replacing that after all. We're sending very little through it since starting the compost pile. Speaking of which, I plan on making a compost bin this weekend. Some 2x4's, some hinges, and hardware cloth, and I should be good to go. However, getting the wood home from the lumber yard in my Ford Focus might prove interesting. I should be able to sweet talk the guys there into pre-cutting it for me - we'll see!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Toilet Saga, Part II & III

On Monday, I put a new wax ring down and reinstalled the toilet. First few flushes were ok, then it started to rain in the basement. I'm thinking/hoping it was a case of not enough wax, but I sealed up the new "extra" tapped holes with epoxy paste and filled in the small gap around the flange with silicone. I also purchased a double thick wax gasket as there was significantly less wax to remove the second time I pulled the toilet than the first time.

First flush went well, let's hope I don't have to wrangle the toilet again for a while.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The toilet, continued

s it turns out, the new $16 replacement flange would not fit in our pipe. Despite the Home Depot guy insisting that it would, not all 4" pipes are created equal. So, that's going back to H.D. along with the CFL dimmer bulb that not only dims, but flickers.

Here's a shot of the "SuperRing" installed over the old cast iron ring. See those little half-round tabs around the circumference? Those are the reason why this solution wouldn't work. A spanner flange would have worked, too. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, and we finally ended up going with what we should have done in the first place.

My Toilet Was Here

I removed the "new" superflange and today, we got the broken bolt drilled out and a new one installed. It took some wire and JB Weld, but it should be good to go. I also took the opportunity to steam clean the surfaces around the back of the throne, and while the rust didn't want to budge, I'm not too worried about it. As soon as I find a replacement (low profile) vent cover in the appropriate size, I'll pull that rusty old thing out and refinish it and hopefully place it over the new one. It's pretty, but one does freeze their ass off sitting in that corner.

Going to set the toilet tomorrow afternoon, and hopefully we'll be flushing upstairs now, too!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Foiled! Window Treatment

Obviously, I'm not Martha Stewart - I'm all about the practical. I'm trying to bring some softer, feminine touches into my life, but it's difficult to get the "look" I want.

Anywho, our "Master" bedroom has a West Facing window that doubles as a heat sink. Before we moved in, the only room I managed to get "clean" was the Master Bedroom. By "clean", I mean washing walls, shampooing the carpet, and removing old window treatment stuff. This left me with remarkably clean (and liveable) walls, wood putty spots on the window frames, but at
least there was no mold or hair left stuck to the walls and baseboard. Ew. The mold was probably due to a water bed or humidifyer. Big no-nos in my house. Mold = bad pookie.

Since I'm a day-sleeper (any one who works 12-hour night shifts should be one), black out shades were needed for the normally sunny room. Draperies are expensive, so I opted for $4.88 Black Out Redi-Shades from Walmart. Two of them. As the summer heated up (and quickly), I decided that the West window needed some more 'stuff'.
our feet of 24" foil insulation ($10.48 at Home Depot for a 10' roll), and we have this. Oh, and some duct tape cuz I didn't feel like doing anything special with this project. We'll get around to painting eventually.

Foiled! Window Treatment

Drop the Redi-Shade, and it's like the foil was never there. Save for the immediate temperature difference.

Foiled! Window Treatment