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Home improvements

  1. Jun 30, 2004 #1
    After living in our current house for about 18 years and only painting a couple of rooms, my wife and I have gone nuts and are now renovating everything. Actually, we were kind of forced into renovating.

    I have put on a new roof, enclosed our porch and right now we are painting the living room and painting our kitchen cabinets. We bought materials to install a slate floor (including buying our own wet saw to cut the tiles), and laminate flooring for our kitchen.

    Anyone else out there doing any home improvements? Or have you done any do-it-yourself projects you want to talk about?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2004 #2
    I built a buggy (adapted from an original circuit) that moved around, had lights and would turn when it hit something. It was for my GCSE electronics. That should get the thread started.

    The Bob (2004 ©)
     
  4. Jun 30, 2004 #3
    Hey the Bob, was that one of those insect-like creatures that are almost living creatures? If it was, do you have a source for plans, they sound really cool.
     
  5. Jun 30, 2004 #4
    It wasn't those creatures. I had to build it from scratch but my teacher was being mean and said we had to buy the components so it had to be cheap. It had motors but these would be changed with ease (as I understand the PICs that were used).

    The Bob (2004 ©)
     
  6. Jun 30, 2004 #5
    I've done some home improvements on the Zoobie brush shelter here and there. Sometimes I pull out old brush and put in new brush. I always get my new brush at Brush Shelter Depot. They are a big, reliable chain.

    I generally hate doing brush shelter improvements, though, beause they always end up being much more trouble than I anticipated. I have learned that if I make a reasonable estimate of how much trouble they're likely to be, then multiply that amount by four, the final amount of trouble will be about eight times that figure.
     
  7. Jun 30, 2004 #6

    Evo

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    I shouldn't be allowed in home improvement stores. I see something and think "wow, I can do that!" I pay a fortune for materials, get it all home and know that as soon as I have some spare time, I'm going to get started.

    I have very trendy home improvement projects that have been waiting so long that they are no longer trendy. :cry: Wait, actually that's a good thing, now I don't have to replace it! :approve:

    Too bad that not everything stands the true test of time like an oil painting of Elvis on black velvet. :biggrin: Surely there must be one of those in the zooby brush shelter?
     
  8. Jun 30, 2004 #7
    Wow, a slate floor! I am jealous. It sounds like the house is going to look great once you are through, and increase in value, also.

    Good luck on your renovation -- I admire your skills. Are you doing it all yourselves or are you getting a finish carpenter?
     
  9. Jun 30, 2004 #8

    Tsu

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    I'm in a pertetual state of renovation. I have been painting the outside buildings on our property for YEARS!! Once I finish with one building, the next one is ready to do again. This year I'm going to paint the inside of the house, too. I also hope for new carpeting throughout the house, a whole new bathroom, and new kitchen sink and counters. Don't tell Ivan about the sink and counters, though. I haven't mentioned them to him yet... :eek: It's been hard enough to get past the carpet and new bathroom... :surprise:
     
  10. Jun 30, 2004 #9

    Moonbear

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    I do a pretty good job of supporting those home improvement stores. Mostly limiting myself to painting and small fix-it projects for now, but there's a bathroom just waiting for a complete overhaul as soon as I decide what the heck to do with it. It's not that I can't hatch up good ideas of things I can do, it's more that as soon as I settle on one idea, I hatch up a brand new idea that sounds even better, and is more involved and more expensive, and while saving up the extra money to do that, I come up with yet another idea that is...yep, you guessed it, more involved and more expensive. I'm starting to come around full circle and deciding if I keep it simple, I'm more likely to actually do it. If I ever decide to knock out an exterior wall of the house, I can replace the bathtub, but until I decide to do that (which isn't worth it...better to sell the house because I'll never recover that cost), the complete remodel will never happen unless I put in a tile shower. I measure every which way possible, and I'm certain that tub was installed well before any existing walls were put in, which means even if I take the tub out in pieces, a new one is not going to fit back in.

    But it takes me long enough to choose paint colors, so that's keeping me plenty occupied for now (one room left that desperately needs paint, and then only two rooms left that I haven't painted, and don't really need it, but I just know that as soon as the one room is done, the last two are of course going to look dreadfully shabby in comparison to the rest of the house and will require repainting, and by then, the first room I painted will be in need of new paint, and...sigh). When I'm not painting, I'm landscaping, which translates into, I'm sick and tired of mowing the lawn around tree roots, so I'm putting in a shade garden, and I haven't decided what sort of fencing I want to replace the falling-down split-rail fence with, so I'm just planting things in front of and on it to hide it. I'm really tempted by that vinyl fencing. Does anyone have any experience with it? Is it all it's said to be? Will plants climb it? (I have several clematis plants that I would want to keep and train over a new fence even though their current function is just holding together the fence). Is it really as durable as the manufacturer claims? It's certainly more expensive than wooden fences, but would save a lot in the long run with painting, so long as it will last that long without cracking or starting to look dull or picking up stains or whatever.
     
  11. Jul 1, 2004 #10
    I live in a hole in the wall. I could renovate it, but then I'd be liable for the expenses of overpriced professionals to return it to its previous state when I move to a different hole in the wall... Plus I'm sure I'd break something, whether it be the lights or my fingers, if I try to use tools.

    cookiemonster
     
  12. Jul 1, 2004 #11

    Evo

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    A lot of my neighbors that have horses have the vinyl fencing and it always looks brand new. Of course Evo went with real wood and put in a 4' high picket fence that the DOG OF EVIL - JAWS OF DEATH has pretty much destroyed. :mad:

    Moonbear, you sound a lot like me. :smile:
     
  13. Jul 1, 2004 #12
    I hear swedish carpenters are also quite good.
     
  14. Jul 1, 2004 #13
    I am doing most of the work myself. I did have a lot of help on the roof from a neighbor and my wife is painting her kitchen cabinets, but I have done all the carpentry.

    As for the slate floor, I've never tried it before so I have no skills there, so we'll see how that goes. The slate itself (sitting in it's boxes) is beautiful. I'm anxious to get started on that.

    Moonbear, some of those vinyl fences are not bad. Our neighbor put one up. It looks great. Depending on the type of fence, composite wood might be a possible material. I used composite wood for my exterior trim on my porch enclosure. It works up just like wood, and they say when painted it won't crack or peal. Reminds me of a saying a friend of mine used t say, (very fast): "Guaranteed not to rust, bust, collect dust, bend, crack, chip, or peal."
     
  15. Jul 1, 2004 #14

    Njorl

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    I do a lot of plumbing. My kids do a lot of putting the wrong thing down the drain.

    Njorl
     
  16. Jul 1, 2004 #15
    I didn't get it at first. :confused: Then I re-read the post above it. :smile: :rofl: :smile: Now I get it.


    I don't have any kids, but we had to have a new sanitary sewer line run between our house and our septic tank about six months ago. :yuck: I do a little bit of plumbing, minor stuff, but I am not much good at soldering pipes.
     
  17. Jul 1, 2004 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    :grumpy:

    Our problem is that we have done major work to the property but the house keeps limping along. In the last four years we converted a 400 Sq Ft barn into an office - with another 300 sq feet ready to add. This included running [trenching] a 50 amp, 220 volts service, 450 feet down a hill through hard pan and lots of really big rocks. We also ran a one inch water line in parallel. Not only did this get my business out of the house, which really made Tsu happy, but this is also a really a nice adder for the property.

    We added another new 150 sq foot building - a pump house for a completely new well and water treatment system which doubles for storage and garden shop for Tsunami. This involved removing a large, raised garden, about five truckloads of tree trimmings, and then adding about 18 truck loads of gravel to the driveway.

    We had to drop two very large fir trees that were rotten and dangerous to the house. I now have six cords of wood to split and drag off the hill by hand. I have already split and burned the five foot diameter peices. No way to get access with a truck :grumpy: :grumpy: :grumpy:

    I need to rebuild our footbridge over the creek before it collapses and takes our septic line with it. We are talking about a 25 foot span that we really would like to drive over with the truck.

    We have tree limbs down from the heavy snow this year; at least a couple of cords worth.

    We spent $1000 to bulldoze the creek back into position last year. The first storm this year brought a flood that removed all of our $1000 dirt; so the fence is still about to disappear with a good storm.

    Anyway, what was it that you wanted to do dear? :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2004
  18. Jul 2, 2004 #17

    Evo

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    Uhm, women tend to see the "positive" side of things? There is always room for improvement. :approve:

    I'm pretty good with an ax, maybe a chainsaw would be more appropriate considering the amount of wood. Even though zooby thinks I am too old to pull a plow, I'm still pretty handy. :biggrin: I can quit my job, move in with the baby skunks and help clear your land.
     
  19. Jul 2, 2004 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    You're on! You can takes Tsu's position up in the trees with the chainsaw. She has been hanging from her spikes and limbing for weeks.
     
  20. Jul 2, 2004 #19

    Tsu

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    Carpet, bathroom, kitchen counters and sink : :redface: : ...

    EVO!! You're hired!! When can you get here? The babies are ready for you!! (I hope that wasn't their mother I saw [flat] on the road when I came home from work tonight... :frown: )
     
  21. Jul 3, 2004 #20

    Moonbear

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    Okay, I have a really dumb do-it-yourself plumbing question! I have a hose bib, spigot thingy that needs replacing (absolutely, that's the technical term). Of course it's the one and only one in the house that's soldered onto the pipe rather than threaded. So, I've got my handy-dandy do-it-yourself book, and did my google search, and so far the only instructions I've found for removing the old valve is to unscrew it. My question is, how do I remove one that's soldered on? Do I have to cut the pipe and connect a new piece on for the new valve, or is it possible to just heat up the old connection to melt the solder enough to remove the old faucet? I have a pipe cutting tool, but adding a section of pipe will require yet another trip to Home Depot to get pipe and another connector (no, I didn't think about this while there, and I can never find anyone there who knows anything helpful...if I can find anyone who works there at all...I did get all the other goodies for sweating on a new faucet and even bought bought two types of valves figuring I'd return the one I didn't use, and still hoping it was going to be a screw on kind). But, before I do that, I just want to make sure I'm not making this more difficult than it's supposed to be. The only plumbing I've had to do until now is unclogging drains. Though, yes, before someone tells me, I already know to have a BIG bucket of water ready while sweating on a new fitting. Oh, wait, you know what...answer so I know for next time, but as I'm just thinking about where the faucet goes through the wall, I'm not going to be sweating it there...too close to the main electric box for the house and ALL the supply wires coming out of...I'm not moving them and I'm not going to have an open flame near them...I'll cut the pipe back a few feet and put on the connector first and feed it from the outside in, then sweat the new section onto the rest of the pipe further back where it's safer (nothing but concrete there...that's a good place to learn to play with torches).
     
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