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Thread: Home Improvement

  1. #51
    Mod Gedunker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Maybe it is the age of the carpet, or maybe it is because of the puppies peeing on it, but I am thinking of replacing the carpet in my office. I like the idea of cork. Has anyone tried cork flooring? Does it hold up well? Will it get indented from the furniture?
    I used 12" x 12" cork tiles on our kitchen floor when we remodeled about 6 years ago. It is warm and soft and has held up very well to heavy kitchen traffic use, including moving tables and chairs regularly. Even pulling out the fridge to clean behind it caused no problems. I would definitely use it again.
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  2. #52
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    It's vinyl. Here's the product.

    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...-202025353-_-N



    Thanks. It was very easy to install.
    It's nice stuff, especially if you have a small, awkward-to-fix "fix". I used it to cover the old lightbox when I had the light over the sink converted from a utilitarian boxed unit to a hanging pendant style. Then I used the same material across the front of the wood panel above the new range hood to cover up the hole where the control panel from the old range hood had been.

    I am thinking about doing a remodel of my upstairs bedroom, including replacing the existing window, replacing the drywall (or whatever it is on the existing walls!) and adding a closet (replacing the two inadequate ones) and a bathroom (there isn't one there now). The new bath won't be over the existing bathroom but that's not a problem because the pipes can be boxed and hidden in a future closet on the first floor. OTOH, my plan is to run the pipes down one side of the main load-bearing wall, so I want to make sure that the house structure is in no way compromised.

    I'm not going to do this work myself, but hire it out. Should I hire a general contractor or should I hire the carpenter/plumber/electrician/tile guy separately? I should say that I have friends/acquaintances who are professionals who can do all this -- and I know that they do good work. On the other hand, a general contractor can probably get it all done sooner.

    Any tips on hiring a general contractor? What about specifying that he use my craftspeople or is that a no-no?
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  3. #53
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Maybe it is the age of the carpet, or maybe it is because of the puppies peeing on it, but I am thinking of replacing the carpet in my office. I like the idea of cork. Has anyone tried cork flooring? Does it hold up well? Will it get indented from the furniture?
    We have cork planks in our den and we love it. It's only been in there about a year and a half, but it is really a warm flooring and a nice change over traditional wood flooring. It is a bit softer (one of the reasons we wanted it our den, hoping that it would help absorb noise) and does show indentations more readily, but we knew that going in and was sort of a selling point for us. While it does have dents here and there, it hasn't developed any large gouges, even after dragging our heavy furniture across it.

    We would eventually like to redo the kitchen and the hallways between there and the den and would consider cork for those areas as well. I would actually like it throughout the house, except for the bathrooms.
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  4. #54
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    ...I am thinking about doing a remodel of my upstairs bedroom, including replacing the existing window, replacing the drywall (or whatever it is on the existing walls!) and adding a closet (replacing the two inadequate ones) and a bathroom (there isn't one there now). The new bath won't be over the existing bathroom but that's not a problem because the pipes can be boxed and hidden in a future closet on the first floor. OTOH, my plan is to run the pipes down one side of the main load-bearing wall, so I want to make sure that the house structure is in no way compromised.

    I'm not going to do this work myself, but hire it out. Should I hire a general contractor or should I hire the carpenter/plumber/electrician/tile guy separately? I should say that I have friends/acquaintances who are professionals who can do all this -- and I know that they do good work. On the other hand, a general contractor can probably get it all done sooner.

    Any tips on hiring a general contractor? What about specifying that he use my craftspeople or is that a no-no?
    Get a GC to create the plans and manage the project, and give him (assumption) your preferred subs' names.

    In my upstairs, I removed a badly designed closet, and had the space turned into a half bath. Used the existing exhaust pipe from the full bath as a conduit for the new plumbing. Added a badly-needed window in that exterior wall (now I can see when/who is on my driveway), not to mention light and ventilation.

    Because I hired one carpenter for rough framing, a plumber for the pipes, another carpenter for more framing and the window (he vanished), and another pair for finish, it looks like it was designed by a committee.
    Plumber centered his work on the two respective walls, so when the window was added, the stack is off-center from it.
    The small stylish vanity I picked out would have worked if the toilet had been positioned closer to the opposite wall...I ended up unloading it on Craigslist for the purchase price, and going with a small wall-mount sink.
    Pair of guys framed in the stack pipe with excessive material, and when they installed the toilet, they left it at an angle because they didn't leave enough room for the tank. And they kept disappearing, leaving my garage full of their tools and equipment.

    The above sounds very Suessian, but it's actually okay. I did the finish work, adding some visual tricks that make the spaces look balanced.

    If I ever do this again, I would go with one competent project manager who can keep things moving.

    Oh, and I learned how to finish drywall taping, and lay 1" glass tile. Happy with the final results, more so than I would have been if some contractor had gotten to have that fun.

  5. #55
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    I'm not going to do this work myself, but hire it out. Should I hire a general contractor or should I hire the carpenter/plumber/electrician/tile guy separately? I should say that I have friends/acquaintances who are professionals who can do all this -- and I know that they do good work. On the other hand, a general contractor can probably get it all done sooner.

    Any tips on hiring a general contractor? What about specifying that he use my craftspeople or is that a no-no?
    It depends on your comfort level. Do you want to have the work done all at once or is it something you will do a little bit at a time? If you use a general contractor to manage the project but want to use your subcontractors then you should let that be known-I'd also get a basic estimate from your craftspeople you are considering BEFORE engaging a GC so you know if you are getting hosed or not on the GC's estimate and contract. Regardless of hiring a GC or you acting as your own, I would recommend a sit down with all your trades at the same time to go over the scope of work so they can coordinate their specific parts of the job and so you don't end up with a situation like Vel's. Make sure to check each the GC's and subcontractor's professional licenses (most states have an online database to do so) and that they are adequately insured (ask for the insurance certificate!).
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  6. #56
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Today I taped the newly- painted doors so I could paint the trim. RJ had given me 2 partial cans of white paint. I couldn't get them open although I did give myself a nice gash across my right palm with a chisel. The kid came out and got them opened but there was a lot of rust under the lid and so the paint was full of rust chunks. It wasn't until I had RJ on the phone about it that I realized it was interior paint, anyway.

    Back to Home Depot....

  7. #57
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    Today I taped the newly- painted doors so I could paint the trim. RJ had given me 2 partial cans of white paint. I couldn't get them open although I did give myself a nice gash across my right palm with a chisel. The kid came out and got them opened but there was a lot of rust under the lid and so the paint was full of rust chunks. It wasn't until I had RJ on the phone about it that I realized it was interior paint, anyway.

    Back to Home Depot....
    Today, 4.5 hrs painting/taping/painting and I'm not even halfway done on the doors to the porch/pool. And it was in the 40's this morning! My left shoulder hurts.

  8. #58
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    Today, 4.5 hrs painting/taping/painting and I'm not even halfway done on the doors to the porch/pool. And it was in the 40's this morning! My left shoulder hurts.
    Another 3.5 hrs and I'm 95% done with the two french doors. Maybe I'm too anal and RJ would have painted these in 30 min. Only 2 regular doors left. Maybe I'll get done this weekend. Then the interior doors will look like crap, and we'll have to go there....

  9. #59
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Can anybody recommend an effective product to remove wallpaper? It's not actually wallpaper but a paper trim where the wall intersects the ceiling. Our master bathroom currently looks like hell.
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  10. #60
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    Can anybody recommend an effective product to remove wallpaper? It's not actually wallpaper but a paper trim where the wall intersects the ceiling. Our master bathroom currently looks like hell.
    we have had some limited success with that DIF stripper stuff. I found it wasn't some magical solution but it did make it quite a bit easier to remove. Even with the stripper it still sucked though.
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  11. #61
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    Can anybody recommend an effective product to remove wallpaper? It's not actually wallpaper but a paper trim where the wall intersects the ceiling. Our master bathroom currently looks like hell.
    What have you done to it so far?
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  12. #62
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    What have you done to it so far?
    All the printed surface is easily removed and most of the backing. But there is some stubborn backing that won't come off. I've been using a putty knife for scraping purposes.
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  13. #63
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    All the printed surface is easily removed and most of the backing. But there is some stubborn backing that won't come off. I've been using a putty knife for scraping purposes.
    water and putty knife... and patience. and they call it 'strippable' wallpaper! My first house had the ceilings papered.

  14. #64
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    All the printed surface is easily removed and most of the backing. But there is some stubborn backing that won't come off. I've been using a putty knife for scraping purposes.
    You can try spraying it with a 50-50 mix of vinegar and hot water, let it sit for a while to soften it up then scrape it-use a rounded edge scraper.

    What are you planning to do with the wall afterwards?
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  15. #65
    Mod Gedunker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    You can try spraying it with a 50-50 mix of vinegar and hot water, let it sit for a while to soften it up then scrape it-use a rounded edge scraper.

    What are you planning to do with the wall afterwards?
    Whether you use the vinegar/water, or the DIF, the essential part is highlighted above. I'm talking five to seven minutes working time. Then you can scrape it off pretty easily.
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  16. #66
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    water and putty knife... and patience. and they call it 'strippable' wallpaper! My first house had the ceilings papered.
    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    You can try spraying it with a 50-50 mix of vinegar and hot water, let it sit for a while to soften it up then scrape it-use a rounded edge scraper.

    What are you planning to do with the wall afterwards?
    I have matching paint for the room to paint where the paper was hung.

    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Whether you use the vinegar/water, or the DIF, the essential part is highlighted above. I'm talking five to seven minutes working time. Then you can scrape it off pretty easily.
    Patience? Let it sit for a while? Five to seven minutes? Clearly you people have not met me. I have the patience of a gnat.

    I went with Piranha liquid spray remover. It got mixed reviews on the Home Depot and Lowe's interwebs sites. Here's my experience this morning: 1) make sure the paper is well scored, 2) dampen all the paper with Piranha, don't leave anything dry, 3) when spraying have paper towels handy to wipe up drips, 4) wait about 30 seconds (not the 15 minutes on the instructions) and start scraping. It came off very easy. I recommend the product.

    Maybe I'll start painting tomorrow...I hate painting.
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  17. #67
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    I have matching paint for the room to paint where the paper was hung.



    Patience? Let it sit for a while? Five to seven minutes? Clearly you people have not met me. I have the patience of a gnat.

    I went with Piranha liquid spray remover. It got mixed reviews on the Home Depot and Lowe's interwebs sites. Here's my experience this morning: 1) make sure the paper is well scored, 2) dampen all the paper with Piranha, don't leave anything dry, 3) when spraying have paper towels handy to wipe up drips, 4) wait about 30 seconds (not the 15 minutes on the instructions) and start scraping. It came off very easy. I recommend the product.

    Maybe I'll start painting tomorrow...I hate painting.
    Make sure you wash the wall down with a damp sponge or cloth very well to get all the glue residue off and then make sure it's completely dry. Proper surface preparation is the key to a good looking long lasting paint job.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  18. #68
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    Make sure you wash the wall down with a damp sponge or cloth very well to get all the glue residue off and then make sure it's completely dry. Proper surface preparation is the key to a good looking long lasting paint job.
    Does this take long?




    I think I did a good job on the clean up.
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  19. #69
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I am dealing with the same issue in our front hall. It was papered by the prior owner. It appears as if they papered over older paper in part of the hall, or at least the wallboard underneath is in rough shape. Even in other areas when I finally get everything off, the wall is a bit chewed up and does not have the sand texture of the remainder of the wall where there was no wallpaper. I found the best solution is the guy I plan to call next week to come in and do the work for me. I'll do the final painting and put my energy into replacing the doors.
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  20. #70
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    ...... I found the best solution is the guy I plan to call next week to come in and do the work for me........
    This is the best advice ever. If I ever post, "I think I can do this project," somebody call me on it because I have such limited home improvement skills.
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  21. #71
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    This is the best advice ever. If I ever post, "I think I can do this project," somebody call me on it because I have such limited home improvement skills.
    I was going to tell you that but figured you'd get mad Don't feel bad, my other half doesn't have any skill at fixing stuff around the house or putting anything together without something going wrong or injuring himself.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  22. #72
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    I was going to tell you that but figured you'd get mad ......
    Thanks, assclown. I love you too.

    Anyway, I finished the painting this afternoon. The color is a good match but it's going to require another coat. More climbing the ladder and painting. But that's for next weekend.
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  23. #73
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    We'll be going to the local home show next weekend to get some quotes and info on some home projects. We've been discussing finishing our basement, building a patio, and doing some dog-friendly landscaping. Or maybe just using the money for a big trip.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  24. #74
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    Our house was built in 1929. It does not have a fireplace but it does have an old chimney that runs through the middle of the house and was formerly connected to the furnace. We got a new HE furnace a few years ago and it just vents out the side of the house. The chimney is only about 4 sq ft. but those 4 sq ft would be useful in our small kitchen. If we were ever to redo the kitchen part of me wants to demo the chimney and better utilize that space. Does this sound feasible?
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  25. #75
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Our house was built in 1929. It does not have a fireplace but it does have an old chimney that runs through the middle of the house and was formerly connected to the furnace. We got a new HE furnace a few years ago and it just vents out the side of the house. The chimney is only about 4 sq ft. but those 4 sq ft would be useful in our small kitchen. If we were ever to redo the kitchen part of me wants to demo the chimney and better utilize that space. Does this sound feasible?
    Might be but it would be a job to take out an internal brick chimney to gain a few square feet. Somebody would have to look at how it framed in and whether removing the framing would have structural implications. Single or two-story house? You're also talking about having to close up the hole in the roof. Ready to re-roof at the same time?
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