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Thread: Home Improvements

  1. #51
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    I've fallen behind schedule. No energy today. I'll get the kid to scrape a couple wallpaper panels tonight but that will be it.

    I can't find anything that takes this crap off easily. Granted, this wallpaper is probably 40 years old! Anybody know of a really good wallpaper remover?
    OK, trying to get this thread back on topic

    I heard that hot water mixed with fabric softner is a great wallpaper remover. Spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes, and it should come right off. Alas, I have never tried it, so can't comfirm that.

    Oh, and by the way, there are scoring tools on the market to dig into the wallpaper. I personally have had horrible luck with those, but you might try those first.

  2. #52
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    A friend of mine used this before http://www.wallwik.com/
    She said it was pretty easy to use and had good results.
    "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

  3. #53
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner View post
    OK, trying to get this thread back on topic

    I heard that hot water mixed with fabric softner is a great wallpaper remover. Spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes, and it should come right off. Alas, I have never tried it, so can't comfirm that.
    Plain and simple water (prefferably hot), continuously soaking parts that you want to remove works well enough. I did it on concrete walls though... so that's why I could use lots of water... I wouldn't recomend it if it were a wood wall. It's good because the leftover paper starts to bubble up when you use water, and makes it a lot more easy.

  4. #54
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    I got the new cabinets and counter tops in the day before Thanksgiving and made a good start on repainting the existing cabinets. The hope is that we'll get that done and the kitchen tile re-grouted in the coming month. All I'll have left to do after that is:

    Install new fence
    Tear-down and rebuild rear parking pad
    Rip-out and replace upstairs bathroom
    Insulate attic
    Replace the crappy 100 year-old hardwood underneath the crappy one year-old carpet.
    Paint the other three floors
    Replace sidewalk
    Re-lay rock on rear patios
    Do something about the water that seeps in the basement walls during heavy rain
    Go broke
    Say, "screw it" and sell the place as it is for more money than it's worth.

    Weird thing is I enjoy this sort of "fun"

  5. #55
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    OK, we tried wallpaper remover fluid in a bucket mixed with really hot water. Applied with a big sponge and let sit 15 minutes, reapplied and let sit. It came down much easier. Thanks for the tips!

  6. #56
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I've been searching for months and finally found the head and foot board I like and bought it.....
    why am I posting this information???
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bed frame.jpg  

  7. #57
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I've been searching for months and finally found the head and foot board I like and bought it.....
    why am I posting this information???
    Because you are a Cyburbia addict. Why am I looking at this information and responding?

    I too am a Cyburbia addict.

    We are not alone.

    Nice bed, by the way. I always liked metal head/footboards. They remind me of our summer home when I was a kid.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #58
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Bed stuff looks pretty good. Simple lines, good colors.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  9. #59
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    My new head- and footboard arrived today! I'm such handy guy...(NOT). Anyway, it's assembled and in place.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC00542 (2).jpg  

  10. #60
    Quote Originally posted by biscuit View post
    I<Snip>
    Do something about the water that seeps in the basement walls during heavy rain
    Hydraulic cement my man. You can thank me later.

    Really, though, that's what you want. You can pick up a can of it (it's dry) at your local hardware. Leave it down the basement and the next time it rains, mix up a batch and insert it in the leak. Yes, while the water is entering the basement! It cures in about 5 minutes and that water will not enter the basement from that hole ever again.

    As for me, I'm a little honked off that my demolition contractor didn't come yesterday to tear down the garage. As a preservationist, I'm a little torn about doing it anyway, but I've gotten past that part of it. Still, I'd just rather it be gone and over with.

  11. #61
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Looking for a new house because stbx won't move out. The housing market sucks right now, there is nothing good on the market. I love doing home improvements and landscaping and stuff like that, so that doesn't scare me. It's that the houses in the good neighborhoods have 2 bedrooms or no garage or something. Is it that unreasonable to want a 3 bedroom, 1 bath house, with a garage? Apparently so! I go Friday to look at a few more.

    I went through one last Friday - 100 years old, but in GREAT condition. It has a Michigan basement, newer roof, furnace, replacement windows, siding (yuck, but oh well). On the main floor, it has a somewhat updated kitchen (70's orange counter), full bath, a master bedroom, a parlour/study area that is open to the living room. Most walls are intact - there is a little (1'x1') peeling paint on the ceiling. A little bit of paneling in the kitchen would be removed. Upstairs has three bedrooms and a TEENY TINY half bath - seriously the sink is miniature. Upstairs the, hallway and one room has wallpaper (OLD wallpaper). The electrical hasn't been updated, but works well.

    Structurally it is a good house and a lot of the big expensive things have been taken care of, but being a (soon to be, I hope) single mom with a 3 years old, it makes me feel overwhelmed. I could move in with little but painting and new floors, but would want to redo the kitchen and baths eventually. There is a two car detached garage, nice size lot, and across the street (kind of a busy street) from a nice park and elementary school.

    Ok, so I guess I was rambling, so I will get to my questions. Has anyone undertaken this route with children? Should I just try to find a newer house that won't require much work? My biggest concern is lead based paint, especially as there is an area that is peeling. My daughter is three, so past the age of chewing on window sills, etc. but door and window friction, etc worries me.

  12. #62
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner View post
    Has anyone undertaken this route with children? Should I just try to find a newer house that won't require much work? My biggest concern is lead based paint, especially as there is an area that is peeling. My daughter is three, so past the age of chewing on window sills, etc. but door and window friction, etc worries me.
    I would elect to go with a house that needs less work. You're going to find some nice fellow during the next 18 months and will end up marrying him. You may choose to move to his house. Even if you decide to go with your house instead, you're going to discover that a three bedroom isn't big enough after you've had four more kids.

  13. #63
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Hydraulic cement my man. You can thank me later.

    Really, though, that's what you want. You can pick up a can of it (it's dry) at your local hardware. Leave it down the basement and the next time it rains, mix up a batch and insert it in the leak. Yes, while the water is entering the basement! It cures in about 5 minutes and that water will not enter the basement from that hole ever again.
    Thanks for the info. There are a few holes in the floor where this may be the solution. The problem with the foundation is that is made of sandstone and the water table in the neighborhood is very high. Apparently many of my neighbors with older homes have the same non-emergency problem.

    Speaking of water, last Thursday I walked in the front door to the sound of gushing water. I ran to the kitchen and found water pouring from a light fixture in the ceiling down to the floor below. It seems that the city was doing work in the water lines that morning that required them to turn off the water. Mrs. biscuit then accidentally left the taps on in the second floor bathroom sink and when the sink finally backed up... what a mess. Fortunately, the water ran through to the basement with little damage to the kitchen ceiling. The bathroom and kitchen floors, however, are ruined. It seems that the a$$es who "remodeled" the house before we bought laid the tile directly on to plywood so the water ate away the grout and the tile is now all popping up. Who knows if insurance will cover it.

    As for me, I'm a little honked off that my demolition contractor didn't come yesterday to tear down the garage. As a preservationist, I'm a little torn about doing it anyway, but I've gotten past that part of it. Still, I'd just rather it be gone and over with.
    Whether it's me or a contractor that does it, there will be a kitchen rip-out that requires me to get a dumpster. I think my old parking pad will be coming out while the dumpster is here.
    Last edited by biscuit; 28 Mar 2007 at 11:02 AM.

  14. #64
         
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner View post
    Looking for a new house because stbx won't move out. The housing market sucks right now, there is nothing good on the market. I love doing home improvements and landscaping and stuff like that, so that doesn't scare me. It's that the houses in the good neighborhoods have 2 bedrooms or no garage or something. Is it that unreasonable to want a 3 bedroom, 1 bath house, with a garage? Apparently so! I go Friday to look at a few more.

    I went through one last Friday - 100 years old, but in GREAT condition. It has a Michigan basement, newer roof, furnace, replacement windows, siding (yuck, but oh well). On the main floor, it has a somewhat updated kitchen (70's orange counter), full bath, a master bedroom, a parlour/study area that is open to the living room. Most walls are intact - there is a little (1'x1') peeling paint on the ceiling. A little bit of paneling in the kitchen would be removed. Upstairs has three bedrooms and a TEENY TINY half bath - seriously the sink is miniature. Upstairs the, hallway and one room has wallpaper (OLD wallpaper). The electrical hasn't been updated, but works well.

    Structurally it is a good house and a lot of the big expensive things have been taken care of, but being a (soon to be, I hope) single mom with a 3 years old, it makes me feel overwhelmed. I could move in with little but painting and new floors, but would want to redo the kitchen and baths eventually. There is a two car detached garage, nice size lot, and across the street (kind of a busy street) from a nice park and elementary school.

    Ok, so I guess I was rambling, so I will get to my questions. Has anyone undertaken this route with children? Should I just try to find a newer house that won't require much work? My biggest concern is lead based paint, especially as there is an area that is peeling. My daughter is three, so past the age of chewing on window sills, etc. but door and window friction, etc worries me.
    I would buy a new condo and be done with it
    I say that half kidding and half seriously. I love my home and recently thought about selling it because it is too expensive and jsut a ton of work with 2 little ones. I decided not to sell and I am still there and feeling a bit better about it, especially when I watch my boys skateboard and ride there bikes knowing I don't have to be on top of them worrying about cars in an apartment parking lot or a busy street, etc...
    HOWEVER, I also notice that while they are outside playing with thier friends, mommy is always inside cleaning, picking up, doing some type of house work that would not be as overwhelming if I had a much smaller place with a lot less things (crap)...the thought of even trying to do a home imrpovement project doesn't even cross my mind...I waste too much time on the building I live in instead of keeping it simple and playing with the boys.
    If I could do it over I would buy a smaller, even newer house (mine isn't old but little things need to be done/updated).

  15. #65
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I would elect to go with a house that needs less work. You're going to find some nice fellow during the next 18 months and will end up marrying him. You may choose to move to his house. Even if you decide to go with your house instead, you're going to discover that a three bedroom isn't big enough after you've had four more kids.
    Geez, four more kids in my future, I better start looking for a nice fellow now!! But, have you been to CW? I think they are all tapped out here. But actually I do want at least two more, so I better get a move on!! Does this mean I need to start posting in the dating thread? yikes...

    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    I would buy a new condo and be done with it
    I say that half kidding and half seriously. I love my home and recently thought about selling it because it is too expensive and jsut a ton of work with 2 little ones. I decided not to sell and I am still there and feeling a bit better about it, especially when I watch my boys skateboard and ride there bikes knowing I don't have to be on top of them worrying about cars in an apartment parking lot or a busy street, etc...
    HOWEVER, I also notice that while they are outside playing with thier friends, mommy is always inside cleaning, picking up, doing some type of house work that would not be as overwhelming if I had a much smaller place with a lot less things (crap)...the thought of even trying to do a home imrpovement project doesn't even cross my mind...I waste too much time on the building I live in instead of keeping it simple and playing with the boys.
    If I could do it over I would buy a smaller, even newer house (mine isn't old but little things need to be done/updated).
    Thanks for your comments. Very good points! Even with a new house now, I feel like I spend so much time cleaning, cooking, etc, that I can't have fun with her. So that is something I need to think about. The condo's are way over priced here. I was considering an apt, but don't want to move her anymore than I have to.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally posted by biscuit View post
    Thanks for the info. There are a few holes in the floor where this may be the solution. The problem with the foundation is that is made of sandstone and the water table in the neighborhood is very high. Apparently many of my neighbors with older homes have the same non-emergency problem.
    I've used it on masonry and in mortar joints, but would hesitate to use it on something really soft like sandstone.

    Quote Originally posted by biscuit
    Speaking of water, last Thursday I walked in the front door to the sound of gushing water. I ran to the kitchen and found water pouring from a light fixture in the ceiling down to the floor below. It seems that the city was doing work in the water lines that morning that required them to turn off the water. Mrs. biscuit then accidentally left the taps on in the second floor bathroom sink and when the sink finally backed up... what a mess. Fortunately, the water ran through to the basement with little damage to the kitchen ceiling. The bathroom and kitchen floors, however, are ruined. It seems that the a$$es who "remodeled" the house before we bought laid the tile directly on to plywood so the water ate away the grout and the tile is now all popping up. Who knows if insurance will cover it.
    There's just something so wrong about water gushing from a light fixture.

  17. #67
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner View post

    Ok, so I guess I was rambling, so I will get to my questions. Has anyone undertaken this route with children? Should I just try to find a newer house that won't require much work? My biggest concern is lead based paint, especially as there is an area that is peeling. My daughter is three, so past the age of chewing on window sills, etc. but door and window friction, etc worries me.
    LBP would be a deal breaker for me. The affects it has on a childs brian can be devistating. I worked with the Lead Based Paint group in DC and it is a pain in the arse. The remediation can cost over$10k.

    I would try an find something else. A family friend tried to remodel a townhome with small children and it was alway a problem. The kids wanted to explore and ladders, plastic tarps, boxes of tiles, old carpet are magnets for small children looking for something to get into.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  18. #68
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    The Comcast guy came today and installed the wireless system. Took him about 3 hours. Yikes! Can't wait to start posting by the pool this weekend!

    And I unclogged the kitchen drain today after work. No plumber's butt because I pulled my shorts up over the crack. (I guess this should go under "Home Repairs."

  19. #69
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    That slave driving ZG had me install a pot holder rack thingie this afternoon that cut severely into my pool time. Actually, I felt pretty manly using a cordless power drill boring the pilot holes for the lag screws.

    Here is the action and the results:




  20. #70
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    That slave driving ZG had me install a pot holder rack thingie this afternoon that cut severely into my pool time. Actually, I felt pretty manly using a cordless power drill boring the pilot holes for the lag screws.
    Looks good....looks good. I finally got all my pictures hung up today and installed the second wall shelf in the alcove in my bedroom. Power tools are cool
    "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

  21. #71
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Here is the action and the results:
    Nice legs.

    Tomorrow, if'n it don't rain, I'll be outside fixing concrete. Couldn't get approval to tear the whole mess up and pour new concrete , so we'll see if the $5 tube of crack-fixer works.

  22. #72
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    The various interior walls of our home are painted, among other colors, in three shades of beige. Of course, the leftover color of paint I need to perform some minor touch ups is gone. Any suggestions on how to get a gallon that matches? I know the paint was bought at Home Depot.

    The pool solar heating is working great. Water temp up 6 (six) degrees in two (2) days.




    Quote Originally posted by SuperPenguin View post
    Nice legs.
    Smart-ass.

  23. #73
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    The various interior walls of our home are painted, among other colors, in three shades of beige. Of course, the leftover color of paint I need to perform some minor touch ups is gone. Any suggestions on how to get a gallon that matches? I know the paint was bought at Home Depot.
    You forgot the part about both of us looking at a can of paint you did have and going "Hmmm... yep, that's it!". Which is why you painted a couple spots on the wall that are now too dark and that we now have to paint over with the correct beige...

  24. #74
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner View post
    Thanks for your comments. Very good points! Even with a new house now, I feel like I spend so much time cleaning, cooking, etc, that I can't have fun with her. So that is something I need to think about. The condo's are way over priced here. I was considering an apt, but don't want to move her anymore than I have to.
    I know of a great condo building in a wonderful residential historic district that is not only very affordable, it already has a phenomenal residential community that gets better every day. On top of that, it is walking distance from unlimited amenities including bars, restaurants, parks, churches, museums, libraries, schools, and of course, a hockey arena. Did I mention that it has a rooftop deck that overlooks an amazing sky line? Best of all, I believe that you have relatives close by!
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  25. #75
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    The various interior walls of our home are painted, among other colors, in three shades of beige. Of course, the leftover color of paint I need to perform some minor touch ups is gone. Any suggestions on how to get a gallon that matches? I know the paint was bought at Home Depot.
    If you can manage to get a flake of paint off the wall from an inconspicuous place you can take it in to the paint department and they will scan/analyze it for the closest color match.
    "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

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