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Thread: Home Improvements

  1. #101
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    We've been looking at our kitchen counter-top and it really needs help. It's a synthetic material, not tile or formica, less than 10 years old, but previous owners set hot pans directly on it and did not use cutting boards. We want to avoid the expense of replacing it, so I've been doing the Google thingy for about a week trying to find a product to refinish the existing top. Maybe it doesn't exist. Here's what we had in mind: sanding down the tops and applying some type of finishing product like a hard, clear enamel or epoxy. You folks ever come across such a process or product? Am I way off-base? Wasting my time? We're going to the local home and garden show this morning. Maybe we'll get some ideas there.

    What does the Throbbing Brian say?
    wasting time...the epoxy really doesn't hold up well. you are better off replacing it and will like the end result much better.
    "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

  2. #102
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    Looking at tiling my shower this weekend. Anyone in the last hours of the week have some advice for this DIYer......
    Don't do it. It's a pain in the royal ass to keep clean, especially the grout. I've lived in 3 houses and one apartment with tile showers.

    Explore other solutions. Trust me.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  3. #103
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Don't do it. It's a pain in the royal ass to keep clean, especially the grout. I've lived in 3 houses and one apartment with tile showers.

    Explore other solutions. Trust me.
    You are not lying. I once lived in a rental that someone thought it was a good idea to make a shower stall with 1"x1" tile. Try keeping all that grout clean.
    "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

  4. #104
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    You are not lying. I once lived in a rental that someone thought it was a good idea to make a shower stall with 1"x1" tile. Try keeping all that grout clean.
    Ugh, I had that crap in the house I sold last summer. For 10 years I spent much of my time scrubbing it with a toothbrush. I never could get it clean enough for RJ.

  5. #105
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    .....I never could get it clean enough for RJ.
    You actually have to apply cleanser and bend over and scrub the damn stuff with a brush, woman.

    Guess I know what I'm doing this weekend.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  6. #106
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    You actually have to apply cleanser and bend over and scrub the damn stuff with a brush, woman.

    Guess I know what I'm doing this weekend.
    Off-topic:
    After that start, guess we all know what you won't be doing this weekend.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  7. #107
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    went down to the basement today to notice water all over the back corner of the floor. the water heater had sprung a leak. looks like tomorrow we'll be searching for a new water heater and someone to install it by this Friday. our Mardi Gras party is Saturday.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  8. #108
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    went down to the basement today to notice water all over the back corner of the floor. the water heater had sprung a leak. looks like tomorrow we'll be searching for a new water heater and someone to install it by this Friday. our Mardi Gras party is Saturday.
    Well at least it was in the basement. My mom had one go out that was located in the closet of the third bedroom which was rarely used. She couldn't figure out why the carpet was waterlogged when she did go in there. New water heater, ripping out the carpet/pad, drying out the sub-floor, new carpet...it wasn't fun.
    "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

  9. #109
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    I have a boiler (hot water heat, baseboards) and there has been some water dripping from some part of it. Not sure what that means. It's not a huge amount, but enough to dribble a foot or so away. I've also had forced air, so have no clue if something is wrong or if its just normal condensation. Any guesses? Should I be having the boiler serviced every so often, once a year, etc? I am trying to figure out what type of annual maintenance I need to have done on stuff in the house.....

    Also, my one gutter has an ice dam, huge ice dam. What can I do to make sure it doesn't thaw into the attic and into my house?

    On another note, I moved in 6 months ago, and love it! I am so happy to be in my own little house, just mine and my daughters. I bought the house of the people that bought mine and the exes old house. Kind of a swap, but it worked out perfectly - they were looking for a new big house and me a smaller one. It's 1200 sf, 3 bdrm, 1 bath; they had redone the kitchen and bath. All the walls were white, so I have spent lots of time painting and decorating and have one room left. I just redid my bedroom this weekend and LOVE it.

  10. #110
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner View post
    ...
    Also, my one gutter has an ice dam, huge ice dam. What can I do to make sure it doesn't thaw into the attic and into my house? ...
    Ice dam heat cable. This is affixed to the roof above the gutter to provide a channel where the snow melts and drains away. It extends into the gutter and down the spout.

    December's brief thaw? I was up on a ladder twice, once to set it up, and then to make it work. and it does. Last year I had the icicle from Hell overhanging my front steps. This year, nothing.

    Need a warmish day for optimal installation.

    I found the cable at a Menard's and it's made right here in my fair city.

    HTH

  11. #111
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Anyone have experience owning a tankless water heater? Around here a standard gas 40 gal/ 12 yr guarantee is $500 plus ~$220 for installation. According to what I've read it will save you aboue 7% on your utility bill.

    A tankless water heater runs about $1000 plus $200 for the venting. I'm not sure about the installation costs (probably a bit more because of the addtional venting). According to what I've read it will save you about 30% on your utility bills.

    We are sans water heater at the moment so I need one sooner rather than later but I want to make sure I make a smart investment and a "green" one if possible.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Experiences?

    oh, also there is a $300 tax credit for the tankless, none for the storage.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  12. #112
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Anyone have experience owning a tankless water heater? Around here a standard gas 40 gal/ 12 yr guarantee is $500 plus ~$220 for installation. According to what I've read it will save you aboue 7% on your utility bill.

    A tankless water heater runs about $1000 plus $200 for the venting. I'm not sure about the installation costs (probably a bit more because of the addtional venting). According to what I've read it will save you about 30% on your utility bills.

    We are sans water heater at the moment so I need one sooner rather than later but I want to make sure I make a smart investment and a "green" one if possible.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Experiences?

    oh, also there is a $300 tax credit for the tankless, none for the storage.
    I had a Rheem gas tankless water heater in my house in SC. I'd never seen one before but it came standard with the house and it worked fine for 3 people in the house. Our gas bill was significantly less than many people we knew with comparable sized homes/family size. The only thing is keeping in mind that you can't really run multiple hot water uses at the same time if you want truly hot water. Other than that we never had a problem.
    "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

  13. #113
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I've developed this wild hair....to paint our kitchen cabinets. But they appear to be covered with a thin vinyl coating--or something like that. Particle board underneath. I don't know the brand. I can post a picture or two if necessary to give you a better idea.

    Anybody with experience with this type of cabinet? Can I just lightly sand over the surface than paint over it? Or do I have to remove the coating (that ain't gonna happen)?
    Annoyingly insensitive

  14. #114
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I've developed this wild hair....to paint our kitchen cabinets. But they appear to be covered with a thin vinyl coating--or something like that. Particle board underneath. I don't know the brand. I can post a picture or two if necessary to give you a better idea.

    Anybody with experience with this type of cabinet? Can I just lightly sand over the surface than paint over it? Or do I have to remove the coating (that ain't gonna happen)?
    Ah! I did this at our previous house. I did remove the doors and sand them down, but no stripping was involved - I just roughed them up a bit to get better adhesion. To be honest, we did not stay in the house long enough to notice if that was a problem or not. I lived with my work for about 4 years, though, and only had to do a few touchups.

    Overall, the results were fantastic. The previous owner had been in construction and it appeared as though he just pieced the cabinets together from leftovers. The cabinets "almost" matched design-wise, but not at all in terms of color. I also redid the knobs - got simple pine knobs at Home Dept and stained/sealed them. BIG improvement.

    Make sure you get the right kind of paint!! Something with a hard enamel finish that resists mold and mildew, too. I almost made the mistake of not getting kitchen paint...

    If you are really worried about stripping them, you might call a sandblasting place and see what they might chargeand if they can do it without destroying them. I did this with a pair of car rims and another friend had glass windows "frosted" this way for his bathroom renovation, so it seems like it should be doable. They might be able to do it fairly cheaply and save you the trouble of dealing with solvents.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  15. #115
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Anyone have experience owning a tankless water heater?...Thoughts? Suggestions? Experiences?

    oh, also there is a $300 tax credit for the tankless, none for the storage.
    I just had a conversation with an architect friend who put one in his own house. The thing he warned m about was the large air intake requirements to fire the thing (I had been hoping to put one in a lower kitchen cabinet). You may want to get someone to look at your installation site and see it can be easily mounted without too much trouble (if you haven't already). I think this is partly why, in Europe, many are just mounted on the wall, uncovered. They're actually quite handsome, so it just looks like another appliance.

    The tax credit is attractive, too. But I know a number of people who have one and I have never heard any complaints from anyone about them. I say go for it!!

    Another advantage is water savings - the water is almost instantly hot, so no waiting for the shower to heat up while gallons of water go down the drain...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  16. #116
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Thanks, wahday, for your advice. Here's a pic of some more detail. See how the coating is pulling off the particle board? Urgh!!!

    Annoyingly insensitive

  17. #117
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Thanks, wahday, for your advice. Here's a pic of some more detail. See how the coating is pulling off the particle board? Urgh!!!
    That's a different problem altogether. If the outer layer was still bonded to the particle board you can rough it up and paint it as wahday said. In this case I think it would be a stopgap fix.
    "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. #118
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    So am I understanding this right, The counter tops are bad and need to be replaced and the cabinets are coming apart. Sure does sound like a kitchen remodel at hand.
    Sucks to be you...
    (As she exits to her Kraftmaid kitchen and corian cabinets)
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  19. #119
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Queen B View post
    ....Sucks to be you......
    Off-topic:
    Not really, but that's what she said. I better go take a shower.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  20. #120
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Thanks, wahday, for your advice. Here's a pic of some more detail. See how the coating is pulling off the particle board? Urgh!!!

    Looks like the coating is actually a strip of something cut to size. And if it will peel off as readily as it has started to do, should be easy to remove it from all the doors.

    Gotta love that humidity. (It's 48 here today and I am headed out in a windbreaker with the fender bike.)

    Pretty grody-lookin' handle on that cab. Who cleans your house??

  21. #121
    Jake I've never seen an applied surface like that on cabinet doors or carcasses. Instead, I'm guessing that the adhesive used to hold veneer to the particle board has failed (likely from the humidity). If this is the only door that you have the problem with, get a hairdryer and use it to warm the adhesive under the veneer and see if it will re-seat. (Careful, surface will be hot). However, if it is a general problem, you'll need a heat gun or a gross of blow-dryers (your choice).

    Believing in the old adage that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't, I would not attempt to remove the veneer, especially if the doors are particle board. That stuff has a nasty, uneven surface, and it is a haven for mold. Not a good recipe for a wet place like a kitchen.

    Rather than repair them, it might be worthwhile to look into just replacing the faces and doors/drawers. Good luck!
    Je suis Charlie

  22. #122
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Ice dam heat cable. ...
    Here are pics of my heat tape. Look how well it works: all the ice and snow has melted!

    ETA: It's the zig-zag on the roof above the porch.




  23. #123
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Here are pics of my heat tape. Look how well it works: all the ice and snow has melted!

    ETA: It's the zig-zag on the roof above the porch.
    You installed this yourself? Is it just plugged into an outdoor outlet? I've seen the stuff at Home Depot and the instructions seemed pretty straightforward. I have nasty icicles on the front of my house where the house has an "L" that could use this.

    The back porch is another problem entirely. The porch is nearly flat and the two and has a new rubber roof. That didn't stop the icicles (and ice dams -- the water gets under the shingles from the adjoining roof), so I had to pay somebody to shovel the 2 feet of snow off of it before today's big thaw. I think will call the contractor who put on the roof last year to see if he can attach that heat tape to at least stop the icicles.

    PS -- don't buy a house with a flat or nearly flat roof! They are nasty to deal with, especially in cold, snowy areas like Western New York. Generally, they are covered with rolled roofing which lasts maybe 5-7 years even where it isn't snowy. Rubber roofs are much more expensive, but they are the solution.

  24. #124
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Here's another view.


    It's a long cable with a power plug at one end. I installed it myself using plastic gutter clips (Xmas light hangers) which slipped under the shingles during the chilly weather chosen for the first install. The cable came with metal clips, and they require that the shingles flex a bit. In a couple months...

    When things thawed again (Christmas week) I got back up and did the zig-zag. The cable dead end hangs out the bottom of the down spout; it runs up, across in the gutter, does the Vs, and ends on the left side of the porch. Not shown is the extension cords running to the outdoor plug. I have an electrician supposed to come install its own plug later this week.)

    The cable stays at about 50-60 degrees when plugged in (at least going by my hand temperature). Just warm enough to keep a dam and icicles from forming.

    My father in the "D" area has a flat roof. Such a good idea...not.

  25. #125
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    The only thing is keeping in mind that you can't really run multiple hot water uses at the same time if you want truly hot water.
    Maybe that was yours, I just got out of a HOT shower with both the washer and the dishwasher running and I was fine.

    My tankless is nice, but sometimes I have to run the water in the kitchen for a long time before the hot water comes to the faucet. That is really my only drawback.

    It came with the house, so I haven't a clue as to the installation price.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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