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Home Improvement

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
We're moving into a new house soon. A lot like Dan's dream home, but with no land and much more pedestrian friendly (okay, it's not that nice, but it's a great house). My 7 and 4 year old daughters are fighting over who gets their new room painted first. I came up with half a solution, whoever picks their bedroom first, the other gets the room painted first (one of the bedrooms has a built in cabinet to hide in). Now I just need to find a way to see who picks bedrooms first - rock paper scissors and flipping coins just starts more arguments.
 

beach_bum

Cyburbian
Messages
3,427
Points
21
We're moving into a new house soon. A lot like Dan's dream home, but with no land and much more pedestrian friendly (okay, it's not that nice, but it's a great house). My 7 and 4 year old daughters are fighting over who gets their new room painted first. I came up with half a solution, whoever picks their bedroom first, the other gets the room painted first (one of the bedrooms has a built in cabinet to hide in). Now I just need to find a way to see who picks bedrooms first - rock paper scissors and flipping coins just starts more arguments.
who packs up their room first, picks first or any other mundane moving task....
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
who packs up their room first, picks first or any other mundane moving task....
The children are very competitive, although the 4 year old usually loses - it's an age thing. I try to give her a head start and explain that she's younger and the older one is faster, but I can hear the "it's not fair" crying already. They both are helpful during moves though. They carry all the little things like pillows and blankets that were used to pad the furniture. I'll probably do something like that though.

Would people pay for a cage match between children? I think they might.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
11,760
Points
37
we're closing on a house at the end of the month and The Girl spent the whole day yesterday laying out the furniture in her new room and picking paint colours - she getting excited now
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
we're closing on a house at the end of the month and The Girl spent the whole day yesterday laying out the furniture in her new room and picking paint colours - she getting excited now
Mine have paint picked out, pink for one and purple and green for the other. They haven't laid out furniture yet, but they seem to change their rooms around monthly.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,564
Points
28
Pergo!

A DIY project in my upstairs. I started in my walk-in closet, thinking that the learning curve wouldn't be as noticeable in there. Almost done with the big room, and does it look nice.

Yes I will share a pic.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
sounds more fun than my bathroom project. I didn't have a choice of where to start.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,272
Points
43
The toilet paper holder in the half-bath (used exclusively by yours truly), is ready to fall from its mounting. The question I have for Cyburbia's throbbing brian: do I let it fall completely off the wall or do I proactively repair it? These types of decisions perplex me.
Go ahead and do it proactively because it will fall off at the most inappropriate time - plus you're (supposedly) a planner and tend to do most things proactively. Make sure you have a glass of wine before, during and after the tedious job.
Stop leaning on it when you get off the crapper, old man!;);)

Porcelain or mounted on drywall? Porcelain is probably not the area you want to mess with as a duffer. If it's drywall, then you can knock the repair out pretty easily.
Fergetabboutit, use duct tape!
Success!! I did it!! The toilet paper holder has been repaired! :toilet: During the mid-day thunderstorm. It took one :screw:

I'm so proud of myself. :-$

This isn't really a home improvement, rather it's a repair.

EDIT: I'm a man of many talents.
 
Last edited:

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
So far the moldy bathroom has fresh drywall and paint, new switches and a GFCI outlet. I have some of the tile set, but I need the rest cut and the wife and I decided to use tile for the baseboard so we had to order some more, which we needed anyway since we just didn't have enough to begin with. This bathroom will eventually be done and I can go on to painting the kids rooms as promised.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,077
Points
35
Although our house was built in 1912, it was remodeled substantially in the 1940s to accommodate a spouse that had limited mobility. What had been the kitchen became a small bedroom, a half bath was turned into a full bath, and the back porch was enclosed and enlarged to house a small, galley-style kitchen and sun room. We remodeled the kitchen some years ago, taking the wall out between the kitchen and sunroom and enlarging the kitchen.

The former kitchen, however, has always been a difficult room to use: there are three doors along the 12' wide rear wall leading to the back porch, the bathroom, and the kitchen. The opposite wall has the pass-through to the stair hall and living room. Originally, there was another door (yikes!8-!) in the one wall without a present opening that originally led to the dining room but was closed off with the remodel. It was in this 1940s remodel, I guess, that the owners installed some sort of plaster-type finish to virtually all of the doors and ceilings throughout the house. There are random splotchy gobs of plaster mixed with these swirls for lack of better terms. My wife and I have hated them only slightly less than the thought of the tons of labor trying to be rid of the stuff would entail.

That's why I should have my head examined.:wall:

A largish chunk of the stuff came loose recently, and I dabbled at it a little bit and it came off as if it was on some type of wallpaper that had lost its adhesiveness (though there are no tell-tale wallpaper seams anywhere to be seen). Yesterday I grabbed a putty knife and started going at it and it came off real well for a little while -- about a quarter of the wall area is now free of the surface. And then it started to fight back.;) You knew it would, didn't you? I got out a paper scoring tool which had absolutely 0% effect. I did manage to score it a little using the corner of the putty knife, but haven't tried paper-remover on it yet to see if that helps get it off.

I think I've bitten off more than I can chew. This wall will be the only one I do in any event.

Ever bite off more than you could chew? How'd that end up for you?
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,564
Points
28
Hints from Veloise

... some sort of plaster-type finish to virtually all of the doors and ceilings throughout the house. ...
A largish chunk of the stuff came loose recently, and I dabbled at it a little bit and it came off as if it was on some type of wallpaper that had lost its adhesiveness (though there are no tell-tale wallpaper seams anywhere to be seen). Yesterday I grabbed a putty knife and started going at it and it came off real well for a little while -- about a quarter of the wall area is now free of the surface. And then it started to fight back.;) You knew it would, didn't you? I got out a paper scoring tool which had absolutely 0% effect. I did manage to score it a little using the corner of the putty knife, but haven't tried paper-remover on it yet to see if that helps get it off.

I think I've bitten off more than I can chew. This wall will be the only one I do in any event.

Ever bite off more than you could chew? How'd that end up for you?
Spray bottle of water. Moisten the area adjacent to that which came loose easily, wait 5 minutes. Adjust amount of spray and wait time as needed.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Often the easiest solution is to rip out all of the old plaster/drywall and put up new drywall. This will also give you a chance to update anything that is in the wall, like electrical or plumbing, and you will have a better finish on the wall than you would get by patching. I did this while removing the fake brick and paneling from my kitchen and family room this summer. I was able to add an outlet, route the cable through the wall (instead of a hole in the floor drilled by the previous owner), and plug a couple holes where the mice found their way into the exterior wall. I also put in a short section of new wall where there had been a cabinet, allowing me to move the fridge to a better spot. I found a drywall guy on the Craig List who did an outstanding job for $1500, which is not bad since I have an 18' ceiling in the family room.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,298
Points
43
We have been doing many home improvement projects and I have a long list of new improvements that I need to send to the Historic Commission in the next few months... including a new walkway using the old stone curbs that I was able to acquire from the contractors. That way the curbs will be reused on site rather than end up in a landfill or being crushed.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
Help!

I pulled up the carpet pad in the kid's room. Now how do I get all the glue off the concrete? There's a lot! :-c
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
go to home depot, lowes, etc. and buy a floor scraper. Basically it's a blade with a broom handle. They also come in hand held models, but spend the money and save your back.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
go to home depot, lowes, etc. and buy a floor scraper. Basically it's a blade with a broom handle. They also come in hand held models, but spend the money and save your back.
Good grief, there's no product that will just dissolve that stuff?
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
Good grief, there's no product that will just dissolve that stuff?
It's actually not hard work if you get the long handle so you don't have to bend over and it's just carpet glue.

If you stop spilling the wine or just get some more white tile you won't have this problem.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,298
Points
43
It's actually not hard work if you get the long handle so you don't have to bend over and it's just carpet glue.

If you stop spilling the wine or just get some more white tile you won't have this problem.
I agree that this should take care of most of it. If not, the big floor sander is your best best.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
If you stop spilling the wine or just get some more white tile you won't have this problem.
I would have sex with a goat before I would add more white tile to this house. :not: ;)

Actually, I'm sitting on my gardening knee cushion and using some wide thin scrapey thing (for drywall? :-$) and a chisel, and the glue's coming up pretty well.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,298
Points
43
I would have sex with a goat before I would add more white tile to this house. :not: ;)

Actually, I'm sitting on my gardening knee cushion and using some wide thin scrapey thing (for drywall? :-$) and a chisel, and the glue's coming up pretty well.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,564
Points
28
Thinking ahead

I would have sex with a goat before I would add more white tile to this house. :not: ;)

Actually, I'm sitting on my gardening knee cushion and using some wide thin scrapey thing (for drywall? :-$) and a chisel, and the glue's coming up pretty well.
If you put down a laminate (e.g. Pergo), the glue can remain in place. There's a cushioned underlayment that covers a myriad of sins.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,272
Points
43
Anybody have any experience with refinishing kitchen counter tops? I'm not happy with ours due to the color and some blemishes. We have about 71 square feet of counter that we would like to refinish or replace. I saw an add that would add about 1/8-inch of material to the existing surface. The average cost of the material would take the improvement to about $4,000. Too expensive for my frugal blood.

Linky to product. http://www.granicrete.com/galleries/

Any suggestions or alternatives?
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,108
Points
34
Anybody have any experience with refinishing kitchen counter tops? I'm not happy with ours due to the color and some blemishes. We have about 71 square feet of counter that we would like to refinish or replace. I saw an add that would add about 1/8-inch of material to the existing surface. The average cost of the material would take the improvement to about $4,000. Too expensive for my frugal blood.

Linky to product. http://www.granicrete.com/galleries/

Any suggestions or alternatives?
You are better off replacing them.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Ditto what kjel said. Adding material is only going to look good (maybe) for a time. Because it is thin it will tend to chip easily. New countertops will not cost much more than $4000. A material like quartz will run you about $70 per square foot, so a bit over $4000.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
Just got done looking at counter tops at Lowes. Formica for the cheap people was a bout $12-20. Granite was about $50. It'll cost a little to get something new in, but at least you can trust it and pick a new color if you want. I don't trust refinishing counter tops unless you want to tile them, which is way out of style. I hear white is a good color.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,272
Points
43
There goes another $1100 to replace the well pump, control system, and wiring for the yard irrigation system. :money:
___________________

EDIT: I need to rake leaves tomorrow. The yard looks like crap.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
26,985
Points
58
So I've decided to go look for a storm door and install it on the front as soon as spring gets here. Did I mention I'm not particularly fond of home improvement projects? Always seems to take longer than they should and frequently run into unforseen complications. And since I've never installed a storm door before, you can bet there will be some sort of complicating factor - regardless of how simple and straightforward it looks.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
I finally got my steps sanded and painted, but the cat walked through so after a little touch up it's done Now on to cabinet refacing.

For storm doors I found some rotted wood when I installed mine and I had to trim the bottom to make it fit right. Good luck.
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
6,241
Points
27
So I've decided to go look for a storm door and install it on the front as soon as spring gets here. Did I mention I'm not particularly fond of home improvement projects? Always seems to take longer than they should and frequently run into unforseen complications. And since I've never installed a storm door before, you can bet there will be some sort of complicating factor - regardless of how simple and straightforward it looks.
You might want to consider hiring it out if you have never hung a door before. It can be very frustrating. Spend the extra $100 bucks and know you got it done right and in less time.

If you don't find stuff like this to be fun you are just going to make yourself frustrated. Find someone who likes it.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,108
Points
34
I finally got my steps sanded and painted, but the cat walked through so after a little touch up it's done Now on to cabinet refacing.

For storm doors I found some rotted wood when I installed mine and I had to trim the bottom to make it fit right. Good luck.
Potential issues: out of plumb opening, uneven sill, rotted wood, the existing exterior door.

Seriously, it's worth your while to pay $100 for the install. Watch though so you learn how to do it.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
Potential issues: out of plumb opening, uneven sill, rotted wood, the existing exterior door.

Seriously, it's worth your while to pay $100 for the install. Watch though so you learn how to do it.
I agree with getting a professional install if you can. Doors and windows are a pain in the @ss for all the reasons kjel mentioned. Mine was a used door and my door wasn't trimmed out right in the first place. So many odd little problems in the house.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Odd. I have never thought it too difficult to hang a door or window, especially if you buy the door/frame combo, though it can be a two person job. Getting it plumb is the most difficult part and it helps to check the opening ahead of time to know what you may face. Rotted sills are very often an issue and you might as well just expect to have to do some repair.

One of the nice things I discovered this year is that I got to write off a portion of the improvements on my taxes.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
Odd. I have never thought it too difficult to hang a door or window, especially if you buy the door/frame combo, though it can be a two person job. Getting it plumb is the most difficult part and it helps to check the opening ahead of time to know what you may face. Rotted sills are very often an issue and you might as well just expect to have to do some repair.

One of the nice things I discovered this year is that I got to write off a portion of the improvements on my taxes.
I learned some time ago that some people can just do it, some people might be able to learn how, and some people just can't (apparently RJ is in the can't category) when it comes to home improvement.

An example, painting is easy, except for my wife. While I was at a conference once she decided to paint an accent wall in the bathroom. This is maybe a 5' wall. She was so proud to show me the wall when I got home. I looked at it and said (before I could think of some nice platitude), when are you going to finish. Fortunately for me my neighbor saw it before me and said the same thing. You would think wiping paint on a wall with a roller would be a talent anyone could do, but sadly not my wife.

On the good news front, I just finished refacing one set of kitchen cabinets. Just a lot more to go.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,654
Points
31
We currently have a pretty lame back deck that is about 23x20 (or maybe a bit smaller). It's flat, boring, and 100% exposed to the elements.

My wife and I have decided to upgrade. I was fine with just replacing the existing wood deck with something like Trex and expanding it a few feet in every direction to accommodate larger furniture and then upgrading said furniture (replacing the top of a flat, rectangular deck was also an improvement that myself and a handy friend could accomplish ourselves). My wife started talking about built in seating, a couple of planters, and some sort of pergola over it. Though I hate opening the checkbook, I sort of like her ideas.

But then I started considering other decks in the area at houses similar to ours. We have a large ranch house on a slab (though some near us have basements or crawl spaces) and most actually seem to have a patio of some sort and now I'm wondering if maybe that's the way to go? We could do a stamped concrete patio with a pergola over it.

I told my wife that it will take me about 3 years to actually make a decision but she is now adamant that she wants it replaced by the 4th of July. I've never known her to be so eager to spend money so I am hoping she will get fed up with my indecision and just draw up some plans and get quotes and hire somebody all on her own.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
We currently have a pretty lame back deck that is about 23x20 (or maybe a bit smaller). It's flat, boring, and 100% exposed to the elements.

My wife and I have decided to upgrade. I was fine with just replacing the existing wood deck with something like Trex and expanding it a few feet in every direction to accommodate larger furniture and then upgrading said furniture (replacing the top of a flat, rectangular deck was also an improvement that myself and a handy friend could accomplish ourselves). My wife started talking about built in seating, a couple of planters, and some sort of pergola over it. Though I hate opening the checkbook, I sort of like her ideas.

But then I started considering other decks in the area at houses similar to ours. We have a large ranch house on a slab (though some near us have basements or crawl spaces) and most actually seem to have a patio of some sort and now I'm wondering if maybe that's the way to go? We could do a stamped concrete patio with a pergola over it.

I told my wife that it will take me about 3 years to actually make a decision but she is now adamant that she wants it replaced by the 4th of July. I've never known her to be so eager to spend money so I am hoping she will get fed up with my indecision and just draw up some plans and get quotes and hire somebody all on her own.
Everyone help WSU make up his mind so he can spend money! I'm going with an affordable deck. Maybe concrete with a simple pergola of some kind, then spend LOTS of money on good patio furniture.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,654
Points
31
Maybe concrete with a simple pergola of some kind, then spend LOTS of money on good patio furniture.
The more I look in to it, the more I'm leaning in that direction. Maybe the concrete patio would integrate more nicely with a future pool. ;)

A good friend of my wife's is a local realtor. I suggested she ask her to take her to a bunch of houses in the area to be nosy and see what types of decks and patios they have.
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,423
Points
26
Everyone help WSU make up his mind so he can spend money! I'm going with an affordable deck. Maybe concrete with a simple pergola of some kind, then spend LOTS of money on good patio furniture.
We're having a concrete patio/walkway poured next Monday. $3200. It would have been $5000 for the stamped concrete, but I didn't think it was worth it.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,654
Points
31
We're having a concrete patio/walkway poured next Monday. $3200. It would have been $5000 for the stamped concrete, but I didn't think it was worth it.
Our driveway and existing walkways are all stamped or partially stamped, which is why we would probably want to continue the pattern.

If you don't mind me asking, what are the dimensions of the patio that they are going to pour?
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,333
Points
30
We currently have a pretty lame back deck that is about 23x20 (or maybe a bit smaller). It's flat, boring, and 100% exposed to the elements.

My wife and I have decided to upgrade. I was fine with just replacing the existing wood deck with something like Trex and expanding it a few feet in every direction to accommodate larger furniture and then upgrading said furniture (replacing the top of a flat, rectangular deck was also an improvement that myself and a handy friend could accomplish ourselves). My wife started talking about built in seating, a couple of planters, and some sort of pergola over it. Though I hate opening the checkbook, I sort of like her ideas.

But then I started considering other decks in the area at houses similar to ours. We have a large ranch house on a slab (though some near us have basements or crawl spaces) and most actually seem to have a patio of some sort and now I'm wondering if maybe that's the way to go? We could do a stamped concrete patio with a pergola over it.

I told my wife that it will take me about 3 years to actually make a decision but she is now adamant that she wants it replaced by the 4th of July. I've never known her to be so eager to spend money so I am hoping she will get fed up with my indecision and just draw up some plans and get quotes and hire somebody all on her own.
Do yourself a favor and go with a stamped concrete patio with a pergola. It'll save you money in the long run, especially with all of the seating areas, planters, etc. you are talking about being built into the deck (those are expensive upgrades). Not sure about where you live, but down here a few friends of mine haven't had the best experiences with composite decking, including trex. I think you'll come out cheaper overall, which allows you to purchase nicer patio furniture.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
A concrete patio is going to last longer if it is well done. Mine is original to the house (1975). The biggest issues are cracking and settling. If that happens it s more difficult to repair than swapping out a few boards on a deck. If you are doing anything built-in, like a pergola, have it done at the same time or have the patio designed to accommodate it in the future. You do not want to have to break it open to sink footings for your posts.

Unfortunately in a year or two I will need to open up a section of my patio to deal with the drain tile for the foundation. At that time I may remove the patio and build a new one using stone pavers.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
Pavers are always a good option. You could even build a built in fire pit to match.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,654
Points
31
Yes, we are definitely also considering pavers. We like the idea that if one breaks down the road, it would be relatively simple and less expensive to repair. The concrete or pavers heaving and cracking in the freeze/thaw cycle is my biggest concern but our lawn has pretty good drainage and from others I've talked to in the area, that really isn't too big of a problem if they put a proper base down.

So after looking at more pictures of stuff together last night, I think we are now both leaning towards concrete or pavers with a couple of small retaining wall type spots that could be used as seating and then concentrating on the landscaping around it. My wife wants a firepit too. I'm indifferent to that though. My only requirement is that we add an extra exterior outlet or two so I have somewhere else to plug in my stereo so I can listen to my music and Tiger games while I am outside.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,727
Points
39
you can always get on of those outdoor radio systems, but the outlet is essential even if it's just for yard work. You never know when you need a handy outlet.
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,423
Points
26
Our driveway and existing walkways are all stamped or partially stamped, which is why we would probably want to continue the pattern.

If you don't mind me asking, what are the dimensions of the patio that they are going to pour?
3' x 69.5' walkway and a 17' x 27' patio, with 2-3 poured steps up to the door wall. We like the stamped concrete but think it's a little overkill for our house/neighborhood, especially at the size we want.
 
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