Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Screen Door

Our patio door has seen better days. The screen is damaged:


And the joints are separated:


I glued the joints, added some metal strapping for extra strength (since the door slams constantly), and replaced the screen. Way cheaper than buying a new door!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Toilet Disaster

I guess I'm lucky I work at home. Today, during a meeting, Aidan alarmingly told me "Dad! The toilet is overflowing!"

It was the upstairs toilet, right above the kitchen. Not only was the upstairs bathroom flooding, it was raining toilet water in the kitchen, leaking all the way to the basement.

To top it off, the shutoff valve by the toilet would not turn. I had to reach in the tank and stop the water inside the toilet. I'm going to test all the shutoff valves in the house. (Shouldn't the home inspector have tested these?)

Here's the new toilet. It's an American Standard Champion 4, hopefully the best toilet money can buy.


May as well fix the wallpaper that was behind the old toilet.








Next project: a bunch of paint repair in the kitchen. The previous owners painted over wallpaper, which is now bubbled up because of the water.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Painting Tips

We're just about finished painting Aidan's room.

Here are my tips.

1. Prep the walls first.

  • Apply a few coats of spackle to holes and defects. Feather out the edges just like you would when working with drywall tape. Paint will not cover imperfections, so now is the time to be a perfectionist.
  • Scrape walls with putty knife to remove tiny bumps.
  • Eliminate all dust before painting. Also make sure there isn't any grease or wallpaper glue.
  • Remove all outlet covers and switch plates. This is way easier than painting around them.


2. Watch this YouTube video. It shows how to cut in ceiling edges.


3. Get a good brush. I use Purdy brushes, which run $10-$15 each. You'll get better coverage the brush should last for years.

4. Use blue tape around awkward corners and some trim. The first coat should be very, very thin. This seals the edge. If you lay on too much paint, it will bleed under the tape.

5. Load enough paint on the brush. Here's how:


6. When using a roller:
  • It should have plenty of paint.
  • Move at a steady pace. If you're going super fast, you'll splatter paint everywhere.
  • Don't press so hard! This is a sign you don't have enough paint on the roller.
  • Always work in the same direction, keeping pressure on the "dry" edge so your wet edge doesn't form ridges. I paint a vertical line from ceiling to floor, and then work around the room always moving right.
7. Invest in good cloth tarps. We've had a set of tarps for years and keep reusing them.

8. If you screw up (drips on the wall, paint on the ceiling), you can't fix it when the paint is wet. It'll just smear around and get worse. Wait until it's dry and touch up later.

9. Gadgets and gimmicks are stupid. Watch the pros - they use brushes and rollers. The hardware store is full of devices to make painting easier and they all suck.

10. Notable exception to the above - a plastic lid is useful to keep the paint can clean when pouring.

Summary

  • Educate yourself, YouTube is great for this.
  • Buy high quality brushes, rollers, and tarps.
  • Take your time and apply as much paint as you can without it dripping.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mice Not Welcome

These gaps under the door are an invitation for mice.


I had to find an online store that sold the right kind of weatherstripping, compatible with this particular brand of garage door.


Still an easy fix!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Disgusting Kitchen Drain

We noticed our kitchen drain is leaking...and very stinky. Take a look:


I don't trust any of these connections.


After removing the pipes, the job got a lot bigger. The inside of the garbage disposal was completely melted. Seriously, WTF?


Ew, gross.


One more trip to Home Depot for a new disposal and a few hours later, it's done!


I probably should have installed two traps, but I couldn't bear the thought of yet another trip to pick up even more parts. I'll do it that way when we remodel the kitchen.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wire Clutter

This is how the previous homeowners left the living room wall. It was like this when the house was for sale.

Wires Before

Most of those are speaker wires from ancient times before WiFi was a thing. I don't understand what's going on with the coax cable on the far right. I guess jamming a screwdriver through the wall is one way to make a hole.

Here's what I did today.

Wires After

Just needs a few touchups on the paint.