Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I will like to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Almost there.... Ok maybe not....

This week, several positive and negative items were revealed. I will begin by highlighting the encouraging item then to the unenthusiastic. The plumber was able to update the toilets and sinks for both bathrooms. For the second floor bathroom, he was able to install the vanity top and faucets to include the toilets.

Here is a picture showing the new vanity with the faucet installed for the upstairs bathroom. I would like to take this moment to thank my mom for selecting this faucet. It looks appropriate for this room.
Here is a picture showing the new toilet installed for the upstairs bathroom. As you can see with a couple of minor fixes the bathroom should be completed soon.

Here is a picture showing the new vanity with faucet installed for my bathroom.
I would like to take this moment to thank Kylie for helping me find this wonderful faucet. She had asked a while back as into what I was thinking for a faucet and she was able to help me find this reasonably cost faucet. Thanks…
Here is a picture showing the new toilet installed for my apartment. Good bye yellow toilet… I also forgot to mention that the plumber also changed the hardware on my tub. As you can see in the next photo, the drain was damaged and pretty disgusting with the calcium build up… (Yes that is a yellow tub)
Here is a picture showing the new hardware for my yellow tub… Yes I have a problem with the color… But it’s ok for now… The rest of the updates for this bathroom will have to wait.
Anyway, for the other updates conducted this week were the installation of the six new windows. Here is a picture showing one of the newly installed windows.... The only thing left to complete the window tasks is to install insulation and new wood trim. Because of the high energy efficiency of the windows, I will eventually update all of the windows throughout the entire house, especially since the windows are extremely easy to install and fairly cheap (Bob you Tool!!!).

Now for the set backs…. With the plumber on site, I was able to get him to cap the radiator valve until I am able to replace the cracked radiator. You may remember a while back where I mentioned that the radiator looked to have a crack and was leaking pretty profusely. I also noticed that the radiator was starting to sink into the floor. NOT GOOD!!!! After removing the radiator, I was able to easily remove the peal and stick tiles. Here is a picture of what the floor looked like after removing the radiator….

Well it looks like I need to remove a section of the floor and hope that the floor joists are in good shape. PLEASE!!!!! My concern is that I will need to remove part of the wall within my apartment to reinforce the damaged joist…

I started to remove the floor and realized that the water damage was pretty excessive. Thus far it doesn’t look like the floor joist are a concern. However, I was unable to remove all of the flooring as of yet to make a solid judgment on the floor joints. It looks like the floor has two layers of hardwood planks. I will have to cut the floor boards without damaging the joist… As you can see from the photo, the hole into the floor is a result from the rotten wood that was removed. My plan at the moment is to remove all of the rotten sections and replace it with plywood. I hope to utilize the existing floor joist. But if there is any damage, I will need to sister the floor joist to minimize any further damage. . I just realized something; I might have to retile the entire floor in this room. I am not sure if I can locate the same peal and stick tiles. Problem after problem….

Here is a picture of the damaged radiator.

In this picture you can see the hair line crack into the radiator. I am not sure what may have caused this hair line crack. But it sure did its share of damage... I wonder if it can be repaired, but regardless, it certainly has to be fixed…. Anyway, until next time…

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Attic Protector.....

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can try to get back on schedule. The previous week saw some new improvements to the exterior of the house. When I initially purchased the house, the trim around the windows and the roof were missing metal flashing. The exposed wood was pretty beat up. Holes within the trim work gave access to any creature searching for a warm place for the winter. Too be honest, with the discovery of bats within the attic, this tasked was place on my highest priority. So with that said, I had hired a contractor to perform this task back in August. About a day after I moved into the house, he was commissioned to start work immediately. The only problem was that my contractor wasn’t seeing the same priority list. But I’m happy to finally say that he completed the job yesterday (Yes about 5 months later)...
This picture is the house prior to any work being done to the house.
The trim work above the metal awning shows exposed dark wood, with paint chips pealing off.

Here is a good picture showing the exposed wood trim around one of the windows. All of the windows installed to the house looked similar to this picture.

The second floor bathroom is located in this area of the house. The exposed wood trim is where animals entered into the bathroom ceiling.
When it rained, the back porch would get completely wet. The rain would drip back onto the two porches. So I decided to install new gutters for this location. I felt that when it rained on those hot days, someone would want to relax and sit on the back porch.

This picture shows the trim work completed. The windows look cleaner.

Here is a close up of the windows with the new metal flashing. All of the windows look this good, clean and professional.
The new gutter was also installed.
Another picture of the gutter, but you can also note the new flashing prohibiting access to the bathroom ceiling. The next task on the list is to install the new windows. They finally arrived last Thursday. So I’ll be happily installing them this coming week. I hope you enjoyed this installment, but until next, have fun…

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New look....

With the furnace issue temporarily out of the way, I was able to refocus my efforts towards finishing the bathroom upstairs. The interesting part about this week is that I am able to reveal some updates of my own personnel bathroom downstairs. Some portions of my bathroom have been updated since my first week of moving here, however, I think the recently added items constitutes a description.

But first let me explain about my adventure of installing the second floor bathroom vanity. I first used a stud finder to locate the studs within the wall. I marked off their locations and then leveled the cabinet portion of the vanity. I used wood shims to help with the leveling process. I fastened the leveled cabinet to the stud using a 2 ½ inch drywall screw. Prior to installing additional screws , I rechecked the cabinet to ensure that it was still leveled.


After installing the cabinet, I decided to see how the sink would look. This picture shows the vanity without the faucets. The plumber will be soldering on new valves for the water inlets. He will also be installing the vanity water waste pipe. Because he will be on site, I decided it would be cost effective to have him do both the upstairs and downstairs install of the water waste pipes and inlets. That is the reason for the update to my bathroom.

This picture shows that with the new vanity installed, access to the window and radiator is easily possible. Anyway, after installing the vanity, I decided it was time to install the new light fixture.

OOPS!!!!! Well there's your problem… It would appear that the opening is larger then the light fixture.

Ok sort of an easy fix.... I first remove the light fixture and install a small piece of drywall to the bottom section of the opening. The drywall piece was temporarily secured with mesh drywall tape. I also used a small piece of the mesh drywall tape for the top section. Joint compound was used to secure and mask the added tape and drywall. After the repaired section dries, I will be able to sand and repaint it.

Until then, I decided to move onto my bathroom downstairs. I guess I should give a brief description about my bathroom. The bathroom has the original sunshine yellow color that the previous owner had painted. The cabinet was a white vanity and a matching mirror cabinet. I’ve left the wall color because I wanted to focus primarily upstairs. So the sunshine yellow color will stay for the time being… The tub and toilet are a matching mustard yellow… The bath tub walls are tiled with white and blue sail boats…

I’ve updated some items, like two new towel racks, shower curtain rod, and shower head. But, I’ll go into more detail about those items shortly. Anyway, the plumber will be installing new hardware for the bathtub, a new toilet, and the required fixtures for the vanity.

Why am I changing the vanity downstairs you ask? Well, for two reasons, the first is because the color of the white vanity was starting to closely matching the wall color, pretty disgusting really. The second reason is because I fell in love with this marble top vanity and wanted it for upstairs… But it just happened, when I purchased the vanity for upstairs, it was way too large. “To be honest, I didn’t measure”…. It turned out that if used, there would be no access to the window and radiator. So instead of returning it and paying a 15% restocking fee, I decided to keep it…

The reason for the new toilet is not only because of the mustard yellow, but because it continues to leak. Every hour on the hour you can hear the toilet flushing… But it will be nice to finally get a working toilet.

Here is one of the towel racks that were installed.

Here is a picture of the second towel rack and also the shower curtain with the new rod. The rod is a curved shower curtain rod that gives an additional 8 inches of room in the shower. It helps with giving the upper body more room to move around in the shower…

I also had installed a new shower head. The shower head has 8 setting for dispersing water. My favorite setting is the one that simulates rain. I have to admit it is extremely soothing…

Now that you know what has been updated. I can start with the demolition of the vanity. I first remove the counter top. I had to use a hammer and chisel to remove the top. As usual the counter top was glued to the cabinet.
Here is a picture of the old vanity completely removed.

Here is a picture of the new vanity with the marble top. You may notice the damage paint on the wall, this was done while removing the previous vanity. I’m not too worried about fixing it. Anyway, after completely installing the vanity, I plan on installing a new mirror and light fixture. The completion of my personal bathroom will not be completed until upstairs is done.

With both vanities install, I have to now wait for the plumber to install the required hardware… Anyway until next time…

Oh yeah, before I forget… So the plumber needs access to the first floors tub trap to exchange the required hardware. The tubs trap is located in the basement. Check out the spider webs….

Here is a picture of the entrance to the traps location.

Here is a picture showing the pipes for the tub. Well Mr. Plumber good luck with that...Until next time....

Thursday, November 20, 2008


The weather outside is kind of frightful…. Well at 6 in the morning, the temperature inside felt about the same.. I woke up this morning and realized that the furnace was not operating. I walked down stairs expecting that the water storage would need water, which it did not. But I was hearing a clicking sound from the furnace. I hit the switch to reset the furnace and still the clicking noise was still there. I accidently touch some exposed wires and the furnace kicked on… But after about a minute of operating, the clicking returns…I felt the furnace was sending me Morse code…. “… - - - …”

Here is a picture of my "B1 Bomber" furnace... Luckily, about a month ago, I had signed up for a protection program for the furnace. So I contacted my service company and they informed me that they would send a technician. I was also informed that all of their technicians were extremely busy and will be out as soon as possible…

So after about 9 hours of huddling under my unicorn blanket, I heard a knock at the back door… I had explained to the technician what was going on. So he removed the igniter and explained that it was damaged, so he replaced it. All done… But after he turned the furnace back on…

“…- - - …”

The technician then joked, “Well I guess that wasn’t the problem…”

Here is a picture of the damaged igniter, as you can see the orange sleeve is not covering the white ceramic igniter properly. Anyway, after investigating further, the technician noted that the wire connections to the regulator valve were loose. He sprayed a conductive liquid onto the connectors. But still, “…- - - …”. So he decided to replaces the regulator valve completely. After installing the new valve and performed a series of checks, the furnace began to work properly. The technician wrapped his things up and jokingly says, “It worked when I left...” with that he was gone.

Here is a picture of the old regulator valve.

Here is a picture of the replacement regulator valve. So after about an hour, as I’m sitting down watching TV, I begin to hear a dripping noise coming from the hallway. I walk over and look up and note that the ceiling tile is damped and dripping water… I had a feel like I’ve been in type of situation before… I try to remove the ceiling tile and realize that hot water was dripping down. So I went upstairs to investigate the water source. Because it was hot water, I assumed that it must be another radiator leaking . It turn out that it was a radiator and it was not seated properly against the pipe. I tightened the locking nut and the dripping stop…. That was an easy fix, I think....
Here is a picture of the first floor ceiling.
Here is a picture of the ceiling debris
This is picture of the radiator pipe going into the second floor radiator. This is where the water was dripping down from. Well that is it for now... Until next time....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

WOW!!! It worked....

Last Wednesday, I had placed an order for 6 new replacement windows with my neighborhood super box hardware store. I ended up finding another damaged window. Anyway, I placed an order for new LoE2 double hung replacement windows. LoE2 is none as a Low emissivity glass that is an energy saving glass that reduces heat gain in the summer and keeps things warmer in the winter months. The new windows are expected to be delivered in next 3 to 4 weeks. The total price for all six replacement windows were $862.56. That's $143.76 per window…With the window on order I am able to continue working on the bathroom.

Now back to the bathroom, the next thing to install was the molding. I was initially going to use the original floor trim when I notice that they were pretty beat up. I was able to reuse the old window and door molding. So I sanded them down with a 100 grit sand paper and installed them. For the floor boards, I had purchased some 4 inch floor boards and then mitered the ends at a 45ยบ angle for the mating surfaces. I’ve done this before but it is still an art that I have not been able to truly master. The problem is that the measurements have to be pretty exact to get a clean interface. My patients run pretty thin when it comes to mitered surfaces.

The floor boards were cut and fitted prior to being permanently fastened to the wall. I used a pneumatic nail gun to fasten the floor boards. The process is quick and clean; certainly better then hitting the nails with a hammer. With the gun, it minimizes the possibility of giving the wall, floor boards and/or your thumb a bruise.

After installing the floor boards, wood putty was used to fill the cracks and nail holes. This process gets really messy, but after the putty dries, sand paper was used to remove the rough edges.

Here is the window after putting in the wood putty.

Here is the window after it was sanded and painted.

After painting the molding, I started to install the cabinet portion of the vanity. The hard part was getting the pipes to fit snug within the cabinet without cutting the entire bottom out. So I started with a piece of plywood and marked out where the two inlet water lines would be located at. I then traced out where the waste line would be and cut that out. Now that the template was created I was able to cut out the holes into the cabinet.

So what do you think of my work bench....

The inlets fits pretty well.. .

Hey, look at that it actually worked...

I initially wanted to clamp the new template to the vanity base and do the cutting. But the clamps that I owned were too small for the job… So I traced the three circles onto the cabinet base and then drilled the holes. The vanity base was made of a press board material that would gum up when heated. I had to chisel the material off the cutters after a couple of minutes of drilling.

WOW!!!! The plan actually worked…..The next step in the process is to secure the cabinet to the wall and then install the vanity… Until next time…


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