Sunday, December 20, 2009

Better off shed

Actually completed something on this project: a 12'x10' shed to relieve me of my $230.00 a month storage unit. Had an extra window from the house project, installed it on the East side of this tallish structure (used full length studs, and the 9' OSB siding). The window is over the area that will eventually be the "wax bench" for my skis.

Will trench and run power to it next summer when the ground thaws. House project updates to follow soon.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Keeper of the Flame

Putting the "Pro" in procrastination. I spent my sunny South Central Alaskan weekend thatching, sweetening and fertilizing the lawn. I also finally broke down and bought the grill I have been shopping for the last 12 months. I had waited for a sale for 12 months - it never went on sale.

I brought home the unbuilt box and was surprised to find a $40.00 cheaper price tag inside ( lower 48 pricing). I returned to the Home Depot the next day and was refunded.
I stopped by Costco on the way home from that transaction and bought two pounds of beef tenderloins: four two-inch thick steaks.
Steak, potato and blue-cheese dressing on greens... and yes that is a picnic table and a Chinet paper plate. Back to the house project shortly.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Take a Header

Here is the new living room window, again almond vinyl and casement argon filled thermopane. I really like the "bulky look" of these windows - probably why they were so cheap (less glass).

These old houses had two four foot wide windows on this wall - with the top plate of the wall supported by a center beam. I have opened this up to a 102" rough opening.

My chief advisor ( and investor) dad insisted on an upgraded header. This old house is 2x4 wall construction - the header is two 2x6's, on edge - the traditional header - but filling the gap between the two boards is a 1/2 " steel plate. This steel sandwich is bolted and construction cement glued. Should be plenty strong to resist the sag of a fully snow loaded roof.

Other notes: yep, that's dads new 1958 M38 Willy's jeep in the driveway. The 6 mil plastic ceiling seen here should be covered with 5/8" fire rated drywall by the end of this weekend.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Concrete Galoshes

A few of my few followers of a certain age will appreciate the title...

It's not witchcraft, but these mixers of Portland cement, rock and sand have become known as "concretins". The gray matter that it takes to make a life of the gray matter is sometimes skewed.
Fortunately, I found some fairly well-grounded (pun intended) concrete sub-contractors. Three hours and a bunch of folding money, and I don't have to step over the trench in the kitchen and laundry room anymore. Money well spent.

The protrusions in the floor of the laundry room are the toilet flange, the floor drain - every laundry/mud room should have one, and the forced air heat duct for the new 1/2 bath. The aforementioned eruptions in the newly screed concrete may appear high, but there is more to come. A self leveling mortar and tiles should get us pretty close to leveling the drain and water closet ring.

There I was, there I was: In the Congoleum

Scraping the two layers of vinyl flooring from the kitchen floor, cooked on in places from the fire, was a challenge. A full day of scraping left me with season-appropriate injuries, stigmata-like holes in my palms.

The suspicious gray, fibrous material under the 70's layer ( vinyl pattern/color forensics ) had me concerned enough to dawn a dust mask, isolate this room from the house with .7 mil plastic and dampen the substrate while I peeled the the old linoleum. I minimally disturbed the layer of mastic in question - and will seal it with a primer as soon as the concrete is poured.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nipples and Elbows

After putting together the new 1" black gas pipe to feed the 199000 BTU water heater, I pressure tested and it held for two days - then the gauge dropped - I spent an entire day fixing leaks, and inevitably causing new ones.

The gauge on the right should read 10 pounds for 15 minutes... it hasn't yet, but it is such a slow leak that it stops at just below 2 pounds every time. I will have this sorted out this week.

Paint Machine!

Yep another tool purchase.

This airless sprayer made quick work out of bedroom number two. It sprays a 12" - 14" fan of paint. Applied 2 gallons of paint in about 15 minutes - of course, cleaning the machine took another 15.

Behr Premium Plus is great paint. I had used Sherwin Williams Super paint on the first bedroom - just doesn't perform any better. The Behr is 2/3rds the price and the Home Depot employees were much nicer than the snobs at the local S-W store. Home Depot had no problem matching the leftover S-W paint.

Monday, January 19, 2009

in a white room with no curtains

With apologies to Cream... have just begun drywalling the medium bedroom in this three room mansion. A through-wall look from the entrance way - note the new almond colored vinyl casement window.

And another look at the north wall of this room. The cable drops are CAT 5 and phone lines to the "fox box" that will be in the back of a closet accessible from the living room. The intake for the forced-air furnace will also be eliminated from this wall and moved to a hallway ceiling.