Author Topic: Home Improvement Projects  (Read 10106 times)

Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2009, 07:31 PM »
Nice work so far...can't wait to hear more.  I've been working on a to do list and in no particular order:

-Paint the inside.  The rooms in our house are about 50 different shades of eggshell.  We both want color, just really haven't decided on what for the most part.  I do know that I want to paint the guy town media room in a maroon/dark red and put white crown moulding up.  It will not only cut down on the glare on the tv, but will look nice with the sconces in there.

-Replace the chandelier in the dining room.  It's the only one I haven't done yet.

-Vertical blinds for the sliding glass door to the walkout.  Again, cutting down glare in the media room.

-Paint the outside of the house.  The house is 8 or 9 years old and the winds here can be pretty brutal (see my earlier post about the fence.)

-Replace the kitchen sink, faucet and garbage disposal.  The sink is white porcelain and we'd like stainless steel...that would necessitate replacing the chrome faucet.  Might as well replace the garbage disposal while I'm at it.

-Replace the oven, stove an microwave.  Again, we want stainless steel and these are all white.  I definitely want to keep the same style stove with the smooth top, but these will all be replaced...probably as they wear out.  (The fridge is stainless and has travelled with me in the last two moves...Ryan might remember it.)

-Remodel the master bathroom.  Bigger stand up shower possibly, but definitely a bigger tub.  Also I'd like to put in a heated floor....I saw the stuff at Home Depot.

-Replace the doorknobs and hinges.  I want to put in the lever type door knobs instead of the circular ones, and I want them to be the brushed nickel instead of the polished brass.  The hinges will have to match of course.  That's about eight interior doors.

-New mulch in the gardens.  We have four large gardens and they need new mulch.  There's a place up the street that provides it free, I'm just lacking the pick-up and wheelbarrow.  I figure that's going to take a nice summer day and some bribery beer.   :D
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Offline Chris M

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2009, 01:56 PM »
Sadly, I haven't been able to do as much to the house as I'd like.  We purchased ours about 2.5 years ago.

We have done:

New dishwasher, range, oven

New paint in the kitchen and dining room

Repainted my daughter's bedroom before she was born

Pulled up the ugly ass astroturf in the sun room and I replaced it with rubber mats for my weight racks, benches, dumbbell racks, and treadmill

Replaced all the 1970's doorknobs with polished nickel doorknobs

Outside the house:
I pulled up all the Japanese boxwoods

I pulled up a ton of assorted bushes in the backyard

I tore down a half wood fence that was just inside my chainlinke fence that separated my yard from the neighbors (the previous owner didn't like the neighbors)

In the backyard I've replanted with native American SW/TX plants...bald cypress, 6 crepe myrtles, 4 yaupon hollys, 6 TX sage (also called silverado) shrubs, 10 dwarf yaupn hollys, and 3 yucca's.

I've actually built a flower bed in the backyard.  What was there before was not to be considered one.

In the front yard I've also torn down an ugly f'n concrete fountain (this is inside the front patio and the ground will soon become slate and turn into a true sitting area)

I have planted 4 yaupon hollys and 4 crepe myrtles.

I have torn out the old rotted railroad ties and cedar timbers and replaced them with new treated timbers.  This went a long way toward shoring up one side of the house's foundation.  My street is built in a step pattern to allow for drainage from the top of a small hill to the bottom.  I did this to the side of the house and to one of the flower beds.  I still need to get the other bed done.


What I have in tap for the next year.

I will paint our bedroom and my study and the living room. 

I will tear out the ugly 1970's dark wood molding and replace it with modern crown molding.

I will tear out the sliding door from our bedroom and replace it with a French door.

I'm going the replace the sidewalk.  (the city will pay 1/2 the cost)

I'm going to plant a few more plants in the back and front flower beds.

Finish tearing out the old cedar timbers in the front.

I'm going to put a stone border on my flower bed and possibly set up a temporary electric fence on it to keep my dog away from my plants.  She has destroyed a number of my crepe myrtles and I'm most pissed about it.

Finish putting down the counter tile and backsplash in the kitchen.

Down the road plans:

Carport added onto the garage.

Tankless water heater.

Tear out the kitchen tile floor and run laminate hardwood floors from out of the dining room (already done when we bought the house), through the kitchen, and out to the mudroom/laundry room that ends at the garage.

Install a completed French door in the living room that opens to my workout room (that used to be a sunroom)

Install a new storm door with a doggy door on the workout room.

Completely redo the 2.5 bathrooms with updated everything.  They have the ugly 1970's pea green 4x4 tile.


After all that's done, I'm not sure.  But I've got lots of stuff on my plate and so far it's been relatively inexpensive to do.  Mainly because I did a lot of building painting growing up and know what I'm doing and because I worked on a golf course in high school and college so I learned all about plants and what does and doesn't work.

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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #32 on: April 1, 2009, 12:01 AM »
While I don't mention this project much really, it's been an on-going one because it's kind of intricate.

Anyway, I'm building a bookshelf/desk built into the wall of my collection room.  This'll be part desk, part bookshelf/display shelving.  The whole unit is being built to a wall at the end of a somewhat narrow bedroom.  It's 20" deep and it'll be about 88-90" wide...  The upper shelves (atop the "desk top") will be built later and be removable from the unit for ease of painting the wall behind it in the future.

So, the only reason I update is tonight I got a big portion of it done that I was having trouble figuring out how I was going to do it.  I was flying by the seat of my pants, little "design" and more just me going from scratch.  I tend to work better that way but it leads you into tons of corners you paint yourself into and have to figure a way out of.  I don't work well drawing up plans though.

I did however figure out how to get the "desk" portion on the right basically done and ready for the desk top to go on it...  Right now it's all just basically doing 2x4 framing built to the floor and walls so that I can put white-board cosmetics on the front and sides to make it look purdy.  It's all sturdy though then, with the framing underneath, as it'll ultimately have to hold a buttload of weight.

I've got a little framing left to do, however I could now put the desktop on the right side if I wanted, though I'm not sure if I want to cut the top into two pieces so it's more easily manageable, or if I want to wait and lay the top as one solid long piece the length of it.  I'd rather do the latter, however getting it cut to 20" deep is going to be a bitch and I'm doing this all on my own, so "oh joy" comes to mind.  ::)

The desk portion is ultimately only 36" wide, and the rest will be bookshelves...  Above then I'm hoping to make removable, and much, much, simpler shelving for displaying figures.  This'll free up a lot of the temp shelving I've had up for the better part of a decade, so I can now start removing that stuff, and actually get my customizing area carved out.

This process has taken me a while.  I started almost 2 years ago putting up shelving, hanging my 1:18 planes from the ceiling (a process unto itself) so they freed up more space to work, and I've only gotten an itch to get back at this recently.  Bought some property next to mine recently, and on it is the mule house to an old coal mine.  Basically it ammounts to a giant stone block garage you could fit anywhere from 8 to 10 cars in (I'm not kidding, it's a huge, cavernous structure), and so I'm moving a LOT of **** up there for storage while I get this whole thing set up, and hopefully I'll have more room to work.  It's kind of like having 30 projects going at once though, as the new building needs some concrete patching work done, and windows need put in (it has NONE), and a man door too as the garage door is uber heavy...

So, it's prompted me to get moving on my collection room a bit, as it gets things in order, and lets me know what needs to go.  My giant stores of scrap plastic are the first new residents of the old mule house though, that's a given.  It's crummy that I gotta move things to simply work on this, but that's what happens when you let this crap mount up I guess.
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Offline King_Maul

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #33 on: April 1, 2009, 01:55 AM »
Hopefully, this is the right thread to ask this question.  Does anyone know a good place to look at and possible purchase a 7 or 8 foot by 3 foot outdoor storage shed?  I did some looking at Lowes, HomeDepot, ACE Hardware (and their dot com sites) and haven't quite come across something that's grabbing me.  Costco currently has one that's $600 but the dimensions are too big for the space I have in my backyard.  I've never owned a storage shed before and have done just some limited reading on the differences between a plastic vinyl and metal sheds.  I think I'm leaning towards a plastic one for around $400.  If anyone has any suggestions where else to look and other features to consider, please let me know.  I'd greatly appreciate it.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #34 on: April 1, 2009, 02:21 AM »
Look local King Maul...  And I agree with a plastic one as they're simpler to maintain and less likely to incur damage over time...  Wood obviously has its problems, and steel too.  Plastic will last longer, and would be what I would suggest.

Anyway, I'd look at local storage shed places.  There's places locally here that sell car ports and other pre-fab stuff like that, and usually have a nice selection of sheds.  Never really looked at Lowes or anything for something like that and actually we built ours growing up, but the pre-fab ones are pretty cool these days I think.

Beside the "Mule Building" is another smaller block building that's got a tin roof on it...  It's in some disrepair, but I'm going to turn it into a storage shed too.  I can salvage half the building I figure, if I can fix that damn roof.  I'm going to build a stud/plywood front then if I can knock the front half of the building down without damaging the back half, and make just a building about 2/3 the size with a mandoor on the front.  It'll be a nice little bit of extra room for wood and building supplies (it's not close enough the house for me to put tools in it without fearing someone breaking into it, so I'll just store building materials I think in this one).

I've got an old shed out back i need to tear downt oo.  It was a wash house at one time to my house, and it's fallen into disrepair and it'll give me a larger back yard to have it removed anyway.

I'd say my family has gone through probably 5 wooden sheds over the years on this property, haha.  Deifnitely wish we'd had a pre-fab plastic one of some size years ago.  Saved me a ton of work had we had that.
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Offline King_Maul

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #35 on: April 1, 2009, 07:21 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion Jesse.  Large home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes are close by, so I didn't even think about looking at other independent shed retailers locally.  I'll take a look to see what's available.  I think the shed size I need and my budget is going to really limit what I can get.  I can't wait to get one just to get some of the junk in my garage out.

Offline Rob

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #36 on: April 1, 2009, 10:06 PM »
I'm looking to replace my windows.  They're wooden, some are rotting, they don't close properly, and they're only getting worse.  Our HOA board finally approved a replacement window that matches the existing windows (bylaws...) and they're available now for those who want to order.

The problem?  They're huge windows and have to be custom built.  They're going to run $1200 each, and I've got six.

My OT Legos might be available soon.   :P

Offline Tracy

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #37 on: April 1, 2009, 11:48 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion Jesse.  Large home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes are close by, so I didn't even think about looking at other independent shed retailers locally.  I'll take a look to see what's available.  I think the shed size I need and my budget is going to really limit what I can get.  I can't wait to get one just to get some of the junk in my garage out.

I wasn't directly involved in the purchase of the sheds for our current and previous homes, but I know that both times my husband saved quite a bit of money by going with an independent retailer.  You can pretty much get any size and custom features that you want, and you also save the hassle of assembling it yourself.  All of our sheds have been wood with shingled roofs.  My husband has put some sort of sealant on the seams and hasn't had any trouble out of it in the past 6 years.  It still looks new - despite being in a heavily wooded area.  The shed from our first house is still in great shape after 11 years. 
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Offline Chris M

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #38 on: April 2, 2009, 07:55 AM »
I'm looking to replace my windows.  They're wooden, some are rotting, they don't close properly, and they're only getting worse.  Our HOA board finally approved a replacement window that matches the existing windows (bylaws...) and they're available now for those who want to order.

The problem?  They're huge windows and have to be custom built.  They're going to run $1200 each, and I've got six.

My OT Legos might be available soon.   :P

Gotta love HOA's.   ::)

I thought you lived in a loft downtown?  I am surprised to hear there is an HOA for that.

On the home improvement front for me, I got the living room painted during spring break two weeks ago.  I also got some plants planted in the back and front yards.  I thought my crepe myrtles were dead, but they are already showing buds and the leaves are looking good on 4 out of the 6 that I have.  I think two of them are dead, but I can replace those two with larger ones.
« Last Edit: April 2, 2009, 08:05 AM by Chris M »
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Offline Rob

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #39 on: April 2, 2009, 11:01 AM »
It's a loft downtown, but it's also a condominium building with 114 units, so there's definitely an HOA.  I don't think there's anything here that they did wrong, they've been pricing and researching the problem for about 2 years to get to this point.  They are absolutely convinced that they found the best price for our situation.

Offline Chris M

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #40 on: April 2, 2009, 01:44 PM »
Don't you just love other people spending your money for you?
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Offline Keonobi

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #41 on: April 2, 2009, 01:56 PM »
Rob, how standard are the windows in the building?  If the windows are a uniform size throughout wouldn't it make sense for the HOA to negotiate a volume based discount with the company that sells the windows they select, then you pay that price plus labor to get them installed?  That is unless they aren't all the same size, then the HOA loses some of its negotiating strength.
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Offline BillCable

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #42 on: April 2, 2009, 02:14 PM »
We're looking at new windows as well, Rob.  If the replacement windows meet Obama's efficiency standards, you'll be eligible for a tax credit next year of 30% of the cost of materials, up to $1500.  That's a credit, not a deduction... you get it ALL back.  You should confirm the approved windows meet that standard, or tell your HOA to change them.  It's going to take a really nice chunk out of our costs.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #43 on: April 2, 2009, 02:22 PM »
They have similar things for condo's in downtown Pittsburgh, Chris, as some of the buildings are considered "historical landmarks", and so they outside must match certain requirements visually I guess...  Not sure of Rob's situation of course, but Pittsburgh's trying to preserve as many older buildings downtown while still making them into something new.

There's a whole area of the city here actually, which isn't even allt hat nice in some parts, that if you modify/renovate a home there you must build to the original look/style of that area.  It's an area that used to be littered with mansions and things, and while it's a neat idea, like I said it's very run-down in some areas with crime and things.  Kind of a shame, yet when you see people who've done the work right you also step back in time looking at the buildings and it's kind of neat too.
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Offline name

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #44 on: April 2, 2009, 03:04 PM »
Sams Club always has a great looking interlocking plastic tool shed for a reasonable price if you have one nearby and are a member.
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