Author Topic: Home Improvement Projects  (Read 10642 times)

Offline Brian

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Re: Home Improvement Projects
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2005, 03:07 PM »
Excellent work on the basement Scott, it looks really nice.  We've been going from project to project in the house here since we've moved as well.  It has been nice putting our own "signature" on things, since this is our first opportunity to do such things (our first home was a manufactured home, with no basement), but it does get a little overwhelming at times.  It all pays off when it looks nice like your room does in the end.  Nice job :).

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Home Improvement Projects
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2005, 01:29 AM »
Um, have I ever mentioned the old trick for removing wallpaper easily?  Bounce fabric softener.  Wipe it on the wallpaper directly, it pretty much peels off like butter.  You can do a 10' x10' bedroom in about an hour.  It's too late to be useful, isn't it?
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Offline Scott

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Re: Home Improvement Projects
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2005, 01:32 AM »
We used this stuff:


Offline Jeff

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Re: Home Improvement Projects
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2005, 01:48 AM »
We used this stuff:



Ugh, that stuff sucks ass.

We used that and a little paper scorer (Paper Tiger) and it took FOREVER.  We only did a small bathroom, I can only imagin doing a larger room.  Redoing the wall must have been fun after that...  :P

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Offline Scott

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Re: Home Improvement Projects
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2005, 01:55 AM »
It took 6 weeks :P

THanks for the tip Brent, maybe in 40 years after we decide we hate the pink paint and wallpaper we can use the Bounce Sheet trick to remove the wallpaper again

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Home Improvement Projects
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2005, 10:25 AM »
Errata: Talked to the real handyperson (Mrs. Bug) and it's fabric softener all right, but not Bounce.  Downy.  Sorry for the confusion. 
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Offline Scott

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Re: Home Improvement Projects
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2005, 10:25 AM »
I'll keep that one in mind :P

Offline JesseVader08

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Re: Home Improvement Projects
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2005, 02:13 AM »
We used this stuff:



Ugh, that stuff sucks ass.

We used that and a little paper scorer (Paper Tiger) and it took FOREVER.  We only did a small bathroom, I can only imagin doing a larger room. 

That's odd, my wife and I used the same type of liquid and that scoring tool and it only took 2 hours to do our dining room.  It was such a relief because the idea of removing all of that wallpaper was what was keeping me from doing the renovation in the first place.

Offline Matt_Fury

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The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2009, 01:04 AM »
As many of you know, last year my wife and I purchased a house.  This is the first home I've actually owned since I rented apartments and townhomes during my single life since it was easier with my Military career.  since I'm not going to leave the Colorado Springs area (at least it's HIGHLY unlikely since most Space Command jobs are here...and I'm fairly close to being eligible to retire) we bought this house with a nice yard for the dogs and plenty of room for us to start a family.

Plus it has a sauna!

I've noticed that since we've bought the place, we've (I've) been doing quite a bit of remodeling/home improvement things and it's been a lot of fun.

So far:

I've replaced nearly all the light fixtures and chandeliers in the place with copper or brass fixtures to get rid of the polished brass ones that seem to be in every house on the block.

I've replaced the fixtures in the mainlevel powder room with a much nicer sink (it looks like an old water pump on a farm) along with the towel bar and other items to match it.

Of course there was putting up nice thick curtains in the finished basement (affectionately known as "guy town") to keep the glare off the big tv.   :D

We've also installed a whole house humidifier and airconditioning and upgraded the main circuit breaker.  (Ok...contractors did the bulk of the work, but I wrote the checks!)

Today I did my first real bit of emergency repair as the high winds blew down a section of our fence.  Our new dog, Tia, was thrilled because she thought her domain had instantly doubled in size!  From talking with the neighbors, the fence had blown down years ago but it was obvious they didn't do the best job of fixing it.  (I've done some minor fence repair on that side of the house before, but nothing like today!)

I thought it would be interesting because lots of us own homes and have done some sort of home improvement to share ideas about projects or interesting stories about things that may not have gone as planned.  Hell, there are some great WIP shots of a new deck on a house and Brent's been working on finishing his basement since the dawn of time!   ;D
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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2009, 01:46 AM »
I moved into a new house in November.  And along the way I've done a significant ammount of work.  I painted the whole place.  And it's amazing what a coat of paint can do for a place.

I replaced almost every light fixture in the house.  I've got 1 or 2 left to go.  One of which is sitting in my dining room, waiting to go up.  I've gotten some good bargains on fixtures, too.  I found one fixture for the kitchen on a clearance shelf at Home Depot that was marked down to below $1.  And at the register they told me they couldn't charge me that little...so they gave it to me for free!  While I was choosing the fixtures, I made sure that every fixture can accomodate the new long life fluroescent bulbs.  As a result of making the switch on the light bulbs I've seen my electric bill drop dramatically.  I've got some concerns after I read that properly disposing of the new flourescent bulbs is tricky.

I've still got a number of projects to go.  Storm windows for one.  New blinds for most of the rooms.  Curtains for the living room.  Possibly wood floors for the main floor.  New carpet for the upstairs.  Tile floor for the powder room.  Oh, and the collection room!
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2009, 02:42 AM »
I remodeled my gf's dining room, and kitchen.  We're looking at the living room and master bedroom next.  Her father and uncle did her bathroom as I'm not a fan of getting into plumbing.  However they didn't swap out the tub so the old cast iron one is still there.  I wish they'd have gotten me to come remove it (their age + its weight was why they left it), as it's really too small...  too small for me anyway when I'm there, and eventually it'll be too small for the boys too when they get older/bigger.

If you're working in a home that's 50 years old or newer, you're fortunate most likely to be dealing without the hastles and bull**** you get with really old homes.  Living in the East, and in particular an older city/area like my gf's place (or mine for that matter), you're very well maybe dealing with a home well over 100 years old.  Mine is about 120 years old at least I'd guess, and hers is probably the same.  Lots of structural problems and things you encounter. 

Outside I've landscaped and graveled her driveway, but still needs more work as it's on a slope and the bottom tends to lose its gravel.  I'm hoping to do a cement front to the driveway that catches the gravel so it doesn't wash out onto the street.  This year I plan to put new front porch steps up, as the ones she had are treacherous and the guy that did them was a nimrod and half-assed it.  Also a new sidewalk to the steps, as whoever did this had no clue about laying a brick sidewalk.

I have to landscape and lay some cement slabs I narfed from her niece in her back yard around the pool also, and run new gutters off the garage as the old ones got damaged and so water's basically just draining at the garage's sides.  Not good there.

She wants a deck, but decks aren't my thing...  I'm gonna try my hand at it but I'm hoping her father will be there to supervise this though so I'm not planning this out myself.  She wants a fairly large deck that encompasses the pool, and while I dig the idea I just don't relish any thought of doing it myself.

I'm still putzing fixing her original doors to the kitchen (basement and kitchen cupboard doors) trying to putty all the divets and holes.  They weren't well treated but I got them stripped of the 50 or so layers of lead paint they had on them, and now I just have to make them smoove and pretty. :)  That's actually the only CURRENT project I'm doing.  I almost hate to get into the living room or master bedroom because both probably have issues with wiring I'm not going to want involved in. 

That's about it for me...  At my own place, I just bought all the land beside me on one side...  It was owned by someone who bought up lots of property (some of value, some worthless), and when he passed away his wife offered all the land next to us, so now I've got the security of knowing I'll never have a neighbor on my right, just my left, which is nice.  Plus I got the coal mine there with its super huge garage and another building.  The land is pretty worthless, you couldn't build on it, but we found out some guy wanted it to put a junkyard on it, so I'm so thankful we avoided that.  Plus that super huge garage is the bees knees. :)  If I ever rebuy a Thunderbird, I'll have a home for it now in the winter time.  But fixing that garage has been a bit of a pain.

I'm also working on collection room shelving built to the one end of the collection room.  Long process and I have little space to work in so I'm running into a couple snags, but it's coming along.  I have way too many irons in the fire though, when it comes to home improvement junk.  Working on two houses isn't exactly helping that situation.
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Offline I Am Sith

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2009, 08:39 AM »
Other than the deck I built last year (pictures here) and the landscaping that my wife and I did, I don't know of any improvements that we will be doing in 2009 (other than possibly painting a few rooms).  Just don't have the cash at the moment.

In the last house I owned, I built a fourth bedroom over my garage.  When the house was built, that space was left unfinished, so we converted the unused space into a bedroom/play room for the kids.  I had also built a deck on that house, but it wasn't like the one I did on the new place.  I also put up a chair rail in the dining room.

I do have a lot of plans though for the new place.  First on my list is finishing my basement.  I grew up having a finished basement in my parent's house and always spent a lot of time down there.  My wife would like a chair rail in the dining room and some crown moulding in the dining room, living room and family room.  I'm sure there is more landscaping that my wife wants and she also wants to built in bookcases.

In the mean time, good luck with all of your projects guys, I can't wait to see some pictures!
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Online Rob

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2009, 10:22 AM »
I don't do anything too fancy at my loft, but I've upgraded a few light fixtures and the towel racks and that stuff in the bathroom.  I've painted, I keep the floors waxed...  Our windows are pure crap (the whole building is having this problem) so I'm constantly trying to adjust and improve the weather stripping under them.

The biggest project was over the course of the last year... removing most of the star wars toys and fixing all the wholes and doing all that painting.  Essentially a bedroom re-do.  But the place was new when we bought it (well, everything but the windows was new) and it's only 1,100 square feet, so there's not a ton of heavy work to be done.

Offline knashdx

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2009, 10:23 AM »
My wife and I purchased a home in December 2004. We have done a ton of stuff to the house, but there is a ton more to do.

We done -

Painted all the rooms - plain white walls in every room suck.

Removed the 70's style wallpaper from the main level bathroom, painted, put in new mopboards, put in a new counter, sink and faucet.

Put in a new Refrigerator and Dishwasher.

We ripped out the old wood paneling in the basement and put up drywall, wired the room for surround sount,  took out all the old lighting and put in new canned lights; all so we could put in a projector TV. We even removed the old single pain glass window in the room with the projector and put in glass block window.

We have painted the downstair bathroom and put up decorative edging


What we need to do

Replace all the windows on the house (Basment level and main level) as they are the original windows that came with the house 50 years ago.

Replace the roof because the idiot that did it only put 1 layer of shingles and used staples to hold them down.

Replace the siding on the house as it is 10-15 years old.

Replace the gutters, soffets & vents.

Finish removing all the panneling downstairs in the bedroom and hall and hang drywall.

Put new carpet down stairs and on the steps. This should be easy because I think we are going to go with carpet squares so I don't have to try and put rolls of carpet down on cement.

We need to replace the deck. Going to go with composite as it will stand up better and with minimal care last longer.

Remodel both bathrooms, but will start with the one upstairs as it is used more than the other one. Need to put up new sheetrock, make sure the subfloor is good, replace the tub and surround, new light fixture, put in a fan, and replace the linoleum.

I have been told to go to hell; well at least I will know everyone there!

Offline Mikey D

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Re: The Homeowners/Home Improvement thread
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2009, 11:27 AM »

Replace the roof because the idiot that did it only put 1 layer of shingles and used staples to hold them down.


Sounds like it was done incorrectly then.  One layer of shingles, if installed correctly, will be weathertight.  Staples are an improved method of installation, but generally most people use nails.

The wife and I bought our house in 2004.  Before we moved in, we completely gutted the kitchen and installed all new flooring, cabinets and appliances, replaced all the doors and repainted.

Since then, we've replaced the roof, painted some more, refinished the basement, painted some more, installed some trim throughout the house, painted some more, put ceramic tile in the bathroom, painted some more and added a half bath in the basement.  Most of the work was done by ourselves (and in some cases, the wife did it alone  :P), but we had help from family members with the roof and the basement bathroom.

The only things we paid outside people to do was install the carpet in the basement, build a retaining wall and level out our backyard and excavate and waterproof one side of our foundation wall because the basement would leak during a rainstorm.

The next big thing I want to do is replace the siding and gutters.  This will probably be hired out.  Generally, I can do this type of work myself, but because of the grade change between my front yard and back yard, I don't want to do it all off a ladder.  It's better to hire someone and let them worry about it and bang it out in a few days.

We'll also probably be building a small deck this spring off the kitchen.
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