Basement garage remodel

Soffit boxes enclosing duct work.

This is a basement garage in a new house being framed for drywall.  (The house was built by someone else.) Today I’m working on the soffit boxes on the ceiling to enclose the duct work.  Tomorrow will begin the soffits near the overhead garage doors which when open will come uncomfortably close to the finished product.  Since the garage is in the basement and the living area is above the garage, building code requires this area to be finished.

Custom shower and bathroom

Black tiles installed using Schluter Sytem in a basement shower

The customers had a vision and I helped it come true.  They did the lay-out for the walls and helped me with the framing and the drywall finishing, plus they had friends do the electric and plumbing.  They also picked out all the tiles and delivered them to the job site.

The tiles were installed using the Schluter System.  The wall tiles are 12×24 installed on Schluter Kerdi, and the shower floor tiles are six sided 2″ mosaics on Kerdi on a drypack mortar base on a concrete slab.  The floor tiles outside of the shower are the same 12×24 tiles installed on Schluter Ditra on a concrete slab.

A tempered glass panel will be installed on the 135 degree curb opening.  The rest of the curb will remain without a door though framing behind the tiles is there should a door be wanted.  Also behind the tiles is wood blocking for hand rails should they ever be needed.

Bathroom remodel

This bathroom remodel job was gutted out down to the wall studs.  The job called for a new tub, wall tiles, light fixtures, shutoff valves, and paint.  The floor tiles, toilet, faucets, and lavatory were all somewhat new and were re-used.  During the gutting stage an unknown difficulty presented itself right away.  The walls were two layers; 1/4″ painted masonite panels over 1/2″ drywall.  Not a huge problem but did result in some spacing issues with the floor tiles.  The existing window was 100% plastic and glass and the trim I used was a plastic composite sealed in with 60 year latex caulk.  The wall tiles are set on Schulter Kerdi, and the tiled up shower nook is on a Nobel base.  We were able to take out the walls without hurting either the ceiling or the floor tiles and that was a relief.  Wrapping it up with a nice paint job including the closet

New bathtub and tiles on this bathroom remodel.
New bathtub and tiles on this bathroom remodel.

this job looked great.  Total cost to the customer less than $4500

Fallen tree results in basement remodel

Water damaged basement wall
Water damaged basement wall
Basement with water damage
Basement with water damage

A tree went down on the electric line knocking out the power to the main sump sump and the battery on the backup sump pump failed during the night.   By morning there was 6 inches of water in the basement.  We removed the wet carpet, bottom 12″ of drywall, soggy insulation and began the repair.  The ceramic floor tiles were installed on Schluter Systems Ditra.  The old battery powered backup pump was replaced with a water powered backup pump.  Finally, a very loud alarm was placed in the sump well should the water level rise above the backup pump float switch.

Water powered backup sump pump
Water powered backup sump pump
Battery powered backup sump sump
Battery powered backup sump sump

Leaky toilet results in bathroom repair and remodel.

Old vanity and toilet
Old vanity and toilet
New vanity and low flush toilet
New vanity and low flush toilet

A circle of discolored vinyl flooring growing outward from the toilet signaled a leaky wax ring.  Left alone, the floor would eventually rot away, but fortunately it was caught in time.  The old toilet, vanity, and vinyl were removed.   The problem with the old toilet flange was found and remedied.  A couple shut-off valves were replaced, and a problem with the sink drain where it entered the wall was fixed.  Then new vinyl, vanity and low flush toilet were installed to complete this bathroom repair and remodel.

Table saw repair

Arbor bearings
Arbor bearings

I bought my Sears Craftsman table saw in 1979 and the bearings are going out. I checked with Sears for a new set and there were $52 plus shipping. That’s too much for bearings. So I checked with Ebay and they were $10 with free shipping. Not only that, the seller has sold 334 sets of these bearings. I wonder if Sears knows how overpriced they are.

Cast iron kitchen sink replacement.

Cast iron sink from the 50's.
Cast iron sink from the 50’s.
Stainless steel sink.
Stainless steel sink.

The old cast iron sink was rusted near the bowls and looked old and worn.    Unfortunately, the new sink didn’t cover the same area as the old sink so the counter top also was replaced.  A new faucet completed the job.  If you ever replace an old cast iron sink, be very careful as this one weighed 98 pounds, and once the retaining clips are removed the sink will fall straight down.  The safest way to remove a cast iron sink is to   Continue reading Cast iron kitchen sink replacement.

Bathroom makeover

New ceramic tiles in a small bathroom.
New ceramic tiles in a small bathroom.

This bathroom was a disaster.  Not only did the toilet leak causing the floor underneath to rot, the owner decided to paint the entire room – including the shower walls – UK blue.  Of course, the paint pulled away from the walls and it became a more of a mess.  We reused the tub, vanity, and toilet and replaced most everything else including the window.  The end result was a nice looking, modern bathroom.

 

Chicken coop; my ‘Pet’ project

Chicken coop connected to old corn crib.
Chicken coop connected to old corn crib.

We might have gone overboard on our chicken coop and it seems like I’m still tricking out some feature every week. The coop is framed up with Tulip wood we cut ourselves, and the siding was oak rejects bought at a lumber mill for $.20 a board foot.  I recently put battens on the cracks to cut down on drafts, (there still is plenty of air vent along the roof overhangs) and before that the lids on the nest boxes were reworked.  The clear panels come off those windows in the summer, and the roof overhang is just the right size and angle to allow winter sun to fill the coop, but blocks summer sun from entering.  A connector allows them to leave the coop and enter the old corn crib, and they do spend a good deal of the day there and going back and forth.  The hens enjoy quiet time in the nest boxes while most of the flock is in the corn crib area.  Last project to come: a set of stairs.  Overall, they love their coop!

Chain saw sharpening; a must have tool

Stihl chain saw sharpener with stump vise
Stihl chain saw sharpener with stump vise

Craftsmen have lots of tools and we are always looking for more.  We love our tools, and we especially love the tools that work very well.  For those who have a chain saw, this is a great tool.  It’s the best chain sharpener I’ve used because not only does it easily produce a sharp cutting tooth, in the same stroke it also knocks down the depth gauge tooth.  Stihl makes this sharpening tool but it works on any kind of chain as long as you buy the tool that fits your sized chain.  For instance, a .325 chain.  Sharp chains are safer than dull chains.