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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:48 am
by Zarathud
If you're going to sell, spend the cash. It's not worth possibly losing a sale after failing a radon inspection.

The only benefit of home ownership is you have the choice of fixing it. A renter doesn't. While you can move when you rent, that's much easier when you don't have 30+ years of crap to haul with you.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:01 am
by Smoove_B
mori wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:15 pm
For a Jersey boy you seem naive in the dark arts. Don't you know somebody that knows somebody?
Yeah, I know people. But my connections in братва aren't helpful with radon. :D
Zarathud wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:48 am
If you're going to sell, spend the cash. It's not worth possibly losing a sale after failing a radon inspection.
That's the rub. Our house (without the system running) does not have a radon level in excess of what is required for mitigation. The law only requires a working system if you're above a certain level. However, I can see it coming up during the sale and yeah, I'd rather have it not be an issue. The last time we moved the buyers required us to repair two window screens in order to close. I still hate their guts, but it's apparently a different market out there now - home prices are such that people are not (collectively) being a-holes over the things that were a "problem" in 2007.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:57 pm
by Isgrimnur
Isgrimnur wrote:On Saturday, I will be replacing the bathtub faucet in the 2nd bathroom, as the shower diverter leaks. This, of course, was only discovered once the wife and I started using that one because the master bath is leaking water into my closet.
Got sick last weekend. Just finished installing the faucet. Water retention when the diverted is much improved.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:24 pm
by Smoove_B
So the cable that pulls the drive chain on my garage door opener snapped last week. In moving it manually, it was coming down all janky and stiff, so I thought for sure I was going to need a new door assembly. Fortunately there's a garage door specialist in the area (who knew?) and they were happy to come out and give it all a look-see. I talked to the guy for like 30 minutes all about garage doors and garage door operations. While simple, they're not nearly as maintenance-free as I thought they would be. Granted, it's been ~12 years since we moved in and I've literally done nothing for the garage doors, but the prior advice I was given (white lithium grease) is apparently completely and totally wrong. Instead, all that's needed is 3 in 1 oil (ask your grandpa), applied at least once a year (maybe more, depending on your manufacturer's guidelines) to the rollers and hinges. The springs are good for anywhere between 6-10,000 cycles (depends on where they are made), but other than that there's not much to them.

Anyway, it was only a couple hundred dollars to get a tune-up on two garage doors, so I'd recommend finding a local outfit if you have one to do the same evaluation. Failing that, get some 3-in-1 and have at it.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:43 am
by msteelers
I'm looking into getting into voice over and voice acting work, which means I need to make a good spot to record in my home. I don't have any closet that is set up to work out of, which is a popular option for people just starting out. I also can't afford to drop $5K on a whisper room. So I'm going to need to make something. I thought about making a 4-foot square booth out of PVC pipe and wrapping it with acoustic sound blankets. But I'm afraid that's not going to give me a good professional sound. Plus, the blankets are surprisingly expensive. I think I can make a wooden booth, treat it with better sound absorption material than the blankets, and have a completely professional sound for just a little bit more money.

This is going to be a disaster. I can't wait. :D

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:48 am
by stimpy
msteelers wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:43 am
I'm looking into getting into voice over and voice acting work, which means I need to make a good spot to record in my home. I don't have any closet that is set up to work out of, which is a popular option for people just starting out. I also can't afford to drop $5K on a whisper room. So I'm going to need to make something. I thought about making a 4-foot square booth out of PVC pipe and wrapping it with acoustic sound blankets. But I'm afraid that's not going to give me a good professional sound. Plus, the blankets are surprisingly expensive. I think I can make a wooden booth, treat it with better sound absorption material than the blankets, and have a completely professional sound for just a little bit more money.

This is going to be a disaster. I can't wait. :D
Ooooooo........can you upload some recordings of you saying "syllabus, syllabus, testing 123" over and over so we can judge your voice over talents?

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:36 pm
by Isgrimnur
Amazon

48 Pack Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges 1" X 12" X 12"
Price: $59.97 & FREE Shipping

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:51 pm
by stessier
I am not what most people would consider handy, but in the last 2 weeks I replaced 4 light switches (1x 2-pole, 2x 3-pole, and 1x 4-pole), upgraded to a programmable thermostat, and changed out our garbage disposal. I'm fairly proud of this accomplishment. :)

The thermostat was by far the easiest with the only complication that who ever installed the original cut a hole wayyyyy bigger than needed. I was fortunate the new one covered up their mess, but just barely.

I have 3 of the 4 light switches correct. The fourth - even though I transferred the wires exactly from the original - still doesn't work with all the connected switches. I hope to finally finish that this weekend (it's in a darker part of the house, so I can't work on it when I get home at night).

The garbage disposal wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. Took about 2 hours. I probably could have done it faster, but took things very slow to make sure I didn't mess it up and flood the kitchen. The new one is much quieter and comes with a 5 year warranty where they will come out and replace it for me. It's been installed for nearly a week and I think we've used it once. Of course we wanted to use it every day while I was waiting to replace it... :doh:

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:57 pm
by Isgrimnur
stessier wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:51 pm
(it's in a darker part of the house, so I can't work on it when I get home at night).
Just move your Gillette Stadium Lighthouse Lamp over there.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:02 pm
by stessier
Isgrimnur wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:57 pm
stessier wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:51 pm
(it's in a darker part of the house, so I can't work on it when I get home at night).
Just move your Gillette Stadium Lighthouse Lamp over there.
I tried that, but it ended up reflecting off the six Lombardi trophies giving it a disco ball effect that was super distracting.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:49 pm
by Kraken
I bungled some switches the last time I tried to replace them and we have lived with the consequences ever since. I swore off trying to do electrical work forever. If the government doesn't take all of our money in April, I'm finally going to hire an electrician to bring us into the 21st century.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:08 pm
by mori
My water heater stopped working today. I can light the pilot light but it will not stay lit. I see a bunch of complaints online about the control box on the heater. I will try one of their suggested fixes tomorrow. Maybe blowing myself and the house to hell. I will probably end up taking a few whore showers in the future if it is not a simple fix.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:11 pm
by mori
I got the hot water heater to work by following the instructions in one of the Youtube videos on the subject. I did have to jumper the overheat switch so it is not safe. I will just heat up the water so I can at least take a shower, then hook it up the way it is suppose to be and see if it will work as designed. If not I will have to call a repairman on Monday as it seems they will not sell those valves to any honyock on the street.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:36 pm
by Kraken
Now there's a word I haven't heard since I was a child. My mom often used "honyock" as a mild insult, as for a bad driver. I need to revive that word. :)

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:24 pm
by mori
I hooked up the controller like it is suppose to be with all the safety functions enabled, it seems to be working for the time being.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:27 pm
by mori
Kraken wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:36 pm
Now there's a word I haven't heard since I was a child. My mom often used "honyock" as a mild insult, as for a bad driver. I need to revive that word. :)
The word is used in the Midwest although not that often. It is as an insult without being profane.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:39 am
by Smoove_B
You'd think by using a name like "American Standard" it would be easy to find replacement parts. However, that's not the case when your toilet bowl is "classic" style and hasn't been produced since the early 1980s. For reasons unclear, different gasket sizes/styles are now used to join the tank to the base and the gasket I need is no longer something that's easily obtainable.

And that's the story of how the simple painting two bathrooms (requiring the removal of said tanks and discovering the gaskets were shot) resulted in full toilet replacement. Seriously, f home upkeep/repair. When someone tells you it's easy or there's nothing that's a potential problem, know that it really means something annoying is lurking in the shadows.

Also, f the prior home owner for wallpapering the bathrooms.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:28 am
by Blackhawk
I'm entirely ignorant of carpentry/home-fixing, and so on. I need some quick advice. I'm going to link to a set of shelf brackets. Included are some screws and some anchors, pictured. I have old, old plaster walls (not drywall.) Are these what I need? I'll have to borrow a drill and a level to mount them, but I want to make sure I'm not getting the wrong thing, and I have zero experience.

Here's the link.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:48 am
by TheMix
When we were having the addition built, my contractor recommended these. Or ones very much like them. They come in a variety of strengths. They have the advantages of 1) not being plastic and 2) not requiring pre-drilling. Though I did find that with drywall it helps to pre-drill at times.

You can use your drill to screw in the ancors and then the screws. Very handy. I would "assume" that they would work in plaster as well, though you may want to do some reading. I'd also think for plaster you'd definitely want to pre-drill to reduce the chances of splintering/flaking.

Edit: Looks like those may not be as useful for plaster. You may want plastic ones that expand instead. Check out: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/choo ... r-fastener. They cover plaster walls as well.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:54 am
by Smoove_B
I wouldn't make any assumptions about plaster. I lived in a home with plaster walls and I remember it being a nightmare, mainly related to the plaster cracking while trying to hang things. I'm going to guess you want to anchor that shelf into a stud (using some minimally destructive way to drill pilot holes) and if you can't find a stud, there will likely be some type of special hardware for mounting shelving to plaster. Or maybe you weld it. I'm also bad with upkeep/repair/mods.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:09 am
by Blackhawk
I know that plaster requires special types of hardware, I'm just not sure if the hardware that is included is the right kind. This house was built around 1890, and as far as I know, still has the original walls. The plaster is dry as bone and crumbles with any sort nail or screw. I really wish I could hire someone, but that's beyond our means. Our over-toilet bathroom shelves (the only towel storage in the house) are broken and have been for years, but now they're broken to the point of near failure. The shelves are actually V-shaped now. Our bathroom is tiny (like you have to walk sideways to get from the tub to the toilet tiny.) Over the toilet is the only available wall, and the pre-made toilet shelving you can buy won't work because the sides are too close to the walls.

I have a strong feeling that our bathroom was originally built as a storage closet or pantry and was only converted into a bathroom many decades later when the upstairs and downstairs were converted into separate 'apartments', I'm guessing sometime in the 30s or 40s.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:54 am
by Kraken
You might be able to locate the studs by tapping along the wall. The sound will change when you find something solid. (Or you can use a stud finder, which magnetically detects nails in the studs). Definitely better to nail into the studs if those shelves will be carrying any weight. If you still aren't sure, drilling small pilot holes is the way to go.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:05 pm
by Smoove_B
Hmmm. Somehow what I wrote wasn't there...or maybe I just wrote it in my mind and needed more coffee.

Other than screws in the photo that you'd use to anchor into a stud, those plastic anchors are for drywall and I wouldn't presume to use them on plaster. I don't know if they make equivalent plaster anchors; I have a hard time believing they do. I think the only practical solution is to find studs and hope their spacing is matched to the mounting brackets provided on the shelf. I seem to remember that being a problem for us as well in the house we lived in from the early 1900s - there was irregular stud spacing so finding them was even a problem because you couldn't use accepted current conventions for construction to guess where they were using a door frame or electrical outlet.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:16 pm
by em2nought
If you can't find the studs, then toggles are probably the way to go if there's going to be weight on those shelves
https://homeguides.sfgate.com/use-wall- ... 23838.html
Enlarge Image
You have to make big holes for toggles which isn't the most appealing idea though.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:31 pm
by Blackhawk
I'll likely have to go that route.
Kraken wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:54 am
You might be able to locate the studs by tapping along the wall. The sound will change when you find something solid. (Or you can use a stud finder, which magnetically detects nails in the studs). Definitely better to nail into the studs if those shelves will be carrying any weight. If you still aren't sure, drilling small pilot holes is the way to go.
Tapping on the walls sounds roughly like tapping on solid rock. When I've needed to find studs in the past, I've had to use bucky balls and hope that they nailed the slats to the studs. Still, given that the section is only about three feet wide and is next to a corner, I don't know that the studs will be practical anyway.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:33 am
by Jaymon
If you have a plaster wall, you are in trouble. Regular stud finders don't work. You can use a magnetic stud finder thats will find the nails, BUT some plaster walls are built using a metal mesh background, so even that may not work.

Without a stud, you will need the anchors. But the little plastic jobs that are for sheetrock are no good. You will need the larger anchors that are specifically suitable for plaster, you will need to drill a big hole to get it pushed through. And, the screws are going to need washers on your side of the wall. Rather than me describing it, go ahead and youtube it, plenty of well made stuff showing how to get it sorted out.


Have you considered one of these freestanding shelfs that fit behind and over the toilet? I know you said not much room, but some of them come in a narrow size, this one here is only 20 inches wide.


Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:29 pm
by Montag
Did some caulking for reals on removing and replacing some around the shower, tub, and sink. Not too difficult to do. Was more work getting the old stuff out than putting new stuff in.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:25 pm
by Blackhawk
Jaymon wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:33 am


Have you considered one of these freestanding shelfs that fit behind and over the toilet? I know you said not much room, but some of them come in a narrow size, this one here is only 20 inches wide.

Most of them have two problems: First, they're not deep enough. This is the towel and washcloth storage for a family of four. It has to be wide enough and deep enough to hold a double stack of bath towels. Second, the sides aren't adjustable. The problem isn't total width, it is the sides. There is less than half an inch between the side of the back of the toilet and the wall next to it where the legs of the stand go. At the bottom of that wall is a half inch strip. One side reaches the floor, the other side can't, and the strip itself isn't big enough to hold it steady.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:54 pm
by Zarathud
Sounds like a woodworking project for a shelving unit. Custom depth and width.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:04 pm
by Blackhawk
Blackhawk wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:28 am
I'm entirely ignorant of carpentry/home-fixing, and so on. I need some quick advice. I'm going to link to a set of shelf brackets. Included are some screws and some anchors, pictured. I have old, old plaster walls (not drywall.) Are these what I need? I'll have to borrow a drill and a level to mount them, but I want to make sure I'm not getting the wrong thing, and I have zero experience.

Here's the link.
Ugh. I bought these, and now I need the shelves to go on them. The area I'm mounting them is 29" across, so I figure 26-28" shelves.

Shelf boards seem to only come in two lengths: 24 inches or 300 feet. And it turns out that Lowe's and Menard's don't cut wood to size like they used to - they'll only cut it to fit in your car. :grund:

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:07 pm
by RMC
Blackhawk wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:04 pm
Blackhawk wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:28 am
I'm entirely ignorant of carpentry/home-fixing, and so on. I need some quick advice. I'm going to link to a set of shelf brackets. Included are some screws and some anchors, pictured. I have old, old plaster walls (not drywall.) Are these what I need? I'll have to borrow a drill and a level to mount them, but I want to make sure I'm not getting the wrong thing, and I have zero experience.

Here's the link.
Ugh. I bought these, and now I need the shelves to go on them. The area I'm mounting them is 29" across, so I figure 26-28" shelves.

Shelf boards seem to only come in two lengths: 24 inches or 300 feet. And it turns out that Lowe's and Menard's don't cut wood to size like they used to - they'll only cut it to fit in your car. :grund:
I am pretty sure Home Depot will cut to size. Also, smaller(non big box stores) lumber yards will usually cut to size, see if you have some in your area. If you want to drive to Grafton, Ohio, I have the tools and can cut it for you. But that might be a long drive for just a few cuts. :)

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:27 pm
by Blackhawk
We have a Menard's and a Lowe's in Terre Haute. The local store shut down years ago. No Home Despot.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:29 pm
by Blackhawk
FWIW, I have other options. I was mostly just venting at how much of a pain this stuff is if you don't already have a well-stocked workshop. With no drill and no saw, this has become a hassle.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:35 pm
by ImLawBoy
My next door neighbor is a stereotype defying single mother with a fully stocked garage workshop. She's always got one project or another going on - usually making something for her 4 year old daughter. She's very generous with letting us use her equipment on those rare occasions when I try to do something handy.

Sadly, I know that this is not very helpful for BH (unless he's also got neighbors he hasn't tapped into yet).

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:39 pm
by Blackhawk
Nah, no helpful neighbors, but a former D&D buddy in town has offered to help. I just don't like asking for favors. Like I said, it was more of a vent than an attempt at a solution.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:39 pm
by RMC
I bought some of my tools, but I acquired all of my dad's tools. I bought my parents house, and I kept all of Dad's stuff, and my mother still lives with us. So I didn't have to start from scratch with tools.

I loan them out to my Brother in law all the time. And actually anyone that needs them and asks. :) I'll even go and help if you ask really nicely.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:59 pm
by Blackhawk
So, I've got another one. I've got a 24x30 window. It is broken, as in half of the glass is gone, not cracked. I can't afford to replace it. For the last decade I've gotten by with closing the storm window rather than the interior window, but now I find that I need to move a window air conditioner to that window. The problem is that the storm window won't close when the unit is installed, leaving nothing separating the inside from the outside. That won't work, not around here, and not with a member of the family allergic to bees.

I considered covering it with a sheet of plexiglass, screwed in at the corners. The problem is that the plexiglass I'm seeing is either too small, or really expensive. I can't use 24x30, as the frame next to the glass is beveled. I'd need 26x32.

Any tricks out there that don't involved either a piece of plywood or aluminum foil?

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:33 pm
by Kraken
Window glass is cheap and your hardware store will cut it to fit. Then all you need is window putty, some glazing points, and a putty knife. Whole thing shouldn't cost but $20-ish.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:45 pm
by Isgrimnur
You’re renting. A broken window is not your responsibility, probably even if you broke it.

Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:32 pm
by Kraken
Funny story: A few months after we bought our (first and only) house I broke a window. With no landlord to call, I didn't know what to do, so I called our insurance company. They politely suppressed laughter and explained about the deductible, and suggested that I could do that myself. I looked up instructions in a book of home repairs (because google didn't exist yet). It was literally the first home repair I ever taught myself to do.

If you have wood-frame windows with single-pane glass, it's so easy and cheap that even 30-years-ago-me could do it. If you have a landlord, why has it been broken for a decade? Really, fixing it right is easier than whatever you're trying to MacGyver.