Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ahhh, the little things

So we finally passed another milestone: the plumbing inspection passed. The second time. Apparently, it's against code to have a separate p-trap for your sink and disposer. Someone should tell that to Home Depot because their 1-2-3 Plumbing book, recommended by a previous inspector, shows an installation with separate traps.

"It's not like it won't work fine the way you have it, but code says you can't have two traps," said the inspector. Ugh.

At any rate, my current goal in life is to make inspectors happy, so I spent an hour and about $30 redoing the kitchen island plumbing. Isn't it nice and perfect with its single trap?!? =)

Today I put a little more trim on the kitchen shelving. Once I get it all trimmed out, caulked and painted, it's going to look pretty good. Jen should have plenty of space for her cookbooks now.

Next, I have to finish a couple pieces of siding and install one last outlet under the eaves. Then, I have to hang the light fixture on the shed, and I'll probably be ready for an inspection. We have to get the electrical inspection passed so I can call for a final building inspection. The permit expires in 11 days, so we're officially in crunch time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Everywhere a trim trim

Wow, it's been a long time since my last post. We've been doing a lot of little busywork type things around the house, but mostly focusing on work. I might be looking for a "real" job soon, but that's another story.

Last night we moved all the crap out of the entry room and painted it to match the rest of the house. Today we bought a ton of trim for the doors and base, and I trimmed out about five doors.

Jen had a great idea to use a herring bone pattern to transition the direction of the flooring as it went down the hallway. Took some careful planning so everything looked okay and fit together nicely, but it came out pretty awesome.

The in-laws are coming Wednesday, so tomorrow will be all about cleaning. We'll probably do a little more trim, too, but I don't expect too much progress.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Starting to get organized

I started working on trim yesterday and got tired of tripping over all the crap that's been accumulating in the garage. So, after lunch, we filled up the Jeep and made another dump run. I got rid of all the scrap wood, carpet and old flooring we tore out of Jen's office.

When we got back, I spent the afternoon organizing the garage. I built a workbench a couple weekends ago, but hadn't finished giving all the tools a home. I'm still not done, but I made some major progress.

Today, I'll go back to working on the trim, and probably paint Jen's office.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New garage door springs

Well, it's been quite a while since my last post, and I've gotten a few complaints. I trimmed out most of the alcove last weekend, and did some flooring, sanded the ceiling in Jen's office, etc, but I've mostly been very focused on work. I decided to take coming this weekend off and spend it on the house.

About a week ago, one of our garage door springs broke. It happened late at night, and we didn't know what had caused the loud noise until I tried to open the garage door the next day (which, needless to say, didn't work very well). So, I did some research online and found DDM Garage Doors, where you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about garage door springs. They'll even let you email them pictures of your old springs so they can help you select the right replacements.

Replacing springs can be very dangerous, but Jen and I followed their great online instructions, and the installation went smoothly. Now that our garage door opens again, I can start using the table saw to rip some trim. =)

Here's the old springs:

And the new ones we installed tonight:

Check back Sunday evening for some photos of the stuff we do this weekend!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Like watching paint dry

Sheesh, it's been almost a month since my last post. I've been trying to catch up on work lately, so there hasn't been much time to spend on the house. It's pretty difficult to get motivated to install trim or flooring at 8 PM after you've been working on the computer all day. =|

Jen took some photos for Holly the other day, and I thought I'd post a few of them so you can see where we're at. I have some trim and flooring to finish, and we'll probably end up doing the concrete countertops when it warms up so we can control the temperature a little better (in other words, there's no way in hell we'll get to them anytime soon).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another day in the attic

Today was a pretty productive day. I started by wiring up the two outside outlets and futzing with the gutter covers. Then we ate some breakfast and headed up into the attic.

We hooked up the skylight tube that had to be moved when the roof was redone, taped all the ductwork together and insulated it. Then we finished the ductwork for the new bathroom fan and vented it out the gable. Then we replace the crappy recessed lighting in the hallway with two air-tight cans. Finally, I added three sheets of rigid foam insulation to the addition attic access panel.

Now we're looking forward to doing some more "fun" stuff like flooring and trim.

Friday, January 23, 2009

All hail the trench!

The trench drain is yet another project I thought would be pretty easy that really wasn't. Sadly, the ground is so rocky that there were several areas the trencher wouldn't dig, and those areas had to be dug by hand. Then there's the (not so) little matter of making sure the trench is clear of loose dirt with a steady grade. All in all, it turned out to require seven days (a few hours each day) of very tiring work.

Our plan was to install a 6" wide trench, but the only one small enough to maneuver behind our house was at Home Depot, and they require a 3/4-ton truck to rent it. That's primarily because there's a TON of extra accessories they give you with it, and altogether it weighs a LOT. Because I couldn't round up a truck, I had to go with a 4" trencher from Sunbelt Rentals.

Using the trencher wasn't *too* bad, but you do have to manhandle it a bit. I wore a nickel-sized patch of skin off my palm trying to get it unstuck from the soft dirt a few times.

We had bought a bunch of 4" socked pipe and fittings, but they wouldn't fit in the trench, so we took everything back and got 3". Unfortunately, Home Depot doesn't sell socked 3" pipe, so we had to sock it ourselves. If you think this sounds easy (like I did), try socking 100' of pipe sometime. It's not particularly difficult, but it's awkward and takes a long time.

So... here's what we did to install about 200 feet of trench. First, we dug the trench with the trencher. This included extending the shallow trench for our driveway drainage pipe we started this summer.

Then we dug by shovel and hand where necessary and cleaned out all the loose debris, including countless large rocks.

Then we compacted the bottom of the trench with a 4x6.

Next we laid landscaping fabric in the bottom of the trench, followed by a 1-2 inch layer of gravel.

Then we put the pipe on the gravel, checked again for grade, and covered the pipe with gravel to within a few inches of the surface.

Finally, we put another layer of landscaping fabric on top and covered the whole works with dirt.

We worked in roughly 20 foot sections to cover the trench as quickly as possible so we didn't have to worry about cave-ins, etc. When it was all done, we moved a lot of dirt around to increase the surface grade away from the house on all sides.

Now we wait for the rain. We didn't get as deep as we wanted on the entire trench, but I've read success stories from folks who dug shallower trenches. For now, we'll remain hopeful that this will prevent water from making it to the crawlspace, or at least keep it to a much more manageable level. It's supposed to rain again next week, so stay tuned.