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Luzon Rails

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Star Wars: Legion Gameplay

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Dokojong Review

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Episode 73 - Double Time

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What home repairs are you working on?

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30 Jan 2021 23:37 #318604 by ubarose
My second floor bathroom has a slow leak. We can tell because there is discoloration on the ceiling of the room below. I'm waiting for my contractor to free up so he can cut open the ceiling on the room below to try and figure out what is leaking and how to fix it.
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30 Jan 2021 23:48 #318606 by Jackwraith
Girlfriend bought a new place in September. It's literally right down the street from where we were, but across the street so it's on the Huron River, which is kinda cool. Better scenery out the back windows, in any case. But we bought it from one of the original owners (one half of a couple that was still living) who had built it in the 60s and hadn't really updated a whole lot. Still had a General Motors oven in the kitchen. So, it's been a constant project since we moved in, which she likes, but I kind of detest. She had enough coin to get someone else to replace all the carpet on the main floor (it's a weird tri-level; lengthwise, not the usual three boxes half piled on each other) with wood, but everything else is being done by the residents. That includes gutting the kitchen, in the process of which I injured my hand pretty badly today. I can still type, but it hurts.

The complication is that whoever built this place reinforced everything like a goddamn Abrams tank. The day we moved in, we pulled out a closet in a downstairs bedroom that we planned to use as an exercise room. I was pulling a 4x4 out of a closet frame. We had guys in here running a new gas line into the kitchen who were cutting through 3/4 inch cement board beneath the subfloor. They said they'd never seen anything like it. We were knocking out cabinets today and everything is lipped under each other or somehow doubly-reinforced. Kitchen cabinets! This is on top of the fact that the main framing for the cabinets against one wall is lumber that is essentially railroad ties. I still don't know what we're going to do with them when (if) we get them out.

The one interesting project is the staircase and boat slide/winch leading down to the river. We thought it was a total rework, since it hadn't been used in probably 20 years (the woman who sold the house is in her 90s), but I hacked my way down to the river last month during a thaw and it's actually in OK shape. I'll probably be able to just rebuild some of the steps and replace some of the mounts that have worked themselves out of the hillside. We got a quote from a contractor who wanted $60K, minimum, to come in, strip everything, and drive pilings for a whole new structure. That ain't happening.
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31 Jan 2021 00:01 - 31 Jan 2021 09:51 #318608 by Gary Sax
It's such a middle ground thing; our suburb hell type house was quick-built by people who gave 0 fucks and it constantly shows. But you also don't want some tank like you have.
Last edit: 31 Jan 2021 09:51 by Gary Sax.
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31 Jan 2021 02:09 #318610 by Space Ghost
We just tore the floor out in the laundry room. Retired it, put shiplap on one of the walls, new paint and getting ready to install a barn door.

Apparently this is warm-up to redo the bathrooms. First time I have ever tiled anything — mostly ok, the floor was not level so that was a huge pain. Still unclear to me how much mortar to use per tile — seems ill-defined
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31 Jan 2021 02:38 - 31 Jan 2021 02:39 #318611 by Disgustipater

Space Ghost wrote: First time I have ever tiled anything — mostly ok, the floor was not level so that was a huge pain. Still unclear to me how much mortar to use per tile — seems ill-defined

Ideally you spread the mortar on the floor with the trowel teeth scraping the floor and put the tile down. If the subfloor isn't flat, you just have to add more mortar to the parts that are lower to fill it in so it is flat. Irregular floors are a pain in the ass. There's always self leveler if it is really bad. If your tile is 12x24, it's not a bad idea to use a 1/2" notched trowel which helps put enough mortar down that it makes leveling a bit easier.
Last edit: 31 Jan 2021 02:39 by Disgustipater.

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01 Feb 2021 10:58 #318646 by jpat
We're probably serious about some home repairs/remodels this year. We just had painters come through last Friday to give us an estimate. The house is about 15 years old, and too many basic things (like the paint on most of the walls, and the carpet everywhere) are original, but we've been holding off waiting for the last kid to move out, and, well ...

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01 Feb 2021 12:33 #318654 by jason10mm

Space Ghost wrote: We just tore the floor out in the laundry room. Retired it, put shiplap on one of the walls, new paint and getting ready to install a barn door.

Apparently this is warm-up to redo the bathrooms. First time I have ever tiled anything — mostly ok, the floor was not level so that was a huge pain. Still unclear to me how much mortar to use per tile — seems ill-defined


Laying tile isnt too bad so long as you have baseboards and trim to hide all your edges. I was even able to do some cool little patterns by mixing large and small tiles. Get a bunch of those spacers and GOOD KNEEPADS!

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01 Feb 2021 12:38 #318655 by jason10mm

Disgustipater wrote: What do the Hue lights do that the $10 ones from Costco don't?


Hopefully work well with the app and just last longer due to being made in the US. Especially in hard to reach spots, i want to put a bulb in there and then NEVER have to worry about it again!

I've used so many random bulbs over the years, always looks like ass with different color temps, on times, etc. I miss old incandescent bulbs aside from their heat and crappy lifespan. Anyway, the Hue white bulbs aren't too bad , just the color ones.

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01 Feb 2021 15:02 #318664 by Disgustipater
I was just curious because the Feit bulbs we use are controlled by app, you can pick the color temp, change colors, etc. i looked up the Hue bulbs but they don’t seem to do anything different.

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01 Feb 2021 15:51 - 01 Feb 2021 15:52 #318676 by Gary Sax

jason10mm wrote: I've used so many random bulbs over the years, always looks like ass with different color temps, on times, etc. I miss old incandescent bulbs aside from their heat and crappy lifespan.


This is so true, there's so much less uniformity in LEDs and it drives me crazy, though I embrace the efficiency and all the other goods things about them.
Last edit: 01 Feb 2021 15:52 by Gary Sax.
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09 Jun 2021 15:51 #323828 by ubarose

ubarose wrote: My second floor bathroom has a slow leak. We can tell because there is discoloration on the ceiling of the room below. I'm waiting for my contractor to free up so he can cut open the ceiling on the room below to try and figure out what is leaking and how to fix it.


You know how you set out to fix one thing and it snowballs? Well, this turned into putting another drain into the shower, reseating the toilet, removing and putting in some new tile in the shower and around the toilet. And since my contractor was here anyway, fixing the drain and replacing the washer pan in the laundry room, replacing an overhead light fixture, replacing the broken doorbells. Plus, after the new tile was put in, we cleaned and resealed all of it. And finally, when we moved everything out of the guest room for the hole to be cut in the ceiling we realized the window trim had been primed, but never painted. So we painted that, and since the paint was out decided we might as well touch up some other trim around the house that was starting to look shabby.
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09 Jun 2021 16:20 #323835 by Shellhead
It was a simple plan: paint the garage. But work has given me challenging deadlines for June 15th and July 15th, plus I will be facing federal jury duty sometime this summer. And we are currently in a heat wave, so it is literally too hot to paint. Normally I would just rearrange my to-do list, but all my summer projects this year involve painting. I guess it will be a frantic fall for projects.
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10 Jun 2021 22:02 #323882 by jason10mm
Now that it is hotter than hell I've started trying to figure out how to help my ailing a/c limp along.

Popped up into the attic and huh, that attic exhaust fan isn't running, so it's like 160 degrees up there. Go look and lo and behold THE DAMNED ROOFERS NEVER REWIRED IT WHEN THEY REPLACED THE ROOF!! Power wires just sitting right next to the fan junction box and everything. Home inspector never caught it either.

Needless to say I hooked that bad boy right up and hopefully tomorrow the upstairs will be cooler.

I'm starting to have grave reservations about this house :p
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10 Jun 2021 23:58 #323884 by Jackwraith
In the process of trying to install a staircase on a hillside.

(I know. Anyone bothering to read this thread is like: "Whuh?")

So, my girlfriend has always wanted a property on a lake (of which we have a bazillion in MIchigan; not just the four big ones (I know there's five; the other one doesn't even touch the state.)) But those are usually wildly out of our price range if you want to stay within reasonable distance of civilization. Occasionally, she pokes around in Zillow just to see what's out there. Last summer, she discovered that a house literally down the street from us was on sale. Well, down the street AND across the street, which means that it's on the Huron River. What's the next best thing to a lake house? A river house, I guess. Before I could raise the reasonable questions, she was on the phone with her realtor and sorting out just how much she could pull from our then-current house which would give us enough money to fix up the new river house and we moved last September, pandemic be damned.

"Fix up" means basically totally redecorate, as the house had been built in 1963 and probably not had its interior changed since shortly after that. The people who owned it also owned a significant parcel of land around it, upon which no less than three other houses have been built; one of them by a cousin with whom they no longer had a speaking relationship; another by a daughter which was later sold on to the very nice retired couple who lives there now; and a third by the same people who originally built our (now) new place before deciding it was too big for the two of them and they decided to stay in this place and sold it to a guy who's a bit of a recluse and does IT work.

So, now we're in this new place and spent the winter almost totally reworking the kitchen (which had formerly been a carport and is huge), during which I managed to break my hand, since everything in this place was built like a tank and doubly-reinforced (too many swings with a sledgehammer onto things that didn't move/break.), as well as replaced the main floor (carpet out, engineered wood in) and transformed the dining room from 70s orange into something a bit more subtle. But, oh yeah, the staircase.

The property is on the river, but the actual surface of the water is about 50 feet down from the where the backyard is. They had built a staircase into the hillside 40+ years ago and probably hadn't used it in at least 20 before we got here (the man had passed away, the woman who sold it to us was in her 90s), as we didn't even know it was here under the trees, etc, that had grown over it until I started poking around back in November and discovered it. They also had built a boat ramp and a shed at the edge of the hill/riverbank with a winch to pull boats up and down. We stripped away most of the ramp, since it was easier than trying to pull out the stairs (which are still kinda usable, if you're really careful, but won't last much longer), and assembled some lengthy metal stringers and attached wooden treads to them that we had to search no less than six different Lowe's in the area to find the number we needed that were actually in good shape. I've been using a post driver to drive steel tubes at least four feet into the hill as supports for the stringers and we've gotten the first two sections affixed to the hill, with the last to go in this weekend. The first one was just the two of us. The second, largest one took six people and we used the still-operating winch in the shed to help lower it into place. You never realize just how steep a 40-45 degree angle actually is until you're standing on it trying to either drive posts or manipulate a huge, very heavy object without killing yourself.

We've been on the river many times before, but it usually involved attaching the kayaks to the car and hauling them to a launching point and so on. Now we've been doing it by just walking down the stairs and will soon be able to do that without risking death in the process. I guess it's been worth it...? But I certainly could have lived without all of the projects. According to her, once the stairs are done, all the "necessary" changes will have been made and everything else is elective. I've always wanted a Japanese garden and we have plenty of space to build one...
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11 Jun 2021 09:02 #323890 by Sagrilarus

jason10mm wrote: Now that it is hotter than hell I've started trying to figure out how to help my ailing a/c limp along.

Popped up into the attic and huh, that attic exhaust fan isn't running, so it's like 160 degrees up there. Go look and lo and behold THE DAMNED ROOFERS NEVER REWIRED IT WHEN THEY REPLACED THE ROOF!! Power wires just sitting right next to the fan junction box and everything. Home inspector never caught it either.

Needless to say I hooked that bad boy right up and hopefully tomorrow the upstairs will be cooler.

I'm starting to have grave reservations about this house :p


The house I bought in 2018 was discounted partly because the AC unit in the attic wasn't pumping cold air. When I climbed up into the attic to have a look around I discovered that a joint in the flexible return vent had come apart, and it was pulling air from the hot attic to cool down instead of from the house. A screwdriver and a dozen zip ties fixed the problem that everyone feared would require a new compressor unit.

These are the kinds of things that you need to have just a little bit of curiosity and basic understanding to do yourself and can save you a bundle of money. I've spent the last ten years turning the replacement of an outlet or the cleaning of a drain line into an adventure for my boys with a big reward afterwards so that they get over the fear of going after some of this kind of thing on their own instead of calling a repairman. It's pretty amazing how focused a 14 year old boy will get when a whopper with cheese is on the schedule.
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