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What home repairs are you working on?

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05 Oct 2022 09:10 #335980 by mtagge

Msample wrote:
Battery powered chainsaw FTW. I didn't want to fiddle with gas, oil, yanking cord etc. I am not using it for an entire day at a time, just taking care of deadfall and leaning widowmakers. Its the perfect solution.

We have a harbor freight store nearby so I just went that route. Same battery works on the lawn mower, 2 chainsaws (I bought the smaller one and wanted an upgrade), hedge trimmer, and weed wacker. Electric is just easier and works better with current battery tech. Don't care about the leaf blower, can't see the neighbors through the treeline anyway.

Meanwhile to contribute to the thread, I have a 1/2 acre of wildlands in the center of my properly that I have been clearing out. Subbed to chipdrop and spread the woodchips, planted six hazelnut, three apple, two cherry, and one jubilee pear tree there. Also got five blueberries and put them in pots on my deck (so the deer won't get them).

I had some 12 foot logs so I used them for a raised bed in my front yard. 8ft by 12ft roughly. Filled it with shredded cardboard from my household effects shipment and grass clippings from the lawnmower. The boys and I (they are off school today) are going to gather rocks to shore up the short sides of the bed. That'll also clear the rocks off the wildlands that I plan to turn into a permaculture forest garden over the next six years.

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05 Oct 2022 11:56 #335985 by Jackwraith

Msample wrote: A modular pole saw/hedge trimmer/weed wacker is likely on the horizon for me; as a bonus it will use the same battery as my chainsaw.


Yup. Got the pole saw and the trimmer and blower (and lawnmower and snowblower) all on the same system from Lowe's: Kobalt. Everything does it's job and the pole saw has been really handy for branch trimming. It is quite small for a chainsaw, though, so if I needed something to cut through more than about 10", I'd probably have to upgrade. Most of our trees are in pretty good shape, though, and are pretty massive, so if one did have to come down, I'd probably be calling a pro.

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05 Oct 2022 17:08 #335987 by jpat
Do car repairs count? If so (and even if they don't), we've got both 50k tune-up and collision repair ongoing, which keeps adding up. Guess we should've traded, but I'm terrible about that--not just the act of trading, but also the getting to the psychological point and at the proper point on the cost-benefit/depreciation curve.

New wired smoke detectors going in this week (7 of them) to replace the ones that were original to the house. Thought it'd be easy--I'd just get the same brand and replace. Then I found out that brand had been bought and the model (shocking!) discontinued. Fine, I'll buy adapters, which they make, and use the same mountings. Nope. The adapters are too big to fit into the original detectors' casing.

Got my MiL, who lives with us, on Squirrel Watch. She fed the dang thing; now it's tearing up our outdoor carpet and (ahem) hoisted one of our lawn games into a tree as (I think) revenge.
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05 Oct 2022 17:31 - 05 Oct 2022 17:32 #335989 by Shellhead
If we are talking car repairs, I've got my first one on a used vehicle that I bought last March. My previous car was a 2007 Ford Taurus, so my 2018 Ford Taurus has a variety of new or different features, including keyless ignition, a solution to a non-existent problem.

Starting three weeks ago, my car occasionally warned me No Key Detected after I already started the vehicle and began driving away. All I had to do was press the OK button on my steering wheel to dismiss the false alert. Two days ago, the problem escalated slightly, with the vehicle refusing to start because No Key Detected. Just taking my key out of my pocket was sufficient for it to get detected and then the car would start just fine. Today, that wasn't good enough, but I was able to trick the car into detecting my key by using the fob to lock the doors and then it would detect the key.

My dad taught me to start with the cheapest, easiest fix and work my way up, whether on car or house problems. The easiest fix for this is to replace the fob battery, but I don't think the fob is the problem, because it easily unlocks the doors and opens the trunk. The next easiest seems to be to replace the "exterior receiver" that is supposed to detect the presence of the key. It's a $70 part, but I only found one video that showed the location of the part on the vehicle. On my lunch break today, I went out and looked for it on my own car, but of course there is nothing in that location. For what it's worth, the steering wheel was on the British side of the vehicle, so it's possible that there were other variations in design. After that, the possibilities are replacing the car battery (but there are no other symptoms of an electrical problem) or replacing the ignition system.

In theory, I am capable of replacing the ignition system. In 1989, I had a car that needed a replacement starter. My dad talked me through the concept on the phone, and my roommate offered some advice. I picked up a reconditioned starter at a well-stocked local auto parts store, carefully disconnected the original and reconnected the replacement. Reconnected the battery and it started just fine. But now cars have so many computer chips and everything under the hood is packed in close, often requiring removal of other parts just to get to the problem. So if the fob doesn't pan out, I'm taking it to a mechanic that I trust.

The other thing that I learned today is that this is a common enough problem that vehicles tend to have a special place in the vehicle where you can place your key fob to get detected... kind of like the old school approach of inserting your key in the ignition, only less convenient. Mine is inside a small storage compartment in between the two front seats.
Last edit: 05 Oct 2022 17:32 by Shellhead.
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06 Oct 2022 10:41 #335997 by RobertB
Gradual degradation does sound like the fob's battery, more so than the receiver. If you haven't done so already, follow your dad's advice and replace the battery first.

I replaced the starter on my Acura a while back. The really hard part was taking everything and the kitchen sink off to get to the starter itself. Plus I needed to go buy a breaker bar to break the bolts loose - I couldn't get enough leverage with plain vanilla ratchets or box-end wrenches.
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06 Oct 2022 11:59 #335999 by Not Sure
It's almost certainly the battery. I've had a keyless system on various cars for like ten years, and this is exactly the failure mode of a weak fob battery. The ignition sensor is a lot farther from your pocket than the door sensor, so you can get what seems like inconsistent failures there. Couple of bucks and you'll know the answer.

Also, you can pry my keyless fob out of my cold dead pocket. I hate scrabbling around for keys, and grab-to-unlock, touch-top-to-lock is just much more convenient.
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06 Oct 2022 14:28 #336001 by jason10mm

jpat wrote: New wired smoke detectors going in this week (7 of them) to replace the ones that were original to the house. Thought it'd be easy--I'd just get the same brand and replace. Then I found out that brand had been bought and the model (shocking!) discontinued. Fine, I'll buy adapters, which they make, and use the same mountings. Nope. The adapters are too big to fit into the original detectors' casing.


Man, I got rid of every wired detector in my house and replaced them with the sealed 10 yr units. Yeah, it's gonna suck in a decade when I have to buy 6 of them but it sure beats 2am wake ups for "low battery" beeps that take 15 minutes to isolate and another 15 to replace.

Whatever jackass built my house (or wired in the OG detectors at least) put one at the highest point of the ceiling which was about 20+ feet off the ground. Who THE HELL could reach it? I'd have to go through the attic I think. Same ceiling height over the stair landing and only 8 feet high there but noooooooo had to place it 10 feet away over the front door and way high off the ground. Anyway, disconnected that sucker the one time I had a guy with a ridonkulously long ladder working on something else because it was, FOR SURE, gonna start sounding off at 2 am Christmas Eve at some point.
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06 Oct 2022 15:02 #336007 by Gary Sax
For my fob, it does this, but it's something about some loose connection. It'll start doing the thing where I have to set it on the sensor directly, and then I have to pop it open, move the battery around, and then it works fine again for another week or two. Incredibly annoying.

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07 Oct 2022 09:19 #336012 by Shellhead
It was the fob battery. Before going to the battery store, I got my spare fob and tried that, and it didn't work at all, but my regular fob was still working semi-reliably. Guy at the battery store replaced both batteries and now both fobs are working great. Whew!
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31 Aug 2023 20:48 #340408 by Cranberries
We have a carport. The previous owners converted part of it to a storage room a few years a fonwe ripped out the shelves, then we cut and jackhammered a thee-inchnslap and filled the hole with leveling compound. my wife replaced the entrance door off the carport in late June and painted it a mustard color. I bought a Ryobi angle grinder and cut a larger opening for the French doors she wants.

Then I lost my confidence in my ability to frame the opening for the doors so it is plumb and true. So we just got a $1000 bid to put in the 25' wall and door frame--that is after we bought the lumber.

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31 Aug 2023 23:51 #340409 by SuperflyPete
As much as I hate to, I’m finishing the drywall I hung in my garage. 9’ ceilings. Fuck my life.
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01 Sep 2023 08:45 - 06 Oct 2023 11:21 #340413 by Jackwraith
The kitchen has still been kind of an ongoing thing, since the initial remodel was taking out the center island and replacing it with a much larger one, as well as replacing all of the cabinets (and taking the damn railroad ties out of the ceiling and walls.) Since then, we also replaced a couple largely empty spaces with a pantry (sliding doors) and then took an old desk out and replaced it with with a nice wine/liquor cabinet and also replaced the secondary sink/cabinets with a coffee counter and a beer fridge. Then we finally went to work on the alcove that has the doorwall that leads to the back deck. We tore out the last of the paneling and put up drywall and got a contractor to come in and replace the doorwall and the three non-standard-sized stained glass windows (was a hobby of the previous owner.) However, the last of those three (and the largest) wasn't framed properly. It was just sitting on the outer wall of the kitchen and they said they couldn't install that way. So they took that one off the bill and we had to learn how to install a window (cutting a larger hole for a standard size, doing the framing, etc.) But my girlfriend, who is the cautious type, decided to get a window with an outer flange on it that not only would attach to the framing but also to the outside wall, under the siding. Problem is, when you fix it in place with that flange, it isn't thick enough to reach the nice framing we put in and so it, too, is now sitting on the outside wall of the kitchen. It's perfectly secure. It's just not to code. So, I don't know what she wants to do from here....
Last edit: 06 Oct 2023 11:21 by Jackwraith.
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03 Sep 2023 00:11 #340424 by jason10mm
Anyone got an opinion on insulated garage doors? Being Texan, the garage hovers in the low 90's ALL THE TIME in the summer, which is just miserable. I'm debating garage vents and an exhaust fan, adding insulation to the doors and vents, or going whole hog and getting legit insulated doors installed. My doors don't seal well though, so I'm not sure what the culprit for a hot garage really is, radiant heat though the door, stale air in the garage, or hot air leakage through gaps. Probably do the easy thing and add some door vents and try to figure out where to add an exhaust fan so at least I can suck in cool 77 degree night air.

I love Texas on the summer :P
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06 Sep 2023 10:51 - 06 Sep 2023 10:54 #340458 by Shellhead
Last spring, I wanted to address some sagging floorboards on my second floor. However, the whole second floor was covered with 9" tiles that look like the kind they had in schools and governmental buildings. On a hunch, I took a sample from a tile that was starting to crack from the weak floorboard underneath, and learned that these tiles contained asbestos. I pondered a DIY job, especially since the Minnesota Department of Health had detailed recommendations on their site for DIY asbestos removal. In the end, I paid professionals to do it, so I wouldn't worry about cancer for the rest of my life. Then dealt with the floorboards and finally installed a nice-looking floating laminate wood tile floor on top.

Around this same time, I noticed that most of my basement floor was covered with the same type of tiles. Since I didn't have any other issues with the basement floor, I took a less expensive DIY route of sealing the basement floor with epoxy. I was happy with the results at first, but noticed that the epoxy scratched easily, and also some of it peeled off when I pulled the painters tape after it dried.

Last weekend, I wanted to use some regular gray paint to touch up the scratches and the peeled sections, then cover it all with a coat of clear polyurethane. But I had a promising first date on Saturday and knew that the fumes from the polyurethane would be an issue for at least 24 hours afterwards. So I applied the paint late on Friday night, only to discover that this paint was mislabeled and it was actually a shiny metallic gray instead of a matte gray. Screw it. The hardware stores were all closed, and delaying would set back my whole weekend timetable, so I used the metallic paint. The date was in the morning because the afternoon temperatures were going to be around 100F all weekend, so I applied to polyurethane as soon as I got home. I only have two very small basement windows that open (the rest are glass brick), so I left those open and closed off the basement. But every time the a/c kicked in, the fumes migrated up from the basement.

In the end, the results were good. The polyurethane top layer leaves a nice shine and definitely protects the epoxy layer. The metallic sections are too shiny and detract from the overall work, so I plan to revisit this next spring when conditions are more favorable for venting. I will do a new layer of ordinary paint, maybe gray or maybe some other color, just to cover the partially metallic look, and then finish it with one more coat of clear polyurethane.
Last edit: 06 Sep 2023 10:54 by Shellhead.
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27 Sep 2023 16:35 #340650 by ubarose
Not a repair, but a big home improvement. We got an excellent deal on some storage space and moved out all the Spawn’s “when I have my own apartment” stuff. She has been “temporarily” living with us for over 3 years, so the “temporary” storage solution in our house was getting a bit much. Like, getting a suitcase out of our storage closet was a weekend project with significant risk of injury.

And since there was plenty of space in the rented storage area, I also moved over a bunch of my own rarely used items. With everything out, there was enough room in our storage closet at home to set up a well organized sewing and upholstery supplies area. So I have been sewing again.
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