Anybody I used to know still post around here??????

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011 12:52 PM


It's probably a lot more than 200 :)

Thank god I don't have rats! These are just little field mice. I'm going to leave out a little piece of bread where the bread used to be tonight and see if anything happens. Another day and no action on the traps.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Thursday, December 29, 2011 4:11 PM


I think my mice are gone!

Left out a piece of bread overnight and not a nibble.

I'm going to keep those traps handy in case I see a problem again, but I'm just going to let it be for now. Hopefully I can get to remodeling some places where they might be coming from before I get any more. I really have no clue were to start looking.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Friday, December 30, 2011 4:02 PM


Hey Wish,

I was wondering if you could run an electrical question by your husband for me. I'll try to paint as good a picture of my situation as I can before asking though.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so.....

So.... my question is....

What is the best way to go about cutting the existing conduit? (the black lines in the picture)

The conduit is above the joists and though it's not tight against the plywood flooring for the finished crawl space above, it's only got about 1/4" to 1/2" clearance.

I've given up any hope of using the sawzall like I did for the wall outlet. I didn't want to make a huge hole in the ceiling either, but I'm afraid that's inevtaible.

The only tool I have at my disposal that I think could do the job right is my battery powered Ryobi Circular saw with a 5 1/2" blade. I only have a wood blade for it now, so I'd have to research if they made a metal blade in that size (Im sure they do though).

I'm just wondering though if he has any other (possibly better) ideas before I go through all that.

Thanks :)


If he has any other ideas, that would be super. I just looked at Menards and the price for a 5 1/2 metal cutting blade is 45 bucks before tax!!!!!


Hmmmmmmm.... Good luck finding a wood cutting blade for a Ryobi 5 1/2" saw, let alone a steel cutting blade. The blade I found above that was 45 bucks might not even fit on my saw.

I suppose I may be able to fit my corded skilsaw up there, but I don't know if there's enough room to cut things exactly where they need to be cut. I'm sure a metal blade for it that I would hardly ever have any use for it would cost a small fortune too.

Maybe I'll just have to bite the bullet and rip out a large amount of the ceiling drywall and just take a lot of breaks between trying to saw through it twice with a hacksaw by hand. It can probably be done, but is it "worth saving boku bucks on a large metal cutting blade" doable?

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Friday, December 30, 2011 7:02 PM


Hubbs and I think you maybe could use a "mini pipe cutter" (about the size of a donut that someone bit a side out of, you tighten down a blade and twist it around, tighten and twist, tighten and twist and it will break off), if it's a solid pipe... They run about 15-20 bucks.(I think it was called an IMP on This Old House??)

If it's flexible conduit, good luck, and have fun chopping out drywall.


Saturday, December 31, 2011 2:39 PM


Hey Wish,

Thanks for the advice. I tried one I found at Menards for only 3 bucks :)

I didn't actually cut it, but I just wanted to see if it would even work. There wasn't enough space. :(

Turns out it's probably moot. Upon further investigation behind the scenes, I can now see where 3 of the 4 conduits from the light go (Yeah, this house is wired crazy-weird).

My guess is that the 4th (unseen) conduit goes to the two outlets I just did work on. The conduit that I believed to be going to the light switch before I actually think runs straight into the box for the 3-way light in the hallway. (This also makes sense now why when I was working on the outlets and I had the power shut off on the bedroom circuit why I still saw sparks and shit myself when I was working on the neutral wire). The original electricians, or more likely the bozos who worked on the electric after the fact, decided that it was a good idea to split the hot wires to different breakers, but it was perfectly kosher to use the same neutral lead for at least two separate circuits.

I kind of hate the fact that any time I'm working on any electric in this house I'll look forward to resetting 4 clocks. The only breakers I can shut off individually while I'm working are the two circuits that I ran out to the garage.


This also means that my precise bending job that I was so proud of was premature. I put a lot of time into planning that and I was so happy I got it right on the first try. I'm going to have to put quite a bit more thought into how I'm going to get to that other conduit now. The conduit that I'll be needing to cut is at an angle towards the switch and away from whatever conduit that I add.

Here's a pic of what I believe the situation to be now....

Fun.... fun... fun....

I think the best thing to do at this point to make absolutely sure that I'm cutting the right conduit is to turn off the breaker and pull the wires going to the switch out from the light itself. From there I can measure the length of the wires and compare it to a guesstimate of how long they'd need to be to get to the light switch. There would be a HUGE difference between the length of a lead running to a 90 degree angle to the light switch as opposed to a lead angled to end up right over it "as the crow flies".

My step dad is going to come by tomorrow afternoon and see if we can't get that light switch situation finally taken care of. I think I can figure it out without him, but I'd love to have his input before I proceed any further.

At least I got the drywall up over the 2 outlets I worked on today. All set for mudding now. :) I can't wait to see what this room looks like after it's got outlets wired behind the walls (like they're supposed to be), a switch in the room (like it's supposed to be) and the flat white of primer on every wall instead of every color of the rainbow on the walls.

For P.C. reasons, I refer to it as the "Clown Room" now, rather than some more Cartmanesque terms. Besides, to call it the "Gay Room" would probably be a misnomer. I bet the Queer Eye guys would bitch slap whoever painted it that way.

I'm ready to party now though. That can wait until next year.

Happy new year everyone!

Hopefully the Mayan's weren't right. I'm just finally starting to get my shit together.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Sunday, January 1, 2012 2:45 PM



WOO-HOO!!!!!! (Lot's of fist pumping going on today )

I'm so glad my step-dad came over this morning. I was so focused on thinking that I would join the new conduit to the old, that I wasn't thinking outside the box anymore.

He told me to just enlarge the hole by the light, and try to push some conduit through the hole by the door until it was clear and then pull it back to the box and join it to the conduit I've already made.

It required a few tricky 45 degree angle bends to get down to the box from above the joists, and a couple of other interesting twists I won't bore you with, but after a few hours I had it up and running.

Finished putting up all the drywall before calling it quits too, so I'm all set to start mudding tomorrow. Rather than expose enough of the ceiling to attach the new drywall to joists I simply screwed the existing ceiling to some 2x4 cutoffs and screwed the new drywall into it. Ordinarily, I wouldn't recommend that, but the ceiling in the room was 2 layers like the wall was and one of them was practically stone. Now that the work is done, it's kind of cool knowing that I have the most durable ceilings and outside walls in my house that I've ever seen with all my rehabbing experience.

I'll end up waiting to paint the room until I'm ready to do all of the upstairs and downstairs at the same time and design it all at once, but it will be so awesome to have the electric the way I want it, the walls all the uniform stark white color of Kilz primer, and the carpets up exposing the beautiful hardwood floor in that room. It will be just another addition to my growing list of 1/2 finished projects, but what a satisfying job this one in particular will be.

It just occurred to me today while I was thinking about that fact why I've been so lazy and unfocused in the last few weeks. Truth be told, with all the work behind me so far, I haven't actually completed any one single job on this entire house, inside and out. I've gotten everything that absolutely needed to be taken care of done, got the mold out but have bare skeleton walls for the first 3 1/2 feet to 6 feet, I've fixed the sub-facia/facia but no gutters, I've filled the hole for the pool with 11 tons of dirt but I'll need another 3 or so tons before planting grass seed come spring, got my washer and dryer and water heater installed in spots that I'll have to remove them at some point to finish the basement behind them.....

Today was a big win for me in the morale department. Though I may not actually get to finishing the 2nd bedroom any time soon, it is so great knowing that by this time next week the only memories of the clown colored room with its ghetto electric will be all the pictures I took.

Awesome start to 2012!

Actually, I can't remember a Janurary 1st since I was 17 years old that my biggest accomplishment of the day was nursing a killer hangover.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Monday, January 2, 2012 2:08 PM


Triple Post Alert!


Let's see if I can get 90 of the hundred posts on the journey to 300 all by myself, huh?

This thread seems to be my own personal diary, or journal, if I want to be a "man" about it.

Today was a good day. I got a lot of 1st coat mudding done, and most importantly all of the spots where I had to lay it on really thick are done so they'll have a day and a half or so to dry before I get back to them.

The ridiculous colors aren't the only problem with the walls. It's apparent that this room has about 20 coats of primer and paint on it from the last 53 years and that not one single time did the "painter" feel it necessary to remove any rough-spots or patch any holes before painting another layer. Divots just need a little mud slapped on them, bumps just need to be cut out in a circle before mudding... so most of it is easy. The moderately painful spots though are where I can see outlines to where every single wall fixture ever installed in the room. My guess is there's been some regular shelving, a very ornate shelving system in one spot, a few smoke detectors as well as a few fire extinguishers.

And don't even get me started on careless drip marks......

Freakin' amatures.....

I'm just a perfectionist like that though. When I was doing rehab jobs for my friend's dad he'd always be telling me "this ain't the Taj Mahal". LOL... he was a great boss. I know he never questioned the quality of my work, or if whether or not I was working hard, but I think I was just a tad too detail oriented for that line of work. I'm sure if he was working for a bunch of rich people who paid big bucks for jobs I'd be first in line for any work coming his way, but most of his work is for middle-income folk who's motto is not "money isn't an issue".

"This ain't the Taj Mahal".....

I think about that phrase a lot while I'm working and obsessing over the minute details. Sure... this ain't the Taj Mahal, but it IS my Taj Mahal.

Every little extra bit of work I put into the details will show in the final product and someday when it's all done I'm going to pat myself on the back so hard that I break my collar bone.

I'll have some new pics in a few days. Hopefully by the weekend I can show you what it looks like with stark white Kilz primered walls with no imperfections and no trim or carpet.

After that, I'll be done with that room for a while. I'm going to just get all the rooms ready to finish first, that way I can really formulate a game plan for the finishing work on the entire house at the same time and really make it shine.

Hope everyone is having a great New Year so far :)

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Tuesday, January 3, 2012 5:12 PM


I ripped out the windowsills and the trim beneath them and the crappy corner-round used on the sides, inside the windows today. They were all painted up yellow and blue like the walls, so they were basically ruined. I also took down the vinyl blinds, since I have no intention of reinstalling them when the room is done. I'll probably spring for a great looking set of wood blinds (on sale) when I finally finish the upstairs.

I patched up the windows afterward, as well as all of the cracks in the wall that I gutted out and put the second layer on the really deep stuff that needed to be mudded. I've also got one of the walls completely sanded down/mudded so it's ready to primer.

I've been kicking so much ass the first three days of 2012 in fact, that I believe I'll have the room primered 2 or 3 days ahead of schedule. Pretty amazing, since usually I work at a pace much slower than I plan ahead for.

Next stop is either the Master Bedroom or the Kitchen :)

I also figured out what I'm going to do with the basement to mold proof it today. It's so simple actually, that I can't believe I didn't think of it before.....

The only thing that was submerged in water in the basement that didn't have a speck of mold on it was the tile and grout on the floor. So, after mold-proofing the studs and tracks like I've done, it only makes sense to use concrete drywall on the first 4 feet and then tile the walls and grout them.

If a flood ever happens here again, the basement will be a damn aquarium until it's drained.

Hell... I'll probably even tile the damn stairs themselves as well!

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Tuesday, January 3, 2012 5:56 PM


Ieghct. I just finished 1000 square feet. Damn near killed me.It's not just dragging the tiles home, but dragging them downstairs, and the bags of underlayment and grout... and I hope you have a tile saw, and a sink down there for all the water. I just finished and it took me 2 years.

Never again. Ever.

Only paid $300 for the lot though, AUCTION!

Today I built a shelf that looks just like the one in my pantry( harder than it sounds, as the people who built the first one were on crack!!!, hemmed 2 pairs of pants, sorted vast piles of shoes, helped with homework, and made brkfast lunch and dinner for us all. (sarcastic*)SIGHS. Sometimes being a wife and mom sooooo gets in the way of my empire building...

On another note, the mower we bought at auction works, $25 for battery and changed the oil, and wha-lah! I was ridin' up and down the street in a victory lap and the neighbors done thought I lost my mind

I'm gonna do it again this weekend


Tuesday, January 3, 2012 6:26 PM



Originally posted by Wishimay:
Ieghct. I just finished 1000 square feet. Damn near killed me.It's not just dragging the tiles home, but dragging them downstairs, and the bags of underlayment and grout... and I hope you have a tile saw, and a sink down there for all the water. I just finished and it took me 2 years.

Never again. Ever.

Only paid $300 for the lot though, AUCTION!

Today I built a shelf that looks just like the one in my pantry( harder than it sounds, as the people who built the first one were on crack!!!, hemmed 2 pairs of pants, sorted vast piles of shoes, helped with homework, and made brkfast lunch and dinner for us all. (sarcastic*)SIGHS. Sometimes being a wife and mom sooooo gets in the way of my empire building...

On another note, the mower we bought at auction works, $25 for battery and changed the oil, and wha-lah! I was ridin' up and down the street in a victory lap and the neighbors done thought I lost my mind

I'm gonna do it again this weekend

Tiles are awesome! I'm a 5'7" brick shit house.... hauling ain't nothing I'm afraid of

I don't have a wetsaw yet, but I'd have to get one. If I tried to cut those with a sawzall or even a rotary saw with a mansory blade the only future I see in that is sparks, pain and a lot of ruined tiles.

I'm not working a real job now, and I have no sig-other or kids to get in the way, so let's hope the basement comes together here quicker than 2 years.

I'm at least going to put the concrete board up soon. It's pretty expensive though. Nearly 10 bucks a sheet for boards that are only 2 1/2 feet by 5 feet. Since I just came up with this idea today I have no idea how much I'll need, but I'm guessing with all the nooks and crannys that I'll need about 200 bucks of concreteboard.

I should also shell out the 500 bucks for the biggest and best sump pump with a battery backup if I'm going to start the basement work ahead of schedule, and possibly many years before I buy the natural gas backup unit that costs over 3k installed.

I've heard online that Marble tile is the best for mold resistance, but even at warehouses they go from 2.75 a sq/ft to like 20 bucks a sq/ft.

There's no need for Marble here though. I'm sure the tiles on the floor now are made of the same material my toilets were made of, and there is zero mold on them.

Besides... the existing porcelain tile on the floor looks pretty awesome. But if I was to spring for marble walls than the floors would look pretty foolish.

You know me Wish, I would love to find a sale on these tiles for the walls, but I have absolutely no idea how many I'll need at this point, and I have to somewhat match the color of the floor tile. I think garage sales or swap meets are out of the question. I need to find a tile on sale that will still be available later when I find I didn't buy enough the first go around.

And about the mower....

I know we've been having an unseasonably warm winter, but why are you using a lawnmower in IN in Janurary?????

I'd think you kinda nutz too lol

Glad you got a great deal on it though.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Tuesday, January 3, 2012 7:31 PM


Me an' the ol' possum, the last 30 secs.

Lawn mowers has more n' one use here, hon Luxury Recreational Vehicles


Wednesday, January 4, 2012 2:33 PM


Hey, Rock-Star Possum!

I'm not a real country music fan, but that one was pretty good. It's pretty cool how the genre can make so many happy songs about not so happy things.

Once I'm finished sanding a few things that were too wet to sand today and the few small things I put another coat on I'm finally going to be able to put the first coat of primer on tomorrow!!!!!

I know it's premature to do so because the walls aren't perfect yet, but I need a change. Between the 4 walls and the closet, I'm looking at about 600-1000 imperfections and I just can't keep anything straight anymore. I did, however, go over my last touch ups with a pencil and marked "X"'s over the stuff that will need to be sanded before I primer.

I figure it's going to take 3 to 4 coats to cover those awful colors anyhow, so I might as well look at a clean slate on Friday when I do my final mudding touch ups.

Me so excited!

Oh yeah, and there was a large bump in one wall that I had to sand down hard-core to get it flat with the rest of the wall. It's kind of cool because the MANY layers of paint left rings, similar to looking at a tree stump. Actually, it kind of resembles an eyeball.

The Walls Have Eyes!

I'll have to show you that picture when I get it uploaded. It's kind of funny to see that the room was also a very girly purple color at one point too.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Thursday, January 5, 2012 4:58 PM


No primer coat today... :(

Had one MAJOR mud i forgot to do between the east wall and the closet.

It was for the best anyways. It took me nearly all day to do the final sponge sand, wall and floor wash and to find the last few other final mud coats anyhow. Didn't get done with that all until after 6pm. Tomorrow for sure though I should have 2 coats up. Just have a few things to sand and vacuum, take last minute pics of the walls, and then put the painters tape on the hardwood and go to town.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Thursday, January 5, 2012 7:19 PM


Don't fergit ta vent! Paintin too much gives me a headache


Friday, January 6, 2012 3:07 PM


Hehe.... it was warm today, but not warm enough to open the windows. Got started bright and early and just finished the second coat of primer after about 12 hours of work (my feet are KILLING ME!!!)

In the last hour i felt a little feint while getting off the ladder and stumbled off of it. Lucky I didn't dump the primer. I thought I was just tired, but I did feel a little weird. I think I breathed in those fumes a little too much today.

So.... here's the fruits of my labor....

Entrance to room (before)

Entrance to room (after)

You can see the new switch inside the room and the old switch in the hall is patched.

Doh! I didn't take a picture with the ceiling hole patched up. You can't even tell there was one now.

Back window and entrance to closet (before)

Back window and entrance to closet (after)

Oh... and as a bonus, here's what the room looked like before I destroyed it. It used to have shitty baseboards, shitty carpet, shitty shelving in the closet, and two extra shitty window frames.

So clean now.....

Meesa happy!

Oh yeah, you can't tell from the pics, but some of the color still bleeds through, so it will need another primer coat. That's okay though because there are still a few imperfections I want to fix before I'd paint anything anyways.

My plan was to patch anything that needed patching after the first coat, but there was so much color bleeding through that there was no way I could tell, so when I finished round one, I went straight on to round two. It was cool because I didn't have to waste all the primer you waste when you wash up.

After the second round though, I found only 4 imperfections. Two circular bumbs about the size of the head of a thumb tack on the red wall, a "rash" of bubbled paint on the blue wall, and the crack I repaired on the ceiling is not flush, so it needs to be mudded out a bit. The cracks on the walls fortunately were completely flush and just needed to be filled.

So probably got about another 8 hours work in that room before I move on to the next one.

Every other room in the house will be easier and quicker because the electrical is fine and since the colors aren't so obnoxious and not SUPER-GLOSS paint, only two coats of primer should do her.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Monday, January 9, 2012 2:47 PM



Made a 2-day mistake today. A total amateur mistake. It's been a while since I did a ceiling and the mud I put up the other day to flatten out the crack I didn't remove correctly. I just used a finishing sponge without first flattening it out with a hand sander.......

Didn't realize I f-d up until after the primer went over it and I saw what it looked like. LOL... it looks worse now than it did before I mudded it. Guess I'm going to have to fix that tomorrow.

The walls look great now though after a few patches and a 3rd coat of primer. The only trouble spot is where a little bastard named "Owen" thought it was cute to write his name on the wall in magic marker. 3 coats of Kilz2 and it still bleeds through. I'll probably primer that wall one more time, just to be safe. Not a big deal since I have to primer the ceiling again anyways.

There will be so much down-time I suppose I can just move on to the master bedroom or the upstairs hall/stairwell. I'm going to be moving the box for the light from the very top of the stairs back towards the start of the seven stairs going up. I got a beautiful chandelier from Goodwill for 9 bucks that I mentioned a while back that I want hanging there instead. I won't mud over the old box though. Even if I wanted to, there is so much activity in that box that it would probably be dangerous to do so. I'll just have to buy an inconspicuous box-cap that can be painted the same color as the rest of the ceiling.

Fingers crossed the rest of the upstairs is a lot less work than that nightmare of a bedroom.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Tuesday, January 10, 2012 2:19 AM


rezident owtsidr

Happy 2012 everybody.

Herez wut Ive been working on for the last 3 weeks:

Actually, Ive been messing with it off and on since fall 2010, but didnt have anything worth doing a page about till now.

Since I put that up I came up with another procedure thats maybe more accurate and a little less complicated.

DUZ XaT SEM RiT TQ YQ? - Jubal Early


Tuesday, January 10, 2012 2:43 PM


Happy 2012 JO753,

It sounds like whatever you and your buddy did is pretty amazing. I can balance a budget and a checkbook, and do my own taxes better than most of the herd, but if I step out of the boundaries of basic math I get lost pretty quick. Other than the fact it seems you may have potentially shoved the naysayers asses to them on a platter, most of that was over my head. I do love it when somebody does something that everybody said couldn't be done though.

Your company seems to have a lot of potential. Hopefully you can get it off the ground someday. Who knows, maybe when I get a job and get this house put together the way I want it I might have some free time to lend.

The idea of getting in at the ground floor to making millions is pretty damn appealing. I'd never have to work for a boss again and I could wake up and work when I wanted to. I could start buying up houses to rehab and then rent them out. It would be my dream life!

I got my 2nd bedroom done today finally!!!!!

Moving on to the Master bedroom tomorrow. I'm not at all looking forward to being without my king size bed, so I'm sure I'll be putting in 12 hour days to get that SOB done so I'm sleeping on the foam mattresses as little as possible. Thankfully, I don't have any electrical work to do and it's just straight up minor wall repairs and primering, and removing the carpet before she's done.

I've got my Pipefitter's Union test on the 21st, so hopefully I'm on the king size bed again on the 20th. The last thing I need is to get a shitty night of sleep before such an important thing.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Thursday, January 12, 2012 2:11 PM


Anybody got any tips or websites to recommend for making your closet?

I ripped out all the old ghetto metal shelving from both closets and when I'm finished with the master bedroom walls up to the priming point, I'm going to want to start thinking about how to design my closets so I can hang my clothes again. Till then, I'm living out of boxes like when I first moved in :(

Holy crap, trim is expensive! The old stuff had to go, so I can't cry about it, but boy.... I may have to put that stuff off for a while after the rooms are painted so I can buy more important things like gutters, a generator and a new sump pump. I've got a badass Rockwell router... maybe I'll try my hand at making my own baseboards and door and window trim.

Just have to decide if I want stained wood or if I want to paint it all white. I do really like both options.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Thursday, January 12, 2012 3:03 PM


Post got ate. will re-write later. *sigh.

Ok, gonna type fast, lest the Posty Monster get me again...

I would try making yer own trim, if ya can. We got a big batch of that universal three line trim at auction, and when I ran out we bought it in bulk. I like white 'cause it's easier to touch up, but we also have a room that has walnut stain to match the french doors, and it goes well with tuscan bronzed hardware-which I am in LOOOOVE with. I use a minwax product that is both stain and finish together called "wood sheen" that looks great and saves about a years worth of separate stain and top coats..

Just remember to bring light and darker elements into any color pallette, to create depth.

And as for designing closets, I don't. I'm a big fan of using decent pieces of furnature for that, the way they did 100 years ago. No matter where I go, my clothes are always in the drawer I left 'em in. We hang up dress clothes and shirts, but that's about it.


Friday, January 13, 2012 12:59 PM


Another eaten post Wish! The back button trick doesn't work for you, huh? Bummer... would have loved to hear what you originally had to say.

Thanks for the tips though. I'm going to be talking to my step dad about making the trim. I forgot that he has a machine in his shop that you can just run stock through and it will come out the way you want it! You can even do curved molding with it after the template is set up.

My taste is for Wide and decorative baseboards and door trim. To get that pre-made and ready to stain in Oak, it would cost a fortune!

Unfortunately, the trim is quite a ways down the road though. I'm going to finish primering the two bedrooms, the upstairs hall and the stairwell, the living room and the coat closet downstairs first. After that, it's off to Benjamin Moore for some premo paint once I figure out what colors I'm going with. Then I gotta clear out the upstairs completely and sand and treat the hardwood floors. Then I get to fill the upstairs back up and clear out the first floor. Then I treat the steps going to the 2nd floor and the livingroom floor, coat closet and pantry hardwood.

Only then will I be ready to put the new trim in..... Boy.... It's a lot of work, but this is going to look amazing when I'm done. I need to get my sister-in-law and my step-mom over here for some color ideas. They're good at that kind of stuff.

Oh... I finally got a chance to put my snowblower to use. It's AWESOME!!!!! It's as loud as a jet engine and shoots the snow 10 feet. It still took me about an hour to do it, but it went quicker when I got the hang of it. The driveway is so huge it would have taken me 5 hours to do by hand and some massive back pain.

BTW... what did you think of the bedroom pics? Did you see them? I know I've been posting quite a lot here, you may have missed it.


Have I ever mentioned how freakin' awesome the internet is before?

I have a pipefitters union test coming up in about 10 days. Figuring it wouldn't be a problem at all, I didn't actually crack the study book until this morning....

Reading Comprehension..... check
Basic Math.... check.....

Lowest Common Denominator..... uuuuuhhhhhh????

Don't get me wrong... if you ask me the lowest common denominator of 1/2 and 3/4, i'll tell you it's 4.

But what is the lowest common denominator of 5/6 - 3/7 + 5/8??????

I honestly stared blankly at that question for at least 5 minutes before I looked at the answer in the back of the book.... 168.

After my house work today, I decided to put Google to good use. Searched for "Lowest Common Denominator" tricks.

The trick that came up was more than I could have hoped for. Even though the example used was only two fractions, it took me only about 15 seconds to figure it out with 3.

First, you throw away the Numerators (top numbers) as they don't matter when figuring it out.

Then you just make a graph of any multiples that make up the denominators and circle the Root numbers.



__2x3___prime 7___2x4

Then you look at all three columns. Whatever column has the most of a specific number in the bottom row is what you go by.

there are 3 "2's" in column 3, so you write down

2 2 2....

Then, after throwing away the "2" in column 1, there is only one 3 in column 1, so you write a three next to them...

2 2 2 3....

7 (column 2) being a prime number, there is only one.

2 2 2 3 7

Multiply them all together.

2x2x2x3x7 = 168!

That sure beats the fiz-nuck out of the 3 suggestions the practice booklet suggested.

Not for nothing, but I don't think they'll even ask us to figure out the equation beyond that. If they do.....



5/6 - 3/7 + 5/8


140/168 - 72/168 + 105/168 = 173/168 (unreduced fraction) or 1 5/168 (mixed fraction)

Between my two respected vouches, my story about fixing my own sabotaged furnace using the internet and being one of probably 1,000 people who could answer 5 questions like that correctly on this test, I think I'll be a shoe in for the apprenticeship come March.

20 years ago, I could have just said I was Italian with a very Italian last name... nuff' said :)

Oh yeah.....

Did anyone know the extended version of the awesome Cheers song has the lyrics "and your husband wants to be a girl"?


I LOVE the 80s!

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Saturday, January 14, 2012 9:36 AM


I'd love him to be a girl- for a day... Then things wouldn't get lost in translation so darn much

I fuzzed out somewhere after "lowest common de.......???"
I didn't see any point in paying attention past geometry, and that was only half way.
Hubbs is gonna have to take over that part of our kid's edumacatin'.

Yes I saw the pictures, it's a nice blank slate. I'll admit- I'm not soo patient.

I remembered the other reason I like white trim, if you get gaps and not so great fittings, a tube of caulk and some more paint makes everything kosher. You can do the same with clear caulk and wood stain, but I think the white looks soo much cleaner...
If'n you didn't already know this. Few people I've talked to haven't, is all.


Saturday, January 14, 2012 1:41 PM


Believe it or not, the lowest common denominator is pretty basic math. I just haven't used it in about 15 or 20 years. I got lost in honors Geometry and got my first C and when I took College Algebra and Trig Junior year I just skated by with my only D ever in public school. The only reason I don't have a damn Associate's degree today is because after three times tryin' I couldn't pass Algebra 101.

I know the white is easier to work with, and I really like the way it looks. It's just that if I'm going to be replacing everything and shelling out all of that cash, I think I'd rather have the stained oak trim. I was thinking of keeping the hardwood floors a pretty light color and staining the trim dark. Down the road, when money allows, I'd also like to put some dark oak crown molding at the top as well.

Thanks about the bedroom . I really put a ton of time into that room. I thought the master bedroom would be easier, but there is a ton of bad spots... cracks mostly, and the plaster layer over the stone drywall in that room actually has separated where a lot of the cracks are, so instead of getting to any mudding today I was just doing some massive prep work.

Hopefully I'll have the first mud coat up by tomorrow night. It was nice not having any electric to do in that room. I was thinking about adding electric in both rooms to have an overhead light in the closets, but I really don't want to create all that extra work. The closets aren't huge anyways. I bought those LED motion sensor lights, but I'm not really happy with them for a closet scenario. They're not bright enough and they have a really non-warm feeling to them. They have their uses in other spots, but I'm going to have to spring for more expensive models for the closets.

As for designing the closet in the master bedroom, it's not a perfect rectangle. An overhead view of it would look something like this:


(and imagine a stright wall on the right side, but won't let me put spaces in like that).

The "0's" above, I believe, is for some sort of duct work, likely going out through the "chimney" on the roof. I'm thinking it's the exhaust path for the hot water heater, and if I had a furnace in the basement for that too. The "////'s" are the double sliding door that I removed temporarily.

It is pretty deep on the right side though. Before I took everything down, there were two rows of poles to hang your clothes on. I hated that though, and most everything in there was a nasty metal that was starting to rust anyways.

I was thinking that maybe I'd build a shoe rack out of oak planks on the left side in front of the duct work, and on the right side I'd hang a pole in the back that wrapped around to the right side. This way you could walk in it a bit and see all of your clothes. I'd lose a little bit of "hanging" real-estate this way, but who wants to try to grab any clothes from the back pole when you've already crammed the front pole full of hangers? That only serves to make you put clothes you never wear anymore on the back row and since you never look at them you're hanging on to crap you should just give to goodwill.

The closet in the small bedroom will be easy to design. It's only about half as deep, but it's a perfect rectangle.

Looking forward to having some more before/after pics in about 5 days or so.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Sunday, January 15, 2012 1:51 PM


Big tip for DIY'ers here:

Awesome site. It's always really cool when somebody who knows a lot about something shares their knowledge for free. Sure, he asks for donations, but I'm sure he doesn't get much and that's to cover the website costs. He does drywall repair and painting for a living, so he also gives suggestions to minimize downtime for things like waiting for stuff to dry.


His suggested methods for permanently fixing cracks in walls/ceilings are superb! The way he spreads the mud works great and only requires 2 coats, instead of the 3 coats I did before. I haven't sanded anything yet, but from the looks of it, there should be a ton less dust when I get to that.

The biggest reason I wish I saw this site before though was the preventative maintenance. If there are cracks in your wall or ceiling, it's because of the shifting of the house (duh). After you cut your divots out to mud, you should fasten screws on both sides of the cracks to the studs/joists before mudding to ensure that any future shifts are minimized. It seems elementary to do so now that I know, but in all of my years of rehabbing I never did it before. I was never taught to do so.

Oh well.... At least my Master bedroom and my future projects won't ever crack again. If it happens to my 2nd bedroom down the road, I'll just know how to do it right next time around.

Oh... BTW.... If I haven't mentioned it before, you'd be doing yourself a great service to buy a few plastic wall brackets for your plates for coaxial cable and telephone jacks. They sell them for about $1.20 at Menards. You cut a hole in the wall just wide enough to fit them in and then screw the movable braces in the back until they pinch the drywall. Gives you a perfect outlet to screw the plates in every time. No more loose plate covers from screwing into drywall.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Sunday, January 15, 2012 5:45 PM



Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:

Oh well.... At least my Master bedroom and my future projects won't ever crack again. If it happens to my 2nd bedroom down the road, I'll just know how to do it right next time around.

That's the one biggie I'm gonna pay someone else to do here...We were surrounded by surface mines when we bought the place and they got close enough the last couple years that the couple cracks we had have multiplied, fortunately the closest one stopped blasting- but not before makin a mess. I can't hold my arms over my head for too long, or I'd do that too. And I can't really blame the companies, after all- that's what hubbs does for a living...


Wednesday, January 18, 2012 3:48 PM


Tell hubbs to get on it lol......

I don't blame you for paying somebody else. It's miserable work. If I was a master "mudder", than it wouldn't be so bad but I keep dropping mud on the ground and I build everything up so much that I'm spending 20 minutes sanding a 4 foot patch on the cracks.

It will eventually be awesome, but what a bunch of BS work.

If I owned my own business I'd gladly be paying somebody minimum wage to do this sanding.

Then again, they would probably just F it all up, right?

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Wednesday, January 18, 2012 5:55 PM


I talked to a guy at a home improvement place today WHO KNEW WHAT THE HELL HE WAS TALKING ABOUT! Mark this day down, I haven't had that happen in YEARS...

I'm sure he'll quit next week...

I been busy re-organizing closets and pantry and cabinets this week.

Next warm day I get, I get to finish making doors, 6 of 'em. Matchin' doors with matchin' doorknobs- HERE I COME, WHOO!


Thursday, January 19, 2012 1:41 PM



Originally posted by Wishimay:
I talked to a guy at a home improvement place today WHO KNEW WHAT THE HELL HE WAS TALKING ABOUT! Mark this day down, I haven't had that happen in YEARS...

I'm sure he'll quit next week...

I been busy re-organizing closets and pantry and cabinets this week.

Next warm day I get, I get to finish making doors, 6 of 'em. Matchin' doors with matchin' doorknobs- HERE I COME, WHOO!

Haha! I've always thought the same thing about those home improvement places myself. I actually hadn't even been approached by an employee of one of the stores for years. Imagine my surprise when I started shopping at the Menards in Gary (of all places) and if I spend a half hour there I get at least two people asking if they can lend a hand! I've never actually had to ask anybody about a project, so I can't speak to there level of knowledge, but whenever I've asked somebody there where something is they always point me in the right direction.

Uh Oh...You know the cold weather has hit when you're reorganizing closets and cabinets. You're not right in the middle of the huge Indiana snowstorm they're talking about quite a bit south of me, are ya?

I don't have much room for anything in my kitchen, let alone any space to really organize anything. I don't have a drawer large enough to store knives, forks or spoons, I've got two Lazy Susans up high that really just seem to waste more space than they're worth, and the majority of the other cabinets are either narrow or short. It doesn't help that there's a huge black hole called a dishwasher that I'll never use wasting a full cabinet. Oh yeah.... I do have a very large pantry that I'll be able to use someday, but for now it's my tool shed. It's the perfect spot for tools right now since there is so much room in there and it's really in the most central location in the house.

"Making" doors, huh? Not sure what you mean there exactly, but I assume you mean that you didn't spring for the pre-hung doors and you've got a lot of measuring and drilling and chiseling in your future. Ouch. I don't envy you. I HATE hanging doors. I had to do it for the finished crawl since I had to cut a door that was 72" tall on one side and 53" tall on the other side (and I built my own door jambs for it too). When I finally get around to putting matching doors everywhere else though, I'll wait for a good sale on the pre-hung variety. As cheap as I am, I feel it's well worth the extra money not to have to make the 6 doors I'll be needing as well.

Good luck with that!

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Saturday, January 21, 2012 3:41 PM


Took my union test today....

Messa think I did good

I know I didn't get 100% of over 200 questions, but I'd be really surprised if it was less than 97%.

As a bonus, I felt invigorated enough when I got back to plow and shovel the nearly 8" of snow we got when I got home.

After figuring my own taxes yesterday to only be about 130 bucks over what I pre-paid, and realizing that there's no reason to call in a third party to pay to verify my findings, it's been the beginning of a beautiful weekend, regardless of the heavy snowfall.

But I just got the email saying my 6 month car insurance premium is due today.....


Why do I pay so much as a single, +25, unmarried male. No offense intended, Wish, but most of the infractors of my pet peeve (severe tailgating) are women. As much as I believe that women should make the same wages as men do for the same positions, I believe that women should also pay equal prices for car insurance, now that we're all driving to work a relatively equal distance.

There's nothing in the female psyche that says that they're inherently better drivers than males. That was an arcane conclusion back from the days when men typically drove more because they were the only ones who worked outside of the home.

I love driving. When gas was 99 cents a gallon, I REALLY loved driving. I would just drive anywhere and nowhere to blow off steam. Listening to music in my ride was the best therapy in my early 20's. I never suffered from any form of road rage..... that is.... unless somebody was riding my ass.

I LOVE this clip.

Don't invade my space

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Saturday, January 21, 2012 5:48 PM



Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Why do I pay so much as a single, +25, unmarried male. No offense intended, Wish, but most of the infractors of my pet peeve (severe tailgating) are women. As much as I believe that women should make the same wages as men do for the same positions, I believe that women should also pay equal prices for car insurance, now that we're all driving to work a relatively equal distance.

I'm sure you did a good job on your test, but if it were perfect you'd get $5. Heh. That's what mah kiddo gets when she gets her spelling test for the week right...

We didn't get ice, but I drove through where it was today, EESH. Ditches were auto graveyards... And yes, too cold for mama to do anything where it's not hot.

It's funny you should mention the women vs men driver thing because I had an argument with someone about that recently and looked up the stats. Men STILL drive more miles annually than women do(think truckers), and on average when they have wrecks the wrecks do more damage. As for women tailgaters, that just must be a your region thing, because the guys here with the big trucks will not hesitate to hump the bumper of ANY vehicle smaller than they are. I know I ain't in any hurry, po-dunk will still be there when I get there

I remember workin a gas station in 1999 and we had a price war with the peeps across the river... I personally lowered the gas to 88 cents a gallon that day

Oh, and that cut and paste thing when my comment won't post only works half the time, sorry...

Well, Happy chinese new year, Monday. May it truly be a dragon year for us all, even bad drivers


Wednesday, January 25, 2012 2:20 PM


5 bucks for a perfect spelling test!!!!!!!!

I remember getting 5 bucks a year in free tokens for the ticket-machines at the local arcade if i had straight A's, but WTF???? LOL... I shouldn't be surprised. All of our bills above a buck are starting to resemble monopoly money colors.

It's BS about men driving more overall, especially when you can easily store driving info in a computer and dole out prices based off of that info if you wanted to. I've had this car for 2 years and I've only put 4k miles on it. I don't have a CDL, and I don't drive a sports car.

As for a "my region thing", it's possible, but I've driven a 280 mile radius from the south suburbs of Chicago, and this is especially true there. I can only speak of what I know. 9 of 10 times or more that I'm being tailgated it's by a woman. In my mind, this is the number one cause of accidents after drunk driving.

Can't speak for the male-hillbilly-mentality. That's not to say at all that you or your family are hillbillies where you live (and I know you aren't), but that MO seems to be stamped out a lot in the "urban" areas where I've lived. Around here, the girls are the first to fight each other and scratch each others' eyes out. I've gotten in the middle of this several times in the last few years and carried a girl outside to make her cool off.

Seriously, about jumping bumpers and stuff, all I can think about is plots to "Justified". All I can say is that I don't envy anyone living in an area where there is probably 10 meth "labs" in spitting distance.

Any "civilized" part of America, I can guarantee that the Women drive much more crazy than the men. But, I digress.... I shouldn't be talking to you about this, I should petition my insurance company about that.

mmmmmmmmmmmmm 88 cents a gallon. I LOVE the late 90's!!!!!!

I remember the times when it was worth it for me to cross the border to buy gas for 78 cents a gallon and cartons of Marlboro for 15 bucks. (Saving me 10 cents a gallon and 2 bucks for a carton).

the new mellinium!!!!!!!!

I remeber when a 2 hour joyride to clear the mind cost a few bucks.... Now I have to work about half a day for the same pleasure.

As long as nobody is riding my ass, my ride is my meditation.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Wednesday, January 25, 2012 2:52 PM


Ohh, you don't wanna get me started on she/he warfare this week, I'd rather have a woman ridin' my bumper than a man molesting my kid. One out of every 4 of you will do something atrocious to a kid...

Like I said at Xmas, my religion is Stay-the-hell-away-from-humanity. I've been stabbed in the back and used by sooo many people, I feel like the internet is the only place even capable of half-way nice human interaction...and that only a part of the time...

Anyway, back to the nice safe topic of home improvements.

Yesterday, I went downstairs to do laundry, and started it up and thought "Hmmm, why are my toes in a puddle??"
Flipped over the machine, unclipped the leaky piece, ran to the appliance part shop and said "I need one of these things!" I love my appliance shop, the guy had one in hand before I even set it on the counter, hah.
Came home, clipped it back in and even had time for a cuppa tea and a pat-myself-on-the-back before picking up kid.

I'm countin' yesterday a win!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012 3:18 PM


Woah Horsey! lol

Just remember, the original definition, the entamoligical definition of pedophile is actually "a lover of feet".

Why is this?????

"Both spellings "paedophile" and "pedophile" are correct. The British predominantly use "paedophile" and the USA uses "pedophile".

I suspect it was another case of Noah Webster "Americanising" the "British" English as paedophile doesn't "flow" as required. That being the case it has nothing to do with the root, the original root "children love" in paedophile is correct. "Pedo" does not mean "foot" in this context, it is just the Americanised spelling of "Paedo""

1 out of 4 will only do something awful to your kid if you've been brainwashed by cop shows on TV.

If your daughter was 14 and complimented me on my sports coat, the most I'd give her in return is a thanks if she wasn't 18 and possibly a cheap gold and small diamond necklace trinket if she was over 18. (Don't hate me if your 18 year old daughter fell for me.... she could do much worse ;))

I feel for you being used. My brothers and I were mere pawns in the parents' "end game". The only thing is that my Dad is, and has always been the stable one. He never said anything bad about Mom... it was always Mom that bad mouthed him growing up.....

I love my mom, but only recently has she been "normal" after being diagnosed bi-polar and put on meds. I hadn't talked to her for nearly 10 years before about 15 months ago, but now we get along great. She ruined my relationship with my father twice in my life though. Looking back... he was the only one who cared about me with unselfish reasons at the time.

And I fucked him over, and in the process, fucked myself and my two younger brothers over with my decision with who to live with at the time.

Neither of my parents were bad, but especially seeing how successful in business my half-bro and step-bro are today, we'd all have been 100 times better off in the end game had I chose my Dad.

As for home improvement, neither of my parents knew crap. At least my step-dad can fill in there.

I'm just lucky that now that I'm 32, he thinks of me more of a son than either of my real parents did while using me and my brothers as pawns when I was 6-17

Thanks, Step-Dad,

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book8


Wednesday, January 25, 2012 5:26 PM


I'm not implying YOU would do anything, I'm saying as the mother of a daughter-and someone who reads the news (btw, I clicked on our local news the other day, and ALL the top stories were pervs ) that I am wary, no matter how ya spell it...

Also, I had a neighbor who seemed like a nice guy until I heard the tone in his voice when he said "Oh, you have a daughter??" Then I found out he had a massive porn addiction, and then couldn't let my kid go outside alone...Needless to say I breathed a huge sigh of relief when he moved away...I've got other stories, but some people know I come here, topic...

I will not divorce. And I understand all too well what you are saying. I won't get started though, because my past makes me angry. I'm sure you understand. topic...


Thursday, January 26, 2012 2:13 PM


Right-o, Wish

Pending the regular background checks, I believe I got myself a job lined up for about 3 weeks from now. I know I NAILED the interview today. It'll be something to tide me over and get me back into working on somebody else's schedule, which will be good since I haven't worked a real job in over two years. The pay isn't much, so here's hoping the Union job pans out a month or two later.

I've fallen WAY behind the master bedroom remodel though. I've spent so much time the last 2 weeks studying for the union test and doing my own wicked-hard income taxes that the rehab has taken a back seat. Hope to get back in the swing tomorrow.

This is the first time doing my taxes that I've ever had to call the IRS for help with something. Filing correctly for two separate IRA distributions from both a Roth and a traditional for a first time home purchase is a nightmare to the un-certified DIY'er. Google is NO help with that. WAY too many variables to construct the perfect text phrase that will give you the answer, assuming it's even out there.

The AWESOME thing though, is that I discovered that 401k/IRA retirement distributions are not taxable income in IL, even if you're not retirement age. I can't believe that...... How could that be possible? IL TAXES EVERYTHING THEY CAN GET THEIR GRUBBY, CORRUPT LITTLE HANDS ON!!!!!

So because of that the $850 tax burden I thought I'd be shouldering come April is a much more satisfying $130! (Thanks IL, for the free water heater and washer/dryer combo!)

I've never had to do a partial resident state tax thing before. That wasn't too hard, but it was way more detailed than I've ever had to be for state stuff before.

Not to mention us IN folk have a billion more forms to fill out than the standard 2 page IL forms I grew up with. It's a lot more work, but I like that better though. It seems like next year when I'm living here full time there are a lot of things that I should be able to deduct to go above the standard deduction. In IL, there are very few things like being blind or handicapped that I never fall under.

Not to mention that IN state income tax is (currently) 1.6% less than IL, and Lake county is the only county in the state that doesn't (as of yet) charge a county tax.

If only I didn't have to drive over the border to IL to dodge nearly $4.00 more in taxes on a 30 pack of cheap beer, IN living would be my own personal Nirvana......

Who am I kidding, it still is!

Anyways, if you don't pay somebody to do your taxes, and you need any help with something tricky, let me know. I'm pretty good at that sort of thing.

Glad to hear you got your washer water problem fixed. How's the pantry/cupboard re-org project going?

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Friday, January 27, 2012 4:45 PM



I finished sanding the 60 sq/ft of overhead mud today. Got most of the other sanding done and put the 2nd coat on today.

I'm glad I wear contacts. I didn't spring for a non-fogging mask or goggles, so it's just a respirator here. Twice today I had to scurry into the bathroom and wash my eyes out when I got a big batch of the burning white stuff in my eyes.

Realistically, I hope to have the room primered 3 times by Wednesday. Most of the work will be done tomorrow, but the devil's in the details and the drying time.

My only regret so far now is finding out that in new construction houses are required to have smoke alarms that are hard wired to the existing electric (with a battery backup). Old houses aren't required to rip out existing walls to make this possible, but I wish I knew this before I made so many repairs and primered everything.

Oh well...

I WILL be hard wiring a smoke alarm in the hallway, which is much less than the required 15 feet distance from either bedroom on the 2nd floor. That should be enough to satisfy the nit-pickers when I try to sell this bad boy when the market stabilizes.

They'll just have to be happy enough with 2 closets with installed LED motion lights and 2 bedrooms with non-hard-wired smoke alarms they'll have to change batteries on twice a year.

Sure beats every house I ever looked at that didn't have either.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Friday, January 27, 2012 5:02 PM


Hi 6IXSTRINGJACK, well I didn't know you as I'm new, but Hi!


Sunday, January 29, 2012 2:46 PM


Hey Wish,

I was wondering about something that I thought you could help out with. I'm still heavily considering going with stained oak trim for the doors, windows and floors upstairs rather than the white. I figure if I go that route, the trim will be a dark stain, and the floors will be a much lighter shade. When I put up blinds, they will likely be the real wood variety, and be a shade somewhere in the middle, leaning towards the lighter floor.

I'm just wondering if you're a lot more limited in the colors you can choose for a room when the trim is brown? Do you have any thoughts on this? Do you know of any website that has a easy way to peruse choices like this without having to browse through hundreds of DIY projects?

I'm actually going to have to weigh this color thing out really soon. Since I'm going to be working in about 3 weeks most likely, I've revised my plans. I'll have the bedroom primered in the next two days. After that I'm going to do everything that needs to be done in the hallway. From there, I need to have my colors picked out for the walls because I'll be under the gun to get the color up so I can still manage to sand and re-finish the upstairs floors before I start my job. I figure once I get to that point, I can do the window/door/floor/(ceiling?) trim at my leisure and when money permits.

BTW... I had a GREAT idea for the stairwell going up to the hallway. I believe have mentioned the large mirror on the wall at the top of the stairs that would cover the access panel to the shower in a previous post. This would offer a great reflection of the chandelier from the ground floor.

Well.. just today I thought a way to take it even to the next level.....

When you're in the hallway looking down the stairwell, there's a blank, boring half/wall up high that just stares you in the face. (Behind where the chandalier would be hung). I'm thinking that it would look GREAT to have a large wrapped canvas piece of art hung there behind the chandalier. This would look amazing either from the top of the stairs, or in the reflection of the mirror from the first floor.

(Without having a photo to show you, please allow my VERY humble stick work to explain what I'm talking about. An architect, I definitely am not )

I had a better idea though, that would take a lot more work, but I think it would be so worth it.

In this picture, I have "built out the corners of the end of the stairwell at angles with the intention of being able to hang a 3-piece wrapped canvas such as this one available at

Wondering what you think about all of this. :)


Originally posted by ShadowTek:
Hi 6IXSTRINGJACK, well I didn't know you as I'm new, but Hi!

Hey ShadowTek. Nice to meet ya!

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Sunday, January 29, 2012 3:15 PM


Hey again!

I downloaded the "Gimp" free image editor. It's AWESOME!!!!!!

I got a few updated pics to show you what I'm talking about here :)

Here's the first, easy version....

Here's the more involved version....

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Monday, January 30, 2012 3:16 PM


Hey again Wish,


I'm looking at DIY sites for bedroom ideas and I'm seeing a lot of things I would have liked to take the time to do before getting this far into the job. Most of this stuff is "lighting" issues. I haven't primered the room yet, but it would be so much double-work now if I were to rip up chunks of the ceiling to add things like track lighting and/or over-the-bed lighting. I also didn't take the time to add closet lights, which isn't as big a deal since my closets aren't HUGE and they have a lot of motion sensor/battery operated options out there.

I'm really starting to second guess my desire for wood stained trim. I'm not very good with colors, but I think I may be seriously limiting myself to what colors I can paint the rooms if I have wood trim and hardwood floors.

My mom's giving my brother and I each a large Oriental rug for our new houses that she was given by my Freat Aunt (Real Oriental, with the same connotations as "Fine China", not the dollar-store crap we've all come to know and love in the last 15 years).

Once I know what color(s) the one I'm getting is and I know how large it is, I'll know what room it's going in and I'll ask you how it would best work.


"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Tuesday, January 31, 2012 4:16 PM


First coat of primer up today!

Just a few "fixes" I needed to mud after the fact, but this room should only take 2 coats before I move on.

So excited to get to the hallway and finish the prep-work for the entire 2nd floor!

I can't for-sure tell yet, with all of the bleeding through that occurs in the first coat of primer, but I really think that my mud/sand job was perfect. There should be no visible shadows that you get when you don't sand the mud down just right.

I'll know tomorrow.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Tuesday, January 31, 2012 5:39 PM


Hey, Jack!
Sorry, I took a weee break and went to an aquarium in Tennessee for the weekend, we were sick with sinus crud all weekend but still managed to enjoy ourselves. Sooo many shiny happy skinny people in TN. Sooo vastly different from South IN...

I think doing a main show-off room in wood trims and floors is a good idea, the whole house would be a bit monotonous, BUT I FREAKING LOVE THE CHERRY BLOSSOM PIC!!! I was just telling hubbs I wanted to paint one in a room, heh.

I wish I had the unfettered time and energy you have. I can't seem to finish ANYTHING lately, soo much pulling me away, soo many projects half finished....

Soooooo much sinus meds


Wednesday, February 1, 2012 2:57 PM


Hey Wish,

Tennessee.... Dolphins and Manatees and Sharks and exotic fish!

Sounds like fun!

One of my favorite things to do as a kid was see the "Dolphin Show" at Brookfield Zoo, and then go "underground" afterward and just stare through the glass tanks and watch them play for as long as I could get my parents to let us stay there. They probably stopped using the song by now, but I later found out the song they used during the show was the instrumental from Chariots of Fire (which I've still never seen). I love that song to this day because of the childlike association to a high point of my childhood.

About Tennessee, after working closely for a few years with an older woman who was talking about how bad she wanted to move back to Tennessee when she and her husband retired, I found myself wanting to live there. Everything about it sounded like it would be so much easier to live a "Mal-like" existence. I didn't even look there when house hunting though because I'd be too far away from my family and friends. I'm not exactly the extroverted type that easily makes new friends. I'm plenty personable when I need to be and I know about 12 of my neighbors names on my block and their kids, but after nearly 6 months of living here it's not like we've ever broke bread or anything.

About the "too much wood", I was going to be putting large area rugs on much of the hardwood floors, so it wouldn't be all hardwood that you saw. Like I said in an earlier post, I'm getting that cool Oriental rug from my Mom, and in the other rooms I'll just wait until I can afford two more high quality area rugs or find them for a steal.

I think you're right though. I'm starting to lean heavily towards the white trim throughout. As much as I love the look of stained oak trim, it's a lot more work and the upkeep is much more intense. I've always liked the way that 4" white trim looks in any house/apartment whenever I see it on TV. I think with the white trim I'm also freer to use a wider range of color on the walls than I would if I had the wood floors with the wood stained trim.

So.... That being said, I'm desperately trying to figure out how I'll color the rooms on the second floor so I don't loose any precious days picking out colors when the hallway is complete. Any ideas of good colors for a master bedroom, a guest bedroom (maybe future kid's bed) and the hallway that joins both rooms to the bathroom the door to the finished crawl space and the stairwell to the 1st floor?

I'm pretty handy at doing the work, but I'm not so great at finishing touches. It would be nice to have a lady's point of view here too since the idea is to have a house that would instantly be attractive to any potential future Ms. 6's out there, while also maintaining a classy bachelor pad feel. Not that I ever went to college, but I don't want this looking the way that a frat guy would want his rooms to look. If the final touches were left to me alone without any female input, I might have done a whole lot of work for very little payoff in the end.

Rather than spring for the wooden blinds like I was thinking of doing, I may just go back to my vinyl blinds for the time being too. I figure if a woman were in my life, she might hate the (very expensive) blinds that I bought. I know there's no way that I'm going to pick out things like drapes while it's just me here. A) I think going that far without being married would more likely attract guys than gals, and B) I know things like putting final touches on a house are as important to a woman as the shoes or accessories to go with her outfits.

Not trying to be chauvinistic here if it comes off that way, actually it's quite the contrary. I'm really looking to make the house that's perfect for me now, as a single guy, but would in the end be a well oiled machine behind the scenes as well as a "brand new" looking house that would serve as a blank canvas for some special lady to put her magic to work on in the future.

I figure that I will likely keep the ceilings a white color in all spaces, since that seems to help brighten things up. Otherwise, I think all the walls in the hallway should be one color, and in the bedrooms I was thinking of 3 walls the same color and the 4th wall a slightly different color in the same color family.

I know that the oriental rug I'm getting is a Deep Blue color mostly, although it has very many other colors. It wasn't my Great Aunt's like I thought, I just found out today it was the rug my Grandma had in her TV room that I loved when I was a kid. I don't remember the details other than the Navy type blue, but I remember there were decorative type "dragons" on it and I believe the other colors that were minor throughout were red, yellow and white. I'd LOVE to have that rug in the Master Bedroom, but if memory serves it was more of a rectangular shape so it would have to go in the guest bedroom. I really need to get my Mom and Step-Dad to bring it out here before I pick colors for each room.

All that being said, you got any color suggestions for me?

Anyways.... I can empathize with you completely about half finished projects. After nearly 6 months here, I haven't actually "finished" anything. Not one damn room. It really can be very demoralizing when you're under the gun to get a job. At the same time, it can also be motivating. I'd love to have a job at least by the beginning of March, so that gives me 3-4 weeks to finish primering the Master Bedroom, prep and primer the hallway (which also entails adding a flush access panel to the plumbing, and extending the electric for the chandalier), paint both bedrooms and the hallway, and then sand and refinish the hardwood floors on the 2nd floor (and possibly the stairs, if I'm REALLY fast about things).

It's a pretty tall order for a one-man-crew, but I think it can be done. My motivation is that I don't want to be sleeping on my living room couch without access to my only working shower, my bedroom (and no furniture upstairs) while waiting 24 hours each for 2 coats polyurethane to dry on the floors...... all while trying to balance my new job.

And don't beat yourself up about motivation. You got your hands full with a family. Some things are more important. It's "easy" for me to be so energetic when I don't have the daily grind of a job or the welfare of a child or pleasing a spouse on my hands. Trust me... I have PLENTY of wasted time drinking beer and catching up on TV shows in between. I know my current way of life is going to change drastically when I have to balance the rest of the home improvement with a 40hr/wk+ job.

Get well soon!

Take solace in the fact that you're not blowing a hankie full of white drywall-dust-filled goobers on a nightly basis like I do when I'm sanding walls and ceilings on top of it all.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Wednesday, February 1, 2012 5:40 PM


My best piece of advice on colors is to go wherever you go to buy linens and look at the different combinations. There will always be a couple combos you come back to again and again. Find a piece that inspires you and work from there...I get the feeling from what little I've seen of the pics of your place that you could do with lighter colors and tints, but don't let me influence you.
I read an article that said if you have blue in your living room that it helps you be more creative, don't know if that's true, but I've always had a lot of blues around. There's a sage-y green color that was most popular new color for siding last year, and we like that with dark mocha and white. It would probably help if you figure out if you are a tint/shade/true/jewel/earthy tone kinda guy. I keep coming back to the clay-earthy colors, not because they are particularly attractive, but they are very calming for us...
You also need to figure out what kinda feel you want...Urban or refined or cozy or clean or jazzy or.... I kinda went with what I call "cigar lounge" feel- chocolate woods and brown leather with metalic accents(at least, in the living room, and mostly for hubbs).

This is a good time to figure who you are and how you want to feel when you come home.


Thursday, February 2, 2012 3:09 PM


Thanks Wish,

That's all good advice....

Who am I though, lol? That's a tough question. I have absolutely no idea what to do about colors and the clock is ticking.

I must have had the most boring bedroom any kid ever had growing up. White walls, wood trim, gray carpet, and not a single poster hung up other than my Kathy Ireland poster on the door :). I didn't put any holes in the walls to hang anything for the same reason that I never got a tattoo. I always wanted to get a tattoo, but I can't commit to anything because I think that even if I liked it today, I probably won't like it 5 years from now.

My brothers, on the other hand.... hoo boy! While I was living at my Mom's and Step Dad's while doing my house search, I rehabbed the entire upstairs. My old room was a cinch. It was practically ready to paint straight away since I didn't do any damage to the walls. I probably spent 3 entire days patching hundreds of holes and ripped paint and removing tape marks and poster "gum" before I could even think of primering the first coat. I swear they must have had every single inch of space on the walls and ceiling covered with something.

The only "linens" I've ever purchased for myself were a black and white set for a twin bed (at K-Mart), and a burgundy set for my king sized bed (from Both of these purchases were made while I lived in boring white rooms in apartments I was renting. (As much as I love my burgundy sheets and comforter, I will probably end up trashing them because I know there's no way I'm going to put up any color on the walls even resembling Red.

I never wear reds/yellows/pinks or really light/bright blues and greens. Most of my clothes tend to be black/white/brown/dark green/dark blue, and if I'm feeling particularly adventurous I throw on one of my dark purple shirts. I love wearing my dark purple dress shirt with my suit I bought at Carsons for special occasions. (70% off 550 dollars on double clearance, of course!)

That all sounds "earth-toney" to me, but I'm not an expert on those things.

Calm also sounds good to me. I'm a pretty intense guy by nature, and I'm looking to simplify my life and find some inner peace and an overall feeling of tranquility when I come home from work.

The only thing I know about the living room is that I will eventually have a large leather couch set. It will likely be either black or brown.... possibly dark green if I find just the right shade.

So.... I don't exactly know who I am , but I know I want a very relaxed atmosphere in the house. I also know that I don't want any colors so "loud" that it turns other people off whether it be guests, a special lady, or potential buyers if I ever decide to sell it.

It sounds like earth tones are the way to go then, huh?

Any further suggestions based off of that?

BTW... a cigar lounge type feel for the living room sounds great. Too bad I make myself either smoke outside or upstairs in the finished crawl. As much as I hate to admit it, there is a ton less dust when I don't smoke inside, and the place just smells a hell of a lot better.

The finished crawl (3rd floor), was actually the biggest selling point for me. I knew the moment I first saw this place where my man-cave would be and I'm thrilled that after nearly 6 months of smoking in here that none of my guests have been able to smell a trace of cigg odor when they come over.

Even better, I have no plans of ever rehabbing this area. It's not going to ever come close to the standards I'm setting for the rest of the house, but since It's really just a bonus extravagance and a glorified storage area, I don't see any reason to ever spend a dime or any future free time up here. Especially if I'm just going to smoke and ruin the walls anyways.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Friday, February 3, 2012 2:26 PM


Master bedroom prime finished! It looks amazing! There's a huge echo in the room now without any furniture or carpet in there.

I hope to get the hall done by the end of next weekend and then its on to paint.

Anyways... I think I may end up doing a very dark wood color for the floors after seeing a room idea on that I LOVE. Do you know if there are any pitfalls that come with a dark floor? Also, if I decide that I wanted the dark floor only upstairs and a lighter color for the 1st floor, would it look awkward? Maybe I'd be able to stain the tops of the stairs the dark color while staining the vertical parts of the stairs the lighter color of the 1st floor as a unique transition that ties it all together?

Here's the picture of the bedroom that I loved:

I'm not excited at all about how they've decorated it, but I love the way the wall color works with the trim and the dark floor. The only thing I think I would do different in that regard is to put a slightly darker shaded accent wall behind the bed. What do you think, Wish?

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Friday, February 3, 2012 5:24 PM


Heh. You read mah mind...
Seriously, I was thinking something pretty close to that pic (minus the thing at the end of the bed-one more thing to whack yer toes on ) I have no problem with darker floors, but I've only the one room in it, and haven't had it for long- so ask me again in a few years...

I like the idea of tying in the colors on the stairs, I've seen that done badly once and it still looked ok, so with your OCD, I'm sure it'll look perfect

I vote yes, go for it!!


Saturday, February 4, 2012 2:02 PM


Great to hear you're on board Wish!

When all is said and done, I'm going to do one more thing on the stairs to tie the two wood colors together.... I'm removing the brown cast-iron banisters from the stairs (I HATE them!!!). I will replace them with some sort of sleek contemporary wood banisters. I figure the tracks that go up with the stairs I'll stain the dark color, and the vertical posts I will do in the lighter color on the 1st floor. The thick decorative molding that cases the stairs on the side opposite of the banister side will remain white. I've decided to use white trim throughout the house, so it will tie the 1st floor and 2nd floor trim together.

My only concern now is how slippery finished stairs can be, particularly if there are any little ones running around. Plus, any of the floors that are finished there will be a "no shoes" rule in place, making it even more dangerous. I wonder how to make those stairs safer without destroying the look I'm going for????

In non-theoretical news.... I finished my access panel to the shower upstairs today. It took me nearly all day to do it, but when the glue dries tomorrow it should be rock solid and perfectly flush with the rest of the wall. It's a paintable plastic composite, so in theory I should be able to blend it in nearly seemlessly with the rest of the wall. I thought it was a nice touch that the plastic cover already has an "orange peel" like texture on it, so after a few coats of primer on the walls and a few paint coats afterward the texture should match too, not just the color.

It would have only taken an hour to install the panel if I just glued it on top of the wall, but if I sell the house I don't think I'll leave a 400 dollar mirror behind so I'm glad that I took the extra 5 or so hours to make it as inconspicuous as possible.

In the end, a lot more work and time than I thought it would take, but at only 9 bucks on sale, the peace of mind that I can access the shower from behind without destroying the wall and kicking up a ton of dust on my finished floors was well worth the effort.

Man..... I wish this work didn't take so long for one guy to do alone. I'm so excited to see this 2nd floor and stair work for real and not just in my head. Showing people before and after pics of mold removal and wall repair is cool and all, but I really want to show some actual results for a change. Even when the walls are painted and the floors are done, I won't be able to justify buying the trim, window sills, and the materials to build out my closets until I'm working, but at least when I get it all to that point I will really start to feel like I'm actually accomplishing something and not just floating around aimlessly in a sea of "things to do".

At least all the work is still fun, for now. I just hope that I can keep that mindset when I'm balancing home repair with a real job that takes up a majority of my time not sleeping.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Sunday, February 5, 2012 1:59 PM


Hey again Wish (and anybody else too),

I did the preliminary work for an inventive idea for the chandelier that I'm actually quite proud of. Being lazy at heart, I try to come up with the easiest way of doing things that is still safe.

A chandelier is heavy. Even if you're mounting just a 2lb decorative fixture, you are supposed to have the junction box either directly affixed to the joists above, or you need to use those extenders that affix to both joists if the fixture needs to be hung somewhere in the middle.

The only problem is, that this house has the thickest walls and ceiling I've ever seen, and a great majority of it is actual concrete and not gypsum board. (It's great knowing that it's all such high quality, but when you're trying to add electric or access panels, the work is really a BITCH.) It is VERY hard to cut through by hand and using a power tool throws so much dust everywhere that everything is covered in the end. I did not want to have to cut a 16"x6" hole in the ceiling just to hang a 4"x4" junction box, not to mention all of that extra drywalling and mudding necessary to cover it all back up.

Plus.... I'm doing this all while hanging precariously on an extension ladder that's braced up against the stairs. The 4"x4" hole I cut was scary enough to a guy that's afraid of heights and doesn't want to fall on stairs and roll down them with a broken neck.

So... Here's a mock up of the work I've done so far.....

I think the pic is self explanatory, but the main jist is that I didn't care what the floor above looked like since it's a hidden away storage area near the furnace that is the only non-finished place in the entire crawl space.

So my original idea was to use a "blank" junction box screwed into the "floor" plywood and let the actual fixture junction box hang from it.

In theory, it was a great idea by itself, but in practice, I just don't think I'm comfortable with hanging a chandelier and relying on the integrity of the board itself to hold the weight of the chandelier over the years, especially since the anchor lies almost directly between the two joists.

My question to you Wish, and maybe you could run it by your husband to, is how would you further anchor this, using some sort of metal support system that would branch out wide enough to span at least the length of the surrounding joists (which span 16" apart). I'm thinking using several lengths of small rebar under the anchor box would work, but since they're round they might roll with house settling and potentially drop the chandelier an 1/8th of an inch or so, enough to crack the ceiling. I want the solution to be thin though, because I would still like to screw 4 screws through the box and into the plywood in a way where the hanging box is completely level.

Any ideas? Thanks!!!!!


Oh, BTW...

This is all being done for this part of the project:

I decided against building the walls out for 3 hung pieces of artwork (cherry blossoms). It was really a bad idea looking back on it. If I want to do a 3 piece thing in the future, it would be much less work and much easier to "undo" if I were too just build frames for the artwork itself and hang them at the angles I was suggesting.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book


Sunday, February 5, 2012 3:09 PM


No worries......

Talked to my Step-Dad tonight about it. I sometimes overthink things so much that I become so tunnel visioned that the easy solution is beyond my grasp.

I'll just use a 2"x6" plank and mount the anchor above that. It could easily span 4 joists up there without ever getting in the way of any function and I would be able to shim it out any way I needed to to make the fixture box completely flush.

Hell... I'm going to even run an extra set of wires to that box. Right now, there's no light in that spot. It's the access panel door that you'd open to install a new furnace filter, which I just did today. It's really dark in there. If I get bored one day when all of the "real" work is done, I could extend a switch and a small light over the back of the furnace there to make filter installation even at night a snap!

Anyways, if you have any better, less conspicuous ideas, I'm still up for it. I just don't really care too much about asthetics where it's all located because nobody except for the "man of the house" would probably ever open that painted plywood door for any reason other than kids playing hide and seek. (Note to self: Whatever solution you use, make sure there are no accessable screws or jagged edges for any Curious Georges or Georgettes to sue me for)

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." ~Shepherd Book






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