I’ve made more progress on the front porch after not doing much for several weeks.
The previous owners had a white, chalk like rock around the perimeter of the raised bed. This rock was popular in the 1970′s and 1980′s and I hate it. The problem with this rock is that its light weight and it ends up all over the place. I also don’t think they are very attractive.
I removed the white rocks and replaced them with grey river rocks from the south side of my yard. I also put the same grey river rocks on the other side of the walkway. I’m making good progress at reducing the rocks on the south side of my yard by reusing them elsewhere in my landscape.
I put together a rough draft of how I would like my front yard to look in OmniGraffle. The plan shows red areas as walls and yellow areas are new pavement.
The plan shows a triangular jog of the wall, this wall layout is mean to mirror the roof pitch and angle. I’m also planning walkways out to the sidewalk that doesn’t exist (the city is talking about adding them) and around the north side of the house. I’m not yet sure if I want to put in concrete or pavers and I’m experimenting with some pavers I picked up from Home Depot. They are concrete with a variation in color and have a similar look to slate.
It’s been hot here. Unusually hot. This last week has been in the mid to high 90’s which seems about 10 degrees more than usual. This poses a problem for me. Last fall I removed the swamp cooler due to the duct work rusting out and making a mess and I haven’t yet resolved it. I realize it’s June and I should be prepared for the heat already, but I wasn’t expecting this much heat at once.
I managed to get the old rusted duct work removed but I’m not yet done getting the cement casing cleaned up. I did get a MasterCool for free but needed to get it blowing cold air into the house. Getting this small amount of duct work made was going to be extremely expensive, one company quoted me $600 – $800.
The Lowes and Home Depot don’t carry duct work larger than 8”. Luckily I was able to find a local hardware store called Samons that carries pre-made duct work. Not being ready to permanently install the duct work… let me just say that if your a fan of duck tape, you will be a fan of my work.
I have a managed to duct tape the whole mess together and sit it on the cement hole. If there’s a strong wind it will probably blow the duct work away, If it rains It will probably fill the hole with water. For now I’m cool.
It’s taken me a long time to complete what now seems pretty simple. I can finally call the pocket door kit install done. Instead of going with a prebuilt frame that can be had at Home Depot, I went with a Johnson Hardware Universal Pocket Door Frame Kit. One reason I didn’t go with the prebuilt frame is because it looks like it’s not something I could take into the house and install by myself. The Johnson kit comes in a box and in pieces which were easy to install by myself.
I’m not sure how much the Home Depot prebuilt kit is, but the Johnson Hardware kit was $60 through Ace Hardware’s online site.
I installed a ceiling fan in the living room today. It’s the simplest, most basic ceiling fan I could find, an 60″ industrial ceiling fan from Home Depot.
This fan is controlled through my home automation computer like the other fan. Unfortunately the only PLC compatible fan controller that exists is the Lightolier Controls Digital Fan Control (CCWHISPLC) which costs over $100, I have one for the kitchen ceiling fan and it works great. Besides the high cost of the CCWHISPLC it is also X10 only. I’ve decided to use a SwitchLinc V2 Dimmer for the living room fan. Dimmers don’t make good fan controllers. They usually cause a humming noise and can damage the fan.
To eliminate the hum from the fan controller I could implement a work around by Ed Cheung. It’s a passthrough device that properly switches the speed without humming or damaging the fan. The cost of this device is about $50. A Switchlinc is about $45. Together I’m getting close to the price of the CCWHISPLC, but at least it would still not be X10. I’m still pondering this option.
The last problem with this fan is it hangs a bit low. My ceilings are 8 foot high and this one hangs about a foot down. I think I can cut down the 6″ rod about 4 inches which should help.
When I bought this house, the first thing I worked on was the kitchen. I had hoped that I could keep the cabinets and refinish them up but they were in too bad of shape. I didn’t have a lot of money. I installed the majority of the cabinets that I could afford, plus I needed to do some construction before I could put all of them up. I used the Mills Pride brand from Home depot.
Here we are a year and a half later and I’ve have some money to put up more cabinets. Home Depot is apparently not carrying Mills Pride anymore, in fact Mills Pride’s website says it’s under construction. I’m not about to trash the cabinets I already put in and start over, so I decided to use some open shelving.
There’s an area between the microwave and the wall I plan to nock down. I’m dying to nock down this wall, but I’m not quite ready yet. I really need some shelving here to hold food related stuff when I’m cooking. My “pantry” was next to my sink, which was an original cabinet and a pain to access. By placing open shelving in both of these locations I can easily access things that I use frequently and hide the rest in normally closed cabinet. I like steel wire shelving. Normally shelving like this is expensive so I used less expensive shelving normally used for closets and made them adjustable.
So far it’s working out much better than I imagined. Having the extra cabinet space and having easy access to spices while still having them off the counter has been terrific. Cost of materials for 3 shelves 27 inches long, 3 shelves 31 inches long, 12 brackets and 4 wall mounts was about $80.
I guess I don’t have a infestation. After my last post I went to the nearest Home Depot and found some Glue Traps. They are a platform with a ultra sticky substance that’s suppose to attract scorpions, spiders and other bugs. I’d prefer to stay away from the nuclear option of spraying the place if possible. Besides, scorpion’s are difficult to kill with standard pesticides anyhow.
Since putting them down I haven’t seen as single scorpion, which surprised me. Until a few days ago, I found a small one in the glue trap. I’m not sure where they are coming from but It’s pretty clear they are coming from the north end of the house. They could be coming up from around the heater ducts in the floor or possibly from the master bathroom where the roots were coming up, i haven’t finished demolishing that yet.
In either case I’ve learned to live with the fact that they are there. In fact, they are a excellent predator and will eat centipedes, another nasty insect that people find in their homes in New Mexico. So what would I rather have, scorpion’s or centipedes? Scorpion’s turn out to be the lesser of two evils.
It’s a pain in the ass to do just about anything in Rio Rancho, because you can’t actually do much in Rio Rancho. You have to go into Albuquerque. Now I’m getting a 14 screen movie theater right down the road from my house. I was hoping for a Home Depot to be build there, but I will take what I can get.
Drew Dolan, a project coordinator with Argus, said plans include a strip mall with 8,500 square feet of retail space to be developed with the theater. Site plans also include another sit-down restaurant, fast food offerings and an auto services provider, he said.
After seeing this done on Jonathan Wong’s site, I knew it was something I had to try. The thing dislike the most about this house is the rough wall texture. Not only because it’s ugly but because it holds all the dirt grime of the years. This was a good way to cover at least one wall without scraping and paint.
I used aluminum flashing that was 20 inches wide, a 50 foot roll cost about $30 at Home Depot. I didn’t quite have enough with the first roll and had to buy another. Overall the project went quickly and easily, but I had a few issues. I used liquid nails to glue the panels on the wall but I had an issue with the panels slowing sliding down after I though they were stuck on. About half way though I starting used scotch tape to hold them in place temporarily. There’s also a few dents where the glue and wall touch.
The next step is to move this along the wall where the front door is. I want to make the door invisible from the wall, but I don’t intend to do the whole wall.
An attempt this weekend to repair my leaking bathroom resulted in new stuff. First we tried to fix the leaking sink, only to find it so old and corroded that it was better to replace it. I had planned to replace it at some point and I really didn’t like the double-ugly cabinet. That’s how I got the pedestal sink along with the new faucet.
Time to tackle the toilet, but pretty much the same thing. Old, corroded and ugly. Initally I was worried the new 1.6 gallon toilet would not flush as well as the old 5 gallon, but I’m happy to report that it is doing a fine job. I also upgraded to a nice padded seat.
I also removed the old, ugly, cheap-ass cabinet that was hanging above the toilet. I replaced the square mirror with this combo round mirror and medicine cabinet. I don’t care for the way it sticks out of the wall but i am happy with the look. Total trips to Home Depot for the project: 4.