Master Bedroom Remodel: Ready For Tile

This last November I installed tile in the Kitchen, it was supposed to be practice for the master bathroom tile install. I’m glad I did. I learned a few things: one that the dry winter air made it difficult to keep up with the drying the concrete products, two that it’s easy to lay a tile and think it’s level only to come back later and realize it is not.

My very small kitchen does not need perfect tile. As some point I will remodel it and do something else. I decided that I needed additonal practice and I would tile the master bedroom before attempting the bathroom. Before I could do anything with the master bedroom I had to remove all the crap that had accumulated since I had started using it as storage. To remove the crap from the master bedroom means making space in other rooms. I made about two trips to Goodwill. I still have quite a bit of crap but it felt good getting rid of that stuff.

The master bedroom had been unused for about 5 years with no remodeling progress and once I had the room cleared the project started to move quickly. I started by putting in a larger electrical conduit from the breaker box to the attic, I then ran the 220volt wires from the box to the thermostat location in the bedroom. I also finally wired up the electrical to the master bathroom’s radiant floor heating elements. Then I installed the insulating mat on the concrete floor and the the WarmlyYours heating elements. Getting the conduit to the breaker box was a huge step, since it also allows me to complete a number of other projects.

Before putting down the elements I thought I would try to install wallpaper. After a day or so the wallpaper was in it started separating from the wall. I still need to go back and fix it.

The electric heating elements need to be covered in some sort of cement product such as thinset or self leveling concrete. After my experience of putting in self leveling concrete in the master bathroom I knew I didn’t want to try it again. I considered using a layer of thinset but decided that the risks of having to crawl around on the elements and having to deal with the height thickness in the closet, which had no elements, was too much of a problem. I eventually had a local company Koch Mechanical install a 3/4 inch layer of gypcrete. On a square foot basis, the $400 I payed them for the installation may have been expensive, I could have easily wasted that much trying to do it myself.

The gypcrete was installed on Thursday and I was able to walk on it in only a few hours after it was installed. Good news as I didn’t have to fight to keep the cat out. It’s still very soft and will take a few weeks to fully harden. Also good news as I have other plans for the next few weeks.

This weekend I also installed a ceiling fan along with a separate wall switch and a hallway socket on the same circuit. This completes the electrical work for these two rooms and I can put up remaining pieces of drywall.

I expect to have this room complete, except for painted trim, in thirty days.

Installing The Electrical Controls For The Radiant Floor Heat

IMG_1504 - Version 2It’s been months since I have worked on the Master Bathroom project, I think the last update was in July or August. Call it a lack of motivation. My friends have noticed a lack of progress and have really been lying down the guilt.

Sometimes it takes some mocking and peer pressure to give me a kick in the pants.

This weekend I ran wiring thought the wall. The plan here is to run the main power from the breaker to a GFCI receptacle. From there it goes up to the thermostat. Power runs from the thermostat to the radiant floor heating elements and a temperature probe runs from the thermostat and will be embedded in the floor.

I still need to drill the hole through the top plate in the wall cavity and run the wire over to the breaker box. I don’t need the connection to the breaker box right now.

Another interesting thing I have noticed is the walls are filled with cellulose insulation. The insulation has settled over the years and there is a good 6 inch gap at the top of the celling that is missing insulation. I suspect the rest of the house is like this.

I’m thinking that at some point I will have all of the stucco removed and I will put a layer of styrofoam around the house and put new stucco over that.

Riding My Bike To Work

A while back I suggested that I would start riding my bike to work. At the time it didn’t work out because I have to be in the factory at 7 am 5 days a week. I have a hard enough time getting up in time to drive to work let alone getting up early to ride to work. A few weeks ago I started back on a compressed work week schedule which means I work Sundays. Since I didn’t need to be in at exactly 7 am, I got a chance to try out biking.

I was able to find a path that almost completely avoids main roads. Rio Rancho (and Albuquerque) and not on the top of the list of bike friendly cities. Many of the roads don’t have sidewalks let alone bike paths. Those that have sidewalks only have them on one side of the street.

The 5.3 mile ride into work takes me about 25 minutes and it’s all down hill. This means less effort on my part and less sweating and I can avoid the shower and change of clothes. The ride home is much tougher and takes me 45 minutes. I learned the hard way that non cotton clothing is the way to go. Getting the sweat off my body is absolutely imperative if I don’t want to collapse on the way home.

This week my truck broke down (started overheating, it was the thermostat) and I had to ride my bike in 3 of the 4 days of my shift. I learned that I can get up in time to be in at 7 am. Even though my truck is supposedly fixed, I will try to ride my bike in again next week. I expect to save money of fuel but will I loose some of this fat off my body?

Burned Up Wire Nut

Near the end of last summer, I had a power outtage. After the outage my swamp cooler thermostat would show the temp of 22 degrees, which I assume was the lowest temp the thermostat can read. The damage was probably from a power surge.

swamp cooler power wire nutNow the thermostat seems to correctly read the temp, but I wanted to replace it anyways. So I pulled out the wiring and found wire nut that holds the main power wires together has burned up. It looks like it shorted out, for lack of a better explaination. Thankfully the wiring is all contained in a metal box becasue the inside of the box, near where the wire nut was placed, looks like was burned.

It’s very strange, this has to have happned since I moved in becasue I replaced the thermostat. Everything still works fine. What would cause a wire nut to burn up?