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Old 06-07-2012, 06:22 PM   #436
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


It's been time for a new bird cage for some time now. Rather, nearly 3 years.

I admit, I bought a cheapie cage when I first got my parrot. It was safe and large enough, and that was about all that mattered to me at the time. While shipping it to NC three years ago in a huge cardboard box, it took serious dents and I've had to beat it back into some reasonable shape. Yesterday I realized that it was time I stopped putting it off and just pony up for a nice one.

Except the nice one I wanted, after four hours of researching, ended up being a semi-custom. The factory in China that makes it literally only tools up for it once a year or so, leaving me with an estimated 6 month wait for a color I wasn't thrilled about. At $579, with an additional $180 shipping, it wasn't going to be cheap either. This one.



In desperation, I checked CraigsList for deals, just in case. Found this rusty old treasure.



The previous owner had her parrot in here for almost 30 years, until it passed about 5 years ago. She just now decided to part with it. It did need work, but I was willing to make it happen.



The scroll work had a bit of flaking, but nothing too major.



The side where she must have had the water dish was pretty well beat up.

Poop had eaten the paint off the feet, which is rather common.



I jumped right in with a sponge, bucket, and some steel wool. A few hours later, I had a blank canvas. Everything went smoothly, except this rust spot, which took quite a while.


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Old 06-07-2012, 06:43 PM   #437
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


About 6 hours in, the first coat of paint started going on. I went with three cans of Rust-oleum "Hammered" in Silver. The label says it can be applied directly over rust and doesn't require primer. About $5.50 a can with my discount. I started on the underside first.



After 1 coat on the outside of the bars and the underside bars, I was already out of paint. I was getting about 15% of the paint of the bars. The rest wafted right through. I could bring the can closer and lose less paint, but then it'd get ugly and try to run. Occasional breezes weren't helping.



I gave up for the night after the underside and outside bars. This morning I picked up 6 more cans and got to work just after breakfast. The entire inside, top side and one pan got done with those cans.



The carpenter ran into town for the last 3 cans at the store. I made it all the way around, and two coats of every part of the trays, but not with too much to spare. Yeah. It took that many.

Here's the same foot after two hours of drying, then a quick two coats of Crystal Clear Glossy Enamel as a test.



Looks great to me. Hoping to get the rest of the think glossed tonight! Ordered these casters to go with.




I didn't plan it, but ironically, the silver/red theme matches the bird pretty well.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:37 PM   #438
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


Ordered five Rubbermaid closet systems the other day. Normally $130 at Lowe's, plus tax (so closer to $140). Only $101 on Amazon, shipped. In titanium color, this is how the product page shows them. Seen them in person, and it's pretty close.



They should be here some time today. Decided I should start prepping the closets, so I started tearing out the old office closet expecting a finished wall underneath.



Nope. Unfortunately this is the original 1950's install. Bare drywall paper underneath.



Ended up having to pry the 4' piece about 1/2" off the wall then cut it in thirds using a circular saw set to just short of full board depth.

In the process, I pried with a pry bar at a spot where I thought there was a stud... but apparently there wasn't. The sound of gypsum crunching...



Here I've already cleaned it up a bit and pulled the loose pieces out. Couldn't find my fiberglass patches, so I headed to Ace instead of searching all day. 15 minutes later, we're back in business.



Time to sand down and go for the second coat on the patch.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:07 PM   #439
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When I said "time to sand down and go for the second coat on the patch", what I really meant was "time to go run my sanding block and sand paper through a pile of still-wet compound." That's about how the rest of the day went. The that patch and one other spot stayed cold (read: still not dry) through dinner time when I gave up on them.

In the meantime, I added the clear glossy enamled to the bird cage. Four coats on each side of each pan last night, and two coats on each side of every bar today. Came out to exactly 12 cans of the hammered silver paint and 12 cans of the clear gloss. :o The wheels also came today (a day ahead of schedule), so I drilled out the feet early and bolted them on with 1/4" x 1/2" x 20 hex heads. Probably should have gone stainless, but found it hard to justify the cost for 16 bolts and 16 nuts.



As it would turn out, I ended up ordering all 4 with the brake instead of only two with and didn't notice. Only added about $2.30 to the order, so I'm not too worried about it. As luck would have it, the heat from the unlubricated dull drill bit ended up melting some of the paint on the feet, so they're back to looking terrible. Sigh. But at least it's done now and rolls around easy.



Going to give it a solid week to cure before giving a last wash and then bringing it indoors. I was as much of the VOC content to have left as possible before exposing the bird to it.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:58 AM   #440
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


The tile looks good, I'm in the process of trying to find the floor transissions for doorways for my color flooring.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:14 AM   #441
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If you can't find an exact match, consider something contrasting. Sounds silly, but it's worth it to draw the eye to a quality job.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:17 AM   #442
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The company recommends this:

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051

Which this texture is cork looking and the floor looks like wood, ha.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:42 AM   #443
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


Progress on the closet continues. First a bit of primer over the bare paper and the compounded spots, then a coat of the ivory paint.



Definitely in need of a light second coat today to even the color out. Hoping it's fully dried by Monday for hanging the closet system.

Edit: imgur problems seem to have subsided. Either the (huge) thumbnails were taking forever to generate server-side or my proxy was having problems trying to cache images before they were available, causing some odd problems. Either way, last three image links now fixed and replaced.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:39 PM   #444
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


Yesterday morning the second coat went on. Looks pretty even. Still needs inside door trim and baseboard, but that can wait for now.

Installed the closet this morning. Took... a few more hours than I care to admit. Probably close to 4 hours? Wasn't timing it, but it's not the amount of time advertised on the box my any stretch of the imagination. Went with this layout, but it's pretty much 100% re-configurable on a whim:



The top bar is much higher than a traditional closet. The wife will need a step stool to access things up there or to hang my blues. Luckily, the uniform I wear 95% of the time is on the bottom row anyway.

Tons more spacious in the closet than the the pictures lead you to believe. The cheap camera combined with a narrower opening meant that I couldn't get a nice, close, wide-angle shot. Instead, I tried to get some angled shots to show the rest of the space (especially up top) but not sure it worked.



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Old 06-12-2012, 10:35 PM   #445
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Went Father's Day shopping today. Been keeping an eye out for HDTVs in the 32" - 42" range. The carpenter and I have both grown very fond of the game Rocksmith (read: Guitar Hero or Rockband with a real guitar), to the point where there's two Xbox consoles in the house that pretty much only are used for that game. He was having trouble trying to play it on an old tube, curved screen 27" TV.

Found a 50" Element (off-brand, I know) at Target. Normally $650, on sale for $500. 1080p, 3 HDMI, USB, VGA, headphone port, built-in soundbar (with a freakin sub!), etc etc. There was no display model, but I took a chance on it. And it looks actually very good, except for some pixelation on the boot screen of the XBox at 1080i. Anyway, I snuck it home and installed it in his room today while was at work.



Also picked up a new stud finder for $10 (which is equally as garbage as the $10 Stanley one it was supposed to replace) this morning, along with two clearance Kreg decking jigs I hope to flip on eBay.

Also priced out new recessed lighting while I was out. As it turns out, the LED cans at HD are only a few dollars behind the traditional or even CFL can systems. Once you get the remodel airtight EC can, you're already at $32. At a ring at $7-15 and a CFL at $2-3 and you're already at $41-50. The 5" LED system spits out 600 lumens using much less electricity, lasts longer, and only costs $60. No piecemeal work either. Anyhow...

Spent the rest of the my afternoon and evening installing more shelving. Today it was time to put up the pantry where the tiny little dining room used to be. It's not quite done (need to custom cut two braces for above the window), but it's already being stocked. Looks like she's taking back the cabinets for cooking gadgets and good China and whatnot.



Went to crack open a stout and realized I still haven't mounted a bottle-opener. I've been meaning to put a neodynium magnet on my church key for the longest time and never go around to it. I rummaged through the junk drawer and pulled out a Marlboro thank-you gift that I've had for years and never got around to installing. I quit smoking almost two years ago, so it's been a while.



Yep, opens Guinness just fine.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:22 PM   #446
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Took a road trip this weekend, so unfortunately not a whole lot got done here. A trip to the Redwood Forest was just what I needed to unwind.



We took advantage of an offer that Michael's was having. They were selling Lowe's gift cards at a 20% discount - $50 gift cards for $40. More or less cleaned out two stores on the last day of the event, with the managers' permission of course. I already put them in my safe deposit box at the bank, so I don't feel bad saying that I bought just shy of $4,000 worth. For the planned kitchen reno, the plan is now to buy the appliances from Lowe's. I'm going to be spending quite some time studying prices, reviews, etc. of kitchen appliances in the coming months. Hopefully I can snag a clearance, dented box, scratched, or similar unit for pennies on the dollar with these. I just have to be... very... patient.

Of course while were we at Michael's, the wife just had to get some new cake decorating goodies. I told her she better put them to good use. Sure enough:



And today marked the end of the seven days of drying and curing for the cage. Dusty got to check out his new (upcycled) home.



There's talk of keeping both cages. Yikes, this place sure is filling up in a hurry!
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:05 PM   #447
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


For the record, the fondant on that cake was rubbish. I peeled the stuff off so I could eat it. It was like chewing a never-ending stick of gum. So, you don't have to feel so jealous now. The wife won't be buying any more premade fontant in a box!

Finished fabricating the two missing pieces I needed to complete the pantry. Only took a few minutes with a hack saw and a few of the leftover extensions. They went from 25" to about 4". Also threw a clothes rod up there. I was thinking it can be temporary pot/pan storage via shower curtain hooks.





The super approves.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:21 PM   #448
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Been researching kitchen appliances lately. Pulled up the Ikea Kitchen Designer again today and loaded up the latest layout. Noticed I had set aside $1,500 for the fridge. We plan on waiting for a 20% off sale, and the 20% is the budget reserve for project overruns. The one I'd selected was apparently the Nutid model.





Plain, yet elegant. Not a terrible price for a Whirlpool (top rated by Consumer Reports as most reliable), but not amazing either. Solid model, but lacking in styling and features.

Worked through some deals and found a Whirlpool at Lowe's I liked a lot more.





Got the ice maker, water dispenser, and the 4th door for more fridge space that should be able to hold a full sheet cake or whatever else. Hopefully it helps our energy efficiency if we can get in the habit of putting the most common things we need in it.

$2499 SRP - sale price ($1879) - additional 10% off ($1691) - military 10% discount ($1522) - 20% savings on gift cards ($1217). Plus tax, but the Ikea one was supposed to be too.

Compared to the original $1500 - 20%, I'm down about $17. Also free delivery that Ikea wouldn't provide because of distance. Definitely worth it to me. It arrives tomorrow. Was very hard to pass up a larger Samsung in stainless with the dual evap system and second ice maker for only a few dollar more, but the terrible reviews (of it breaking down a lot) swayed me.
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:16 AM   #449
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Spent the morning cleaning up some of the reno mess. Funny how fast that stuff piles up when you're not actively keeping up on it.

Spent most of my day waiting for the fridge delivery guys and installing a threshold on the rear door. Had been without a threshold since we installed the tile, so there was a solid 3/4" gap at the bottom letting air pass back and forth. Needless to say, the space became unconditioned fairly quickly.



At 4" wide, it's a pretty decent version. Felt like an eternity of hammer-drilling through the porcelain, but once I got through, it would go stupid fast through the thinset and then be pretty quick going through the concrete. 3/16" tapcons sealed the deal.

Thresholds take forever for seemingly no progress. At least we have a seal now.



Because I didn't get the 6" wide version, now I need to think about some sort of bullnosing or tread edge or something to cover the exposed edge of the slab and end of the tiles..
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:33 AM   #450
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Please excuse my grammar if this post comes out a little funny... I'm still a little shaken.

Last night while BBQing, we smelled something like a grass fire, but real faint. We walked up and down the road and smelled it everywhere, so we figured somebody was smoking some meat.

Woke around 2:30 to the same smell, but much stronger. Rolled over and grabbed my new tablet and checked for wildfires in my area on Google News. Nothing. Checked the CDF page, nothing. Went to get a drink from the fridge before grabbibg my shoes to take a stroll down the block and heard some rustling. Figuring I woke the bird, I turned on the light to check on him. No bird. Oh, right he sleeps in his other cage in the guest bedroom.

...and thats when I noticed the ceiling was bubbling...

Several bubbles about 6" across and 2" tall were on my newly painted ceiling. I woke the carpenter, we gatgered a ladder and work lights quickly, and opened the attic. Tons of thick, white, stinging smoke up there.

He crawled up and discharged a fire extinguisher while I called 911. He dumped another 3-5 pots of water on it before they arrived.

A dozen firefighters took down a 6'x10' section of my living room ceiling, spraying water and foam all over. We may have lost a load bearing beam and definitely lost parts of 5-6 joists, some electrical, some lighting and all of the 6" of celulose insulation. The floor may also have been damaged by the falling debris, but its too soon to tell (and too dark). I suspect the room will need to be reframed to bring it up to code.

The culprit looks to be a junction box that carried a 220V circuit and at least one other 110V circuit. It had no cover and was burried several inches under cellulose. The inspector and adjuster haven't seen it yet but will probably agree.

Looks like insurance will probably cover all of the damage. I have coverage on the house of almost twice the puchase price, plus over $100k on personal property. Hooe this pans out well...

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