Author Archives: ellen

Solar is Up! Day One

Yesterday the Xcel technician stopped by about 4 PM to install the solar meter. That completed the setup for our solar system. She gave me a hang tag that said the system was ready to bring online! After she left … Continue reading

Posted in Electrical, Energy Efficiency, Solar | Comments Off on Solar is Up! Day One

If It’s On A List, Then It Must Get Done

Sooner or later the list must get done. It is past time to come up with a Spring list and I’m looking at the items that I have paid no attention to for a season and feeling like I had … Continue reading

Posted in Kitchen, Maintenance and Repair, Planning | Comments Off on If It’s On A List, Then It Must Get Done

Painted Garage Door

I  was surprised that our garage door was so shy. I had to look long and hard for any photos of the door before it was painted. This is how it looked when we bought the house. There was always … Continue reading

Posted in Maintenance and Repair, Reduce Reuse Recycle | Comments Off on Painted Garage Door

Rustic Bathroom Door

We are having guests at the end of the week. I thought it would be great to have a real door on the master bathroom now that the shower is also completed. I even used the shower before our trip … Continue reading

Posted in Bathrooms, Trim | Comments Off on Rustic Bathroom Door

Winter Tent Worked

I was distracted from building projects by preparing for our spring trip to the Grand Canyon with the family. We have a small RV that fits us and the grandkids just fine but the rest of the family did not … Continue reading

Posted in Distractions | Comments Off on Winter Tent Worked

Passed the Final Inspection

April Fools!  But we did have the inspector come out at the end of February and we are very close. We had three things that needed to be done to pass: first, finish the showers; second, caulk around the bathroom … Continue reading

Posted in Electrical, Inspections, Plumbing | Comments Off on Passed the Final Inspection

Solar System Commissioned

Commissioning was basically a test of functions. I had the Tesla app open on my phone so I could follow along with the tests. The commissioning was early in the morning so the system was not yet producing full power. … Continue reading

Posted in Electrical, Monitoring, Solar | Comments Off on Solar System Commissioned

Tesla Solar!

The solar photovoltaics were installed yesterday and “commissioned” today. I’m thrilled. This seems like another major step in the process of putting together a truly energy efficient home. And it is another case of purchasing a complete system with installation … Continue reading

Posted in Electrical, Energy Efficiency, Solar | Comments Off on Tesla Solar!

We Get a Shed

Here is something new. A shed purchased as a kit and put together by a store contractor. Our kids ordered it for us and had it built, although they will use it for a couple of years. And it certainly … Continue reading

Posted in Construction, Landscape | Comments Off on We Get a Shed

More Tile in the Master Bath

The master bath floor is finished. I just have to decide if I will use tile or baseboard in that room. I only have eleven trim tiles left. I could use them in the master but then I would not … Continue reading

Posted in Bathrooms, Tile | Comments Off on More Tile in the Master Bath

New Switch for Tile Saw

I bought a Husky bridge style wet tile saw for a bathroom remodel tile project in our Tempe house in 2007. That was the first really creative tile layout that I designed and it turned out pretty well I thought. … Continue reading

Posted in Maintenance and Repair, Tile, Tools | Comments Off on New Switch for Tile Saw

Master Bath Shower Grout

The work on the shower in the master bath has been slow but steady. Bill recommended sealing the rough tile before grouting so the epoxy would not stick to the tile faces. I couldn’t find our concrete floor sealer to … Continue reading

Posted in Bathrooms, Tile | Comments Off on Master Bath Shower Grout

Gleaning More Materials

I’ve used most of the building materials that have been stockpiled in the past; although there is more finish work in the house that needs to be completed. I hope to use the log railings for door and window trim … Continue reading

Posted in Reduce Reuse Recycle, Solar, Spa, Trombe Wall | Comments Off on Gleaning More Materials

Tank Troubles

I found an ad on craigslist for six solar panels and two storage tanks. It was another Novan system with a heat exchanger. They had a photo of the panels installed on the roof. There were also photos of the … Continue reading

Posted in Reduce Reuse Recycle, Solar, Spa | Comments Off on Tank Troubles

Pine Log Haul

I have a habit of checking craigslist for log items. I want to use pine logs for the trim in the house. I’m hoping to create a Colorado rustic lodge look. I missed out on some log siding from Evergreen … Continue reading

Posted in Construction, Finishes, Reduce Reuse Recycle, Trim | Comments Off on Pine Log Haul

Shower Floor

On the last day of Bill’s visit the tile saw pump connection broke. It could have frozen as the temperature dropped from the 60’s to below freezing overnight. We couldn’t keep the water line connected so we stopped cutting tiles … Continue reading

Posted in Bathrooms, Tile | Comments Off on Shower Floor

Shower Tile Design

This was a big week. Two shower designs were laid out and one shower was almost completed. Bill Boyd is our tile guy and also our nephew in law. Unfortunately he lives in California. But he agreed to come out … Continue reading

Posted in Bathrooms, Plumbing, Tile, Tools | Comments Off on Shower Tile Design

Solar Thermal Plans

I have been wanting to install solar thermal panels to help heat the hot tub water since the hot tub is the major draw on our electrical power. We have prime sunshine and solar hot water heaters were very popular … Continue reading

Posted in Plumbing, Reduce Reuse Recycle, Solar, Spa | Comments Off on Solar Thermal Plans

Shower Schluter

I applied the Kerdi membrane to the large family room bathroom shower. Getting these showers tiled is a big job that will be done quickly due to having my nephew-in-law visit to do the job. Then we will be able … Continue reading

Posted in Bathrooms, Plumbing, Tile | Comments Off on Shower Schluter

It’s a Shower Bench

The shower in the family room bathroom is large. It takes up the whole side of the room about seven feet. There is plenty of room for a shower bench on one side. I want to use a leftover piece of … Continue reading

Posted in Bathrooms, Tile, Tools | Comments Off on It’s a Shower Bench