Author Archives: ellen

Do I Need a Summer List?

I just realized I have not made a summer list. I’ve been thinking in terms of cleaning up from the drywall and setting up for guests later this summer instead of progress on the house. But as summer rolls around, … Continue reading

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Laticrete Spectralock Pro Premium Epoxy Grout

Epoxy grout has several advantages over cement grout. It is stain proof, the colors are consistent, the grout is crack resistant, and it is easier to clean than cement grout. Its disadvantages are that it is expensive and gives limited … Continue reading

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Floor Tile in the Family Room Bathroom

I ordered the Schluter Ditra underlayment through ebay and it seemed to take a long time to arrive. But it finally did and I cut it to fit the guest bathroom and mortared it down. The Ditra might be super … Continue reading

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Building a Bed Foundation (Box Springs)

We didn’t buy a box springs with our queen mattress because we had a platform bed which didn’t need one. But the new log bed for the master bedroom requires that the mattress be elevated about 7 1/2″. I could … Continue reading

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White Brick

I’m painting the concrete brick walls in the master bedroom and bathroom. They were dirty and marred by splatters of concrete from the floor. I used the left over low VOC primer from painting the walls and the Yolo no … Continue reading

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Stove Hood Light Fixture

After a frustrating afternoon trying to snake a light cord through the wall behind the stove, Dave suggested I try getting a camera. Seemed like a good idea to me so I went to Amazon and bought an Endoscope/Borescope which … Continue reading

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To Ditra or not to Ditra?

I’ve decided to lay the floor tile before reinstalling the family room bathroom toilet and sink. I don’t really want to install them and then later take them out again to tile. Why not tile first? The question was whether … Continue reading

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SPT Dishwasher Repair

We use our small dishwasher regularly and over the past months we noticed the dishes have not been getting as clean. I cleaned the filters, took apart the arms and cleared them of debris and cleaned the stainless steel interior. … Continue reading

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Whoa! Living Room Put Together

We have been pushing ourselves to get the house together after the drywall installation. I finally finished the rest of the concrete floor with steaming, washing, staining spots and cracks, sealing and polishing. Today we were able to move some … Continue reading

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Slow But Sure

As I continue to scrub, seal and polish the stained concrete floor, my system has continually changed. The steamer is definitely the effective tool here. I’ve been steaming the whole floor with the standing attachment and wiping after steaming an … Continue reading

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Some Little Improvements

During the floor scrubbing and prep for sealing and polish there are some other small projects to keep things interesting. For some reason the drain pipe in the family room bathroom required a huge gash in the drywall to fit … Continue reading

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Light Fixtures

A few more light fixtures were installed. The closet light was reused from the original house and it took all afternoon and three tries to get it working. First I had to find screws that were long enough to fit … Continue reading

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More Kitchen Cabinets

The oven cabinet was completely unfinished and I wanted to put a finish on it so that it would match the other cabinets and be easier to clean. I have been using Minwax “Express Color” water based stain in light … Continue reading

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Stove “Hood”

Before we left for Indiana I lined the stove hood with copper colored metal tiles and placed it over the aged copper backsplash. The backspash is 36″ tall and 48″ wide and the highest recommended height for a stove hood … Continue reading

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Our Indiana Home

We took a week to visit our friends and family in Indiana and Illinois. We need to go out and check on our vacation house which is what we call our first passive solar home. The house is in need … Continue reading

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Recovery List

Today is the one month anniversary of my latest gut operation. This one was much easier to recover from, although my recovery list is not nearly finished. Put on outlet covers–about 2/3’s finished but didn’t realize I’d have to reset … Continue reading

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Aged Copper Kitchen Backsplash

I decided to try to get some finish work done in the kitchen. We brought in the piece of copper I bought from a craigslist ad ($65) from storage and I didn’t want it to get it beat up and … Continue reading

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Hanging the Living Room Fan

It took a couple of days to figure out the pieces to hang the fan. It is a large heavy one that I bought for $20 from a Craigslist ad. It is a Monte Carlo Great Lodge Fan with a … Continue reading

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Outlet and Switch Repair

Unfortunately due to my incompetent electricians who put the electrical boxes in crooked and at any depth they chose, and perhaps some of the drywall shimming, the outlets and switches almost all have to be shimmed out to install the … Continue reading

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Kitchen Progress

After days of work that did not show lots of results, today progress was made. First job was to connect the kitchen drain. The cabinet is now closer to the side wall so I thought I should move the drain … Continue reading

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