Monday, November 17, 2008

DIY jobs

With the inside completed (and paid for), I've turned my attention to the smaller, do-it-yourself projects. First up of course was thoroughly cleaning the entire house from top to bottom to rid the construction dust/crap. A job such as this took an entire two days - WHEW!! I hope that helps.

The contractors installed a new water heater (50 gallons - yay) so we have more than 5 minutes of hot water and better water pressure.

Deep breath, here's what I've completed in the last few weeks. I had to replace a faucet that got broken by the contractor, paint a gutter that was missed, touch up exterior, electrical tape the garage wire that the contractor used masking tape (smacks head), reconfigured the pendant light in the kitchen so the side wires go straight to circle plate, installed peep hole in the front door, installed a floating shelf and wire hider in bedroom for the DVD and DVR, programmed garage door and hung the remote. I've also painted the front door, but we don't like the color - red and its a "bit" much, so we're going to repaint the original burnt orange choice. I also installed the stereo but will eventually have to redo whene we upgrade the tv/speakers to a true home theater system...Financially its low on the wish list right now.

The big project that I am working on is the garage. The first stage was to remove everything from the garage, including the washer/dryer to prep for epoxying. In our last house, we had used garage paint on the floor, but found that hot car/motorcycle tires tended to pick up the paint. This time we opted for an epoxy finish which was not water based and theoretically would not pick up from the tires and still provide the oil droppage protection. We first cleaned the garage with water, then etched it with a chemical etcher and let dry. Once dry we mixed the 2-part epoxy together and quickly went to work. I do mean quickly, becaure the working time was only 40 minutes to get the floor covered before it starts to cure. Applying the epoxy is a two step process and really works best with two people. You have to pour a large area of the floor with what is now a putty-like constinecy, then trowel it evenly accross the surface, then roll it flat with a roller. Easier done in theory than practice and upon review of the finished product, we missed a smattering of small rolled areas where the epoxy is trowled and one small area where the epoxy is a little thin. But for our first time I think it came out pretty damn good. We had to wait 24 hours to walk on it and a full 48 hours before we could bring the items back in. After a few days, a trip to San Francisco to get our storage shelves, reinstalling the washer/dryer and slop sink, repurposing the old kitchen cabinets as a work bench and cabinet - here is the finished product. We still have shelving to install throughout the garage, but we are 95% there. Plenty of room for a second car when we get one and all the moto's for now. Whats better is that all the boxes are out of the inside and we have some closet space back!

I am certain the next few entries will be DIY stuff, but I still will post to keep you all updated on the progress. The landscaping is still a major undertaking and we are going to try to do a lot of it ourselves throughout the winter and spring due to budget contraints, hopefully culiminating in some hardscape concrete work for patios in the springtime. I'm sure the neighbors will love our dirt patches, but they will get over it, hah! Stay tuned...

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