Wireless is great, but…..

I want to start off by saying wireless internet is great, but is still needs some improvement. I have had wireless internet ever since it was available to the general public.  I have actually gone through 4 different wireless routers.  They always seem to work great if you are close to the router, but once you are on the other side of the house there seems to be some lag. There is sometimes a little lag if you have some major appliances between you and the wireless router.

The above is pretty much the reason I decided to run CAT5 cables through out the house.  It is faster than the wireless, especially when I have my work and personal computer running at the same time. I actually ran CAT5e cables to the below rooms.

  • 1 connection in the Master Bedroom
  • 1 connection in Bedroom 1
  • 1 connection in Bedroom 2
  • 1 connection in Bedroom 3
  • 2 connections in the living room
  • 1 connection in the garage

I opted for the connection in the garage in case I wanted to work on something and needed some visuals for directions.  I still need a little work as I need to purchase an ethernet switch since I still only have my 4 port router. I am thinking about purchasing a 16 port in case I plan on adding the adding connections in the kitchen, outside, and by each TV.  The additions should not be a problem since I still have a good amount of CAT5e cable to use. 

Below is a tiny view of what it looks like by my office desk. As you can see, I still have 4 available ports.

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Sealed off Door.

For those that know, I have been wanting to drywall my garage for some time now. I actually purchased sheet rock back in July and have been storing it in my garage.

Last week I finally put some of it up and it made a huge difference.  I also sealed off and insulated a door.  Now all I have left to do it cover one wall and seal the seams with drywall mud.

I am guessing that the office used to be a storage room as it has it has a door leading to the garage. I also sealed that off completely.

Once it is done, I can finally paint the garage and put up all my cabinets.

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Lot of Leaves

For those that have seen my house they know that it is surrounded by lots and lots of trees. It seems that last year was not as bad as this year. Of course, I had more help raking the leaves last year and it was not as cold.

It seems I had twice as many leaves this year and it rained like crazy. My electric blower wasn’t going to do the trick, so I went out and purchase a gas blower. The gas blower made a huge difference. It had tons more power than the electric blowers.

Thanks to my trees and my neighbors trees, I was able to fill over 70 bags with leaves.

Leaves

Garage

As I have mentioned in past posts, I have been wanting to insulate and drywall my garage.  It has been a slow moving project, but I am one step closer. So far it is now all insulated.  The next step is to remove the door that goes to the office and put some studs in, insulate and drywall.   Once this is done I will also install some insulation to the garage doors.  I am hoping all the work will decrease the temp of the garage hence decreasing the heat that sneaks into the house.

Below are some shots of what my garage looks like so far. I will  be sure to post the finished project when it is complete.

Hall is complete

After almost a year, the entrance hallway is complete. The popcorn has been removed from the ceiling. and I installed a new light fixture and a new doorbell box.  The light that was there was nasty and the doorbell did not work properly.  With lots of help from Stacy, we painted the hallway and she did most of the trim work.  I also replaced the air vents since they were painted shut.

Below is a photo of the completed hallway.  The color looks darker in the photo.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan

I have been very busy lately.  Yesterday, I installed a Harbor Breeze Aster Bath Fan in the guest bathroom. The reason for this is that the one that was in the bathroom was just a fan and not an exhaust/light.  Plus, it was very loud. 

I started by scoping out the attic making sure there would enough room and that there were not any pipes or wire blocking the location.  The first spot I want to install it, had some electrical wires.  Luckily, I was able to move one beam over to avoid them.  I removed the attic boards and drilled a small hole through the drywall to make sure it was centered in the bathroom.  Once this was verified, I traced the unit out on the drywall and cut the hole.

Once the hole was all smoothed out and the box fit snug I cut the power and the wire from the old fan pictured below to the new box.  After that I connected all the parts to the box and turned the poer back on and tested it out.  First time it did not work.  I had to take it all apart and notice that the wire had come lose. Tried it again and voila, it worked.

Below is a photo of the old fan and the new fan. Overall it took me about 2-3 hours to install and probably saved me close to $200 in labor.  All I have left is to run the exhaust hose to the outside of the house. (Note: the old fan does not have its grill on.)

Pull Down Attic Steps

One task complete.  Last night I started working on my Pull Down Attic Steps.  It was a little harder than I expected and for a little while I thought I was going to have to have a huge hole in my ceiling.

I removed the trim around the old one with my trusty crow bar and hammer.  Using the same tools, I started removing the old steps and housing.  This took me about 30 minutes, since it was in there pretty good. 

Next I had to pull out the Skil Saw and cut some wood for the framing to the new pull down door, since it is about 2-3 inches narrower.  I did get a minor injury.  I got a nice 1/8 of an inch splinter.   Once I recovered from my injury I installed the temporary supports.  Once the supports were up and secured I placed the new door frame on top and leveled it, drilled my pilot holes and put in the lag bolts.

Next step was to hoist up the entire pull down stair and secure it to the frame. I got it secured and then had to connect the hydraulics.  This is where I thought I would have an open hole in my attic for a few days.  This is were I mess up a little.  The directions were not clear and I skipped a step prior to the hydraulics.  After alot of going back and forth, it is not up and functioning. I had to back track to see if I could find the problem.  I finally found the problem and fixed it. 

Now that the pull down steps are in working order I need to paint them and add some trim to make it look nice.

 Below are a few photo.  The first one is of the old steps.  I tried to take it before taking it down, but I guess I got too excited.  The last 2 are the finished product.

To do list

Lots accomplished on the house and still more to do. Below is a small list of items I would like to accomplish prior to the end of the year.

  • Prime and paint living room.
  • Prime and paint main entrance.
  • Prime and paint formal living room.
  • Drywall garage
  • Replace garage door motors.
  • Squirrel proof attic prior to winter.
  • Finish Master Bedroom Closet.
  • Install recessed Medicine Cabinet in Master Bathroom.
  • Paint Garage Floor with Quikrete Garage Floor Coating.
  • Install Garage Cabinets.
  • Re-seed yard in spots.
  • Replace attic pull down steps.
  • Eventually replace carpet in Dining Room and Formal Living Room.

I know is seems like a lot to do, but the delay is mostly on the funding for the projects I have listed above. I need to learn to not go into Lowe’s and spend more than I really need.

Wallpaper removal has its ups and downs.

For those that have not seen the house yet, I have 2 rooms with very bad wall paper. One room was the formal dining room and the other was the main entrance hall way.

I started by going to Lowe’s last weekend to see what all they had for wall paper removal. I purchased a Wall Scraper and 3 spray bottles of DIF. I then when home to see what kinda of damage I could cause. I would highly recommend these products.

I started with the main entrance hallway, assuming that since it was smaller it would not take me a long time. I ripped off the top layer of the wallpaper and sprayed the DIF on what was left. It when pretty well, except the previous home owners did not properly prep the wall prior to putting on the wall paper. It took me about 4-5 hours to strip the wallpaper and probably another hours patching up any holes or uneven areas.

For the Formal Dining Room, I took a different approach. I purchased a gallon sprayer and filling it with DIF. Then ripped off the top layer and saturated was what left. Good news for this room was that the wall were properly prepped and that wallpaper came off like butter. The room took me about 3 hours and was a lot larger than the entrance hall way.

I plan on painting both rooms, but have not decided on any colors yet. If anything, I will just paint them with primer until I can chose some colors.

Below are some photos of what the wallpaper looked like prior to the removal.

Image 1 is the hall way. I took picture after I already started. Image 2 is the Formal Dining Room.

Updated Closet

I meant to post this a few weeks ago, but I have been busy with the new crib.

I did a little modification on the Master Bedroom Closet as you will see in the photos posted below. I could have gone with the pre-fabricated Closet Maid pieces, but they just do not seem sturdy enough to me.

So, I took down all exisiting selves and hardware and doubled up on the back wall and built some shelves. Overall it took me a weekend to complete. I only did half as I wanted to make sure it was going to work 100% before going to far with the project.

Check it our from start to finish in the photos below.

I will try to take a better photo of the finished product later. I do plan on replacing the light fixture to brighten it up.

House Update

This past weekend I kept pretty busy at the house. One of the projects was installing new faucets in both bathrooms. I purchased them about 2 months ago, but had been putting it off. So this weekend the work began.

I purchased 2 Peerless faucets at my local Lowe’s and proceeded to work on installing them. The old one in the master bath came out rather easy which made it even easier to install the new one. I did however have to clean up a bunch of gunk. The old one in the second bathroom was not as simple. The copper tubing was all bent out of shape which almost made it impossible to take out. Once I put my Dremel tool back up I proceeded to install the new one having some minor problems as there was a minor offset between the valves and the faucet.

All in all they turn out pretty good. Had a tiny leak which has now been fixed due to a problem with a worn out valve. Below are some photos of the new versus the the new.

Image 1 is the old faucet and image 2 is the new faucet.

House Update

It has been over a month since my last post. As you guessed it, I have been very busy on the new home. So here is the update along with some nice photos before and after.
The bathrooms have been painted and are fully functional. The pink bathroom has been painted with a light tan faux finish and the light green has been painted a different color green. The faucets being changed out is a future project, as is installing a ceiling vent. The rigged up shelves in the bathroom were a painted pine and have been replaced with 1 piece laminate.

The hunter green bedroom has been painted to a blue on the bottom and a light grey on the top. The vents were replaced as they were nasty.

The kitchen and laundry rooms are finally complete. The countertops finally arrived and were installed the past Friday. It made a huge difference.

Still have not put up the dry wall in the garage or installed my cabinets and drawers. My goal is to try and have that complete by the end of the summer.

So far I am still moving things into the house. I plan to have everything moved soon.

Below are some photos of the kitchen. The first shot is a before, and the next 2 are the after.

Project Update

It was a busy weekend. Lots accomplished, yet lots more to do.

Friday and Saturday daylight hours was spent tearing down fencing and buidling it back up with fresh treated pine. I even rebuilt the gate with new hardwear and made sure it actually opened and closed. I took the old Fence Company sign off polished it up and put it back up on the new fence. Below are some pics of my work.

I also replace 2 ceiling fans with Hunter Westminster Fans. The are high efficiency and brag to save over 40% off of my air conditioning cost. We will see.


Window Tint

Well, last week I mentioned that I would post photos of the job I did on the garage windows. So, here are a few snap shots of the window tint.

Windows and Blinds

This weekend I added a few Levolor Blinds and also added some Frosted Window Tint.

The Levolor Blindswere very simple to install as I have done them before and have had the practice. I added them to what will be the computer room, garage, and living room. I will more than likely add them to the kitchen windows and a few bedrooms later. Lowe’s will cut the width to size and you can adjust the lenght to your own window.

You are probably going, “Frosted Window Tint, why?” I added the Frosted Window Tint to the garage windows. The tint makes the garage a little more private. I do not really want anyone looking in my garage to see what I have in there. Anyway, the Frosted Window Tint was very easy to install and does look good (photo to be added later). It took me about 1hour:30minutes to install the Frosted Window Tint on the 8 little garage windows, which included measuring, cutting, and installing. Light still comes in, no one can look in.

More house photos.

Here are some more shots of the crib. Pictures are of the front and the back of the house. The backyard has a huge deck which just needs a little bit of lawn furniture. That will happen after the inside is pretty much complete. Good part about the house is that the yard is actually in great condition. I just need to do some watering.
I will try to take a better picture when the sun is not too bright.

Buy or Sell your house

Looking to buy or sell a house, contact Jackie Treat with CryeLeike at (901) 754-0800.

She did a great job in helping me find the home I needed. Give her a call as she will take the time to work with you and find a home that meets your needs. She will also help you sell your home to get an upgrade.

When or if you contact Jackie, tell her I sent you.

Alarm System

Looking for an alarm system contact James Bordages with Instalert at 901-335-3441. They do a great job and take the time to listen to you and your home security needs. They will also work around your schedule to find the best time.

Give them a call and tell him I sent you.

Change Over

As you may have read, I purchased my first home recently and have started making some minor changes. Last week I started changing my mailing address with every company I have an account with that is mailed to my current address.

It was all very simply. All my miles and points programs were very easy to change. All my credit cards and other accounts were easy to change with a minor confirmation. Even easier was changing the address to my drivers licence online at Tennessee Drivers Services with a renewal fee. Of course, you know they could not all be easy. I had one difficult one and am still waiting on that one.

Yes, you guessed it. Time Warner which was bad before now replaced by Comcast. They took about 5 very long phone calls before someone was even able to get me set up in the system. You would not believe how many times I had to repeat the same information. Even after the 5 calls I will not even be able to be hooked up until May 12th. All in all it will have taken me over 4 weeks to get hooked up.

Kitchen

This week I was planning on going to http://www.lowes.com to purchase my stove and over head microwave. Bad news, after they came to measure the hole for the stove they found that the hole was to big to accommodate any other stove. My only option is to get new counter tops that can be cut to fit the stove I want. I am also adding a sink to the equation since they will be custom cutting the counters. It is cheaper that way in the long run.

Of course as listed on other post, photos will be posted once they install everything. It would have really been great to video tape the entire process.

Painting

This weekend was spent painting the kitchen and the laundry room. There is still some minor trim work to be done, but I would say it is almost complete. 1 paint can down, and one to go. Picture to be posted as soon as the kitchen and laundry room is complete.

Time for the Harvest.

I started working on the kitchen and laundry room to the new house this past week. So far I have changed half of the hinges and all the handles to the kitchen and laundry room cabinets. I have also removed the stove and range and the cabinet right above it. Based on the photo below, you will understand why. A new one will be installed hopefully in the next week or so.

The one pictured below is a nice popular Harvest Gold from the 70’s. I would have held off on replacing it, but it was cover in grease on the inside. The Venta Hood also looked like the filter was not changed in a long time.

I meant to take picture of the space after I removed it, but forgot. I will be sure to post that later this week.


Home Owner

Well, it is official. I am now a home owner. I signed my paperwork and paid my closing cost yesterday and will be able to walk in the front door tomorrow at 8 am.

If you need my address, feel free to email me and I will be glad to give you my address as long as I know who you are.

Walk through

Well, today is the day. Today is the day I actually do the Walk Through my future house. This will give me a chance to make sure they fixed everything I needed fixed and also a chance to measure what I need to be ready for my first day as a home owner on April 18th.

I am actually taking off April 18th, 19th, and 20th to do anything small that needs to be done. I will be sure to keep everyone posted on my actions. My fridge is already on order and should hopefully arrive soon.

I know I need to pace myself, but it is hard when you want everything to look nice. I just need to make sure I don’t over spend right off the bat and budget a certain amount each month to upgrading and fixing certain things.

Wish me luck.

My Garage

Here are some things I am looking to add to my garage once I am done drywalling the garage. Not that the garage needs it, but I just don’t like the brown beaver board. I would like to add some Coleman Tuff Duty cabinets and drawers.

The plan is to start with the below.

4 EZ Mount Wall cabinets (Item #409180)
2 3-drawer base cabinets (item#40910)
2 2-door base cabinets (Item#40915)

All the above will give me a good start on a place to put all my tools I have collected over the years and any new tools I will be adding now that I have a house. I am guessing that I will eventually have to add about double what I have listed above.

Good Condition

Good news. My home inspection went very well. No major problems at all. Just a few minor problems.

The only thing I have to do is some minor updates, which might even be taken care of by the sellers.

I will keep you posted on my future projects and include a mess of photos before and after.

Here it is.

Here is a shot of the new house. The picture does not do it justice, so I will try and take a new photo when I have a chance.
Good thing is there is a Baskin Robbins, Little Caesars Pizza, and a Schnucks Grocery Store about a block away.

It is official….

I posted a little bit ago that I was looking for a house. Ok, so after 34 years of living with mom and dad, I have made the move. My parents are still close enough that I can still visit and they can visit me (2 miles). I found a house that that was within my price range to not make me house poor.

I take ownership of the house on April 18th, but will not move in until I clean it up and make some minor changes. I will be listing some of those minor changes later. I will be posting updates on what I do to the house and any problems I encounter.

I will post photos of the inside later and distribute the address to those that I know. So, if you want to know you can always comment and I will decide if you are worthy.

Keep an eye open for photos of the house after I move move in.

Road to a house

This afternoon I took the first step to getting a house. I had an appointment to check out a crib for sale. Overall the house did not look bad. It did have lots of wood paneling, which I would for sure get rid of and replace with drywall. Of course, there are a few other things I would change if I were to get this house. Below is a small list.

-Remove carpets and take advantage of the wood floors.
-Remove all wood paneling over time.
-Landscape the front yard. It needs a little work.
-Turn closed in garage back into a functional garage.
-Remove all wallpaper.
-New fence around the back yard.
-Change all outlets and light switches
-Change all light fixtures.

So as you can see it does not need much money put into it, it just needs a some work.

However, this is just the first house and I will need to keep looking around.