Full house renovation - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 160 Old 06-10-2017, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Gas is cheap and works all of the time, but in my case, it would only be to fuel the stove and water heater. Plus I was a bit nervous as to the state of the gas lines under the house.

Guys are still ripping the bathroom apart, and it seems like the worst case scenario is coming true, plus a little extra... I was expecting to maybe have to replace the subfloor, some of the studs, and new drywall. Turns out under where the tub was located, the floor joists are severely rotted, the exterior wall that the tub was against is also badly damaged, along with minor damage in the interior walls. For the time being, I'm just going to throw down some cheap subfloor to seal up the room, and block off the doorway like I was planning to do, and just leave the room completely inaccessible and closed off to the rest of the house for the near future, until I can afford to get new siding, and do some considerable structure work. No more than a few months, but I need to keep working elsewhere and finish what I can. It was only going to be a closet anyway, so it's not a huge loss. Shouldn't require TOO much work. Replace 2 or 3 joists under where the tub was, which also happens to be the same joists I was thinking were rotted from a water leak in the next room over, maybe 8' away. Then rip the back wall out after bracing it, and frame up a new wall, which is only as long as a bath tub. Then frame in the new interior walls and cover with drywall, and it should be fine. A friend of mine has been a really good contractor for 30+ years, so I'll get him to come over and evaluate the situation, and see if any steps need to be taken other than what i have planned.
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post #22 of 160 Old 06-11-2017, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Picked up my flooring today. I had decided on the plywood, DIY flooring. But after giving it more thought, I really didn't want to do all of the work required. For just a little more money I got some cheap laminate plank flooring at $0.99/sq.ft. It's an oak type, with a light brown, slightly grey looking finish. Not my ideal color, but I can't be too picky on a low budget. I can replace it easily enough down the road when I can afford something I like more. I was also able to use my Lowe's card and save my cash for other things I need. I still need 6 or 7 more boxes, since they only had 19 boxes in stock.
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post #23 of 160 Old 06-11-2017, 05:27 PM
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Ain't that the reason they call them money pits LOL

Make sure the laminate you are putting down will stand up to any moisture that may get on it, if not by doors where people might come in with wet shoes you might want to put down some Lino to make the flooring last longer
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post #24 of 160 Old 06-11-2017, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah. It's definitely the bargain basement kind of stuff, an off brand. Probably won't do well with water, and probably won't be very abrasion resistant. But if I can make it last me for a few years, I'll be happy enough with it. My foyer will have tile in front of the door, maybe 2 or 3 feet out, sort of a mud area, and the rest is old real hardwood flooring that I'm going to sand and refinish. Should be fine for now.

It is an absolute wonder that this house hasn't burned down over the last 30 years. Who ever did the electrical needs a punch in the face (which may have partly been my grandfather...). Never noticed any real obvious problems, which knowing what I know now blows my mind. After my 3rd attempt at installing ceiling fans failed, I knew it wasn't just me. Pulled the switches out and found a nightmare. The living room switch is a double gang box with a switch for the kitchen and a switch for the living room fans/lights. Whoever wired it had wires all sorts of in the wrong place. Not sure how it even worked, but the living room fan/light had no neutral hooked to it, and they had a jumper between the constant side of the two switches, as well as a hot on each. The white conductor that should have been neutral was actually a hot... I guess maybe old electronics and appliances had a higher tolerance for bad circuits. I guess it was still completing the circuit somehow... Pretty much the same case in the bedroom where I couldn't make the fan work. The old one worked, put up the new one... no work. They had the neutral twisted into the grounds, and I can't recall the situation on the hots, but it was also a "hot mess" if you forgive the pun. So now I guess on top of everything else, I'm going to need to start pulling off covers and inspecting everything wiring related. I'm still blown away that the fan worked for 30 years with 2 hots running to it, and no neutral. I guess maybe voltage was trying to flow both ways on one or both conductors, which might explain why the lights always seemed to be dimmer than they should have been... This "project" is slowly growing to a larger and larger beast every damn day! I'll get it eventually...
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post #25 of 160 Old 06-12-2017, 12:14 PM
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I have run into some major wiring eff ups too

The ones I hated were the 480/277V systems where they used the conduit as the ground and neutral had a buddy get killed because of it, he was working on a VAV box for the HVAC, and the conduit had come apart, when he touched the VAV box his belly was touching the ceiling grid, and POW he was dead

But as far as the wire colors, if the conductor is connected to the right place, the color makes no difference, electricity is color blind
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post #26 of 160 Old 06-12-2017, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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I have run into some major wiring eff ups too

The ones I hated were the 480/277V systems where they used the conduit as the ground and neutral had a buddy get killed because of it, he was working on a VAV box for the HVAC, and the conduit had come apart, when he touched the VAV box his belly was touching the ceiling grid, and POW he was dead

But as far as the wire colors, if the conductor is connected to the right place, the color makes no difference, electricity is color blind
Damn, that sucks. I know of a few electricians who my dad knew that were killed on the job due to similar incorrectly wired systems. And yeah, I'm not worried about the colors, just the routing. But since everything is covered with drywall, it's troublesome trying to trace what is hooked to what. And they had wires together that shouldn't have been. If it were a full renovation down to studs, I would take the time to just rewire the whole house, but I'm not going that far.
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post #27 of 160 Old 06-12-2017, 03:13 PM
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Damn, that sucks. I know of a few electricians who my dad knew that were killed on the job due to similar incorrectly wired systems. And yeah, I'm not worried about the colors, just the routing. But since everything is covered with drywall, it's troublesome trying to trace what is hooked to what. And they had wires together that shouldn't have been. If it were a full renovation down to studs, I would take the time to just rewire the whole house, but I'm not going that far.
If the switches that are wired weird are on each end of a hallway or room, they could be three way switches. They have special wiring to make them operate, so you can turn on or off a light or fan or what ever they have wired in from either end of the hall or room
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post #28 of 160 Old 06-12-2017, 04:15 PM
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Sounds like my house. One ceiling box in the shop looks like a plate of spaghetti with all the wires. I tried to add a light to a couple of lines- the light switch has a black wire on one terminal and a white wire on the other. The light works but can't add anything without two switches on the line. I added an outlet leading to another switch but plug anything in and you get nothing. I had a house built in LA- the accepted thing was to put the white and ground wires on the same block in the panel box.
Good luck on correcting the wiring.

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post #29 of 160 Old 06-12-2017, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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If the switches that are wired weird are on each end of a hallway or room, they could be three way switches. They have special wiring to make them operate, so you can turn on or off a light or fan or what ever they have wired in from either end of the hall or room
They aren't three way, just incorrectly wired.
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post #30 of 160 Old 06-12-2017, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
Sounds like my house. One ceiling box in the shop looks like a plate of spaghetti with all the wires. I tried to add a light to a couple of lines- the light switch has a black wire on one terminal and a white wire on the other. The light works but can't add anything without two switches on the line. I added an outlet leading to another switch but plug anything in and you get nothing. I had a house built in LA- the accepted thing was to put the white and ground wires on the same block in the panel box.
Good luck on correcting the wiring.
Thanks. I'll fix what is obvious for now, and at some point later I'll do a more thorough check.
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post #31 of 160 Old 06-13-2017, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Picked up my cabinets and countertops today. They are pretty cheaply made cabinets, but they will be painted white to match all of the trim, so It's not a huge deal. They should hold up well enough, they just don't look very pretty unfinished, even though they are oak. Tops are Hevea/Rubberwood, and will be stained sort of a medium walnut brown, something close to matching the flooring. Cabinets are shimmed and mounted, and I built a 45 degree piece of oak as a filler in the corner, and left it just a little proud to mimic the raised panels on the drawers. Caulked all of the cracks after a quick sanding, and I will start priming tonight. Tomorrow I'll cut the top to size, cut the hole for the sink, route a roundover detail on the edges and use a matching strip of Hevea as a 4" tall backer/backsplash. I'll also cut and mount a kick plate and adjust the drawer and door alignment and gaps.

Not much counter space or cabinet space, but it'll work fine for me. I'd rather have more open space anyway. Plus I have a new fairly large second pantry for storage of pots and pans, kitchen accessories and other random kitchen items. I'll also not have a dishwasher this time around. I'll be building a small rolling island with the same countertop, that will regularly live under the front kitchen window, as a 2 seater bar, and when needed can be rolled out to the middle of the kitchen as extra prep space.






EDIT*

Also primed them tonight. Just doing the face frames, doors and drawer fronts. As well as the primer did, the paint should cover in one coat.




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post #32 of 160 Old 06-14-2017, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Got 2 coats of paint on the cabinets, might need one more on the doors. Started installing the hardware, all bronze, to match my door knobs and hinges throughout the house. Also got the countertop cut, routed, sink hole cut out and some stain applied. I had to make a last second change to how I wanted the short piece of the L to mate to the long section of counter, but I think it'll look good enough. The transition from the roundover isn't perfect, but it's good enough for me. After the stain has had a few days to dry, I'll lightly hand sand it to remove a little of the color and bring some of the wood details back through, and to distress the edges before applying the top coat. Need to finish off with a kick plate, and a 4" backsplash to meet up with the cut out window trim. That window has also been forgotten about. The only one left with only one coat of paint applied.

For my first time installing cabinets and countertops, I'm pretty pleased with how it's coming out. Would prefer a slightly higher quality product, but I'm working with what I can afford right now. The false top drawers under the sink aren't aligned correctly and look really wonky, and it is really bothering me. Other than that, I'm okay with it.








Also, I found out earlier than the gas company will be footing the bill for my crown molding... I got a refund check for $560, which I'm assuming is some kind of deposit refund from when the gas was installed 30 years ago. The paperwork wasn't very detailed, and I'm not about to call and bring it to their attention...
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post #33 of 160 Old 06-15-2017, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Fairly slow day. Did some clean up, put some more hardware on the cabinets, made some plans, and put down some underlayment and the first few rows of laminate flooring. I'm really bummed out to see that this brand only supplies THREE different patterns... Makes it really hard to not notice repeating patterns in the flooring, which is going to bug me. I'm doing my best to keep a random stagger, and to not put two of the same patterns touching.

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post #34 of 160 Old 06-16-2017, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Finished the flooring as far as I can go in the kitchen and living room. Had to leave 3 or 4 feet of the living room unfinished, since that back wall has to come down to repair the rot damage. Cut most of the baseboard to rough length, and have it almost ready to go in. Now I just lack thresholds on the pantry doors, and in front of the fridge, where I left the old vinyl flooring under it (won't be seen once the new fridge goes in and I close in the sides). Also need to finish trimming the bottom of the column, and build a small box off of it to house the outlet/box that used to be in the wall where the fridge used to sit. Working on my bar top now, that will go between the left wall and the column. Countertops are almost ready for poly. I'm probably 90% done with this part of the house now.

I'm also pretty surprised I was able to avoid any noticeable repeating patterns on the flooring, as there are only 3 different plank types/patterns. I made the overlaps as random as possible, which was basically using the end cut on one row as the starter on the next row. I only notice 2 rows out of about 15-20 that are close to being even with each other.

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post #35 of 160 Old 06-17-2017, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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My mom had an earlier before picture than I did. What a difference in just under a month of part time tinkering. I couldn't have imagined this much change from before.

Before



After



Almost done with the countertops, just another sanding and the final coat of top coat. Got more of the baseboard installed today, and started on the bar that will match the countertops. It'll be roughly 6' long and 32" wide. Just have to make the supports to hold it up. A little more paint work, a little more trim work, a little more this and that. Mostly just a bunch of little things to tie up the loose ends. Also going to get some iron pipe and fittings, and some 1x material to make open shelving above the cabinets, instead of standard upper cabinets. I'm pretty minimalist, and will only have one nice set of dishes and cups that I won't mind being out for display. Now to start getting some new furniture, and start rounding up appliances.
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post #36 of 160 Old 06-17-2017, 07:23 PM
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Following your house renovation. Lots of hard work, but it will be really nice when completed. You're very fortunate to (1) get the house and (2) have the ability to renovate the house.
I'm sure someone without your ability would have walked away from the house. You will have a lot of sweat equity in the house when your finished. You are customizing it to meet your specific needs, so it will be a custom home when you're done. You're doing a very good job documenting your work.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #37 of 160 Old 06-17-2017, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Yeah, I'm definitely fortunate to have a house already paid for plopped into my lap, though it was a costly and hard way to receive it. Part of me wanted to just avoid the hassle and just sell it for probably 60% of market value, because of all of the work required. But I have so much history in the house, literally my entire time being on this earth, so I couldn't really bring myself to just let it go like that. But after all of the hard work, it'll be a really nice place to settle down and call my own, and if one day I decide to sell, I can actually get market value or above, now that it'll be fixed up nicely. Still a ways to go, though. Not even done with the entire first floor yet, and I still have to do the upstairs, the exterior, the yard, new front and rear decks, new privacy fence (mostly for a place where the dogs can run free and get some energy out) and some other little things. But once I get the main living area completed, I can chip away at the rest of it as I get the time and money to do so. It'll probably take me a year or more to get it all to my liking, but I doubt I'll ever be completely finished with it. One of those never ending projects...
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post #38 of 160 Old 06-18-2017, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Short section of counter is finished, just have to put another coat on the long main section of counter, then I can install. I ended up sanding some of the stain back off to expose some of the flaws in the wood. I wanted it to look sort of rough and less refined, so I didn't take much care in my sanding. I just sanded enough to get the overall surface smooth, but left a lot of smaller scratches and small holes, as well as weird grain characteristics showing through. There is one larger chunk missing on the small section that I'm sure I'll probably regret having not filled, but I really couldn't be bothered at the time. If it ends up bothering me too much, I can always attempt a repair down the road. Only other thing I sort of wish I had done is sanded the edges a bit more, because you can still see the vertical machining marks, or roller marks pretty clearly. But again, I was going for rough looking, so it's fine with me. The kitchen will have a mix of a rustic and industrial look, so it shouldn't look out of place.

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post #39 of 160 Old 06-19-2017, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Weather still not playing nice. I spent the day doing a bunch of little stuff inside. Finished up the last little bit of trim painting needed and finished up the countertops. I'll mount them tomorrow, along with trimming one of the pantry doors that is catching on the floor a little. Got bored a second ago and started stringing up my LED tape lighting behind the molding on both sides of the opening, above the kitchen and living room. In the picture it looks bright and harsh (bad cell phone camera), but in reality it's a nice soft and diffuse, low glow, in a neutral white. Still need to trim the excess off the end and hardwire it. Currently just have it hooked to a 2A power supply, plugged into an outlet. Should make a nice nightlight. Uses only ~18W for the lights on both sides, and gives off just enough light to be able to walk around without turning on big overhead lights.

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post #40 of 160 Old 06-20-2017, 12:26 PM
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Now watch your property taxes go up because you fixed it up so nice LOL
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