Monday, April 28, 2008

Shock and awe.

So I did open up the closet wall to locate the source of the leak from Erin's sink. It looks so innocent, does it not?

Oh, but behind that blank exterior... was the biggest crack in a pipe I've ever seen! Seriously, exactly how does a pipe crack this far? I think the plumber is going to LOVE me on Wednesday.

This thing is cracked floor to ceiling. It's kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but it's a really wide crack - at least an inch wide, and in some cases even bigger.

And then I tried to fix the drip in the tub again, only to discover that yet another piece of the hot water faucet is broken. The faucet seat. And I don't have the proper tool to remove it. Hopefully I can get the wrench today and give it a shot, or the plumber will love me even more.

So I salvaged my wounded pride by finally hooking up the stereo pieces. Something successfully done!

Now someone really needs to help me find that cute plumber to date...

Friday, April 25, 2008


That is the new sound from the downstairs tub. Argh. Guessing the cold water faucet needs some assistance. But that's really annoying b/c there is not currently a way to get to the stem, I'll have to carve a hole. Why must the plumbing torment me so?

Apparently then it will be a weekend o'plumbing -
  • check out the cold water faucet
  • open the wall for the leaky pipe
  • maybe get back up to the skim coating.
Guess I should have found that plumber to date.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm a terrible skim coater.

Truly. I can only hope I get better - at least I'm getting lots of practice! Last weekend I spent two days starting to fill in the lumpy ugly part of the dining room ceiling. It'll take several coats to bring it all up to the same level, I think. While filling, I decided to see how smooth I could get it, as the last coat will have to be damn smooth. Consensus - well, if I wanted the ceiling to look like the ocean... Lots more to do there.

I also tried the Peel Away 6 on part of the moldings. It did ok, but not outstanding. I need to try the Peel Away 1 and 7 I think. And of course try my not-yet-built infrared paint remover. But the real question is - who paints moldings GREEN? Seriously, 3 layers down was green paint! Ick.

The plumber also came on Monday. I have to open a wall in the downstairs closet to try to locate the leak from Erin's sink. On the list for this weekend...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Projects this weekend

Ok, I've got goals. Gotta get some stuff DONE this weekend. Um - or more done than now...
Planning on lots of work in dining room - walls and ceiling and moldings. Other than that, just whatever we can manage. Oh - and we have to make some room in the funny little kitchen room, b/c the plumber is coming on Monday morning...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Go AWAY bugs!

We saw another waterbug on Friday. There was some screaming involved, I admit it. I really really hate those things. But the cat had spotted this one and was kind of playing with it, so at least it wasn't moving too quickly... Ick. I called an exterminator. He came this morning at 8 am (so early!), and I learned waaaaaay too much about waterbugs. He also had some comments to make about my columns downstairs, and the termites. Why does nothing ever get fixed without creating more things to worry about fixing?

One of the things he said was that if you don't use a sink/drain for a while, the water evaporates out of the trap, and the buggles come in through there. This piece of info provided the sharp prod I needed to actually call the plumber to fix Erin's sink - don't want any more entrances for those uninvited guests! He comes on Monday morning. He's also fixing the leak on the expansion tank and the weird pipe in the funny little kitchen room...

Have to admit, it was kind of odd to have someone fix something in the house without any involvement from me. A little bit nice, too ;)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Projects this weekend

I have to admit, I'm not quite sure what's up for this weekend. I've decided to rugby it up on Sat (as a spectator, not a player), so I'm losing a day. Hopefully I'll:
  • look at some replacement window options (in Staten Island, not so convenient!)
  • do some more work on dining room ceiling and wall
  • install Erin's new doorknob.
We shall see. Every once in a while I must remember there's more to do in the world than fix a house...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Clean clean clean!

Yes! For once, we ended the weekend with the overall house slightly cleaner than it was before the weekend! Finally we may have broken the cycle!

The wallpaper paste removal began in the hallway, thanks to a good friend. It looks much better (though the wall itself needs lots of work), and no longer makes me shudder when I brush against it. The removal makes a pretty big mess though, so we washed the walls and scrubbed the hallway floors - sparkling! We have to figure out how to get to the area over the stairs. We have some ideas, but any others would be gratefully accepted.

Thanks to more good friends, the basement is now as clean as a basement will be (though despite urging, I still think we will not be holding Thanksgiving in the 'torture room' in the basement). We re-arranged, vacuumed, cleaned up debris, and hooked up the dryer.

I started investigating the crappy portion of the ceiling in the dining room. It looks like they tried to replaster at some point, but the plaster is very gritty and doesn't look too sturdy. Kind of looks like crumbly cement. I'm going to try to repair it with setting-type joint compound, as several sites have recommended. If that doesn't work I'll have to just take it down and put a piece of drywall up there.

Erin did some sanding on that wall - and then an absolutely marvelous job of cleaning the dust (some of which was still there from original drywall sanding!). Although the dining room will become messy again very soon, it feels much more relaxed to me...

New low-flow showerheads are up! Haven't checked w/Erin yet, but mine is a vast improvement over the one that was there.

And yes, I'm still flipped out about the waterbug Erin had to hunt down in her room on Thursday night. We've sprayed with this Orthomax stuff from Home Depot, hope it works. Next step is to sprinkle boric acid up in the attic. I'm accepting volunteers for that - extra beer for hazard pay...