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rajncajn

The Project Thread

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I had one of these in another forum that I no longer visit. I like to chronicle DIY projects and I'm currently working on one that sorta involves The Huddle. More to come tomorrow when I'm not typing on a phone. I'll also share some past projects and some future ones that I'm looking forward to. 

Edited by rajncajn
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Current project is bathroom remodel. Let me say first, that our house and our bathrooms are pretty small. This was our first & only house purchase and for a number of reasons I won't go too deep into, we've never tried to upgrade. Let's just say Katrina played a very significant role in that. We also still love our home and it's location. That said, our 2 bathrooms are basically 5'x8' mirror images of one-another, with the only exception being the master bath has a window.

 

Second preface is that I did not do all this work on my own. As many of you know, after Katrina The Huddle got together & decided to give me a hand in my rebuild and several of those Huddlers (led by @SteelBunz) actually came down to help with the construction, twice. Steelbunz, who does remodeling for a living, did the tile throughout the house and installed our then new bathtub in the master bath. We all worked on redoing the drywall from 4' down. The existing drywall in the bathrooms had this terrible 70's foil wallpaper and after much struggle to remove it, the wife & I decided to just cover it with a foam textured paper and paint it. Fast forward to now, we wanted it both gone and replaced with the proper mildew-resistant stuff. Also, unfortunately, we never did complete the master bath. We had a tub/toilet/sink, but never did the tile around the tub and so it was really little-used. Now, having done all the lower drywall in the house, including mudding/texturing/painting, I knew there was one thing that I was really terrible at & that is floating drywall. So I decided to hire a contractor and have him finish the drywall, bath tile & baseboard trim. In order to keep the cost down, I'm doing everything else, including rip-out and prep, myself.

 

First couple of pics is the front bathroom (don't judge). I thought I'd taken a couple of before pics, but obviously not, so the first pics are with the drywall down. That weird, stud box-looking thing in the 2nd pic apparently was for a set-in medicine cabinet the previous owner had removed. I ripped all that out and replaced the stud. The difference in insulation is due to what we replaced after Katrina. Also, we decided not to replace the front shower to cut costs. Although it really needed it, I wasn't confident in installing a new one myself & the cost of having the remodeler replace it was just way too high. I think he gave me an "I don't really want to do it" price even though I was doing the ripout myself. Also, it would have put us without a usable bath/shower until the contractor was done and that just don't fly with multiple females in the house. Another project for another time. The ceiling drywall was done by me already. We were getting mildew on the popcorn ceiling since everyone in my house used that shower. Doing that reminded me how much I didn't want to do the drywall myself.

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These second two pics are the master bath after ripout. As you can see, the tub is practically brand new since we only used it to take baths & we almost always use the shower instead. Again, the chitty job of a medicine cabinet frame was replaced.

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Here, master bath has new drywall, backer board & tile going up. Just waiting for the quartz piece to be cut for the inset so he can finish it out.

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And the front bath with new drywall as well

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Quartz piece finally in and shower (as well as contractor) is now complete. I do still have to install the spigot, which is on hold until I get a brazing torch to put an extension onto the pipe so that the spigot marries up clean to the tile without leaking or a gap. We've now started using this shower exclusively until I have the front bath completely done.

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And, finally, up to where I'm at now. Front bath is completely painted other than one coat left on the ceiling. I've replaced all the fixture valves, door hardware and electrical/piping cover plates as well as installed the new light fixture. Minor screw-up, I dropped the old light fixture while trying to get it in & it shattered all over the bathroom. I'm now working on trimming the ceiling and around the tub. Yes, I know the tub still looks nasty, but I'm not cleaning all the construction gunk off it until I'm completely done and we're ready to start using it again.

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Still on my to-do for the front bath:

-Touch up ceiling paint

-Install vent covers

-Complete trimwork

-Install sink/cabinet

-Install medicine cabinet

-Purchase & hang new door mirror

-Install new towel rods/hooks

-Install new shower rod

 

Then on to finish the master bath.

Edited by rajncajn

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Very nice Rajn!  I'm handy with certain things but try to rarely mess with plumbing or electric. 

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Nice!! Yeah!!

I really wish I could have come down one more time and really finish those bathrooms out for you!  A complete tearout of the drywall is what it really needed!

In your humid climate, I highly recommend using the Microban paint additive to control mold and mildew. I hope your contractor used a setting-type drywall mud...and not the premixed stuff. Mold loves latex. Use an acrylic paint...Benjamin Moore paints are the best. 1.5 oz of Microban isn't enough to "thin" their nicely thick paints.

 

Looking nice, Rajn!!👍

 

Screenshot_20211022-093759_Chrome.jpg

Edited by SteelBunz

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22 minutes ago, SteelBunz said:

Nice!! Yeah!!

I really wish I could have come down one more time and really finish those bathrooms out for you!  A complete tearout of the drywall is what it really needed!

In your humid climate, I highly recommend using the Microban paint additive to control mold and mildew. I hope your contractor used a setting-type drywall mud...and not the premixed stuff. Mold loves latex. Use an acrylic paint...Benjamin Moore paints are the best. 1.5 oz of Microban isn't enough to "thin" their nicely thick paints.

 

Looking nice, Rajn!!👍

 

:lol:

I guess I should have asked first. Too late on the paint, we've already bought it. It's a latex, but it's the higher end Valspar with the mildew resistant additive included. Welll, I guess if it mildews again that'll be a good excuse to paint it again. Maybe then I'll replace that front tub. Next up though is painting the outside of the house. We just had a bunch of the siding and trim replaced and it looks kinda patchwork right now. Then I have some fence that needs replacing. The work never ends...

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Lol...it NEVER ends...lol😂

Oh well...just passing on knowledge...lol. I always use acrylic paint in bathrooms and kitchens. And paint on the ceiling with a bit of sheen. Eggshell, satin, pearl....instead of ceiling white, which is not cleanable. Added bonus, more bouncing of light where you need it.

I just try to remove everything that mold likes in those spaces. Paperless drywall, setting-type mud, thinset (no mastik)...and no latex. *shrug*

I've never had a callback, so it must be working...lol😉

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And...install a timer for your vent fan. Let it run an extra ten minutes after a shower to clear the steam.👍

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18 minutes ago, SteelBunz said:

And...install a timer for your vent fan. Let it run an extra ten minutes after a shower to clear the steam.👍

Good idea. Honestly,  I think the biggest problem was that all 4 of us were all taking our showers in the same bathroom and that it was all just basic drywall to begin with.  Of we ever start getting the mildew again then I'll definitely look for the acrylic stuff.

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I'm not handy at all so always impressed to see what people do themselves. 

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23 hours ago, stevegrab said:

I'm not handy at all so always impressed to see what people do themselves. 

Anyone can be handy if they just take the time to figure things out. Most stuff isn't as difficult as you think. See my next post for instance.

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This, folks, is what we call a project within a project.

 

So, getting ready to install all the trim I pre-cut & painted and go to test the depth/pressure of the brad nailer. POP! Works great, perfect depth, love that sound... Try a different piece of trim, PFFFT, nothing. Jam? no. Lube it up, no. Remove the cover from the driver mechanism and everything is sliding freely. Is it supposed to slide freely? Don't know.  Remove the back cover from the piston, spring is laying loose and crumbly bits of dry-rotted plastic are everywhere. *sigh* Going to finish up the ceiling paint, install the new shower rod and then bathroom is again on hold until the replacement part comes in.

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1 hour ago, rajncajn said:

Anyone can be handy if they just take the time to figure things out. Most stuff isn't as difficult as you think. See my next post for instance.

 

Thanks appreciate the encouragement. I find that if you didn't learn some basics at some point when you were younger it is harder to learn later. About 20 years ago when I started riding motorcycles I had few mechanical skills, never worked on cars and such. Since the hobby can be expensive with maintenance when you ride a lot (tires at least once, maybe twice a year, oil changes too, brake pads, chains and other things all wear out). So I learned a bit during that time, and continue to do my own work to some degree, but not like my friends of a similar age or older who have been wrenching on vehicles since they were teenagers. 

 

I just don't have much confidence in my own abilities nor do I have a lot of patience to learn. When you've been doing stuff around the house for 20-30 years or more like some of my friends you already have a vast amount of experience to fall back on, to help you get thru that time when it doesn't work ride. Besides all that, I earn a good living, and with no family I have limited expenses and can afford to pay people to do those things. 

 

The first oil change I did I stripped the drain plug putting back in "until tight" as the manual said, well it seemed to keep moving so I kept going :bash:  I almost quit doing any maintenance at that point, but learned a lesson and moved on. 

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1 hour ago, stevegrab said:

 

Thanks appreciate the encouragement. I find that if you didn't learn some basics at some point when you were younger it is harder to learn later. About 20 years ago when I started riding motorcycles I had few mechanical skills, never worked on cars and such. Since the hobby can be expensive with maintenance when you ride a lot (tires at least once, maybe twice a year, oil changes too, brake pads, chains and other things all wear out). So I learned a bit during that time, and continue to do my own work to some degree, but not like my friends of a similar age or older who have been wrenching on vehicles since they were teenagers. 

 

I just don't have much confidence in my own abilities nor do I have a lot of patience to learn. When you've been doing stuff around the house for 20-30 years or more like some of my friends you already have a vast amount of experience to fall back on, to help you get thru that time when it doesn't work ride. Besides all that, I earn a good living, and with no family I have limited expenses and can afford to pay people to do those things. 

 

The first oil change I did I stripped the drain plug putting back in "until tight" as the manual said, well it seemed to keep moving so I kept going :bash:  I almost quit doing any maintenance at that point, but learned a lesson and moved on. 

My biggest tips are: Pay attention to how things go together as you disassemble them and if your memory is bad then take plenty of pictures. Pictures also help if you ever have to do the same job again. Another is youtube. You can pretty much find out how to do almost any home, auto or diy fix on there. The only problem with it is that those people will talk for an hour just to show something that takes 15 minutes.

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On 10/23/2021 at 5:02 PM, rajncajn said:

My biggest tips are: Pay attention to how things go together as you disassemble them and if your memory is bad then take plenty of pictures. Pictures also help if you ever have to do the same job again. Another is youtube. You can pretty much find out how to do almost any home, auto or diy fix on there. The only problem with it is that those people will talk for an hour just to show something that takes 15 minutes.

And the fact that some of them really DON'T know what they are talking about.🤣

Honestly...know what you can do...and what would be better to hire out. Key is to know enough to know whether the people you hire are doing it right.

For example...I can do a new roof. Should I? Hell no...lol🤪😉

And don't break anything unless you know how to fix it or you know someone who can!😉

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