Home Ownership


I’m thinking of doing this as part of the new home automation. The old Iris system is crap now and most of the sensors have been pulled. I’ve been thinking of the Samsung SmartHub as my brains and getting a Hue system for the lighting.


Is there an LED bulb that works in my oven?


After (holy crap) almost 13 years in this house, we finally got around to re-zoning our central air—or, rather, we finally got around to paying the AC people a couple of thousand dollars to rebuild our air handler & ductwork to support zoning.

Quick background: our master bedroom sticks off the back of the house and has three exterior walls, one of which is a big-ass bay window. Ostensibly this is for quiet & privacy from the rest of the house, and that’s great. The problem is that even through the walls are well-insulated, it’s just not enough, and on summer nights the master bedroom is always hotter than the rest of the house and on winter nights it’s always cooler.

No problem in winter—cold is awesome. But it’s always sucked in the summer.

But now…holy shit. Now, we set the rest of the house to 78 at night and turn the master down to 70. The zoning shuts off the vents to the whole rest of the house and blows only into the master bedroom, and it has absolutely no problem keeping that one room frigid.

I love it. LOVE IT. Best money I’ve ever spent. Should have done it years ago.


Our lower half of the house HVAC replacement has made the heat and AC downstairs fantastic as well. We would’ve done the upstairs had we the money, but just the changes we made were worth it. Will I be using the same guy? Ah… no. He was a pain to work with and even though we cut the project in half due to money, he still ended up charging us the original quote due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’. One of these days, we’ll replace the upstairs venting to the correct size and probably add a second zone upstairs. The AC unit is the wrong size for the ducts too but I’m going to get a second opinion on that one.


Well, it’s summer so it’s time for all projects to start again. The big one… Starting Tuesday is part 2 of the sewer line. This weekend I need (with Gratch’s help) to take out the lower cabinets and sink in the kitchen (this is the 5th time I will be taking the kitchen cabinets apart in 3 years) The stove will be disconnected when the workers get here so it’s done right. I also need to pull a tall cabinet out and move the fridge to another room. Then we get to pull up half of the flooring in the kitchen and hopefully not break much (Pergo flooring). The reason for this is they are going to dig up the sewer line on the other half of the house and it’s going to be done via jackhammer. This is just the kitchen work. I also need to take out a sink in the bathroom as well. I’m going to let the workers dictate what actually needs to be demolished. They’re very good about that and it’s one of the reasons we use them.

So all that is this weekend and they should be done by Friday. After that is putting everything back together so lots of spackling and paint and if I’m lucky, I won’t have to pull up the rest of the flooring and replace the whole thing. Then I’ll have to slap the bathroom together too.

After this, we still need to paint in the living room but we also want to pull the Pergo floor up in there and fix some very bad dips in the concrete underneath. That was actually scheduled to happen this week but the sewer line took precedence. Now we are going to end up doing it ourselves.

One day I will have all the rooms painted and maybe even painted trim down and everything finished in this house. I’m shooting for 2030…


When all the projects are done you’ll find it’s time to move.


All the old stuff will be outdated.


The project started and there is good news. This does indeed look like the last source of drain flies in the house. After they broke the floor there was a cloud of bugs coming up. Well maybe not a cloud but there’s a good 20 or 30 of them on the walls of the kitchen now. The cast iron drain pipe basically crumbled in the contractor’s hands. Even though its going to be more work for us in the long run, we’re going to have them break into the hall and bathroom and replace as much of the line as possible. We’d rather have them do it now instead of having to come back out again later. They are digging out the trench now and if they can see the water lines they’re going to replace them too.

Too bad the house smells like poo gas right now… :mask:


“This, too, shall pass”?


I should be doing better on documenting this even on my house blog. Oh well. I spend too much time doing the work to then explain it nice and pretty.

Current update is the sewer line is replaced. The only piece that is original is a 4’-5’ section just beyond the bathroom under the stairs. We could’ve dug it out too, but the pipe was scoped and looks good so we left it. They also replaced all the water lines they could find. The drain in the kitchen moved a bit so it required some plumbing changes and cutting a gap in the back of a cabinet but it all fits. I leveled the floor in the kitchen, hallway and bathroom. This weekend, we put the floor back in the kitchen and I re-installed the toilet in the bathroom. Gratch and I patched all the holes in the drywall but we ran out of spackle. Most of the sections are going to be covered up by cabinets anyways. I put the kitchen sink back in as well to it’s usual temporary place.

This week, I’m going to spackle another panel and work on sealing off the pantry. There’s this weird shallow closet/pantry in the corner. It’s in a horrible place and is pretty much useless so we bought a cheap standing cabinet to replace it. I’m taking the door off and running some studs and I plan on sealing it over. We’re going to install some combination of Ikea cabinets soon to go along the whole wall.

In other news, if you have invested in Tylenol expect an upswing in demand over the course of the next couple months.


I have to say reading stuff like this makes me so happy I have a basement. I know there are issues with the line into the house, but once I get around to it I can replace every line inside the house with Pex in a good weekend. Assuming I’ve purchased everything correctly…which means it will be a month, but still. I don’t have to break concrete to do so.

You are a brave individual to even tackle something like that. I’d run.


Yeah, if we ever have to move a basement is something we might stand a little harder for. We wanted one but were willing to skip it with the amount of room we got in exchange (the house and shop make for a large house). The good part of this is that pretty much everything under the slab has either been replaced or abandoned so hopefully :crossed_fingers: we will never have to deal with it again.


Don’t ever move to California then. No basements here.


Well, yeah. Basements and earthquakes don’t play well together.


A lot of places around our town don’t have basements because the water table is so high. Apparently in our town they said screw you mother nature and installed basement. 100 years later they are all in various conditions of dampness. Ours being nearly dry with occasional seepage, the neighbor’s being wet if it rained within a week but you can put stuff on cinder blocks.


So we have decided on a course of action :

  1. Get electricity from the supplier for stuff like washing clothes and a borehole pump
  2. Sink a borehole for water and erect a tank on a stand so no booster pump needed.
  3. Use the electricity for powering lights with motion sensors. I also want to have one or two weak lights which does not suck up electricity for the evenings, but extra bright lights should ne’er-do-wells decide to pay us a visit.
  4. Also use said electricity for the fence.
  5. Still use solar but for inside lights and charging of cellphones etc.

This way we will make our property more valuable for potential buyers as it will have 'leccy and water.

Then once that is done, will decide on the way forward.

At first I wanted to use a solar-powered borehole, but theft of solar panels is a MAJOR concern. If possible, we will also get a wind-powered borehole pump (our preferred choice).


For those of you still interested in the saga…

The kitchen is mostly back together. The walls have all been spackled and sanded. Cabinets and back in permanently with one small exception. We’re holding off on that one cabinet to make it easier for the contractor to install the anti-tipping foot for the stove (Thurs). We decided to just paint around the cabinets so we were able to skip on making everything look nice since most of it is behind cabinets. The one exception so far is the old pantry that is now walled off. My framethat I built for the old door entry twisted during construction so I’m a good 1/2" too deep in one corner. I’m filling it in though and we will be putting wall cabinets on that wall later so no one is really going to see it except me.

We decided to put the kitchen on hold for this weekend. With the holiday on a Tues, everyone is taking Mon off which translates into a 4 day weekend. It’s the best time to level the floor so this Friday we will move stuff and start pulling up the floor. I’ll map out the dips (you’re a dip) and pour the patch in then we’ll put the floor back in. Since the patch is not going to be real thick it should dry overnight. Hopefully the whole project will be done in one extended weekend. Even though we have lots of knee pads and good ones to boot, say a prayer for my knees. This is gonna hurt.


We replaced a shower head last weekend. I think it was purchased and on the “to-do” list from 2016.

Just never became a priority until $Wife managed to pop a retaining piece off doors in the recently re-done Master Bath in what we’re calling aggressive cleaning.


I actually Lol’d.

When my sister-in-law moved into our old house there was a replacement shower head in the cabinet in the “kids” bathroom, from when we moved in 8 years before. I had actually replaced the same shower head in the master bath twice in the same time period.


With baited breath, DT.

You’re WAY past my sanity limit. Mrs. and I did a bunch in our first house, but nothing approaching the depth of your project.

To @balance: I did a repair job over the weekend for a lady, and as we were finishing up and packing she remarked she had found ACTUAL MUSHROOMS in her bathroom… apparently behind a poorly-installed shower surround.

Bright yellow, she said.

I was there for the deck. I noped right out of there.