Monday, December 9, 2013

Manly Task #45

When we first moved into the house, we knew that eventually we would want to build stairs off the back deck.  It came in handy with Avery and Lil being young that they could hang out on the deck but not run off into the back yard.  The time came for us to build the addition and I started shortly after summer break began.  The planning took a while but I wanted to make sure it was done right.  I also put the plans through Georgetown Township to make sure all was done the right way.  We began the first part of the project on August 16th.  I did the building in small chunks.  I did the main support pole and platform framing first.  Digging a 4' deep hole was
a back breaker literally.  Then I realized that I would need to dig two more and decided to rent a pole hole digger for the other two (worth every penny).  I had to custom build the stair stringers because the deck was too far off the ground for a stock board.  I placed three cement bricks to support the stringers and dug the bottom deck pole holes.  The stringers were mounted and I put in the floor boards/steps.  The railings on the inside were a interesting since the rail ran up to the deck.  The finished product looks great.  I ended up building a gate out of spare parts left over and and it is a solid piece of work.  The deck was finished at the end of September.

Total cost: About $500

Manly Task #17

After the basement was finished, there were a couple of loose ends that needed to be tied up but wouldn't effect anything except my ease of mind.  One of those things was the cables that were routed throughout the house and gathered in the utility room in the basement.  When we were sinking cement nails in the walls when we built the studs, I also mounted the bracket for the wire box.  I went through and labeled all locations of cables and phone cords and set up the phone part of things.  The cables sat exposed and dangling for 3 years.  When I transferred the office to down stairs I needed to also get the cable set up so I decided to organize the box.  There were some issues with AT&T and the cable so I ended up also making the utility room the central hub for all wireless and cable/phone runs.  I ended up building a special shelf off the support beams to hold all the wireless stuff.  I think it turned out pretty sweet.  Here is the final product now that all is set up.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Manly Task #41

I discovered that in the back yard there was a grass barrier that had been taken over by grass.  It must have slowly grown over the 10 years and no one maintained it.  I decided to clean it up and make it clean again.  I had to do a lot of digging and clearing rock from grass was a pain.  I actually took the grass and placed it in some dead patches in my back yard.  I had to remove some of the dirt under the grass along the barrier line so the grass would sit lower than the barrier.  If I wouldn't have done this, it probably would overgrow again pretty quickly.  It looks really nice now that it's done.

Cost: $0  Just my time.

Manly Task #27

Today I took on tough challenge.  For a long time I knew that something wasn't right with our master bathroom heater duct.  About a  3 years ago I removed the vent covering underneath the sink cabinet to discover that the jerk hole who built this house decided to not finish the vent ductwork.  There is a full 4" of space between the heater duct and the edge of the cabinet where the duct cover was.  What the hell!  The result is a freezing cold bathroom in the summer and a sauna during the winter with no control at all.  The heavily effected the temperature in the master bedroom (currently a spare bedroom) as well.  When I first discovered this issue I was working on the basement so it was put to the wayside and has sat until now.

I first removed the front wood panel from the underside of the cabinet.  It had cracked in the middle at some point so I needed to also figure out how to fix this as well.  I measured it up, and penciled up the measuring on the new tin vent.  Pulled out my trusty jigsaw, did some cutting and put the two pieces together.  I fitted the front vent cover and bent the tin to it would hold snugly.  The length was correct so I started figuring out how to put it back together.  A difficult task considering I was working with a 5" high space.  I ended up making a wood L bracket to put back together the wood front panel.  It seemed to me that it would be easier to assemble everything if I place the three pieces separately instead of 1 big part and the duct.  I also decided to pre-drill all the holes so there would be no pressure put on the board since it would just be sitting and I wouldn't be able to hold it from the inside since it was going into an enclosed space.  I took the support block off the left side of the front panel and nailed it to the inside of the cabinet so I could attach the front panel to that support block.  The right side of the panel I would screw in from the side.  I attached the new duct to the existing one and put in two screws (this sucked).  I placed the left panel, worked the vent over it and then put the right on.  The right one was really difficult.  I couldn't reach in to pull it forward so I used a wire hanger as a hook and pulled.  I attached the broken piece and then finished screwing in the end of the right side.  I put the vent cover on and sunk in the two final screws to hold it in place.

The temperature in both rooms is perfect.  I didn't think it would change things that much but it really did!  Really happy with this home repair since eventually M and I will move into this room.

Heater duct - $5.69
Screws - Free (already had a bunch laying around)
Spare Wood - Free (from other old projects)

Time spent: 4 hours