Working Around the House

After last week’s Memorial Day Marathon of work, I had just a few follow up things to complete in the bathroom.

The new master bathroom toilet looked like this:


due to tiles being pulled up. So I recovered a few of the tiles and cleaned them up. First I had to make a template:


Once the template was complete I laid it out on the tiles and use a box cutter to trim down the remnants. There was a lot of shaving the pieces to make them fit but finally I was left with this:


The tiles were pretty dirty so a magic eraser to scrub them up helped. I plan on tearing out those baseboards around the back and sides so I didn’t really fuss about how ugly they are.

With the tiles in place I could add a bead of caulk around the joint:


The caulk doesn’t come out that smoothly of course so I use a water bottle to spray my fingers and then smooth it out, squishing it into the gap. Since caulk is sticky and gross I use a piece of newspaper to wipe the caulking off the fingers as I work.

I got some better shots when working on the toilet for the main bathroom.





After getting that chore done I worked on another little project. I picked up this hook at Home Depot last year and used one for robes in the bathroom.


Since I only used one in the bathroom the second one replaced these 3M command hooks at the front door:


Not a big change to the after but I like it:


You might notice in the top pic that the front door is open although it’s dark outside… being in this evil transition to the hot, icky days of summer that’s probably the best thing I do to keep cool without doubling my electric bill.

As soon as it gets uncomfortable hot I will turn off each ceiling fan, dust the blades and reverse the airflow (there’s usually a small up/down button near the lights). There’s no universal clockwise = cool weather, counter clockwise = hot weather because fan blades come in so many designs. So I just stand under it until the cool air is flowing down.

Then I’ll hose down the screens from the outside – with the window closed obviously – and dust the tracks to get rid of any spider webs. Quick dust of the window sill and I throw open the windows for summer. It’s hard to get a cross breeze in a halfplex since basically half the house is a shared wall with no windows.

Neither bathroom has a window and there’s a long hallway from the bedrooms to the living/kitchen. So I make the most of it – two windows open in the kitchen plus the locked screen door and living room window keep the front of the house cool. The tree in the front shades this side of the house well and I have a ceiling fan in the dining area and table fan in the living room.

Down the hall each of the bedrooms has a fan going, pretty much 24/7. I keep the light off unless I’m working in the office or in the bedrooms and the windows are left open. The master bedroom has a sliding glass door that I leave open, the screen door keeps out most of the flies except when the dogs open it to go outside.

There have been summers where it gets up to 110 or 115 and still I don’t keep the AC on. I figure that once I get used to it I get lazy and since I’m home most of the day it’s a big expense. When I’m hot I’ll grab an ice pack from the freezer, cool water or an otterpop and relax for awhile.

Right now I’m working on new paint and wood for my outdoor swinging bench, an idea for the large chest in the living room with the hinged top and painting furniture for the master bedroom.

One last project today and that’s the final door for the house! After painting both bathroom doors, the master bedroom and guest bedroom and hallway closet doors it was time to finish it up with the office.

Now a little history, I took down this door right after I moved in because I was trying to fit the giant desk into the room. It didn’t work. Yep, Dad had to disassemble the desk to make it fit. Plus the door was ugly. Seriously bad. Look:

PhotobucketYou know this was a long time ago because I have zero storage in the garage! Just the couch and a pile of boxes.

Yeah, so pretty quickly I grabbed the base paint and covered up the ugly and this door became my work table for years.


Well I finally finished the other doors and having one out of commission was handy because I could work on painting the hinges and door handles. So I finished up painting the door white:


And luckily the door was both light enough and the carpet high enough that I could hang it and install the hinges without killing myself:

Here it is in the hallway:


And finally installed 3 years after I took it down:


You know what’s next, right? Yep, taking that $18 bookshelf from Ikea and painting it too – time to haul that into the garage and get started!


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