Home Improvement


This weekend seems like a good week to knock off a weekend project that we discovered during the recent audit. This project had to do with the air leakage around my electrical box and light switches. This is a classic no brainer project that anybody can tackle if they have a screwdriver and the purchase of a couple of supplies. 

What supplies will you need? Electrical outlet and wallplate insulator, and some insulating foam sealant  then your ready to go fight the drafts. One last, reminder you only need to do the boxes that are on the inside of the outer walls, why do I say that, I’m sure someplace there is a person that did this to every plug in their house and you know who you are. How to do it, well that is not something I will not waste time typing all out, but lets use that new fangled media called the internet, and maybe a site like……  YouTube.

I think this guys stuff is great, love the unpolished edge to it and his other stuff he has done. Because yes we will make a mistake and he doesn’t cut it out he shows it.

Not every box will need foam sealant a lot has to do with how good the drywall was done, you may only need the foam gasket. When you get the foam sealant get latex based it cleans up with water and expands less than other brands.

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What is the energy audit? An energy audit is needed before you can claim any of the government rebates for energy based repairs or upgrades. The audit for us took 2-1/2 hours. There are a couple of different steps; getting the size of the house, identifying current equipment and effeciencies, inspecting insulation in areas like the attic and basement.

 After that they install a fabric door that goes in the front door of the house with a fan and they blow the air out of the house. They measure air exchanges and calculate heat loss from that. The inspector also at this time takes you around the home showing you areas that are losing heat, areas like windows, doors, electrical boxes, any entry through the foundation or where your rim joist meets the foundation.
Once that is complete the instructor sits down and shows you what rebates you are eligible for, and explains the rebate process. You are give an information package and pay for the audit.

The data from the visit is entered into a computer model that calculates in more detailed information that is then forwarded to you.

I will share the audit when it arrives so you have an idea of what it will show you.

Last night at 10:30 we had heat from the new furnace. Nice to have a warm house that doesn’t smell of oil furnace exhaust again.

I was very impressed with the comfort shop service guy, they showed up at 10:30am and spent the day with no breaks, and very fast lunch to make sure that we had heat and a warm house. In times when employees are upset they get short breaks and don’t want to work more than their 8 hours it was refreshing to see two guys work hard and steady. Felt bad that they had to, but so appreciate the effort.

Definitely a company that is making the good service this year list.

While finishing the laundry room work, and getting ready to do the bathroom facelift, I was thinking about my lowly drop cloth.

The drop cloth is one of those purchases that my wife and I made back when we got our first home 16 years ago. It was a conversation that if I remember went like this, “Dear think we should invest in some good drop cloths?” “Okay, how many do you think? Do you think 3 should do it?” And with that investment of about $60.00 we have three drop cloths that have painted our homes, moved our furniture, taken the Christmas tree outside and protected the car from scratches. It is surprising what we have used this for so far and always getting our moneys worth, and act as a memory of colors painted. Like that horrible coral color that lasted a week before we repainted to a nice soft tan, to the mellow green and yellow of our son’s nursery (gender neutral).

So if you are a home owner make the investment in a drop cloth. It will last a life time and bring you lots of uses and a little memory of paint from the past good or bad.

Over the last week and a bit we began one of many home projects that we have wanted to do for a long time. Home projects for me are always rewarding when finished and make you want to continue and do more. We have a main floor laundry room/mud room and it has had a vinyl floor that had a cracked at the seam. I fixed it once then it cracked in another place. It was a floor that we have had for ten years and we haven’t been big fan’s of it for 9-1/2 years. This is what the room looked like before, the old floor and the washer dryer removed.

The floor was a big concern for me. I was worried it was going to be hard to get up, but my wife said she didn’t think they had glued it down very well. This job was something I had been procrastinating about for a while. We had purchased this embossing leveler and was going to leave the original vinyl floor in place and do the new floor on top. That too had me concerned so I threw caution to the wind and tested a piece of the floor and it peeled right up with no effort. So either this floor was laid by a new guy, or they didn’t have enough glue, or the floor was glue proof.  The only part of the floor that was glued down needing the tiniest effort to remove was a small 3″ x 3″ square in the closet and the place where I had re glued the seam two years ago.

So what did we decide to lay to replace it with? It’s a laundry/mud room that sees lots moisture and traffic, so our options were tile, vinyl sheet or laminate. We had seen a product at Home Depot that was a laminate in the sense that it floats but it was a rubber vinyl type material and it sticks to each other by a tab and glue system. A friend told us about his experience using the product that helped encourage its use. The product is Allure Resilient Flooring and we went with a tile pattern since the room that it opens on to has ceramic tile and we wanted to carry that feel.

The cutting of the tiles took some time and  because we wanted to have the grout lines match-up with the current tiled kitchen floor, the first couple of rows we laid backwards. Also that side of the room had the most cutting an farting around so it took some time. Once we got away from the cutting we went back to the manufacturer’s method of laying it and it went much faster, plus we only had cutting at the start and end of the run so it also helped speed it up.

Next was some quarter round  and to reinstall the washer and dryer, but when we were moving our washer out to lay the floor we noticed that the transmission was leaking oil, so we decided to buy a new front loaders. Our washer was old and not worth repairing and we were waiting for it to go so we could upgrade to an HE model. Unfortunately we didn’t have a great deal of time to do our normal research, since we wanted them fairly soon. So we ended up purchasing an LG set my wife looked at  and which only makes sense since she is the person that does 99.9% of our laundry. For me I can’t be more impressed with the deal she got, I think they are great and will do a good job. So Sunday as a family we hooked on the trailer, and went to Home Depot to pick them up, she purchased the floor models so we needed to make sure we had stuff to protect them, we also purchased a dolly since jobs like this are left to just the two of us and the washer weighed 175 pounds. This allowed us to get it inside the house without hurting them or one of us.  After we loaded up the trailer and tied everything down we headed home, I was concerned about how we would get the appliances inside we have about 3 ft height difference between our garage door and the laundry room, but as normal my wife has a suggestion that makes sense, a ramp, great idea. So with two 2x6s, two 2x4s for spacer’s and 4 clamps we made a ramp. What a great and relatively easy way to get some heavy and awkward items in  the house without damaging them, you, or the walls.  After some frustration getting the vent on the dryer we are almost finished this project,  I have some 1/4 round to finish and painting. Our next project is are son’s bathroom our main upstairs bathroom. It has the same floor that appears not glued down so are plans are: new floor, paint, and light fixture.