Escape from Elba

Home and Garden => Home => Topic started by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 08:55:32 PM



Title: Home
Post by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 08:55:32 PM
Are you a handyman or looking for home repair tips?


Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on June 22, 2007, 05:52:39 PM
I think this is officially the loneliest spot in Xscape


Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on June 22, 2007, 05:53:31 PM
You could just talk to your self for hours...


Title: Re: Home
Post by: chauncey.g on June 22, 2007, 06:05:20 PM
You could just talk to your self for hours...

I do enough of that already.

If home is where the heart is, this is a good a place as any to mention a book I picked up at a used book store up in Denver recently. "I ain't much, baby - but I'm all I've got." by Jess Lair. I'm in a fixer upper mode. Hope it helps.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on June 22, 2007, 06:17:39 PM
oooohhh... you'e soo close chauncey...



Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on June 23, 2007, 02:51:31 AM
were you thinking 200 was the magic number also?


Title: Re: Home
Post by: chauncey.g on June 23, 2007, 04:29:35 AM
okay, we'll stick with 199. it's a nice round number. well, one side is nicely rounded.


Title: Re: Pools
Post by: TrojanHorse on June 23, 2007, 04:24:23 PM
Do we consider pools   Home or Garden?

I'm looking for some serious pool care discussion if anyone knows more than I do...


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on June 24, 2007, 12:27:28 PM
Trojan, is that pool in ground or . . .


Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on June 25, 2007, 11:13:25 AM
Trojan, is that pool in ground or . . .


Cute...

I mean for the purposes of discussion...and I guess it was an ill conceived attempt at humor on my part...

But seriously, pools are a lot of work, and I'm a true novice so I have a lot to learn...


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on June 25, 2007, 11:26:59 AM
Okay, I just bought my first house, so I have several questions.

First, I painted my bathroom this weekend and accidentally got a smudge of green paint on my white plaster ceiling.  (I am SO bad at this stuff - never painted before.)  What is the best way to remove this offending smudge?  Also have a few spatters on the tub.  Anything I can use that won't damage the fiberglass or plaster?  I keep get the paint on the grout and then having to scrape it off - getting scared about all that scraping.

Thought I'd do it the way I watched my grandfather do it many years ago - instead of taping, I used a straight-edge painting tool - didn't work so hot around the tub.  Now I've wised up and done my taping to finish the final touches of the first coat.

Man, my bathroom is so green.  At first I hated it, but now it's growing on me.  I'm trying to decide is I was to use a similar green for the second coat that is just a little bit drabber.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on June 25, 2007, 12:06:23 PM
Trojan, seriously, my previous home had an inground pool.  I had a filtration system, traps (both on the sides of the pool and in the area around the pool) and I kept close track on the ph factor.  I bought my clorine by the bucket, and every year something went wrong.  Also I was on the downslope of a watershed and had to worry about being gone when it rained a lot (no one home to let water from rain out of the pool, which would otherwise pour right into the back livingroom).  When everything was working right, with the underwater lights on and Moonvine trailing/reflected at one end, with bougainvilla spilling from pots, and moody jazz coming from outdoor speakers, why I just loved it.  My neighbor's tree leaned over my pool and every Fall let loose damned leaf it had right into my nice clean water.  Pool vacuums don't work as well as they should.  So, no, I don't miss the pool as much as I thought I would.  Find a good pool store and make acquaintance with the personnel there.  Some of them actually know what they are talking about.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on June 25, 2007, 01:12:03 PM

First, I painted my bathroom this weekend and accidentally got a smudge of green paint on my white plaster ceiling.  What is the best way to remove this offending smudge?  Also have a few spatters on the tub.  Anything I can use that won't damage the fiberglass or plaster? 


What kind of paint were you using?  That would tell you what to use if it's still wet.

If water based, you can usually scrape it off with your fingernail for a day or two off of hard surfaces like tile or tub -- because it doesn't seem to get very hard for awhile.  I can't think of much on the cieling after it has dried other than to paint white over it. or lightly sand to see if you can get it without going through the existing white paint.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on June 25, 2007, 01:14:47 PM
Trojan, seriously, my previous home had an inground pool. 

ok...thought you were joking on the home or garden issue.

I have a salt based chlorine gernator system that went on the fritz and within a week or so the pool was green from algae.  I'm getting conflicting stories on how to get that totally cleaned up.   There are so many different types of algeacide that it's getting confusing...


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on June 25, 2007, 01:53:05 PM
Trojan, swimming pool algae is one of three colors, green, yellow, or black.  If it's pink it's a fungus.  Google the color you've got, like, "green algae in pool" (without the quotes.)  Your generator/filter system is back working again?


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on June 25, 2007, 02:01:14 PM
The paint is water-based, Trojan.  It was dry before I noticed it.  I was wondering if mineral spirits will remove it and if it is safe to use them on the tub as well.  The sand paper idea sound like it might work.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on June 25, 2007, 03:41:23 PM
Trojan, swimming pool algae is one of three colors, green, yellow, or black.  If it's pink it's a fungus.  Google the color you've got, like, "green algae in pool" (without the quotes.)  Your generator/filter system is back working again?

it's green.   I think I have the chlorination system working again - meanwhile I supplemented with Liquid Chlorine.  MOst of it is gone and I'm sweeping, sweeping sweeping, but there's all the little details like am I supposed to competely clean out my filter now ...and so on...

The pool is not green now, but the water is still a little cloudy...


Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on June 25, 2007, 03:43:47 PM
The paint is water-based, Trojan.  It was dry before I noticed it.  I was wondering if mineral spirits will remove it and if it is safe to use them on the tub as well.  The sand paper idea sound like it might work.

I don't think that would hurt .. but what is your tub made out of?  I would try the fingernail trick first in any case.    with your fingernail you are not likely to scratch a plastic tub, and  you can often scrape off all but the hardest paint -- especially if it's just a few small drops...


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on June 26, 2007, 09:59:52 AM
Okay - thanks for the advice, Trojan.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on June 26, 2007, 03:14:04 PM
Trojan, you have backflushed your filtration system?  If you've never done this, Google for explicit instructions.


Title: pools
Post by: TrojanHorse on July 10, 2007, 11:01:45 AM
I had backflushed...but didn't realize you are supposed to add back DE after backflushing--now I know...

I completely serviced the pump weekend before last (apparently your supposed to do that every 6 months also).  Shocked, added some algicide and clarifier, brushed, brushed brushed...  and it is a thing of beauty now. 

Crystal clear...


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on July 11, 2007, 04:05:15 PM
Praise the gods, Trojan.  A clear pool is a thing of beauty, especially on clear nights with moonflower vines trailing the water's edge in one corner, some soft jazz playing, and whatever you like to drink at one hand and a good woman at the other.  :) 


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on August 16, 2007, 02:10:36 PM
Does anyone watch the home improvement shows on DIY Network and the HGTV channel?  I am an addict even though I haven't done any real work on my house since 2000.

I especially like the Canadian contractor Mike Holmes and his show Holmes on Homes. on Discovery Home channel.  He comes in to redo bad construction done to hapless homeowners who didn't have a clue about the people they hired to do building/remodeling for them (I understand that.  I hired a bad contractor once, myself.)

But the main reason I dropped by today was to tell you about the "green" Ed Begley, Jr. and his show, Living With Ed, which is starting it's second season (13 weekly shows) Monday, August 27 at 10:00 PM Eastern on HGTV.  There will be two preview shows, 1) August 26 and, 2) September 2, at 10:00 PM (both are Sunday) Eastern.  I think, but am not sure--I can check--that these times are the same for Pacific Time also.

Mr Begley (St Elsewhere, among many others) has long been a "live green" advocate and has turned his modest two-bedroom home into a showcase for "green" projects that make him and his wife and daughter "eco friendly" and energy independent.

Tune in if you've a mind to, and enjoy--Begley has a lively sense of humor even though he doesn't smile all that much.

While I'm on the subject, the Sundance channel has "green" documentaries on Tuesday nights.


Title: Re: Arts and Crafts
Post by: Furphy on August 26, 2007, 10:53:54 AM
Can we discuss knitting here? One does knit at home and usually for home folks, so I thought a discussion of needlework might be appropriate here.

Are there any other knitters in the house?


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on August 26, 2007, 04:35:39 PM
Furphy, I don't see why knitting would be outside the box here at the Home discussion.  Home is, after all, a very large box.

I want to buy a larger gas stove.  One with either 6 burners or 4 burners and a grill.  But I can't afford the $10,000 or so that such a stove costs--Sub Zero, Wolf, etc.  Also I'm considering buying a used restaurant stove.  Has anyone had any high end stove buying experience they'd like to share?


Title: Re: Stoves
Post by: Furphy on August 26, 2007, 05:44:12 PM
The restaurant where I do books just bought two new stoves...six burners each, for less than $5,000.

This should give you some hope of picking up a good used restaurant stove for a tidy little price, Donot.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on August 27, 2007, 12:02:26 PM
Sorry, I only crochet.

I finally finished my first painting project this weekend - my master bath in my new house.  What a fiasco it was - I made SO many mistakes.  Speaking of DIY and HGTV, donot, I love those channels too but they sure do make everything seem so easy. 

Anyway, I am feeling pretty much like an expert now that I did my bathroom - in the end, it came out gorgeous.  It's a pastel, soothing leaf green with white trim.

Now it's on to the next bathroom.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on August 27, 2007, 12:30:03 PM
Des, congratulations on the successful finish to bathroom #1, no matter how poorly it started out (like me--a long while back--painting a bathroom ceiling LAST kind of thing??).

Tee hee, yes those shows truncate the projects to fit the time slot.  Gives the DIYselfer the wrong idea if you're not careful.  But once you learn "by mistake" you NEVER forget it.

I want to change my bathroom bathtub over to a shower but i don't have the physical strength to do it myself.  But those shows ARE teaching me how to hire a good contractor.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on August 27, 2007, 01:15:11 PM
donot -

I was watching an episode last week where they tore EVERYTHING out of the bathroom and did tiling, stone flooring, a glass partition - geez, it was really a MAJOR deal.  Anyway, do you have tub with a shower head already, or just a tub?


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on August 27, 2007, 01:57:22 PM
Des, yes that's what I'd like to do but I don't know that I can afford it.  Yes, I have a tub with the shower head  coming out of the wall at about my shoulders.  My problem is my bathroom is very small.  The clearance between the side of the toilet and the tub is--well, if I get any fatter from not smoking some of my butt will be resting on part of the tub edge when I sit down.  So, I want a custom shower built.  No tub at all.  I can no longer safely use a tub.  For old men, falling and breaking anything is a death sentence.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on August 27, 2007, 02:42:51 PM
I have a separate shower in my bathroom, donot.  It is a fiberglass shower - not the most impressive thing, but it looks pretty good - it has some sort of coating on it that makes it look like ceramic.  Anyway, getting one of those installed might not be that expensive.  It doesn't have a door or anything, which I like.  I just bought a pretty white curtain for it and there it is, with my green background.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on August 27, 2007, 03:19:50 PM
I've thought about one of those, Des.  I need to take some measurments to see if one would fit.  That way I could build shelves down at the other end.  I have shelves in the bathroom, but they are so deep it's hard to get stuff from way in the back.  Sheesh.  I have too many towels and stuff anyway.  I rotate them to keep them reasonably fresh.  I have always purchased thick, high end bath towels, wash cloths, and hand towels.  They last forever.  They might even outlast my daughter when she inherits them.  :)  If I did that I could enlarge the closet in the front bedroom, which it sorely needs.

Oh me, Des, this is getting to sound like "a project."


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on August 27, 2007, 03:34:07 PM
Well, donot, I really like my shower because it is big enough to accommodate one of those shower stools in case I ever get sick or (gasp) old.  It is also very easy to clean.

I have just a tiny little closet in my bathroom, only about a 18" deep but plenty enough room for my sheets and towels. 


Title: Mystery Leak
Post by: TrojanHorse on September 07, 2007, 08:16:07 PM
My wife noticed that one of the interior walls in the living room was damp and soft recently.  We suspected that there might be a leak in the upstairs bathroom plumbing.

We called out a home warranty repair person and he could not find the source and suggested that it may be coming from out side the house like from the sprinklers.

But the stucco appears sound so the mystery continues.

Any thoughts?


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on September 09, 2007, 04:42:57 AM
Trojan, is the whole wall damp or just near the ceiling of just near the floor?  Water not only drains down, it also wicks up.  Soft and damp is moisture.  Is your central air conditioning unit in the attic?  Is the condenser water collection pan overhead near where you have the moisture proplem?  Is the problem new?  Only intermittant?

If the outside of your house is stuco, the sprinkler water hitting the walls is a good thing in prolonged hot weather--unless you've got hairline cracks. I wouldn't let the water hit the outside walls as a everytime thing, though.

Good luck on finding the source.  Try to think of all that was going on during the time of the soft wet wall.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on September 13, 2007, 01:19:54 PM
A word of advice for people shopping for new living room furniture:

No matter what you do, don't purchase furniture upholsetered in ultra suede microfiber.  I was seriously considering buying a sofa out of the stuff.  Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), I ordered an inexpensive chair and ottoman out of the stuff and it's terrible.  It's like a grit magnet - little hard pieces of dirt and grit all over it all the time no matter what you do.  It's awful and weird.  And I do keep a clean house.  It got like that by the time we had had it for about a day - at first I thought it was debris from the packaging it came in, but alas, that is not the case.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on September 13, 2007, 05:03:48 PM
Des, any chance you can send it back?  For a refund?  Did you talk to customer service?  What company sold it to you?  Sheesh, sweetie, that's awful.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on September 14, 2007, 04:01:05 PM
Well, Doug, that's the thing about ordering furniture over the Internet - guess it was pretty stupid of me.  The chair and ottoman came unassembled so you get the dang thing put together and your packaging is all messed up so how the heck are you going to return it?  And what are you gonna pay for shipping?

I've decided to put it in my master bedroom where perhaps I can get it clean and keep the animals away from it - seriously, though, that fiber is really appealing and soft but you just can't keep it clean.  You can try brushing it off til you're blue in the face and the gritty stuff just clings to the fabric like crazy.  I'm assuming it's coming from my cat, who thinks I bought the thing for her, but I'm really not sure because it's just so weird.  It's like little tiny chunks of stuff - I can't even adequately describe it.

I got it on Target.com - it was pretty cheap, although after shipping and handling it was approaching $400 bucks.  Like I said, not very smart of me - oh well, you live and learn I guess.

Also, another warning - a lot of the new accent chairs they're making these days are not well-proportioned - they look really cool but the seat may be way too deep for everyone but very tall people, that sort of thing.  My chair sits way too high - I'm 5/6" and my feet barely touch the floor, and the armrests are too low.  I've notice lots of chairs in stores since then that have the same type of design issues.



Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on September 15, 2007, 04:10:39 AM
Des, cats do not leave grit on furniture.  They leave hair, hairballs, dead things, and stuff like that (outdoor cats leave paw prints on your car--front to back, right over the top.)  Does that material have a smell?  Any tags left so you can Google the material it is made from?  I bought some sheets one time that after I washed them they had little balls of lint all over and I had to cut them up for cleaning rags (shortly after that I went to 100% cotton and have never wavered since.)  Seriously, we need to know what that material is.

I too have noticed that some furniture today doesn't seem to be designed for any real person that I know of.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on September 28, 2007, 07:20:22 PM
Trojan, is the whole wall damp or just near the ceiling of just near the floor?  Water not only drains down, it also wicks up.  Soft and damp is moisture.  Is your central air conditioning unit in the attic?  Is the condenser water collection pan overhead near where you have the moisture proplem?  Is the problem new?  Only intermittant?

If the outside of your house is stuco, the sprinkler water hitting the walls is a good thing in prolonged hot weather--unless you've got hairline cracks. I wouldn't let the water hit the outside walls as a everytime thing, though.

Good luck on finding the source.  Try to think of all that was going on during the time of the soft wet wall.


thanks for the thoughts...


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Kam on October 11, 2007, 03:54:29 PM
I just purchased my first place. Its a condo apartment.  I was reading this thread and became very happy that I didn't try to paint the place myself.  I just had the place repainted Monday and Tuesday and it looks professional and there are no messes to fix!

Of course... it cost me a ton.  But what else is new?  After buying the place i've spent nearly 10k just to make "improvements".  It never ends does it?  I can easily see spending about another 25k to redo the kitchen and both bathrooms as well as get a new forced air system AC and furnace.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on October 12, 2007, 12:33:14 AM
Kam, if you can get all the renovations you mentioned in your post for $25K, WOW, I'm impressed.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on October 15, 2007, 12:48:51 PM
Kam -

Believe it or not, I've gotten to the point now where I really enjoy painting, and I've gotten quite good at it.  My son and I did the other bathroom within a matter of days, and it came out perfect.  I need to go back and redo the trim in certain areas now, but that's not a big deal.

I'm deciding on what color I want my accent walls and hallway in right now.  I love agonizing over paint color, etc. 


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on October 15, 2007, 01:16:04 PM
We had a Wild Kingdom scenario in the backyard last night.  A raccoon wandering onto the property around dusk, so my son and I went outside to get a better look.  We were tiptoeing around and trying not to frighten it until we realized how tame it was.  It spent about an hour out there just puttering around - it would walk up to me and sniff my leg and rub right up against me - it was so beautiful.  We were very careful not to try and touch it, but it was tempting.

I hope he comes back for a visit every now and then - what a treat it was to meet him.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on October 15, 2007, 01:16:50 PM
So Kam -

What is your color scheme?  Are you going for a modern look, traditional, deco, or what? 


Title: Re: Home
Post by: madupont on October 15, 2007, 02:45:51 PM
desdemona,

You know that red Warning thing that goes up when we go to post but one or two or three are there in the meantime?

I don't mean to scare you but did you notice the claws on  the raccoon?

I had many barn cats in the Seventies but we also had raccoons arrive by Valentine's Day.  The cats made themselves scarce in order to avoid tangling with the larger-clawed raccoon.  Also when a non-domestic animal approaches you rather than withdrawing, it is a possible sign of rabies.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on October 15, 2007, 02:56:40 PM
Yeah, I know, maddie.  I read that online last night myself.  We were really careful with him, but I am pretty sure he wasn't sick - surely didn't seem to be anyway.  He was very preoccupied with getting the fleas off his backside, which resulted in a lot of spinning around and falling over backward accompanied by snorts - we didn't dare let Ivan out there.  Ivan was so upset - he was very insistent that we let him outside, but we were very afraid the raccoon would hurt him.  Kitten was scared to death and came in the house, but Banjo, the tough old Tom, growled at him.  He was quite non-plussed by this and continued to wander around and bite himself occasionally.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: Donotremove on October 15, 2007, 03:10:50 PM
Des, if that raccoon that twirls, falls backward, andoccasionally bites himself comes back, please go in the house.  And, even if he/she/it is not rabid, it won't be so cute when he/she/it moves into your attic this winter and starts doing damage up there.  Don't leave any cat or dog food (or any kind of scraps) out in the yard.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: desdemona222b on October 15, 2007, 03:17:07 PM
LOL - I realize I just described what sounds like a rabid animal to perfection.  Thanks for the concern and don't worry, we'll be careful and not encourage him.  We never leave food outside.  I think he may have been attracted by the fact that Banjo had just killed a squirrel.


Title: Re: Home
Post by: TrojanHorse on October 19, 2007, 09:01:56 PM
A raccoon wandering onto the property around dusk, so my son and I went outside to get a better look. 

I hope he comes back for a visit every now and then - what a treat it was to meet him.

Racoons can be extraordinarily nasty when provoked or when they feel they are trapped.  Be very careful


Title: Re: Home
Post by: MrUtley3 on May 05, 2008, 03:25:50 PM
Your Keyboard: Gateway to illness:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Germs/story?id=4774746&page=1


Title: Re: Home
Post by: FlyingVProd on December 14, 2017, 02:26:08 PM
On the issue of construction workers, right now people are working for low wages, cash, under the table, and they never really master their trades, the work is all shoddy. And like for an apartment complex they have maintenance men who do all of the work, and they are not masters of their work, they do shoddy work.

The best way, is for people to join the unions, and when you first start out you become an apprentice, and you work for a master craftsman while you learn your trade. Then, you work your way up. And unions make sure that the workers are paid fair. So, with the union workers you know that they are going to do good work, and they are paid fairly.

The whole issue of construction workers working for ten dollars an hour, cash, under the table, sucks, the workers never really learn how to do good work, and the workers cannot even afford to rent an apartment, and pay for food, and pay their bills, etc, and they cannot afford to take care of their families.

If the workers start as apprentices, in a union, working with master craftsmen, then they learn their trades, and they are paid fair, and they can take care of their families, etc.

Right now some construction workers work full time, and they cannot even afford to pay their rent, and they never master their trades. My advice for people who want to do construction work is for them to join unions.

And thank God for building codes, and building inspectors, to make sure that the buildings are safe. 

Salute,

Tony V.