Friday, September 16, 2011

After it went Wrong

Things go wrong - all the time but I figure as things go awry while I am working on the workshop or the trailer or our cabin in Twain Harte, I am learning (what NOT to do, not necessarily what TO DO) and hopefully things will go better on the house.

So to improve the trailer prior to move-in I wanted to paint the bathroom. I had to have one room in that thing that didn't scream early 90's bad trailer design with hospital walls. I wanted to paint the bathroom a bright, clean white. Into the fray with nasty, old paint (that I thought would work as a good primer coat) in 90+ temps in the trailer (no hook-ups for the A/C yet) I went to work taping off the edges and painting away.

After a complete coat I resigned that this paint had had better days better decades so I broke down and got a new gallon of bright white, semi-gloss LOW VOC (of course). 3 more coats (who knew hospital walls were such a baneful adversary) I stood back and smiled at the nice fresh feel it gave when you walked into the tiny room. Now wait for it - I went to pull off the tape before the last coat dried but didn't score the edges - BIG MISTAKE. I have read every blog on painting, every DIY Network, every This Old House episode, everything on how to paint and pull the tape off, you always cut the edges to get that clean look (you also don't use decades old paint left over from previous home owners as your base layer).

Needless to say huge swaths of painted surface came off along with my favorite Frog Tape. FAIL!

So with a visit from Jessica Ely, a little brainstorming and a quick trip to THE DEPOT. We amended the situation with this.

I was so upset with the painting situation I forgot to get a shot of the great peel. I gotta get better at taking shots of the bad stuff. But the remedy consisted of 5 sheets of this cool glass tile that was ridiculously easy to install - I mean a 3-toed sloth could of done it. There are a few tiles that look wonky and that is because the trailer back wall bows out, thus distorting the lines. Sometimes you just have to work with what you got.

The great part is that Jess and I bought 6 sheets of the tile, which was on clearance ($4 per sheet) and when I didn't need the last sheet THE DEPOT refunded it, they are truly awesome with their return policies.

I need to finish up the caulking in the whole bathroom, some touch-ups and then a big clean but it looks pretty good in there. I also have a new shower curtain and rail to go in there as I ripped out the old DOOR, who puts a DOOR on a shower in a trailer! I also want to add some shelving above the toilet too so stay tuned for that.

So the take-away (I hate MBA buzz words) is don't use decades old paint -DUH! Don't paint when its over 90 degrees (just like it says on the paint can) and score your tape before ripping it I said, a 3-toed sloth would have more success in DIYing the trailer.

Note - yes, I would love to rip out and destroy that countertop but that's not going to be realistic at this point. Gotta put the limit on the trailer reno and because trailers are always irregular sizes and funky angles and nooks and crannies its a nightmare to retrofit so faux marbelized, plastic counters it is.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let there be Light for Laundry

We installed some homemade light fixtures in the workshop bathroom/temp laundry room. Kyle picked up four colanders and converted them into light fixtures and they are perfect. 

They give off lots of light with their great CFL bulbs and have that industrial feel and ARE NOT bug catchers.

We are working on the plumbing in that room in preparation for when we get the tractor back from being fixed and can finish all the trenching for the water lines across the property. Yes, we are experiencing a significant schedule delay!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Truck Lined Boots

Kyle is brilliant (at least I think so). He is always thinking out of the box and comes up with great solutions to problems that I would NEVER have thought of.

Recently he got 2 new pairs of Blundstone boots, the greatest boots ever made in my opinion. He got a pair for working on the farm that have steel toes and a pair that he will keep "for good". For any of you that know Kyle, wearing a non-working pair of boots that aren't caked with mud is pretty dressed up for him.

The steel toed boots that he got for the farm always get pretty scuffed very quickly. Because of the steel front, the leather doesn't give when it hits anything and thus the leather gets a hard wearing in a short time.

So enter Kyle's thought process - Rhino coat type of covering does a great job protecting my truck bed, why wouldn't it work for my boots! But of course.

He used Truck Bed Coating by Dupli-Color and taped off the toes of his boots and applied to clean leather. He then let them dry and this is the result.

Will let you know how long it holds up. Even if its only a few months, its easy enough to reapply continuously.  And of course I love that he has patent leather toes now!!! Bling Bling....

Learning plank

So we are moving forward with the house building. The county are making us demo our current house before we start on the new house. We are making slow headway with installing the new water and power lines, more on that in a later post.

With our current house getting ready for demo we will be moving into a 32ft trailer. Its actually really nice for a trailer with a separate bathroom, big bedroom, two La-Z-Boy recliners in the pop-out (that is RV talk for little bump out) and HEAT!! Which I am really excited about, it will be much warmer than our current house this winter.

I decided to do a few upgrades to the trailer, one of which was install new flooring to replace the carpet. Nothing worse than someone else's carpeting. So I looked for the cheapest laminated hardwood stuff out there as a) its a trailer and b) this was my first foray into laying hardwood floor so I knew there would be a learning curve, or plank.

We found this stuff at Costco and at $1.56/sqft it was financially ridiculously doable and destroy-able should the effort go array. We chose Golden Aspen color as it was light and you wouldn't want anything too dark and heavy in a little space like a trailer.

This stuff is a floating floor and it clicks into place on both the long and short sides. Sounds easy enough. Of course fitting this into a trailer meant that after all said and done, there were only 2 boards that didn't require ANY cuts of any kind. Phew, a lot of cuts, angles, re-cuts, re-measuring, cursing, cutting the wrong side, more cursing, re-measuring, re-cutting and running to Costco to buy another box.

I will say I tried hard to utilize my skills of efficient resource usage to minimize how much I would need and use. Which was going well until I realized these guys have you over a barrel.

You can see here how they click in place so there are overlap edges and underlap edges. So as you move and cut this design forces you to use a new board for EVERY cut. So if you have a board that you cut in half to fit into a spot, you cannot use the rest of that board because it now doesn't have the correct form on the top. So they trap you into buying A LOT more boards than you would need and leaving you with an immense amount of waste. NEVER again. A complete waste and very disappointing. The only redeeming quality is its CARB compliant and made of 74% pre-consumer recycled material. Look at all this waste, whole box!

The other issue is that it ruined 2 saw blades making the cuts, should have used the tile cutter after scoring. Needless to say Kyle wasn't happy when he went to cut a thick piece of wood for his project and the blade started smoking....Ooops.

The floor does look good. I added quarter round on the edges which finishes it well. I spray painted the registers using Oiled Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint by Krylon. It will be much easier to keep clean. I started in the bedroom and you can see some of my mistakes but I learned a lot in the process and by the end really go the hang of it and was utilizing some other tools to perfect my cuts, angles, edges and seams.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blog Comments

So I am hoping my commenting issue is finally fixed and that all can comment freely and without having to register or give up their first born. I did have to add that horrible word verification part as I got a ton of spam about World Domination etc.. and I need no encouragement in that department.

If you still have issues with commenting on the blog, email me and I will try to fix it, try being the operative word here.

thanks for hanging in there and reading, all 7 of you!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Greening your roof Greenpeace Style

This is so cool, literally cool....cooler.
Greenpeace is trying to encourage residents to switch out their dark roofs to white and they are using these great images to sell their appeal.

Here are some facts about white roofs if you weren't sold from my previous post on the impact of roof color. Thanks to Inhabitat, as always, for a great post - Love them.

"A roof covered with solar-reflective white paint reflects 90 percent of sunlight as opposed to the 20 percent reflected by traditional black roofs. This reduces energy use and air conditioning costs immensely. This equated to $735 million a year, according to Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu, if 85% of the buildings in the US are to implement white roofs."

Former president Bill Clinton is also an advocate for the cause, saying on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart “Every black roof in New York should be white, every roof in Chicago should be white, every roof in Little Rock should be white. Every flat tar surface roof anywhere! In most of these places you could recover the cost of the paint and the labor in a week.”

Read more: Greenpeace Uses Adorable Animals to Encourage Painting Roofs White | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World