Posts from the ‘House’ Category

Crazy Glue…. no. Nexabond 2500. It’s for wood, man.

Used some Nexabond 2500 INSTANT wood glue to fix a problem on the mantle above the fireplace this week.  This stuff really is instant.  And it really does bond well.  I had the whole mess repaired and cleaned up within just a few minutes of applying the glue.  I didn’t want to touch the stuff, so I used the bottle’s applicator and a Qtip and made sure to have a wet rag nearby.  But even with a small spill after knocking the bottle over, it cleaned up instantly.  And when all was said & done, you would never know the mantle was ever broken.  Thanks, Nexabond!

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How often do you think about your household glue?

I got a bottle of glue in the mail from the good people at Elmer’s.  It’s some sort of chemically enhanced glue, like the Captain America of the glue world….. without all the American pride stuff.  It’s small but strong, has no questionable fumes, and does exactly what glue is supposed to do….. stick things together that God didn’t make naturally sticky.

It’s strong.  Don’t question it.  I reassembled a ceramic pot that I had clumsily broken months ago with the Elmer’s ProBond glue in just a few minutes and it worked like a charm.  Not only is the stuff strong and not stink, but it didn’t foam up like other glue does.  It took much less time to set up than most glue, left no weird residue on my hands or the table, and was a cinch to wash off after the job was done.  Didn’t even need soap!

I guess if you’re looking for household glue, you should really stop using the regular white stuff and switch to this.  It’s better.  Way better.  Look for it!  Elmer’s ProBond Advanced.

Pricematching… it’s not just for s-u-c-k-e-r-s anymore.

I’m knee-deep in a basement remodel right now.  It was modeled after a dungeon*.  Now it’s being transformed.  It’s being modeled after a reasonably nice basement… with all the amenities one would expect out of an eighty-one year old house… plus electricity and plumbing.  The walls were made of some sort of conglomerate material that reminds me of a cross between old beard hair and coconut shell.  They’re being drywalled.  The ceiling was tiled, but the tiles were being held up by spider webs.  Again… drywalled.  The floors were (I’m pretty sure) asbestos tiles.  Those are finding their way to the bottom of a lake or somebody else’s property line or something very, very soon**.

Speaking of floors…  After some significant research and thought, I’ve decided to install resilient vinyl flooring in the basement.  It looks like barn wood and is very fairly priced.  The best part of using this material is that there’s only one step in preparing the floors, which is really (so they tell me) very simple.  I have to pour self-leveling concrete over the floor to make sure the floor is level.  Once that’s done, the floors get beautified and I get to put my feet up.  Great!

Speaking of great… I ordered the flooring from a liquidator*** of flooring on Monday at a set price per foot.  Since the room I’m refinishing isn’t a really big space, the square footage was pretty low.  The price for the materials was reasonable, and I was pretty happy with the purchase.  This morning, I received an email advertisement from the company telling me about their new sale, which marked the materials I’d purchased for close to 33% cheaper.  I called customer service and was granted a ‘pricematch’ deal, where they gave me the better price, added another 8% off, and thanked me for calling.  Awesome.  The floors go in next week if all goes to plan.  And I still have enough cash to buy a TV…  I think.

 

*  By dungeon, I obviously do not mean that my basement was a dungeon.  It was just scary to my wife and had a smell, look and feel of the basement from Psycho.

**  Not really going to throw seriously hazardous materials into a lake.  Maybe the back lot of somebody’s property, but most likely, it’s going to a regional landfill to contaminate seagulls.

***  Contrary to popular belief, this company does NOT liquify floors… though that’d be easier for shipping, I’d think.

Liquid Plumber & GFCI Plugs

I had just gotten through a few minor issues with the new house… the bathroom is about an hour of work from being finished.  The kitchen is all but done.  The only issue with the living room is painting & a set of blinds to be hung… and maybe a few pictures.  The bedroom is all done.  And then I got a call from the wife today saying that the bathtub was draining into the kitchen sink.  Well, three or four months ago, we ran into the same problem (before we owned the home).  Luckily we had a plumber come out and auger (snake) the drain for just under two hours until the pipes were squeaky clean again and the bathtub didn’t drain into it.  The thought of that still grosses me out slightly.  Now there’s a plumber at the house, snaking and video taping and cramming camera lenses and flashlights down pipes that they don’t belong in just to show my wife how drastically we needed to have something done months ago.  Aha (insert Jeff Goldblum impression) see, there’s where I’ve got them.  There was a one year warranty, you see.  We paid an unreal amount of money to a plumbing company to clear a drain.  And in return, they cleared the drain and gave us a one year warranty.  Now, as the drain has clogged again (for reasons no one can figure out) we have a bill that is payable by them… or plumbed by them.  The beauty of the situation is that I knew of the warranty without saying anything when I made the call.  And now that the plumber is at the house, he realizes it’s a warranty call and not a new claim.  And that, friends, is hopefully going to save me some money.  All of it, actually.  How much, you ask?  More than I’d like to pay since I’ve got their warranty.

And The Kitchen Sink

After you buy a house, you do a lot of forgiving the people that lived there before you.  Partly because of the color choices and smells in carpet.  But partly because of the bizarre way they decided to repair things that broke under their ownership.  When I bought a house, I knew there were problems that would need to be fixed.  And I have been somewhat hard at work fixing these problems.  First was the toilet.  That took a few days and seven (literally) trips to the blue place (this was before I knew how cool the orange place was.).  Then was the shower.  That took fewer trips to blue, but also a trip to orange, several calls to a local janitor/maintenance friend, and even a google search.  Shortly after those things were done, the hard wood floors were done.  And that took a mere call to a very efficient handyman down the block.  Tonight, after eating dinner I found a leak.  It wasn’t bad, and it didn’t scare me terribly, but it smelled like it had been happening for years.  That scared me a little bit.  I’m not afraid to say that I called my mom.  Mostly just to get she & my step-dad over to the house so he could wrench down on the leak.  But partly just so they could have some ice cream and see the progress on the house.  It’s great to have people around that are great at fix-it stuff.  I can’t imagine having to figure all of this stuff out myself!  By the way, tomorrow I start rewiring the electrical in the 1st level.  We’ll see how that goes.

The Ice Box

Sears was going to have its own page on my blog.  Seriously, after ordering a refrigerator that Jeannette (my wife) and I could not only agree on, but was also in our budget and nice enough to spend money on, we were told on three separate occasions that the appliance was backordered.  After the third call from bad-news-central*, I gave up on owning the device we had once loved the thought of.  Instead, I was out for blood and ready to rumble.  Complaining was getting me nowhere, visiting the manager of my local Sears store wasn’t doing much for me, and finding another item comparable to the one I wanted was useless.  With very little energy to pick out a stupid refrigerator left, Jeannette & I went to Sears to figure out what on earth we could even do.  And we walked by a ridiculously nice machine that we assumed was not only out of our price range, but also beyond the dimensions of our doorways.  And after some measuring and thinking and running home for 2nd checks, we actually thought it might work.  And we bought it.  Here’s the original price tag… at least, the price tag that we saw when we were looking at it.

Fridge Pricetag.JPG

 

 

And after we finally complained and talked to management and did everything we thought we could possibly do, the store clerk gave us a deal.  Not the deal that’s on the yellow tag above.  No, no.  A better deal.  See, we’d been through IT** in trying to buy a refrigerator.  So for Sears, taking a cut in their profit needed to happen for us to feel like we weren’t taken.  And thanks to Tim, the balding appliance salesman at Sears***, we walked away from the mall with a really, really cool fridge and a little cash still in hand.  Here’s a picture of the fridge, just in case you’re curious****.

 

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*Bad News Central is actually most any Sears retail store.

**IT refers to feces, either cow or human.

***I was sorry we didn’t deal with Steve, because that is one chill dude.

****Nosey.  By the way, our fridge is actually white, not yellow (or bone, ecru or adobe)

Crossed Wires

Last week I found a few things in an unfinished closet in my newly purchased home.  First, a couple plumbing things that need eventual attention and second, something that reminds me of electrical wiring.  It’s very weird wire and is nothing like the stuff people use today.  It’s called ‘knob and tube’ wiring because it’s just that… ceramic knobs mounted to the studs and tube-like wire that rests against the knobs.  It’s not terribly dangerous if you are using a house for it’s intended purpose.  The problems come when the wire either gets hot (from too much amperage) or when a homeowner tries to add a plug to a plug-less wall.  In my case, it was #2.  And the job that I thought should take twenty minutes and less than two tools actually became figurative #2.  Every time I’d connect wires to hardware, I mixed up the wires.  And the breaker would pop and I’d have to go reset the box and start from scratch again.

This week I’m in the same situation as that dumb wiring project… sort of.  I think ultimately the problem I’m having is with communication.  When I say something, some people take it as fact and truth.  Some people assume I’m joking.  Either way, I’m not communicating well with one of those groups.  And miscommunication ends up hurting everything.  As if I’m blowing breakers and having to start from scratch at every instance.  Fun?  No.  Educational?  Sure.  But did I like school (the basis for my educational side)?  Not even a little bit.