Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bargain Bin Find for 1 Buck

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I love looking in the bargain bins at hardware stores.  Actually, I love hardware stores.  I love to walk around and just look at all the little hardware bits.  I especially love hardware stores where you can buy fasteners by the piece instead of an entire box when all you needed was 12 fasteners.  The only thing that would make even the best hardware store even better is a squeaky wood floor.  Am I right?
I am always looking for something to write on when I take measurements.  Then I 'always' think that I can remember but then I forget and measure again, and I still can't find a piece of paper to write it down on, so I end up writing on 2X4's or cedar shingles.  
It's hard to fold a 2X4 or a cedar shingle in half and then put it in your purse.  I can't remember how many times that I have strolled into Home Depot or Ace Hardware with a cedar shingle list. 

I went back to Ace Hardware and bought the last three packages so we don't run out of round Post-Its pads.  So now when I go into Home Depot I will look like I know what I am doing and not like someone who doesn't own any paper.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Wrought Iron Urns and Taking Advantage of Sales and Cash Back

I have been wanting/needing two of these 28 inch tall large wrought irons urns for the last 2 years.
After seeing one on Pinterest, that was filled with little pumpkins, I knew I wanted/needed two of these.  But first... I needed to find out where I could buy them online.  I searched on and off for about 6 months before I found them. 

I put the two urns in my cart on eBay and waited until they either went on sale, offered free shipping (these are heavy and heavy=$$$), or there was an increase in eBay Bucks or Ebates.

Almost a year later during the Christmas holiday of 2018, I received a code from eBay Bucks that for 2 days I could get 10% back in eBay Bucks.  I then checked Ebates and they were offering 2%.  So I pulled the trigger and bought them.

The price for two was $259.90 + $97.90 for shipping.  Not cheap inexpensive but they are very heavy and well made and they were exactly what I wanted.  I saved $5.20 on Ebates and $25.99 in eBay Bucks for a total savings of $31.19.  The shipping was a lot but when I buy heavy stuff I know that the shipping cost is going to be brutal.

On January 1st eBay Bucks paid out and issued a code for me to save $34.56 on any eBay item or items totalling $34.56.  I currently have $78.12 pending on Ebates and I think they send out their Big Fat checks in February.  So signing up for these free programs do have an upside depending on how much you buy online.   

These urns comes in a lot of colors including just a clear coat over the metal or in a rusty condition. The eBay seller also offers other items in metal including wrought iron gates. 

If you like the large cast iron urns (in freezing conditions you need to protect cast iron urns so that the dirt doesn't freeze/expand and then crack the cast iron) but need something that can handle being left outside all winter, then check out these urns.  I think that these could also work well with a modern style home.

I haven't decided whether I am going to use a coco mat and fill with dirt and geraniums OR fill it with my collection of round rocks (fist size and larger) in the summer and little pumpkins, gourds, and squash in the fall, and then faux small spruce trees in the winter.

I am getting anxious to plant flowers and paint the back of the house.  The fact that we are only 1 month into winter is a real bummer.

Sign up for Ebates and get a $10 gift card of your choice after spending 20 bucks using Ebates.  There are over 2K online sites that participates in the program.

Sign up for eBay Bucks by clicking on eBay Bucks on the left side of your summary page.

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Monday, January 21, 2019

New Patio Doors and Repurposing the Pallet

The new french doors for the gameroom arrived a week and a half early,  just in time for a snow storm and frigid sub zero weather.
So installation will have to wait until the temps get above freezing.  But in the meantime I needed to pick out a lockset that would match the three original locksets on the house.  The original lockets are the black hammered thumb set with a cylinder lock above the handle.  If I searched long enough I might be able to find 1 handle but I have this thing with symmetry.  There is no way in the world that I would be happy with just one door handle.

I scraped the idea of looking for an old handle and decided to buy 2 new handles that would work with the look of the old handles.  I found a door handle on House of Antique Hardware.  I knew that I wanted a black handle and not a handle that I had to spray paint.  The door handle I chose comes in matte black. They also offer a choice of door knobs for the interior side and one of the choices match the glass door knobs on all the doors in the house.

Sorry about the link but I was unable to copy just the image of the door handle.

House of Antique Hardware was also offering a 15% off sale so I saved 50 bucks.  Edited 1-22-2019 I spoke with an associate on the phone to order the dummy set.  The cost of it made my total over $500.00 and that qualified my order to receive 20% off my total.  So I saved $115.54.  The associate was very helpful and my order should ship in the next 3 days.

The patio doors came on a pallet for transportation.  We picked up the doors at the store so that we could save on the shipping cost.  After R picked up the door using his truck, we removed it from the pallet and then moved it to the deck.  The pallet was originally going into the burner barrel but then we realized that it would make a great pallet for stacking the bricks from the chimney that we are removing sometime before spring.  We have three fireplaces and three chimneys but one chimney serves two fireplaces so the third chimney is useless and just a remnant for the coal fired steam boiler that serviced the house when it was built.  

That system is long gone and the chimney is eating up valuable floor space.  We might need some bricks to fix the working chimneys when they are repointed this spring. Also, in the future I would like to have the front porch rebuilt using the red brick for the sides.
The pallet had a support for each side of the door.  We removed those boards and then removes the nails and staples.  We spaced those boards to fill the gaps in the pallet.  The boards were too long so we cut them off after we screwed the boards onto the pallet.
Viola!  A new pallet and we reused and repurposed.  Win Win

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Another PVC Eavestrough Installation Update

We have all the eavestroughs/gutters installed.  The downspouts are next but it was 23 degrees today and after 15 minutes outside with leather gloves on, my fingers were stinging.  So we said "no" to outside work today.  

Instead we worked on cleaning the gameroom because that is our workroom for now. It was so congested with 'stuff' everywhere that we decided to devote this second day to cleaning and organization.  The amount of sawdust is staggering.

So in the meantime I will go over how we installed our PVC eavestroughs.  We do it slightly different than the instructions.  The manufacturer's instructions are to cut the trough and place the cut end into the diverter on one side.  You are suppose to slide the trough into the diverter and line it up to the corresponding line for the current air temperature.  Then repeat the process on the other side.  The reason for this is because the PVC expands/grows as it get warmer and contracts/shrinks when it is colder.

When we used this method the trough and diverter would over time get slightly askew, as the PVC expanded and contracted.  Our method is to slide the diverter all the way onto the trough.  Then hang the section of trough onto the fascia board attaching the trough to the fascia board with the hanging clips and recommended screws. 
 Remember to slide the pieces on in the correct order. In our case it was 1 hanging clip, then the diverter, then a clip 3 inches from the diverter, then additional clips every 20 inches  After the trough is attached to the fascia board, go back and attach the diverter to the fascia board using the same screws that you used for the clips.  There are two holes (see the photo of the diverters further down the page) in the diverter for attachment.  At this point you can then cut a large hole in the trough where the downspout attaches to the diverter.
Eavestrough before the hole is cut. 

I assumed that the manufacturer chose the first method because it requires less tools.  Unfortunately that method causes bad reviews.  The bad reviews included the fact that the trough didn't stay straight and that the system leaks at the seams and required yearly caulking.  We have not experienced the need to caulk yearly.  We caulked once when we installed and never again.  The new area that we are working on now will get caulked in the spring when weather permits.  Also make sure you use exterior grade caulk/sealant.

The other bad review mentioned was that the runs did not stay straight.  We did experience that on the front of the house but that was remedied by using our method of installing the diverter.  Our method results in just one continuous 10 foot run, where as the manufacturers method ends up with 3 pieces. 

But first before I show you how we cut the hole in the diverter, I want to show you the two sizes that are offered and why you should always go bigger.  I would say that the hole in the top diverter is twice the size.  Bigger allows for the rainwater to leave the trough faster which helps to eliminate trough/gutter overflows.  
The photo above shows the diverter for the standard downspout size of 2X3 inch and for the larger size downspout of 3X4 inch.  The difference in price is $9.23 vs $12.15.  Basically 3 bucks per diverter and we used 4 diverters on this project.  The larger the diverter hole and downspout, the faster the gutter/eavestrough can empty.  This is very important for the times that you get a very heavy rainstorm. FYI if you decide to go with the larger sized diverter and downspouts you also need to buy the bigger size downspout clip (just 20 cents more) to hold the downspout against the house.

On to how to make a hole in the gutter/trough.  You can do it 2 ways.  The first way is to use a hole saw and drill motor to cut a round hole and then go back and expand the hole using the pneumatic grinder with a burr bit.  OR you can do how we do it.  R drills a pattern of 5/8th holes in the trough and then uses his pneumatic grinder with a large pointed burr bit to remove the plastic.
   He uses the bit because the cut off wheel wouldn't allow him to get a nice finish.  So instead of using the cut off wheel and then using the burr bit to clean up the edges, he found it was easier to just use the burr bit for all of it.  You could also use a mill bit but if you are going to buy just one bit, then make it a pointed burr bit because you will get more use out of it.  A Dremel with a small bit would work, just remember to go slow and let the bit do the work.  Don't put pressure on the bit.  Use the highest speed and let the bit cut away the material.
And while we are covering the diverter and downspout hole, make sure that you put a strainer in the diverter hole.  We have tried several types and we prefer the metal mesh style.  The plastic strainers get sun damaged and get brittle and fall apart.  The aluminum wire mesh style is sturdier and the sun has no effect on it.  Also squirrels or chipmunks can't chew on the metal mesh version either.
I did a price comparison on downspout wire mesh strainers and the best price was Home Depot at $4.12 each.  You can buy them on Amazon but that requires a shipping cost. 
So there you have it.  All that is left is the downspout installation.  Downspout install is probably going to be Friday.  Tomorrow I have a hair appointment and then I need to drop stuff off at my sister's house.  

If it is nice weather I will take a few photos of her house.  It is grey and white like mine but a darker grey.  She is a shows dog/breeder so they added an addition onto the side of her garage where the dogs can come and go as they please.  She did a wrought iron fence in front of it with a poured patio with aggregate.  This way when people come to look at the puppies they can be in the enclosed area to play with them. The poured aggregate is also easy to keep clean if a puppy has an accident. 

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

PVC Eavestrough Installation Update

Several more lengths of eavestrough were installed today.  The photo below shows the gutter about 1 foot from the corner of the house.  That's not going to work because we need to have the diverter, a connector, and a corner piece in this area and there just isn't enough length.  
 We corrected the problem by taking down the full length of gutter (10 feet) and then installing a two foot section first, slid on 2 hangers, then a connector, then the 10 ft section, slid on 4 hangers, then the diverter was slid onto the gutter, slid on another hanger, and then attached the outside corner piece.
I held up the right end while R went back to the inside corner and screwed the hangers in place making sure that the gutter was almost level with a slight slope at both ends because that is where the downspouts are located.  The trick is to slide everything onto the gutter in the correct order.  

The above photo shows the outside corner piece making the turn on the right side of the photo.  The remaining run will have only one downspout so the install should go rather smoothly.  R will need to go back and use a hole saw to cut an opening in the gutter where the diverters are located.  After he drills the hole with a hole saw he will go back with a large burr bit in a pneumatic grinder and open up the opening in the gutter even more.

  We purchased 5 inch downspouts so we need the holes in gutter where the diverter is located, as big as we can get them.  If we left the hole 3 inches in diameter we would not fully utilize the 5 inch downspout.  We want the rainwater to empty from the gutter as fast as it can so it doesn't overflow when there is a big storm that dumps a lot of rain in a short period of time.

The hangers are generally 20 inches apart but we like to add a hanger about 5 inches from the connector on each side to help support that area.  The diverters have two holes for screws so it is supported without the need for extra hangers.  Hangers are cheap.  Better to install more than less.  Just make sure that the placement is for the most part spaced the same.  We liked spacing the hangers 20 inches but you could even do 12 inches.  I wouldn't space them any further than 24 inches apart.

The placement of the diverter is based on your house design but whatever placement you choose just try and repeat the placement.  We liked the look of 3 inches from the edge of the corner board to the edge of the diverter piece.  We didn't want it too close to the corner board because the downspout is white and so is the corner board.  If the corner board and downspout are too close then from far away it will read as a very wide corner board.  We thought it best to have some grey shingles show between the corner board and the downspout.

We might get to the downspouts on Saturday, it will depend on the weather and how quickly we can get into Flint and pick up a piece of furniture and then get back home and get it into the house.  The pick up time is 11am but with the sun setting so early we have found that there is not enough light after 430PM to be able to do a good job.

The downspouts and gutters are cut on the chop saw.  You turn the gutter upside down, cutting from the bottom to the top of the gutter.  Go slow and you will get a nice cut.

Tools we have used

Chop saw
Pneumatic grinder
Hole saw
Rubber mallet
Battery drill motor with screw bit attachment
Wire end cutter 
Utility knife
Tape measure

Eavestrough 10 ft lengths $4.16
Hangers $2.03
End caps Pr $7.15 
5 inch downspouts 10 ft lengths $7.36
Gutter connectors $4.20
Downspout connectors $1.97 
Downspout clip $1.63
Outside corner $6.16
Inside corner $6.16
Screws box/25 

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