Posts Tagged ‘house renovation


Cooling down

I am not one that does well in the heat. It gets above 70, I start to sweat … it hits the 90s, I basically dehydrate and want to die. As a friend of mine once said, I am “built for killing Nazis on the Russian front in winter,” which is partially correct — I have no Russian ancestry, but I don’t like Nazis and I do like the cold. So there’s that.

But for years, I wanted to hang some ceiling fans in my house … mainly because I can tolerate the heat much better with shade and a breeze. After all, while growing up in South Florida, my dad would never turn the A/C on until it got into the 100s — and I found I could sleep well enough with just a ceiling fan going.

Now, it was time. I had worked an OT shift, plus worked over the July 4th holiday, and it was my turn to be on call for the weekend … so as you could imagine, a big check was coming up.

I bought 2 52″ ceiling fans (Harbor Breeze at Lowe’s), and hung them up. First was in the bedroom, the second in my kitchen.

After playing with fun wiring for a bit (remember, my house is 90+ years old, so figuring out what was done in the first place is the hardest part), we got it going. I was solo for my second install.

Here are the pics (excuse the mess and shabby decor):


Now, I have to admit, at first I had a little buyer’s remorse. The first thing I hated … the bedroom fan was too low for my taste. If I can find a shorter downrod in the future, I will probably end up replacing it. But for now, it’ll do.

The second fan is simply too big for the kitchen. I wanted to get a smaller size (44″), but they only came with light fixtures that I hated. So, I went big … because a 36″ fan does no one any good unless you are directly under it.

However, I can’t argue with the results of these installs.

Both fans are super quiet. I kept the bedroom fan going last night and my sleep was dreamy, especially compared to running a window shaker a/c unit or a direct fan.

The kitchen fan made things so much better in terms of clean up. Before, when I would go to do dishes, I’d have to do them shirtless and I sweat my balls off. Now, I can do them shirtless, but it’s comfortable. Same with cooking. Just keep it on low for cooking and medium for dishes or moping or whatever, and it’s perfect.

Yeah, I still have to repaint the ceilings since both have rings from the heat shields that accompanied the lights.

With the temps going into the 90s this week, they’ll both be put to the test. But I am confident I will be tolerate it much better than in the past.

And this hot weather has determined the next project on the list: The basement.



I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what exactly I want to do with my house, design wise.

Now, a lot of things have changed in recent months, and so have a lot of my priorities.

Where nerd-filled magic was made....complete with Slanket.

Long-time readers will recall my thrill when I put my geekroom in my second big bedroom. “BEST MOVE EVER!” I think that’s what I cried from the rooftops when it was complete.

But now as I work with technology for 40 hours a week, I find that I don’t want to work on it when I get home. There have been days where I wanted to watch Netflix, my PS3 needed to be updated and wouldn’t update properly, and I about flipped because, for Pete’s sakes, I JUST WANT TO WATCH NETFLIX, NOT FUCK AROUND WITH TECHNOLOGY.

So, here’s what I have in mind: I’m moving the geekatorium to my small bedroom. Basically, it will be my computer and my workbench, and that’s it.

The former geekroom would then be transformed into my “40s room.” No technology outside of stuff you would find in the 1940s (within reason). Bed, chest, nightstand, drawing table … those kinds of things. I don’t even want it to have a digital clock.

The 40s room is going to be my haven from technology. My place to go, breathe and not think about it. To not HAVE to deal with it.

This should give my friend Amy, who is going to be helping me plan my renovations, an interesting challenge. I’m sure she’ll have some great ideas for it.

The rest of the house will have wiring projects galore. Plans to run speaker wire and possibly patch cabling under my floorboards have been formulated. A dedicated media server is being built. Yeah, if Ghosthunters ever came through my house, I’m sure I’d be spiking the EMF detectors.

But a nice, comfortable, tech-free mancave … a return to simplicity … I think I’m going to need that in the very near future.


one hour a day

I decided that my strategy in attacking the Mini-Geek Room will be to work on it for about 1 hour a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. For example, I’m getting a cord of wood delivered tomorrow, so I won’t be working on the MGR because I’ll be too busy stacking wood in my garage. But on Friday, yeah, I’ll be back in there for an hour, scraping away.

Here’s the before and after of 1 hour on the Wall of Pain:

OG Wall of Pain.

And the after:

See, complete difference! (I'm trying to keep a straight face)

Yeah, this is gonna take awhile. But I think I’ll post weekly so you guys can see the progress (or lack thereof, since I’m one of the laziest DIYers known to mankind).


Musical rooms

I’ve decided it’s time to ramp up my efforts in the home renovation department — mainly because I want to rip up the carpet in my living room and expose the hardwood floors that lay underneath. But, I’m working on getting my upstairs situated before I tackle yet another project.

But I’ve formulated a plan of  attack — which means I’m going to be playing musical rooms with my upstairs.

See, right now, my upstairs consists of the Mini-Geek Room, the Geekatorium and the Master Bedroom (and my bathroom, but I’m not touching that sucker for quite awhile, despite the ugly factor).

In my bathroom and the MGR. OH, how it makes me want to cry.

Now, all the rooms need to have the plaster patched and painted. Easy enough. And now, I’m getting the windows replaced in the MGR and the Geekatorium, so those will be ready to be painted relatively soon. So what’s the deal?

The MGR is my hell come to life.


Originally, the MGR had this wallpaper glaring at me. And I ripped it all out. Mostly. See, it had some uber backing that seems to be impossible to get off the plaster, which I’m trying to keep. Steaming didn’t do squat to take that backing off. Chemicals have also been equally repelled. So my plan of attack is to A) try and use my heat gun on a low setting and scraping it off or B) bust out the sander and just sand the whole thing down and paint over it. Last option is C, which is rip them out and hang drywall. Oh, how I don’t want C to happen.

Right now, the MGR looks like this:

The yellow = wallpaper backing

The Wall of Pain. But look at that cherrywood door, yo.

Now, all the work can be done … I’m confident of that. However, it is long, tedious, excessively boring work — which I have to confess, I’m not a fan of. But nonetheless, if this phase gets me to the ultimate goal of hardwood floors in the livingroom, so be it.

See, once the MGR is ready to go, I’m going to make it the temporary home of the Geekatorium. The Geekatorium just needs to be patched and painted, so when that’s done, I’ll make it my bedroom while I do work to the Master Bedroom. After that’s done, bedroom goes back to the Master Bedroom, and MGR remains the geek room. That’s where the fun begins.

I’m going to move the livingroom upstairs and put it in the Geekatorium. Then I’ll have electricians rewire the living room. After that, I’ll paint, and pull up the carpeting to expose those floors. Of course, they’ll need sanded and finished, but that’s not too difficult — or so I’ve been told.

But the main obstacle will be the MGR. That’s my focus for the next 6 months. I want to complete it by spring.  After that, if I can get the rest done in the following year, I’ll be happy.

The things I’ll do for those damn hardwood floors….

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