Home projects for winter

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Anybody (else) thinking of home projects for winter?

I'm thinking new shades for bedroom windows (replace the five dollar, five year old half broken miniblinds) and our downstairs bath has a toilet that just has evil intent and defies all Mark's repair attempts. Plus, all forty year old fixtures. Maybe time to update.

Winter is a good time to paint too, since the heat runs and dries it out.

And face it, none of us are going to work inside anytime between March 15th and about Jan 5 so we gotta git er done.

Thumbnail by sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm wondering how hard it would be to ceramic tile the floor of the powder room, only about 3 by 6 feet and the only cut would be going around the toilet flange.
I posted a couple questions on the Handyman forum. I may not be able to do ceramic if I can't get all the vinyl and linoleum off- ?
Mark can do this kind of stuff, but he's never done ceramic tile, and he doesn't LIKE doing the other stuff. He's love to find it all done (traveling for business) or at least the floor would be a big relief to him.

Are all toilets about the same as far as flushable? Does spending more on a toilet get you any benefit? The guy on the youtube video I just watched got a whole toilet at HD for 65 bucks.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

well, there's no way that vinyl and linoleum is coming up without a huge effort. I guess I'll look at composite floating flooring or luxury groutable vinyl tile. But then I can't cut it without using a power saw , or maybe a jigsaw?
And why am I considering this when I need to be cleaning and cooking?

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Sally, Most tile, stone, etc. need a concrete board underlay, unless the floor is concrete. Cutting most of these requires a wet saw (which you can rent). It's really not that hard, actually. A good oscillating multitool can help scrape glue and old flooring off of most any underlay. Prep your surface, plan you layout, pick you tile, do your cutting, lay your mastic or thinset mortar, place you tiles as you go, grout and clean, seal. If ya'll DIY, I'd use the mortar based grout with a latex additive rather that the new poly grouts which can be a bear to work with and clean up.

A $65 toilet will flush like a $65 toilet, although you don't need a $400 one to work well. It's not legal to sell a used toilet in Pa. but many people are removing high end models for redos. Know any plumbers or contractors? Duel flush systems are popular and can be put in any toilet, I think FluidMaster produces one, they are money and water saving.

The only job currently in the works here, is cutting and installing our new tile back splash. I have Josh's wet saw and plan to use mastic, and grout with colored silicon caulk to try and make it grease proof. We already have the tile, it's 16"sq. going into a 15 3/4" space with only 2 outlets. It should go pretty well excepting Murrphy's Law.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

thanks Ric.
I am getting hyped over a clickable vinyl 'plank' style actually. We've done two floating floors. I just don't have the time to deal with tool rental and a major scraping job. I am going full time next week. I think I'll go to Lumber Liquidators or Wood Floors Plus tomorrow and look at vinyl. Lowes had a few, but I found the Armstrong website no help at all and the store had no installation info to read.

Mark about went insane trying to get the Dual flush working right in this old toilet. He's lost years of his life working in that stupid little bathroom, which is why I want to help if I can.

if I put a 3 mm floor over existing, can a new toilet be put in without worrying about the flange and wax ring still meeting up ok? I watched a toilet install video I can do that! probably whine and get one of the boys to get it in the house though. Eh, I'll get him to help too, needs to learn.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

good oscillating tool- a Dremel type tool? I guess that's not so bad, I was thinking something bigger and heavier.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Sally, don't know about the 3mm but there are flange extension kits and thicker/taller wax rings available. Fitting tiles around flange, since work won't be seen, can be done with tile nippers. Our local HD and Ace used to cut tile for free....measure twice, cut once.

New toilet ($49 15 yrs ago)) originally meant for basement did not fit in same space as old one because of lesser back base clearance for baseboard heat. New toilet was 'lighter' than old so I expect vitreous china not as thick. Flushes ok but seat lid if left open can lean against handle preventing it from fully turning off flow of water into bowl. The shape and position of the bowl saw more poop hit the back of bowl than fall directly into water.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Sally, they make an extra thick wax ring with a neoprene/ rubber flange that does the trick. Just be sure to have it in a nice warm place before installing. I've seen those interlocking plank a couple of places, I have even seen one that look like tile. As long as the old flooring is in good enough shape it's easy to do a cover-up and have a handsome job when done. Since you said powder room I'm assuming no tub or shower to caulk in front of?

Oh, if removing or replacing the toilet be sure to pick up a new set of closet bolts too.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Sally, I have one box of left over vinyl wood look planks from when we did the back bedroom. I will see how many sq ft it would cover. I have my own project that I want to start, just keep looking at it and not doing anything. It is the stairwell to the second floor, an area that was just never done. The lower part of the stairwell was taped, textured and painted but the upper part was never finished and neither was the landing at the top. There is even a platform in the upper stair well in place so we can reach. Just need to get myself up there and do it. Funny your putting up this thread because I have been thinking lately that I need to pick up a new bucket of Spackle.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

coleup thanks for the user review and tips. I had a hunch the 69 dollar one the guy showed might be a wee bit too 'economy.' for us to be happy long term. It's down in the area where kids guests will be primary users- kids aren't picky but they want guests (esp girls) to be happy.

Holly, the actual area I need is right around 18-19 sf. There will be very little waste. Wouldn't you know the Pergo is in an 18 sf box?

What a thought -need a new bucket of spackle. Oh joy of home ownership! That's the thing about home fixes- the small transitional problem areas are so hard to get around to. A major (but minor) issue in this bathroom is that we never got our floating composite floor properly transitioned to the bathroom, so there's this big ugly gap of old floor. Come to think of it, I need a transition piece by the utility room door too (or the kitchen floor to living room.) ....Mark is not a 'finish' kind of guy lol

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Sally there is pre-finished or not molding just for that transitional spot sold at Lowes or HD very easy just cut off the length you need. Don't buy the over priced transitional pieces they sell at LL or other flooring places until you check out what Lowes or HD have.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

thanks Holly!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

So here are a few pics of my stairway. First this is how the stairway looks from the living area. Not too bad. This is how it looks from the second floor, the wood beams running between the finished and unfinished are really the scaffolding /platform for me to get up there and finish the top. The rough boards you see piled up on the scaffolding can be pulled out to make a solid platform for me to stand on. Even put up a small ladder on them. Ric took down the light fixture and put the scaffolding in the stairwell years ago so I could do this, but it is one of those jobs that just doesn't seem to get done. I have decided that this "is the year" that I will do it. The steps need finished and we even have a railing that has never been put up.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS Thumbnail by HollyAnnS Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh my, that is no 'little finishing' job! Thank heavens for the platform you can pull out and set up, what a great setup.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

LOL Remember how bad the back room looked before I started on that? It was a much bigger area, was missing some of the drywall, had uneven drywall and had to work around all kinds of pipes and water tanks. I will texture it like the lower part because I am not any good at finish drywall work.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

LOL Sally, you say Mark isn't a finish kind of guy. Well neither am I. We have little things to finish a job that wait forever. After I do them, it's like, I ask myself, "What took you so long?" I practically refuse to buy molding, since I make most of mine, myself. Yet why have a beautiful room without baseboards? I have friends that finish drywall beautifully, but my efforts leave mush to be desired, to say the least. Holly and I have done so much of the work on our house that having someone in to refinish the kitchen and lay the floors was a huge step. We are enjoying every bit of it, except maybe the payments. LOL

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I hear ya! Off to Home Depot to see selection of vinyl flooring

Odenton, MD(Zone 7b)

My project for January is getting my fabric stash under control and organized. I purchased 100 comic book boards to fold and wrap the fabric around, makes it look like little bolts of fabric. I've used about 30 of the boards and that was just the fabric on the floor, I think I am going to need more boards.
I really am going to try not to buy more fabric this year but just work with what I have (she says after buying ~23 yards on Saturday).

Thumbnail by Catbird423
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Hi Robin, I'm still working on my hexies. I was at the Hancock Fabrics (Decor stuff and some Fabric) the other day, I remarked to the ales person about my plan to do this quilt to just use up scraps, I knew that would get a chuckle out of anyone nearby.
You must go to nice places. I go to crap places and don't like much they have. You have such a way with color too. and you need choices to make the perfect combos!

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Sally, consider a flattering lighting upgrade to please the ladies....sometimes just a bulb type change will do.

Holly, is the bucket of spackle for the texturizing? I was thinking to rough sand the seams (wet sand so less dust) and then seal everything with a coat or two of Kilz and then paint. Don't you still have to seal or paint the texturizing? Or do you need it to blend in with other areas? Nice to have the scaffolding in place!

Rough walls and ceilings have always wanted me to try almost anything other than smoothing them out. like rolls of reed fencing, padded wall paper, tin ceilings, or even fabric adherred with liquid laundry starch! I hate drywall dust and painting over texturized surfaces equally! Be protective of your body what ever you do.

May be getting a home appraisal soon. Maybe they could do one 'as is' and one 'as if' all of the started projects were fully finished. Wonder what the $$$ difference would be? lol Or if the 'extensive landscaping' was actually planted and not in huge moveable containers! Of course, the 'value' is in the land, not what is on it, at least in my situation.

Nice project Catbird! Do quilters ever do Fabric Swaps?

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Sallyg, next time you are near West Annapolis check out Cottonseed Glory shop. They cater to quilters and have bundles of quilters' squares (?) that would be great for hexies.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I tried my hand at finish spackleing(sp?) and didn't do too badly at it but certainly not truly smooth and every bump shows up as soon as you put paint on it. Plus I spent hours and hours on it and then wasn't too happy with the finished out come. Besides the Hallway and lower staircase are textured so I want the upper staircase and landing to match.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Holly, I once worked as the painter for a group of architects who did historic restorations. to me, the application of the first 'drywall mud' or spackle is the key to the quality of the finished surface.
there were drywall/tapers who left the sufaces paint ready and those who did not. it is much easier to smooth a seam or patch when wet and first applied.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

We have so many odds and ends of small projects that have never been finished in the 20+ years of living here. My goal is to finish up the things that we already have the material for. Clutter control and loose ends all in one.

We recently finished up a small section of wallpaper in the library. It was the last bit to wrap around a corner to the wall that is mostly taken up with a built-in bookcase. Getting to the corner was only 17 inches and wrapping around to the bookcase was 20 inches. It took us about 3 hours tops to finish up that eye sore that had been undone for at least 10 years!!! When it is all said and done you sit back and ask yourself WHY? I know Mike and I are procrastinators, but 10 years of procrastination for these type of small jobs is crazy LOL.

Next on the list is the wainscot and handrail for the basement stairwell. The wainscot material has been sitting under the stairs for at least fifteen years. We were working a lot of hours to finish up the basement for a 1999 New Year's Eve Party, didn't get to the stairwell, and abandoned the finish up effort ever since.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

LOL Terri, We have the same type of thing going on here and for just as long. When you finish you look at it and think really how could we have ignored that for so long and some times they are such a small job.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Yes, I need to work through some fabric my friend gave me and then visit CG with a better idea what out of the hundred I will fall in love with , do I really want LOL

So many kindred spirits in the unfinished project category here lol

I went to Home Depot and think I've settled on one, need to order but it is a 22 sf box which should be perfect- a faux travertine. I can't get in too much trouble on a 3 by 5.5 floor!

Also stopped at Wood Floors Plus, good prices but limited selection, they had some inexpensive cork that would be nice for a bedroom.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Sally, I really like that.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Just read all your project ideas. Holy-Moly!

My forever, ongoing project is to start De-cluttering and get rid of some stuff.
That will be hard--as I like to hang on to a lot of stuff...with the excuse that--
someday I will need it or use it.

I admit it is a sickness/compulsion in me to save everything. Incurable....

Not having a handyman--and not having the $$ to blow on pros doing the work--
things just are as they are.

I AM saving money for a kitchen re-do. Aina will, probably, be designing the new look.
After all--that is what she does for a living at IKEA. May use them to install also.
Curtis said that IKEA is one of HD's bigger competitors when it comes to
kitchen installs. How's THAT?

Would be great if the "Property Brothers" were affordable....Love what they do.

Sally---I have so many "series" of Time-Life books aqs well.what to do with them????
All nicely on bookshelves....

--The Gardening series (30 books)
--The Nature Library (31 books)
--Great Ages of Man (maybe 12 or 15 books)
--Human Behavior (about 12 books)

I have 30 years worth of continuous "Geographic" mag....plus a lot mote
when I re-subscribed. The latter sit in various boxes and magazine holders.
Many of them I have never looked at. Cancelled my subscription as of last year.

Lots of "Coffee Table" books too....OH, the $$$ I/We spent for all these!

Tell me what's wrong with this picture????????????

I see all this as hopeless. Feel sorry for my girls when I am gone--and they
are stuck dealing with my house.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Gita, You will get a kick out of a kitchen update. Its the most used room in the house after all.

You can put your books in one of those Donation bins in parking lots, or take them to Salvation Army etc. If anyone has a need, places like that will know it. The library can't use those series, it has to do with ordering from certain book suppliers, and the complex data entry that goes into a book purchase means we do not add things that people donate, unless it is a book we own the EXACT ISBN version of , AND we have a need such as all copies we had got worn out or lost, or a classic title.
Sorry to break this to you but nobody wants National Geographic magazines.

I have my clutter issues too, but putting kids through college helps in the intake end- I cut way down on impulse buying.

Mark said, Hey knock yourself out on the bathroom, or words to that effect. I watched a toilet removal video, looks easy ! Youtube is great for how to videos. Now I'm wondering if I want beadboard wainscoting, the current drywall is peeling just above the baseboard due to water. But maybe I better rein this in and just replace with wider base.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I put PVC beadboard in the downstairs bathroom and LOVE it. I think I got it at Lowe's, with matching moldings. :-) Not only is it bright white (paintable, but I like the white... did a bold blue paint on the upper walls and ceiling), but it's completely washable. it went on quickly with finishing nails and a little construction adhesive.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Critter, I remember when you did that remodeling job your self, that beadboard does look good.
LOLGita, I had to practically break Ric's arm to get rid of the stack of Nat Geo magazines that filled up the closet. Paper clutter is really hard to dispose of.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I love your beadboard too, I remembered that.
I have four issues of Fine Gardening I just haven't brought myself to toss!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Yea, Gardening books are the hardest to toss.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Love this party!!! We are all in the same boat.

While Jeff was off for the holiday he finished putting in the under cabinet lights in the kitchen. This mirror has been sitting around waiting for this space above the built-in bench for years. I like sitting there in the morning with my coffee. I can look out at the garden and now there is more light from the lights, but also from the reflection in the mirror. He also had some soapstone left over from the counters, so he made a little back splash as well as a removable shelf around the stove. I think I decided to just have paint above it and not tile, but if I change my mind to put in tile that is something that can be done down the road. At least it looks like it is a finished project now. He also got some epoxy to set the soapstone on the island. Right now the only piece that is permanently in place is the section that has a sink. The rest is just sitting there. Thankful the pieces are heavy so they don't move without some real effort.

Thumbnail by Jan23 Thumbnail by Jan23
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Good job, Jeff! I think the paint is just fine, but if it ends up getting 'splashed' you can add it later, as you said, and for now it still looks finished. Yeah I don't imagine the soapstone moves much. --chuckle

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

My folks moved stacks of Nat Geo here when the moved in with us. It is hard to get rid of things that you enjoyed. Those stacks are now gone. We do have some Ladies Home Journal, though, from the turn of the century. The LAST century that is. Fun to look through.

I have BAGS of yarn. People have given them to me when a group of us were making lap blankets. Keep thinking I'll use up the bits. But then, I see some new yarn that catches my eye. Or cross stitch thread. Or fabric. Even old clothes. I cut up a shirt that my mom wore and made pillows incorporating it into the pillows. There were five. Each of the boys and I have one.

Jeff really likes working with the soapstone. A bath room is on the list, so we will see. I want a walk in shower instead of a tub/shower. What are your thoughts about just using tile or putting in a one piece unit? Some of the units I've seen at HD or Lowes are quite large. Which is a good thing!! I want to be able to turn around easily. Even have room for a little stool. I also would prefer not to have a curtain or even a door. Tile, then would be more customizable. I have an idea in my head, but it is hard to make a visual so Jeff can SEE what I see. I'd live for Matt Muenster come to my house for an episode of Bath crashers.

I also have trouble deciding on colors, etc. I'd love to have someone come and give me two or three choices. I get overwhelmed looking at the plethora of options out there. So then nothing gets decided. I have four 2 x 2 paint sample squares on my bedroom wall.

Question....is it okay to have different colors of baseboard or styles throughout your house? We mostly have a darker mahogany-like color throughout most of the house. One bedroom is white and I'd like to paint another bedroom's trim a different color. We realiy like wood, but.....

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Have fun Sally, with your project.

Good idea, coleup. As is or as if appraisals. That would definitely adjust my thinking about my place and how much work would need to be done. It cracks me up in watching the house hunter shows, that people say something needs to be updated, or they have to have granite or stainless.

Holly, be careful. Great to have the scaffolding there.

Good idea, catbird on the comic book boards.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Teri, I was so WOWed by your home and decorating, I didn't see the unfinished jobs. The first time we were there the unfinished project was the conservatory, that had all my attention. LOL Of course the fact remains that things in our own home may be an eyesore to us, but go unnoticed by others.

Sally, I love that flooring. Lowes or HD will cut that beadboard to the height you need to make it easier to handle. Jill's job was so nice, I was impressed.

Jan, I love interior mirrored surfaces, they share the light so well. We have mirrored doors on a couple of closets and the brighten the whole room.

I managed to get through my NatGeos after I retired. I took many on vac. and left them after reading cover to cover. Senior centers seem to always appreciate "new" mags and books.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

"Best Intentions Appraisal, Inc, we are currently experiencing very heavy call volume, please wait for the next available line..."

Some advice says that colors should be somewhat coordinated throughout the house, I guess that means trim too. Our house came with varnished, we changed to white. Then we broke a rule by having several different styles of molding. Honestly, I never notice that though.

After I chose a living room color, I used the same strip, lighter shades semigloss, for bathroom color that adjoin. It changed the effect of the tone from green to almond. But I figure if its the same strip it as to be coordinated.

I strongly suggest buying a paint sample before you commit to a shade. I had a friend with a good color eye help me on dining room, but when I started to put it up, the yellow in it really multiplied and I went back to the display, went a line greener and a tone more muted, and was happy with it. Beware of the intense clear pretty colors on the strips, I think the 'color' really multiplies on four walls.

Of course the paint names help. my kitchen is Baby sea turtle ROFL.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


On the "House hunter" series--You hit the nail on the head.
It is as if the women HAVE TO complain b/c they know they are on camera.
Every room they go into--something is wrong. I want to smack them!

This really bugs me when someone is in a village or small town in, say Italy or France--
they are shown some small house ful of charm--and they expect granite counter tops,
huge rooms, and an upscale kitchen.
It always reminds me how, we here, are so spoiled!

Back to projects---
This one is on my mind night and day. It is a bit sad--as I realize that I will never
accomplish all this in my remaining life time--at least in the ADH life style I have.

You all know I do have done all kinds of craft things--or, maybe you don't?
Cute little things--all my own creation. The Rose Angels are my favorite--as are the
puppies or kittens in a basket--made from a glove. Cloth pin Monks--
iridescent twist-ribbon Angels, little Gnomes ans Vikings made from pom-poms and felt.
Just 3" tall--with every detail on them.
All the supplies fill all kinds of storage boxes and drawers. Many of these projects are
half way made--just need finishing.

Before I had a computer--I used to sit up late at night making things.
Now I sit here on DG 5 timers a day for hours. Also--now I have to do everything
that needs to be done--like the yard and garden, plus work 3 days a week.

I know many of you are going--"What is SHE complaining about?"
I have kids in school and a hubby and household to take care of. Cook meals every day--
do the shopping, etc. Yes! I get it!

IF I could just have my DR table totally free of stuff--I could put one project out on it
and work at it a bit at a time--but it seems that something always takes up the table.
Right now--as soon as I cleaned off the X-mas stuff--all my seed supplies are on there.
Need to fill those little baggies with all the seeds collected this past summer.

These unfinished multi-craft projects are near and dear to my heart--
Gotta finish them....gotta--b/c no one else knows how to do these.
Most of them are my own original creations.

As I sit here--at the computer (my CAVE ROOM)-I look all around and see boxes
and boxes and drawers full of craft supplies.....a daily reminder of"musts"....

And--just now--my daughter gave me 4 packs of plastic binder pages with different
sized inserts (like for photos) so I can organize all my recipes which sit around
in piles here and there.
Yea right! I'll get to that when I can find the extra time.

UGH! Gita

YEAH! The snow plow just went down my street! This is always a priority,
as there are 2 schools on this street. A middle School and a HS.

Thumbnail by Gitagal

Post a Reply to this Thread

You must log in and subscribe to Dave's Garden to post in this thread.