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Thread: Home improvement hell

  1. #1
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Home improvement hell

    Since I'm in the middle of home improvement hell, I was wondering if y'all have been there, too?

    Today, I grouted the ceramic tile I put in around the outside of my shower the other day. Tiling was no big thing, once I learned how to cut them. But grouting, that's got to be one of the worst things I've ever done.

    In recent weeks, I've also:

    * put tile squares in one bathroom and around the front entry - this required removing and re-seating the commode

    * laid laminate flooring in my office

    * primed and painted the second bathroom

    * replaced a bathroom sink

    * re-painted my shed

    * re-done some of my landscaping, including removing 2 large shrubs that grew too large for the area they were in

    * replaced the stones in our landscaping with mulch

    We also got new carpet installed in the living room, dining room, and hallway - but we paid someone to do that (we agreed to move out all furniture, though, which was a pain). And this week, I have to tear the carpet out of our third bedroom, because I'm putting laminate flooring in there, too.

    I have never done so much work around the house, and I hope never to have to do it again. What are your horror stories??

  2. #2
    MIA, RIP, or Busy...
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    I actually consider home improvements as one of my hobbies. Not only is it cheaper to do it yourself, you learn something along the way. Sick, I know.

    However, there is one thing I did a couple of years ago that I will NEVER do again.....we had a house we were going to be selling and it had a 1970's era concrete tile roof (spanish style). The tiles were black with algae/dirt and a lot of the finish had either faded or chipped off over the years. So, we had the grand idea of pressure washing and repainting it. Our yard was covered with clay red paint chips from the washing, killed some of the fish in the pond and just about killed each other over the entire process. We only allowed "x" amount of time and it ended up being such a bigger project than we had imagined. Imagine rolling on the paint over curved concrete tiles and not missing any spots. *ack* Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine.

    Oh, and I won't even tell you what happened recently when I was changing out a light fixture.
    A Bachelor fan til it dies a slow death and oddly enough, A Rock of Love fan...finest hair extensions from Europe and all. ;-)

  3. #3
    FORTfruity applesauce's Avatar
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    John, can you come over to my house and help us finish our projects? The list is 2 pages long! We live in a really cool flat/slant top, early Eichler rancher. It is a funky home in an older neigborhood, but some of the issues we have run into while fixing it up are crazy. Anyway, here are some of the things we've tackled in the past few years:

    Took out vynil kitchen floor and painted the concrete.

    Painted everyroom in the house 3 times...or more until the colors were just right.

    Ripped out tons of thorny bushes and landscaped. Paid someone to put in new lawns and sprinkler systems (worth every penny!)

    Built a sandbox for the kids.

    Spent 10 hours changing the front door lockset (we looked like 2 morons)

    Changed two of our homes 3 house letters...can't find the pewter toned screws for the third letter and my husband refused to put it up without them.

    Started refinishing our kitchen cabinets last summer but haven't had time to finish.

    Fixed massive wall cracks.

    Ripped out half the bathroom now we need someone to put it back together.

    Wood Floors - Paid Someone

    Electrical -replaced lights, switches, outlets, added new lighting, etc. - Paid Someone

    Too many things still on the to do list so I will stop. By the way, I love every second fixing up our home. Sense of pride you know!

  4. #4
    FORT Fogey AIWANNABE's Avatar
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    Well, when we had our house 're-done' we didn't do any of it, but instead hired people to do it. We had all the walls painted, all new blinds put in, new carpet in everyroom, new tile in the kitchen, and new tile in the laundry room.

    We got the walls painted, and so far so good. While painting the walls they had to take off the blinds so they could get to the trim. Then came the hell! They put in the carpet for the first time, but there were some weird spots in two sections. So we told them, and they then had take out ALL the carpets, so basically we were walking on those 'wooden planks' and nails.

    So now basically we are left with wooden planks and no blinds. I don't think anything could have been worse. And it stayed like this for about a month.

    They finally came, and everything worked out, but that was really 'Home Improvement Hell.'

  5. #5
    Resident Single Gal erin_dye's Avatar
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    In the next month or two I am going to be replacing the carpet in my living room and main hallway.

    I recently got a cat from a former co-worker that she didn't want and was going to have put down. As far as I knew, there was nothing wrong with the cat, so I told her if no one else wanted it I would take it. Well, it turns out that the reason she was getting rid of the cat is because she had never bothered to make sure it used the litter box. So the cat got used to going to the bathroom wherever it felt like. I finally got the cat using the litter box, but now my nice white carpet in the living room and main hallway has stains on it from where she would "go" on it. I did finally get the smell out though with a thorough steam cleaning of all my carpets.

  6. #6
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    My parents bought our Victorian house in 1976 as a fixer-upper. We're still fixing it. Over the last few years, my mom has spent summers removing decades of paint from banisters, door frames, etc., and then refinishing them once she finally hits the original wood. It's hard enough to get paint off a table or something that you can take outside -- getting it off railings and what-not inside is most emphatically not fun. We've also refinished the hardwood floors.
    We re-wallpapered my childhood bedroom a few years back, and that was a pain. We had to scrape off at least six layers of old wallpaper in places, some of it 100 years old (which was actually kind of interesting; at one point someone had used a swastika-patterned paper. I'm told, though, that the swastika used to be a symbol of something nice before the Nazis commandeered it). But hanging the new paper sucked, because the room isn't level. We had to use the plumb line constantly, and still we'd get to corners and an edge would line up at the top and be six inches off at the bottom, just because the corner itself wasn't straight.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  7. #7
    Mixing Old Fashioneds PhoneGrrrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Today, I grouted the ceramic tile I put in around the outside of my shower the other day. Tiling was no big thing, once I learned how to cut them. But grouting, that's got to be one of the worst things I've ever done.


    The first time I ever grouted, I didn't do the wiping w/the sponge afterward right...don't know how I screwed it up, but I ended up having to shave off thick grout haze with a glass scrapper off all of the tiles. Which wouldn't have been so bad were they the usual 4X4 tiles, but I'd gotten this zany idea from watching HGTV to smash up the tiles in jagged shapes and put them down mosaic-style. Ultimately it looked good & I learned how to grout properly, but the first time around it took an embarrassingly long time to finish. Now I can grout like a pro, though, so I guess some good came of it.

  8. #8
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    The sponging was awful. I managed to get it to look decent by taking a paper towel and carefully wiping off each tile while it was still wet, and trying really hard not to get into the seams with it.

    I just have to keep my eye on the ultimate goal, which is to sell this place in a month or two and buy a new home. Luckily, we purchased the home new 12 years ago, so there aren't any surprises we have to deal with.

  9. #9
    FORT Fogey Pyramid Solitaire by Disney's Tangled Champion combatcutie's Avatar
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    My husband is the king of starting his little home improvement jobs. We bought a house that was "move in" condition. Was that enough for the hubby, NO. He decided to knock a wall down upstairs to make a walk in closet for me (which I was thrilled to have, but he did what he wanted with it) Now he's knocking a wall down in the living room to open it up more. He just isn't happy unless he's making a mess out of my house. And you would think a person would only do one job at a time, not my husband. He's knocking the wall down, remodeling the kitchen, and remodeling the upstairs bathroom. :rolleyes All I ever see is a mess when I'm home. Luckily, he knows what he is doing and I don't have to hire someone to do it. He just fixed our roof on the downstairs bathroom by himself.
    I can only please one person a day, today is not your day and tomorrow doesn't look good either

  10. #10
    FORTfruity applesauce's Avatar
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    How could I not mention this...

    When we bought our house, we noticed there were at least 7 cable hookups and 8 phone hookups...our house is very small so we assumed that lots of people must have been packed in here. Annyway, we thought we would be able to put our tv and phone anywhere we wanted due to the hookups. Well, every single cable and phone line had been cut and was useless. I had 2 phone/cable companies out and 3 electricians. Everyone told us the same thing, since we have no attic overhead and no crawl space below, there is no was to get cabling or phone into the house without ripping apart our now beautiful walls or pulling cable across the middle of our home and drilling it in through the exterior walls. So, our phone and computer hookup is in the garage (thank god for wireless internet). And our cable is drilled through our bedroom wall and discreetly pulled through 3 rooms and 4 walls to get it into the main room of the house. We have also run into major obstacles getting lighting and electrical into certain rooms of our home since there is no crawl or attice space. I just never thought of that when buying the house.

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