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In the Name of God بسم الله

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The door needs a new board at the bottom, new screen, and paint.

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This mess has to go. I have no need for a pet door on my porch. My pets stay inside.

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These wasp nests need to be removed. I'm a little afraid, but I haven't seen any activity in them this summer.

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Going to paint the ceiling sky blue. I've heard it prevents wasps from nesting there, but if nothing else it'll look pretty.

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The floor is made of paving stones over dirt, and has gaps and things growing through it. 

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This bamboo is growing through the floor. I've come to really dislike bamboo since we've moved here. 

I'm thinking of putting in a concrete floor, if only because I think it's the only thing the stinking invasive bamboo can't grow through. 

 

Edited by notme

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Came upon an issue with the ceiling - it's bare foam insulation! Paint isn't going to stick to that! Given budgetary and skill constraints, I'm considering a canvas ceiling like this one:

5d7ccc359bd6ba5d54e6e0b96e5b2000.jpg

 

But for now I'll be proceeding with paint and screen replacement. 

I'm still undecided on how to fix the floor. 

Of the existing (came with the house) furniture, I've got two good Adirondack chairs and a little table. They all need a good cleaning and the chairs need paint. I think it'll look nice when it's done. I might look for a bench or a porch swing for more seating. 

Anyone know the best way to remove mud dauber nests? Is there an easier way than scraping? 

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I finally got everything on the porch ready to paint - there was a lot more cleanup than expected - and it's raining. There go my plans for today.

Maybe I should start on the interior while I wait. 

Or take the day off. 

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Here's a little bit of what I've got to work with inside:

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Living room area has poor natural light. I'm planning paint and carpet replacement. The TV and furniture will stay, but I'm planning slipcovers. 

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Upstairs, contrary to this image, has really good natural light, but slanted walls and low ceiling, making furniture challenging. I don't think it needs paint, but I really dislike this drab grey carpet.

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Mini-kitchen will be its own project later. Everything works. 

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The bathroom needs... really serious work. Hopefully I can do it myself an not have to hire a plumber. There is a constant smell. Aside from the plumbing issues, cleanup and fresh paint will help. 

Edited by notme

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InshAllah everything goes well!! I am so happy for you that you got the opportunity to do something like this. I have never had a home of my own that I could decorate and set up, infact while reading your post I realized I never did any furniture shopping in my entire life! So I won't be able to give you any handy tips but you will do a great job. Enjoy!!

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Oh my gosh my arms are tired! Painting a ceiling is really hard work! 

My people keep popping in and saying in a surprised tone "it really is looking better in here!" I don't know what they were expecting. 

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I'm looking for advice. 

The ceiling has exposed beams. Usually these are left natural, but my primary complaint is that the small windows make the room light poor. 

I could paint them, but it can't be undone. If it looks awful, I'd be stuck it. Does anyone have any experience with temporary wall covering? I see that "peel and stick removable wallpaper" exists, but will it stay on a ceiling? Is it pretty easy to work with? Does it look like normal interior surfaces? 

I've also read about creating a removable wall covering using fabric and paste. It seems like it could look nice, but I'm not confident about gluing the ceiling while standing on a ladder, and I'm not confident that the glue won't damage the wood. 

Here's a view of the ceiling.

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Except I've repainted the white between the beams. I am considering covering only the beams themselves, not the entire ceiling. 

Or should I take a risk and just paint them?

Or leave them as-is? 

The windows of the room are under the overhang of the porch, so don't get sunlight. 

Alternately, (or additionally) I could install more lighting, but electrical work scares me, plus I'm trying to keep it low tech. Part of the charm of my cottage is it's retro-steampunk feel, with shiny silver and black kitchen wall tiles, and blue kitchen lights. 

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21 minutes ago, ireallywannaknow said:

Or to lighten it up but still keep some of the character I would do a transparent white wash 

I hadn't thought of that. I'll look into it. Thanks! 

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Good job, Sis. I'm so proud of you doing all that work! For more lighting, you could add a light kit to the ceiling fan. It's not hard at all. Just turn off the electricity and attach the light kit to the fan. Here's a video.

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50 minutes ago, Hameedeh said:

Good job, Sis. I'm so proud of you doing all that work! For more lighting, you could add a light kit to the ceiling fan. It's not hard at a

We have two of them in our house but I helped my father to install it ,installing it with one person is not simple

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26 minutes ago, Ashvazdanghe said:

We have two of them in our house but I helped my father to install it ,installing it with one person is not simple

Yes, two people makes the job easy. Also a step ladder is necessary. 

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I changed out a not working ceiling fan for a new one once, about 20 years ago. It seems that adding lights wouldn't be harder than that. It's a good idea. 

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I think before doing anything to the exposed rafters, I'll get a ceiling fan with white blades and a clean, simple light fixture. That's not too much electrical work, I'm sure I can safely do it. There are several styles available locally for less than $100, which is a lot less than the cost of removable wallpaper. 

I've actually always been successful when I've needed to work on electrical things, but it still scares me. If I make a mistake, someone could be electrocuted or the place could burn down. Maybe the reason I've been successful is because I'm careful far beyond what is usual for me. 

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On 7/21/2018 at 8:29 AM, notme said:

Here's a little bit of what I've got to work with inside:

IMG_20180613_090257535.jpg

Living room area has poor natural light. I'm planning paint and carpet replacement. The TV and furniture will stay, but I'm planning slipcovers. 

IMG_20180613_090325891.jpg

Upstairs, contrary to this image, has really good natural light, but slanted walls and low ceiling, making furniture challenging. I don't think it needs paint, but I really dislike this drab grey carpet.

IMG_20180625_073931344.jpg

Mini-kitchen will be its own project later. Everything works. 

IMG_20180625_074150487.jpg

The bathroom needs... really serious work. Hopefully I can do it myself an not have to hire a plumber. There is a constant smell. Aside from the plumbing issues, cleanup and fresh paint will help. 

Never pay to a plumber unless it's a serious work. I had plumbing workshop back in my school. It's a bit hard for long plumbing projects, but if you want to do small plumbing project, you can do it yourself. I used to open plumbing of the our house back in Iran to clean it when it was clogged. I used to clean it completely inside and outside. Overall it's a good thing that you think of house improvement. It's a lot of work, but it's fun

Edited by AmirAlmuminin Lover

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On 7/31/2018 at 7:20 PM, notme said:

I think before doing anything to the exposed rafters, I'll get a ceiling fan with white blades and a clean, simple light fixture. That's not too much electrical work, I'm sure I can safely do it. There are several styles available locally for less than $100, which is a lot less than the cost of removable wallpaper. 

I've actually always been successful when I've needed to work on electrical things, but it still scares me. If I make a mistake, someone could be electrocuted or the place could burn down. Maybe the reason I've been successful is because I'm careful far beyond what is usual for me. 

Make sure that positive and negative are NOT connected to each other. Always use a electric tape to isolate them from each other. Also use a screw driver with light to detect positive wire. It's very helpful. When you touch it to the wire and your hand is touched to the other side of the screw driver, the LED becomes on which means it's positive. Be careful. Inshaallah it goes well

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You never actually said what you intended to do with the finished product. Would that not have an impact on how you went about this? Depending on the local market etc. seems to me that you could tent this out as a self-contained apartment?

p.s. if you search for 'upvc cladding' or 'upvc trim', the material can be used to hide all manner of sins in the bathroom.

Edited by Haji 2003

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3 hours ago, Haji 2003 said:

You never actually said what you intended to do with the finished product. Would that not have an impact on how you went about this? Depending on the local market etc. seems to me that you could tent this out as a self-contained apartment?

p.s. if you search for 'upvc cladding' or 'upvc trim', the material can be used to hide all manner of sins in the bathroom.

That's a good question. 

We aren't zoned for multi-family, so it technically isn't allowed to rent to non-relatives. I've offered first choice to my teenage sons when they are adult, to rent if they want to live "on their own" but not far. My oldest son has a phobia of plants so the rather overgrown garden causes him to decline. He might change his mind once it's cleaned up. My younger teenager said that when he moves out, he wants to be at least across town, close enough to visit regularly but far enough that nobody will drop in unannounced. 

So for now I'm planning the project as a "guest house" for visiting friends and family, but I'm also my workshop (or, if I'm feeling feisty, mad scientist lab) and library. We don't get many visitors. 

Also, our house is smallish for six of us, so just some extra space to spread out is nice. Upstairs and down, the cottage will give us about 400 more square feet in two rooms, plus the screened porch.

I'm away on vacation right now, but I've gotten slipcovers on the furniture and finished painting the living room. I've got a ceiling fan with light but I've not installed it yet. It's looking really nice. If not before then, I'll be able to make good progress once the kids are back in school in September. 

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24 minutes ago, notme said:

I've offered first choice to my teenage sons when they are adult, to rent if they want to live "on their own" but not far. My oldest son has a phobia of plants so the rather overgrown garden causes him to decline. He might change his mind once it's cleaned up.

Two of the tutors we have used for the kids have used additions to their properties such as this as the location for the lessons. So that tutees don't get in the way of the rest of the house.

As for multi-zoning - does that mean you can't even rent out single rooms? In 'socialist' Britain we even get a tax break for letting out a single room in a property, in London that can mean $6500 tax-free! 

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I think what @notme wants to do, remodeling, is good. I think because it's currently messy especially in the porch and outside, there's not much coming into mind. I think first step is to do a heavy cleaning then thinking of remodeling. BTW, the idea of using screw driver with light doesn't work fir electrical works in US. I didn't pay attention that US houses use AC not DC. 

Get your husband to help you. It's fun

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My sitting room is mostly finished.

Here's the entry view. I still need to replace the electrical outlet plates. I didn't like the existing brown ones. We have some white ones stored somewhere that I need to find. The curtain hides the ugly defunct air conditioner. If I remove it, I'll have to either find an exact size match, or repair the hole through the wall. 

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Here's a view of the reading space. There is a wall light above each chair. 

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The patchwork carpet was so much less expensive than any solid carpet or rugs, and it really brightens up the room, in my opinion. It was pretty easy to install too. Cutting the edges to fit was the hardest part, and that was more tedious than difficult. 

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Next step - since it rains almost every day and I can't seem to make progress on the porch - will be the kitchen. 

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Not remodel related, but electronics related: anyone know what I need to connect a DVD player or Chromecast (or both) to old analog TV? It had a connected VCR/DVD player, but the DVD side doesn't work and I've got no VHS tapes. 

-----

My son has taken over the upstairs portion. He set up a recording studio. I guess that's off my schedule for now. 

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^ mashallah, looks a huge improvement on what was there before. These shots are not as wide angle as the previous one, so not possible to see what happened to the hatch leading to the kitchen.

The sheet seems like a good touch, but if you get creepy crawlies in that part of the world, won't it give them more hiding space?

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46 minutes ago, Haji 2003 said:

The sheet seems like a good touch, but if you get creepy crawlies in that part of the world, won't it give them more hiding space?

Oooh... good point. I can hem the bottom so it falls short of the floor. As it is now, it's a little longer than just reaching the floor. 

But the creepy crawlies that we've seen are of the many legged variety. They're less alarming to me than the four legged, furry ones, and I don't mind periodically spraying or setting up traps for them. 

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14 hours ago, notme said:

I need to connect a DVD player or Chromecast (or both) to old analog TV? It had a connected VCR/DVD player, but the DVD side doesn't work and I've got no VHS tapes. 

chromecast needs an hdmi connecton & usb port for power supply or you had to buy a power adaptor for it  ,old analog TV's only support RGB & A/V cables & it's a complicated work to attach chromecast through hdmi to A/V converter that not works all time & causes many problem for DVD player you can use only A/V cale

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5 hours ago, Ashvazdanghe said:

chromecast needs an hdmi connecton & usb port for power supply or you had to buy a power adaptor for it  ,old analog TV's only support RGB & A/V cables & it's a complicated work to attach chromecast through hdmi to A/V converter that not works all time & causes many problem for DVD player you can use only A/V cale

Yes, the old TV has only AV. You think I should just try to find an old DVD player? We might have one around somewhere. 

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6 hours ago, notme said:

find an old DVD player? We might have one around somewhere. 

I found one! It's portable, and still works great, has A/V connection for TV, but now I need to find an AC adapter. It's only got the car charger with it. 

I'm hoping to watch my martial arts training videos over there where I won't disturb anyone. I don't need a pretty screen so the old TV should be fine. There's also a large wall mirror, so I can check my posture and form as I train - assuming it's enough space. We will see. 

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I was going through the accounts of Dow DuPont and they mentioned having something called "Great Stuff".

I had no idea what this was so checked it out. Seems to be a range of gap fillers that householders can use quite easily. To stop warm air leaking out from a building and also to stop insects and vermin:

https://www.greatstuff.dupont.com/insulating-foam-sealants-for-homeowners.html

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