Friday, January 31, 2014

Finally!!! The New House Colors!!!


After hours upon hours of researching historically correct paint schemes.
Countless hours reading through and comparing paint chips.
After waaaay too much money spent on quart cans of paint.

The Final Absolutely Perfect Paint Scheme

Wait For It.....

There you have it. The perfect paint scheme as conceived by baby madscientist.

Below we have some shots of the artist at work on a previous version.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Plumbing With Pex Pt 2

Electric Bugaloo.

You know what two diy'ers should never, ever try to do. Replumb a tri-plex in a single day.
Wow, my back hurts....
Well, not really replumb the entire thing, but one of the units and the main floor of another unit...
We prepared as much as possible by doing as much work ahead of time as we could....but still...

See this picture below? that was only half of the amount of copper piping we removed.

The water supply piping in this house was really, much screwier than we could of imagined...
One mystery was solved though. The mystery as to why it took forever to get hot water in the MB even though the water heater is almost exactly above it......

For some unknown reason the hot and cold water supply lines to the MB start in the attic, go all the way down to the first floor, shoot over horizontally for like 10' and then go waaay back up to the MB....seriously, WTF...

Second mystery that we didn't even know was a mystery.
Off the main incoming cold water line was an old looking 3/4" galv water pipe.
We searched and searched and we determined that it was just some old abandoned pipe that didn't matter. I mean, there is a giant 1 1/4" cold supply pipe going straight up and appearing to supply cold water to the main house.

NOPE! Gosh-darned thing is supplying cold water to two bathrooms and the top floor laundry closet...
I am at a total loss as to what to do about it....why, oh why did they not just replumb the two bathrooms from cold water off the giant 1 1/4" riser?
One of the bathrooms is literally 3' from the attic WH and that big supply line?  GAH!
We, and by we I mean Igor who is much slighter of frame, are going to have to do some more
investigating to figure out what-the-what...

Now a bunch of pictures of pretty red-white-blue plumbing lines.
The lines start at the manifolds and then branch off.

Ugly shots of a bunch of pex....

Messy huh? Its all temp supported for now.

The tie-in to that big riser pipe.
You can see the hot tie-in to the cats bath also.

Screw-up #1
This T here feeds both hose bibs.
I cut the little tie in piece too small....When you do that the PEX expander
tool will get stuck in the plastic T and it will crack the T.
This spot leaked pretty well until we put the band clamp on it.....

Something you should never do part 2
We weren't even ready to pressure test the system until 6pm.....that, was a baaad idea...
Because, if everything wasn't perfect...we'd be chasing leaks till 3am.
Luckily, none of the sweated copper fittings leaked!
None of the PEX connections leaked except where we had to put in a push-to-connect T...
Turns out, both studio apartments have their own 3/4" cold feed lines...surprise...
Also, this would be the first time firing up either of the tankless units.....
So, so much coulda gone wrong....I was contemplating a hotel stay for the family...
Did I mention that several members of the family had food poisoning...and we had no water...
All five toilets got used that day and where in desperate need of flushing...yum.

Screw-up #2
See this nice little ice-maker box...we forgot to turn its valve off...
When we turned the water on a impressively large stream of water shot
out of the box exactly hitting the units electrical sup-panel....
Hurray!! Water plus electricity equals fun for everyone!

Another thing we didn't count on, was just how much water was left in the
horizontal runs of pipes...whenever we would cut some pipes we'd get at least
a half gallon of water out...on us...we were both soaked by the end of the night.

'Nother great thing that happened...I cut a line and the water shot out and exactly hit
our battery charging station!! Soaking all the chargers and batteries! Yay!! Plumbing!!!

Oh and about 3/4" of the way through Igor broke our only good soldering torch...we had to
rely on the back-up crappy torch that just doesn't get hot enough...

We got the bulk of it done and there was hot water to take showers, wash dishes and clean
clothes with....and I'm still tired and sore from this adventure days later....

Something Silly,
Along with un-F'ing the plumbing Igors been working on the wiring...all this
romex you see here was just random pieces that they used to wire things
together...with a buried junction box every 5'. 
Now, we walk through here and pretend we're Rapunzel with loooong
beautiful hair....

No, you can't have our copper scraps.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Exterior Wood Restoration

Besides stripping the wood and getting it ready for paint we have been replacing missing trim.

The Problem
Do you see the area of horizontal siding that runs below the four window bay window on the
right on the second floor.

Something about this area never read right to us....turns out there was a darn good reason.
somebody stripped off the shingles and carved up the window trim.
The shingles were replaced with this, osb fake siding board you see above.
This b.s. replacement was soaking up water and turning to mush, as wet OSB does....

The Solution
Lots and lots of custom trim......yay.

Check out these gorgeous pics of the new shingles.

 Pretty right?

Now, notice the trim above and below the shingled area, that's all new.
The crazy thing about the new trim? It follows the original curve.

Curved Trim

That curved trim had to be cut out of some BIG chunks of wood.

Scroll Work
The house has/had some pretty scroll work that has rotted away or was removed when they did the
asbestos siding.

Original Scroll Work


Some replacement plinth blocks

One of the new rosettes

This house had built-in redwood gutters here you can see a hole for the downspout.

We also put some trim on the edge of the 'stage' between the two bay windows.

Lots and lots and lots of epoxy was used.

Next Up: The Final Color's Have Been Chosen!!!