Sunday, January 27, 2013

Indy Home Show 2013

I went to the 2013 Indianapolis Home Show yesterday with my husband and parents. Once there, it became clear that I was the only one who actually wanted to go, but no matter. As I walked around, I realized something that may have been obvious: this show isn't really for the DIY-er. There were lots of business that offer home improvement services, but not a lot of tools or products for those that do it themselves. Perhaps this home show is more about professionals and experts in the home construction, remodeling, and maintenance industry...  but that would not explain why there were also booths for products like hot tubs, saunas, bluetooth speakers, mops, jewelry, mattresses, clothing, bed sheets, dog treats, and television services.

These are some of the booths I wish I'd seen at the home show this year:

I mention Rustoleum Transformations often, and despite being a little stuck in my cabinetry project now, that should in no way reflect poorly on the products they make. In addition to Cabinet Transformations, they now have Furniture, Tile, Wood Floor, Countertop, and Wood Refinishing Transformation kits. They are selling something that has always been possible, but by including everything you need in one tidy box, their kits make doing these projects yourself more manageable and more successful.
Rockwell makes an exciting line of versatile tools that allow you to get more done with less: less tools, less mess, and less help. The Versacut saw lets you cut all kinds of things using a tiny little hand saw. The BladeRunner is. The Sonicrafter X2 is a right angle oscillating tool that does things like sand, cut, strip, polish, scrape, and more. Additionally, the universal fit system accepts accessories from other brands. The JawHorse is a saw horse that grips any random thing at any random angle. The 3RILL is a high torque impact driver, a dual speed VSR drill and a screwdriver that runs on lithium ion battery and is smaller than you'd expect.

Cordless tools are great, but keeping track of different batteries and chargers can be a hassle. Ryobi has an impressive line of cordless tools and accessories that all use the same battery. Even better, as battery technology improves, you can replace the batteries without replacing the tools. The tools currently in the One+ line include: impact driver, blower, impact wrench, paint sprayer, LED workshop light, trim router, tile saw, hedge trimmer, string trimmer, miter saw, orbital jig saw, angle grinder, flashlight, sanders, buffer, hammer drill, hand vacuum, radio, caulk gun, and more. You can find Ryobi tools at Home Depot.

I was first attracted to Legrand when I saw their adorne collection. The under-cabinet power and lighting solution for kitchens is AMAZING. Their products are what you want the future to look like: sleek, sophisticated, and uncomplicated.

Schluter systems makes many different products for tile and stone installation. Their products protect your renovation investment by providing long lasting foundations and finishes for your project. The shower system is not quite as cheap as I would like, but it gives you a hassle-free way to waterproof and lay your basin with a lot less mess.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dryer Vent Disaster

Our dryer stopped working late last year. It took us about a week to fix it, because every time we thought we fixed it, we found out later that we were wrong. We thought the lint traps were clogged, so we vacuumed them out. Then, we pulled out the dryer and cleaned it out from the back, and pulled out a clog in the wall. Next, we went outside (after quite a snowstorm) to see if the vents were open. They were iced shut. We de-iced them by banging them with a broom handle. We went into the attic space above the garage and saw the vent hose sagging in between the joists. The next day, we prepared ourselves to drain them, only to discover that it was solid ice. We tried to shake the ice down, but the flimsy hose fell apart. The day after that, we went to get a new dryer hose and installed it, finally restoring order to our dryer. We also added 2x4s to keep it from sagging again.

What does icy lint look like? Absolutely disgusting.

Cabinets Part One

I must admit upfront, this is a story with no ending. I stated refinishing the cabinets, which is something I did in the last house. This time, I picked a light cabinet kit instead of dark. My first dilemma was the brilliantly white base coat. The honey oak cabinets did not take kindly to being covered, as it took four coats to get a nice solid base.

Secondly, the grain in these cabinets is a bit deeper, so they look a little different painted than I expected.

Third, I didn't shake the glaze before opening it, so it was a strange peachy orange when I applied it. The picture below shows how different they are shaken and unshaken.

Fourth, once I did shake it an apply it, it was much darker than I expected and hard to apply evenly, given how unforgiving the white base was to inconsistency. Fifth, I didn't like the white with glaze as much as I thought I would. It looks pretty normal in this picture, but in person it looks sorta dirty.

After having it all go differently than expected, i felt that my objectivity was highly impaired. It looked horrible to me. So, I just stopped. I stopped while I debated about what to do. That was two weeks ago.

Part two will be coming sometime soon, that is, as soon as I decide what color to paint and how to go about it. I started only in the bathrooms this time, so I will finish those first before moving onto the kitchen. I haven't completely decided what color to paint the kitchen. I think I might also paint one kitchen cabinet at a time, just to make things a bit easier and work on other stuff in the meantime. This will make the process much longer... which is sad but I think it's the best idea for quality control.