Fun with an Infra Red thermometer

2 min read Nothing shows the importance of insulation like an IR thermometer.  It is best used when the temperature differential between inside and outside is greatest – mid summer or winter. 

Since it was 20 degrees outside all day yesterday, I took some readings of the window frame before finishing the insulation seal in and around the window framing.  The difference was pretty dramatic.

(Note: you also FEEL the difference dramatically with your hand but that shows up less well in a blog post.)  Continue reading “Fun with an Infra Red thermometer”

Progress: Bedroom Light and Vent, plus an Egress Window!

2 min read Once we filled in the big hole we’d had dug in the ground, I turned my attention to filling in the big hole we’d had cut in the basement wall.

My plan is to turn the SE corner of the basement from a dim and dingy office/”bedroom” into a functional, bright and safe legal fourth bedroom.    For health and safety reasons a bedroom, especially one in a basement needs a window.  There was a tiny ceiling level window the the space before.  Once expanded, it now serves all those needs.  Continue reading “Progress: Bedroom Light and Vent, plus an Egress Window!”

Progress: Basement Bedroom Window Well

3 min read We made  big jump forward in basement progress this week with the jump start on the new egress window.  From first thing Monday morning to late Wednesday we made some pretty dramatic changes to the south side of the house!

The basement currently has five small windows just at or below grade.  In the new design, two will be in the unfinished basement – and we’ll just pop in some better insulated replacements, two will be in the den and they will get new deep window sills set in with the vent soffit running around the ceiling edge and then there’s the bedroom window … it needs to be expanded dramatically to allow the required amount of air ventilation, natural light and a safe way to escape the house in an emergency.  Continue reading “Progress: Basement Bedroom Window Well”

The Tools You Need To Scrape and Sand Exterior Wood Siding

4 min read Scraping, sanding and painting your wooden house is not a job for the faint of heart but with these tools you can get the job done!

Scraping, sanding and painting your wooden house (especially if it’s in rather bad shape) is not a job for the faint of heart.  It’s hot, sweaty, dusty work that requires at least SOME ladder work.  If you like pinching pennies and feeling a sense of accomplishment, by all means take it on.  If you are looking for easy, fun DIY that people will admire … maybe choose another project.

For me, painting a beat up wall in an ugly color into a new smooth color of my choosing is about the most fun I can think of, and is well worth the labor.  Stay tuned for my discussion of how high on ladders you have to climb to paint a single story ranch in an upcoming post!

Continue reading “The Tools You Need To Scrape and Sand Exterior Wood Siding”

The Five Tools under Twenty Dollars You’ll Need to do Your Own Demolition

4 min read Here’s what you’ll want to have on hand in order to take own your own basement demolition. You can get most of these for under twenty bucks, and with them, you’ll be set to tear about nearly any basement.

Even if you plan to hire contractors to do your remodeling work, you can save money and feel a sense of ownership for the project by chipping in labor during demolition.  With a few of the right tools (and some common sense) removing an out of date “finished” basement before replacing it with a new one is a task most homeowners can tackle with success. Continue reading “The Five Tools under Twenty Dollars You’ll Need to do Your Own Demolition”