Home Remodeling

Remodeled Kitchen

After 16 years of living in Wilmington, Delaware, we finally had our kitchen remodeled! We planned to start the process in 2023, however, the dishwasher kept leaking each time it was used. We had it serviced several times and it worked well for awhile. But soon it would leak somewhere else. So we bumped up the remodel to 2022 and started the design process.

We contacted our plumber who remodeled out bathroom asking if he would be interested in remodeling our kitchen. He replied that he was not running large remodel work right now, bur referred us to another contractor who he worked with before

We met Steve and he said we can get on his schedule in October or November. He put us in contact with a cabinet company with an architect. Once we had the plans drawn up, it was just a matter or meeting with each store to order the appliances, floors, lights, and other materials. Steve scheduled us to start on November 28 and said he would be done by December 29. Below are the pictures before the remodel.

Fortunately for us, the painter Steve hired is the same painter we have used before. So we had the living room and dining room painted to match the new kitchen. Steve completed everything on time by December 23. We are waiting for the custom rain etched pattern picture window to replace the original window when the house was built. Below are the pictures of the completed work.

We are planning to hire the painter in 2023 to repaint the basement. Since I work from home full time, I spoke with Steve to bring him back as well to remodel our sunroom and convert it into my new office. It will need insulation, a heat pump, paint, and some ethernet lines installed for my desk mounted switches and Wi-Fi access.

Home Remodeling Personal

Being Handy

Several years ago to removed an old flourescent light fixture in my kitchen and installed a new CFL bulb and fixture.  It was a nice round fixture that used a T9 and a T12 Circline bulbs.  The bulbs should last for several years, but the don’t, and once again I have to purchase new bulbs.  Not this time.

I removed the light fixture in the kitchen and replaced it with the light fixture from our bedroom. Then I installed a new light fixture (got it from a friend) in the bedroom.  I installed new Ecosmart LED lights that use 6.5 watts of power that replace 65 watt bulbs.  Kitchen looks brighter, and the new light fixture in the bedroom looks great.

“I’m handy, now.” – Dr. Niles Craneiu

Home Remodeling Personal

First Day of Summer

Summer Solstice!

Summer officially starts on the American East Coast at 1:16PM, and I’m looking forward to it this year.  I plan on spending more time with family and friends and enjoying the outdoors.  My brother asked me to help install a swing set for the kids (returning the favor from a few years ago), grilling steaks, veggies, hotdogs, and bicycling in the morning and evening.

I am also taking a week off from work this summer to spend time with my children.  We’ll make a few stop at Rita’s, maybe catch a movie, and hopefully catch a Wilmington Blue Rocks game too.  Who knows, maybe I’ll surprise the kids this year and take them to the beach for the day.

On a final note, my office (man cave) will be complete this year!  I’m still working on a few ideas, but I will have a wall mount for a future LED monitor, and a work area for working on PCs.  I was originally going to move the Linksys E4200 router to my office, but I changed my mind.  I will run a CAT 6 cable from the router to my office and connect it to a Linksys SE2800 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet switch.  I could get away with a 5 port switch, but there may be a time when I need a 6th port for something.

I hope your summer will be fun and memorable.

Home Remodeling Personal

Home Remodeling – Master Bedroom

For the past three weeks, my wife and I decided how we were going to update our bedroom from the 1970’s look from the previous owner.  The room and closets were cover in what I guess was a popular design wallpaper.  I will admit they did a great job installing the wallpaper and made sure the pattern matched throughout the entire room.  I didn’t realize what I was in store for when I started.

I had a preconceived idea what I should have expected.  I rented a steamer from Home Depot last year to remove wallpaper from the dining room and my son’s room.  The steamer worked well and I still had all my tools from before.

Saturday morning I stopped in at Home Depot to rent the steamer.  They had the one I used before but the customer service rep gave me a different unit.  I asked why this one over the other that I used before.  He stated everyone liked this red one better.  It generated steam faster and it was lighter.  But I noticed one thing right away, this red model does not have a base you can stand on.  Reluctantly I took the one he offered and headed home.

After getting the room cleared out, I over filled filled the steamer with water and press the power button.  I guess the time it took was faster.  So I started on scoring the walls to allow the steam to help dissolve the glue.  All of a sudden I heard my wife to get a bucket, the steamer started to leak water from the nozzle.  This is due to me over filling the tank. 

After cleaning up the water spill I was able to get started.  Within 15 minutes I realized this streamer was a piece of junk.  It generated steam, got real hot and burned my hand a few times when water or steam leaked, but it was hardly making a dent with the wallpaper.  I had to keep the hand unit on the wall longer than I wanted.  Even with this the glue was difficult to dissolve and pull the paper away. 

I worked for 10 hours and finished the room and still had 2 closets to work on.  The steamer was scheduled to be returned Easter Sunday by 9:00AM (that wasn’t going to happen).  The next day the kids got us by around 6:30AM to have an egg hunt and dive into their Easter Baskets.  We managed to get everyone to Church and got a good seat with 5 minutes to spare.

By the time Church ended, it was already 9:15AM.  So I kept the steamer to finish the closets.  How bad could it be?  They are much smaller than the room, I should be able to knock this out within 2 hours and clean up well before dinner. 

Well I was in for another surprise.  The previous owner doubled up on the wallpaper in both closets to have the pattern just right. Huh?!?!?!  I took four hours to finish.  I was not too happy and was hoping the Customer Service Rep was working on Sunday.

Cleanup went well and I was out the door within 30 minutes.  I got my wish, there was the Rep who told me how great this red piece of junk was.  We spoke and he asked how was it?  I told him all the problems I had.  I explained this unit generates steam, but I just sits in the hand unit, it doesn’t direct the steam onto the wallpaper.  He checked it out and said it was missing the metal bar which sits in the rectangle unit and connects to the nozzle.  Without even asking, he offered me a refund for the second day. 

Mean while my wife started to paint the walls with a tinted primer.  Hopefully the painting will go a lot easier for her.  We are going to order blinds tonight and remove the carpet this week.  We have hardwood floors throughout the house.  I know they need to be refinished, but I hope they are in decent shape.  We are also looking for a new light fixture, maybe something in a brush nickel. 

Oh, Happy Easter.