Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Doing the Doors

I've started work on the interior doors. There are 6 of them all together. Each one is a 30" fir single panel door made by Rouge Valley Doors. The hardware is oiled bronze with glass knobs from Rejuvenation. 5 of the door latches are tube latches, which are very easy to install. You just have to drill out a 7/8" hole about 3 1/2" deep and the tube shaped latch assembly slides right in. Then you just have to drill another 1/2" hole crosswise for the door knob shaft. I installed the latch and hinges on the 1st door and I hope to have it hung by tomorrow. Here are some pictures.

More Pictures

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mains Stairs Getting Closer

The story of the main stairs is approaching the final chapters. This weekend I got the last of the 1/4" oak ply cut and fitted. This included around the bike storage area, the backside of the lower steps, and other miscellaneous spots. This pretty much concludes this phase of the steps. It should comply with the local building code, which requires that all substructure be covered before the final inspection. The steps still need to be trimmed and finished, but this is going to have to be good for now.

Next up: interior doors. A few weeks back I bought 6 brand new interior doors that need to be bored for door knobs and chiseled for hinges. I’ll also need to build the jams and hang them. That will take a while. But, I’ve got all the wood and hardware, so it’s just a matter of time and energy.

But for now, a look back over the last 2 years of work on the stairs.

Picture taken April, 2002 during the purchase inspection (that's not our table but the home seller's table). Ahhh, it looks so warm and peaceful. Only the floorboards under that table still survive today.

Picture taken January 15, 2004 (over 2 years ago). The first week of working on the stairs. As you can see, the steps have been framed, but no closet yet.

2 years ago. The steps and closet are framed and the electrical wiring had just been put into place.

1 year ago. We had just painted the drywall and were about to install the floors. As you can see there are no treads or risers on the steps. What a mess.

Picture taken today. This picture is sort of kind. The various pieces of ply don't fit snugly and don't really match. They are like frankenstairs... But, I'm hoping with some more trim pieces and the finish, they will look like nice.

Picture also taken today. This is the back side of the stairs. There is this curious little space between the closet wall and the steps. I'm not sure what I'll do with it. Perhaps a coat rack?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Still Working on the Stairs

I made a little more progress on the stairs (under the stairs) last night. I got a few of the plywood pieces cut and fitted. Now the shelves look more like, well, shelves. They look more like how I had intended. It's still a long ways from done. There will be molding strips to cover the gaps in the ply. But, it's getting there. Slowly. Getting there.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Under the Stairs (again)

I'm back to work under the stairs. The original idea was to put a series of shelves that would look a bit like stacked boxes (or, as one person observed a Tansu step cabinet). So, I built three panel-and-frame boxes, attached them together and slid them under the stairs. Sounds easy, but it was a tight fit and took forever to get them slid in without getting a little bit crooked and then caught. Ugh. But, after fighting with them for a while and waking them with the hammer a few times for good measure, they got into place. Then, it was just a few screws to anchor them in.

Next up I need to cover the framing with 1/4" oak ply. I hope to be able to finish that this week. After that I will need to trim it out before doing the finish work. The finish work (staining, etc) will probably have to wait until the weather is warm enough to open up all the windows in the house.

Here is what they look like:

As of Sunday evening

Ready to slide them in.


Here are some Tansu step cabinets. Not the actual inspiration, but interesting none the less.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Paid Comments?

There is something strange going on. I think anyone who has kept a blog over the past year or two has noticed the comments left by computer programs (bots). They tend to stick out. Usually it goes something like:

"Love you blog! It is very interesting and I’ll be back often. Here is another interesting site that I also like very much. Link"

The point is to get you and other people who read your blog to follow the link. The links also boost their web site's "Google score", so that their site is more likely to appear in the top few results in Google's searches.

For me, the final straw was when I got 7 of these bot comments within a few minutes of posting a new entry. It is easy enough to stop the bots from leaving comments on Blogger. You just turn on the "word verification". Since turning this on, I have not had a single comment by a bot. I think. However, I have noticed something new and I’m wondering if other bloggers have noticed this too.

Now I’m getting comments that are similar to the comment left by bots, but they are just a little bit more personalized. Again, they compliment my blog, and again they leave a link to another site. The most recent was left by someone called "afanter". Afanter’s profile indicates this person is a "Marketing Writer" who belongs to two blogs including one called "Hip-Home, Home Improvement Projects". The person suggested a site called "Counter Culture, The kitchen revolution starts here."

So, I went to that site. It’s very slick, though not especially informative. Each entry has a comment left by someone who is really pumped up by the post like one left by someone calling themselves Sarah Jane says "Wow, this is better than having my palm read!…" Oh, please. Turns out that this Sarah Jane, and most of the other commenters on this site, also contributes to the blog Hip-Home.

Oops, gotcha.

I may be jumping to conclusions here, but it seems obvious to me that the members of Hip-Home are paid to leave comments on blogs. They are paid to direct traffic to client sites and they are paid to leave hyperbolic comments on those client sites. This bothers me. I think it is deceptive and misleading.

My blog is for me. I maintain my blog because I enjoy writing about our home remodeling experience. I enjoy sharing the experience with friends, family, and strangers that also share an interest in remodeling. I love the comments I get. I have received comments from all over the world. The comments have been fun, interesting, and encouraging. I do not have advertising on my blog. I do not get paid a single cent for my blog. I do not like having my blog used by people who do get paid to promote other web sites. Please, if you are paid to promote other web sites, you do not have permission to promote those web sites with comments on my blog. Enough said.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Reversed Plumbing Fixed!

Dave was here on Wednesday to reverse the pipes leading to the master bath. It was pretty easy and only took him a couple hours total. He did a good job and manged to switch the pipes over at a bend so that you wouldn't notice the patch job. Very nice. Now the hot taps turn on hot water and the cold taps turn on cold. Wow. But, the best part, now the toilet fills with unheated water. That might bring the electric bill down a bit.

In other news, the basement is still a disaster. Portland has had over a foot of rain since the new year and it would appear that most of that has ended up in our basement. Ugh.

Can hardly wait for summer.