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Archive for October, 2011

Rain Barrel Installation

October 6th, 2011 | Green Remodel | 0 Comments

I saw a super great deal on an Angie’s List for Rain Barrel and installation and given the time crunch I decided to buy it. I didn’t do this myself (which was kind of a nice break!) Here are the photos:

Put down a base of cement blocks. Make sure the ground underneath is event and flat.

Then they put down this wood contraption down on the cement to lift the barrel off the ground.

Then they put a piece of wood down to increase stability.

Next they checked the Rain Barrel and the length of the hose.

Mark the gutter for cutting.

Cut the gutter with wire snips.

[Insert Photo of Flexible Gutter]

[Insert Photo of the top of the Rain Barrel]

Ta Da! 30 minutes and the Rain Barrel was installed!

This Patio Was Built In A Day

October 5th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Since I was so over tiling inside under those florescent lights I decided it was a good time to move this party outside. About a year ago – I brought home a pallet of grey stones from the ReBuilding Center that I thought would make an awesome tile floor! It was only $100 for the whole pallet which was .50 Cents a SF or $1.00 per tile.

When I brought them home though – Hugh informed me that they were far to heavy to be flooring. (Dang it!) So we have had them sitting in my driveway for all this time covered in a tarp. It was so ugly and annoying that apparently I didn’t take a single picture. But, in the last year, I’ve done some research about what these stones are intended for and it turns out they are pieces of commercial siding.  I finally found a place for them. I used them as the patio outside of the the basement space.

I laid this patio that same as the one out front.

1. Level out the dirt.

2. Lay down about 1″-2″ of gravel

3. Lay Down the stones and make sure it’s level with a 6′ level.

Here are progress pictures:

I used a 6′ Level to even out the gravel.

Placed the stones one by one



Tiling A Floor

October 4th, 2011 | DIY | 0 Comments

So after all of the back and forth about the floor – I decided to go with Travertine.

For 2 Reasons:

1. It was cheaper.

2. If it ever got chipped – it would be less obvious since the stone is the same or similar color all the way through.

I then decided that since I’m practically counting down the hours until this room needs to be done – I thought I would look into how much it would cost to get this floor installed by a professional. I’m not going to lie, I secretly was intimidated by 480SF of tiling something and keeping it level. So I walked into Home Depot and they wanted $12.00 SF to INSTALL. Not including the product, not including gold nuggets – just to install the tile. If I’m doing my math right (which is always questionable) then $12.00 by 480SF = $5,760.00. R U Kidding? So I called the team that installed the radiant floor heat. They were fabulous and tried to work with me – but the truth is I didn’t budget to have someone do any work for me…. so they just couldn’t get low enough for me to be able to pay them for their time. Dang it! I tried….

With those two big decisions under my belt, it is time to install. Because tiling is so repetitive – and I already posted about about tiling in my fireplace post here I’m not going to bore you with the step by step details.  Tiling the floor was exactly the same except I had to use a Flex Mortar and a Flex Grout because the Hardi-Backer was a little wobblier then I would have liked and with the radiant floor heat I wanted to make sure than no hot/cold transition cracked the mortar or grout.

With that – Here are pictures from laying the floor. It took 2 full days and a couples evenings to get it done. So plan for twice as long as you think it will take. Someone also told me that to tile, the total cost of the project will be about 2x the cost of the product. WRONG. I paid like 5x and that was installing it myself.

Here is how it’s done in summary:

Pour out some Mortar – should be the consistency of pancake batter.

Just a dollop.

Use a trowel to get all the mortar even. You don’t want too much to build up in any one spot because all the tiles need to be even so people don’t trip over corners.

Don’t forget your spacers.

and a smile. <3 Because it’s really really hard work.

Here is the project as it progressed.

And then I finished by the door & grouted. Here is a picture of some grouted tiles and un-grouted for comparison.

Here is the whole floor grouted. Looks a lot better with the gaps filled.

and then I sealed the floor and that was it!

All done. I’m really glad. I was in a lot of pain by the end of this, I know I’m on a budget, the one thing I’m going to spring for next time is a really good pair of knee pads. My knees are black and blue and hurt to the touch. Here is a photo of my poor finger that the skin rubbed off of from the mortar trowel. It was a lot of hard work and I pushed through it to be done. Phew! SO glad to be done.

Traveling Granite Gnome

October 3rd, 2011 | Future Plans | 0 Comments

Since I am captain decision maker I started carrying a piece of my granite with me in my purse so I could have it whenever I happened to walk past a flooring option. Since I’m in the habit of taking photos of everything I do now to document this process – I was going through my pictures and realized that this piece of granite is really getting around. It is now my Granite Gnome.

The only item of all of these photos that I love more than my Granite Gnome is this pot of Succulents that I happened upon at Home Depot. At least I know that I can make some decisions…..