cmonkey's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
spoonman
Posts: 697
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:15 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by spoonman »

Wow, I am in love with that bookshelf! And yes, I think your cat will thoroughly enjoy hanging out in that room.

cmonkey
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

@spoonman, thank you, I really love how it turned out as well. I think its the coolest thing I've built in the basement.

I have all of the framing complete and the plumbing is as complete as I need to get the drywall and cement board up. I will hook up the faucets once we finish the walls.

I am really impressed by the pex connectors I got. They are dubbed 'quick connect' and you just push them together. They even work on copper! The ease comes at a cost though, each fitting was at least $6. The T connectors were $10 each. So all these fittings were nearly $100. Not cheap, but if you have ever soldered copper you know it can be a pain in the butt. Getting each piece cut to the perfect length, hot propane torches and trying not to start your house on fire while dripping hot flux/solder everywhere. Oh and then when your joint leaks, you have to take it all apart, drain the stupid thing and redo! The pex is super flexible and so you don't need to get the lengths perfect. In fact the lines/fittings can actually be turned with pressure in them. You can also take the joints apart and put them back together again if you need too. I'm never going back to copper.

Here's a photo of where the pex joins the copper. You simply push the line in as far as it can go....that's it! The inside of each joint has little teeth that grip into the line and also a soft bushing that forms a perfect seal around the line. I was highly skeptical that they'd work, particularly with the copper, but I didn't have one leak. The floor is wet because I managed to dump the container I used to catch the water after I cut into the copper... :oops:

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Those are the cut-offs for the tub. All I needed was a secure place to screw them down so I hacked some scrap lumber together and put it up. I'm putting a removable grate over that section so I can get to them if I ever need to work on the faucets.

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The completed framing around the tub. That tub is just as solid as the concrete under the sub floor. Sitting on the edge is like sitting on the edge of a brick wall. I made sure it was since we'll be sitting on it when we get in and out. To make it extra secure, I slid some very thin shims under a few of the spots where there was a tiny gap between the framing and the tub.

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This weekend I'll be doing the drywall and cement board on both the walls and floor.

ffj
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by ffj »

I think you and I need to start our own construction channel. haha. You are going to end up with a nicer basement than your main floor if you aren't careful. :D

When I re-plumbed my house I used copper. This was before I had even heard of pex so I didn't even consider it, although I have an aversion to compression fittings because of this experience: When I re-plumbed my house, I had to replace the fitting from the water line coming from the meter to inside the house, my basement, to the new copper line I had installed. The old system had used some radiator clamps and I didn't like the way that looked so I asked the worker at Lowes if they knew of an alternative. She said yes, of course, they make a compression fitting for the black 1 1/2 " line to copper. So I buy it, install it, pressurize the system and everything works great.

That night after I go to bed I wake up because I have to pee, and when I flush the toilet I notice it doesn't refill the tank. I instantly have a bad feeling about this and I go down to the basement and find that the compression fitting has blown off and my basement is completely flooded with 4 inches of water everywhere and water still spraying into my basement. To make matters worse, since the fitting was on the supply line coming into the house, there was no way to shut the water off unless I did so at the meter. So I walk through the flooded basement to get my meter shut-off tool, yes, I had one, and go outside to shut the system down. Well, it just so happens that a massive thunderstorm was crashing around the house at just that time so as I go outside, I mean it is pouring buckets with thunder and lightening, and instantly I become drenched to the bone. By this time I am pretty pissed but I had a job to do. So I get to the meter and shine my flashlight into the hole and find that the entire thing is flooded with rainwater, so I takes me forever to find the valve under two feet of water in the pouring rain in the middle of the night. I finally find it, shut the water off, go back inside, strip off my soaking clothes and say, fuck it, I'll deal with the swimming pool in my basement the next morning. Fortunately, the basement is unfinished so it didn't require anything more than a pump and fans to clear it out, but I went back to the radiator clamps after that! :D

Note the above story is meant for amusement and not to scare you about your pex lines. ;) When I went back to the store I told the story to another employee and he said I was given the wrong fitting and that it was not appropriate for what I was trying to do.I told him he may want to tell that to the person who sold it to me. :evil:

cmonkey
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Oh my! That is a horrible experience. Was that the little rings that you use a clamp on? I thought about those but they just didn't look like a good way to do things. These are very secure I can hardly get the pex apart with the little C type removal tool. Here's a link to what they are. Actually I can't get the copper apart! I tried for 10 minutes because I wanted to see if I could.

I had thought about starting a 'renovation thread' or something like the garden thread to try to get jacob to start sharing his renovations as well. :D

spoonman
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by spoonman »

ffj's story is the sort of thing I am terrified of. Not sure if I'll ever truly embrace a DIY attitude.

Those are really beautiful photos, your project looks very elegant.

cmonkey
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Yea there are times when I get turned off to the DIY approach...like right now. I probably have a busted toilet drain. I won't know until I get someone in next week to scope it. I have not decided yet if I'll DIY or hire it out. It will depend on how much I'm quoted I guess. I know how to do all the work, its just a matter of how crappy the job would be.

At least I decided to look down that pipe before putting all the tiling in!!

cmonkey
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Relief!! Nothing is wrong with our septic line, just some minor scaling. No tree roots, no breaks!

Here is the culprit!

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They stuck their camera down and immediately saw this old toilet fitting! Ultimately they couldn't get it out and so tried shoving it down into the septic tank but on the way they caught it on their auger and pulled it out. Much better than having it sit in the septic. The rest of the line looks fine, just some minor scaling. Since the charge for clearing that is something like 400-500, we didn't do that. Everything drains perfectly despite it.

Anyway now we can get back to work again! This past weekend I did get some drywall up but my main project was getting our fan/vent installed. We had fabulous weather on Saturday so I could do the work outside and not freeze. I'm glad I did since it helped with the stink of the sewer work as well. :|

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Here's how I did the outside vent. First I driled a hole as high as I could from the inside to see where I would land on the outside. There was a chance that I'd be too low on the siding in which case I'd have to run this up the wall a bit.

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Turned out it was perfect right where it was so I traced an outline and used tin snips to cut our steel siding.

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Next I drilled 4 holes with the drill around the perimeter of the outline. This just helps with cutting. Less to cut and its easier to make a circle. I used a reciprocating saw to make the main cut.

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Last was foaming it all up with spray foam.

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Here's the installed fan. It sucks a lot of air! Our bathroom will be quite dry.

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Some tasks I have ahead of me for the week include getting the vanity light box installed and hooked up. Then I can finish the drywall on the north wall. Also getting the floor cement board down and level and the cement board around the tub installed.

This is where the bathroom remodel gets tricky because I need to rip out the plumbing from the upstairs bathroom to finish the basement bathroom but I need a functioning basement bathroom to rip all the stuff out from upstairs.....

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Time for an update, its been a week since my last update so I'm due for one. I've gotten quite a bit done despite the awkwardness about this part.

My goal at this point is to get the toilet fully installed. At that point I can cut out all the plumbing in the ceiling and get the rest of the drywall up including the ceiling. To get the toilet installed I first needed to get the floor down around it and get the drywall up, mudded, sanded, primed and painted.

I have the entire subfloor prepped for mortaring and tiling. I also have around the toilet tiled. It took forever to nip out the tiling around the opening but I have it big enough to get the gasket in and out. Its all fully hidden with the toilet sitting in place. The cement board on the floor is Hardie Backer Board. It is high quality stuff and solid as a rock. It took a while to figure out how to score and snap it. Then I mortared it down and let it sit over night. Last night I mortared the tiling down. It turned out great.

Here's the subfloor before the cement board. It took a small bit of leveling.

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All the cement board down and some tiling as well.

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I also have the drywall up behind the toilet and vanity. Tonight I put up the top piece after we picked up our wall cabinet/mirror and did the first mudding. We had to wait for it to come in so I could do the electrical before completing the drywall. Turns out its just a plugin type light so I put an outlet behind the drywall that is wired to the switch. I also put up a second light on this circuit. It made a huge difference in brightness.

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I have most of the cement board and drywall up around the tub. I'll have to take a couple pieces off when I cut out the stack and finish the faucets, however.

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Finally here are both lights and the giant mess of plumbing I'm working around. The plan is get all this cut out this weekend. I have a bunch of metal cutting sawsall blades and will probably go through a few cutting out that cast iron. :| I am also planning to rent a wet saw this weekend if I can manage it and get all the tiling done.

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Monthly Update, February 2016

Expenses/Savings

Expenses were up for our 'normal' expenses. We had a couple of one time things to pay for. First was our tax processing fee for Turbo Tax. The second was $200 for a sewer line clean out which I classify as maintenance. I'm glad I did it as I have peace of mind as to the state of our sewer line. We also spent a bit of money on some gardening supplies, some seed potatoes and a couple of (very expensive) trees from Trees of Antiquity. I'm hoping they are worth it. Grocery expenses were also a little up. In the end our TTM value increased above 15K and combined with a drop in our effective dividend yield (due to rising stock prices and COP's cut) our timeline increased substantially this month. :( You win some you lose some I guess.

More positively we didn't spend as much on the renovation as I had planned. We also got our tax refund which boosted our income for the month. Overall savings rate was 69% for the month which is good but not stellar.


Normal Spend - $1259.84
Remodel Spend - $1093.53
Total Spend - $2353.37
Total Savings - $5358.18 ; 69%


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Lending Club
FAI - $1713.65 (+183.90)
SWR - 71.89% (-1.53%)
NAR - 14.33% (+0.09%)
Age - 7.1 Months (+0.6)
Total Charge Offs - 7 (+1)

Dividend Fund
FAI - $730.04 (+50.68)
Dividends Received - $48.64

401K/SEPP
FAI - $751 (+34)

We received dividends from CAT, PG and T in February. I added PBCT and CMI to our portfolio. We also got our first ever organic dividend increase from T! A whopping $1.84 added to our forward income just for owning a good company. 8-) Hey its a start.

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Total FAI - $3194.69 (+268.58)

Time to Bills Covered - 21 Months (+2)
Time to TTM Expenses Covered - 36 Months (+5)
Time to 3% LC - 62 Months (+11)

TTM Expenses - $15168.76 (+1293.66)


So we effectively just went back to where we were in December plus a few months in terms of timeline. March might drop again if we keep our expenses down. We won't be having many more garden expenses and won't be doing any sewer cleaning or tax preparation! Of course other things always come up. :P

However, we did bust through the 3K annual mark! Our income also shot up to $230 bucks for February, effectively covering 18% of our normal expenses for the month. Yay!

Remodel

A month ago we were still not quite done with the DW's craftroom. We had about a week left until we finished it. In fact I don't even think we had the floor down yet if I remember right. I got ramped up on the bathroom during the second weekend of February and have been working on it now for about 2.5 weeks. I posted my last update last night and we have much of the cement board and drywall up. Some of the tiling is done around the toilet. We'll be getting the toilet installed next and then cutting out the plumbing in the ceiling.

I haven't been putting in the hours like I was on the other rooms simply because I'm comfortable with where we are. I really have no due date, I need to remember that! I have been working on getting rid of my tendency to set due dates in my head for certain tasks. I need to learn to just go with it! Things get done as they get done as long as I do something each day. Frankly I'm impressed with myself with how I have been keeping at it. It's difficult to find energy in the evenings sometimes.

Eggs

We got 116 eggs in February, up from 70 in January. All the chickens are laying again including the Cuckoos. These past few days they have been laying 7-8 per day on average. We are drowning in eggs once again.

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jennypenny
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by jennypenny »

Is the cinnamon helping with your seedlings, or can't you tell yet?

Your egg production makes me yearn for an ERE city again. I'd love to trade goods with like-minded people.

cmonkey
Posts: 1790
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Hmm I don't recall mentioning cinnamon on the forums... ;) It seems to be yes we don't have any mold growth yet. I think only time will tell for sure as damping off usually takes a couple weeks after they've sprouted. Nothing has sprouted quite yet but its only been 4 days I think.

I would love to trade eggs with folks. I used to trade eggs for deer meat with my supervisor but he has since changed positions and I have a new supervisor now. No one else seems interested.

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jennypenny
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Location: Stepford USA

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by jennypenny »

Sorry! I should know better.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Ha I didn't mean like that...more like 'yay someone is reading my blog'. I probably should advertise it more. I did put under my profile if anyone wants to dig...

vexed87
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by vexed87 »

I must have missed the blog mention somewhere, I love to see what others are getting up to in the garden!

cmonkey
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

I haven't mentioned it until now, but I had shared with jp a week or two back. She alluded to reading it. ;)

Being as it's out now I see no harm in sharing and I had been thinking about it. If you didn't find it in my profile here is a link to our blog. We also have an etsy shop linked on the blog. Facebook. Instagram. Instagram is becoming my new favorite posting medium, I really enjoy it.

You'll find a lot of pictures of our homestead and some of the things we're doing, especially a few years ago. We tapered off in 2014/2015. I'm making an effort to start again since I really enjoy it and I like using it to log when I do certain things. I'm turning it into more of a 'this is what I'm doing right now' type blog as opposed to the popular style 'this is what you should be doing' type. Its much easier to write in that format at least for me.

George the original one
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Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by George the original one »

Now that you have more than a year of received income, consider adding a moving average line to the chart. Something along the line of 3-mo to 12-mo moving average.

cmonkey
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Lots of fun goings on today!

We primed and painted behind the basement throne and it is installed, functional and leak free.

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I cut out the stack going to the upstairs plumbing. It took about an hour to cut through with a sawsall and metal cutting blades. It was a huge pain because the pipe was so close to the concrete block. :| It then took another 10-15 minutes to get the pipe out of the room.

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4" Cast iron pipe is frickin' heavy!! A quick look up of weight per foot for 4 " heavy duty cast iron puts this section of pipe at roughly 90-100 pounds. We managed to get it out of the framing by swinging it up and sliding it over....without killing ourselves or destroying the tub and new toilet. I really didn't want to spend another hour sawing it in half, especially as I had already rounded down 3 of the 5 blades I had.

Tomorrow is another big day. We are renting a wet saw and I have nothing in my way for getting all the tiling up. In any case, there's no going back now! It's either I tile tomorrow and get the faucet in, or its sponge baths for the both of us at the kitchen sink next week. :lol:

vexed87
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by vexed87 »

should have got one of these:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/04/ ... 847403.jpg

:lol:

Well done, you are making quick progress!!

cmonkey
Posts: 1790
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Haha! Well the color wouldn't be TOO off from our style. Somehow I think fumbling in the dark for the toilet...wouldn't go so well.

If there was ever a time when I can say I bit off more than I could chew, today was it. This was definitely the most difficult day of the remodel simply because I had time working against me the whole time and I hate having that feeling. I like taking my time. Not only did I have only 4 hours for the rental (didn't even come close to staying under that) but we barely made it back to the store by 8 pm when they closed. On top of that my mortar was thickening up pretty bad by the end so we just called it a night at about 7 pm with about 95% of the tile up around the tub. It was also dark and I couldn't even see where I was cutting the tile anymore. We didn't get to the floor. Pretty stressful overall but the result is turning out very well considering I've never done this type of work before. I never did get to the faucets so we are sponge bathing it this week (or at least for a few days). :roll: I shattered a couple of tiles trying to drill out the hole before the mortar had set up. I'm hoping it goes better with it nice and solid. I can get to the plumbing from the back thankfully.

We also ran out of mosaic tiling so that's not quite done yet either.

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The plan now is to finish the tiling next weekend. We'll go earlier in the morning Saturday and will have much less to do. This week I have other things I can continue on including putting up all the drywall, running the electric line for the tub and (most importantly!) installing the faucets.

Riggerjack
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Riggerjack »

Again, I wish I'd brought this up sooner.

I remodeled a basement bathroom, and did it similar to your setup. Raised the tub, rather than cutting the slab.

Things I would do differently:

i have the access panel for the Jacuzzi, but rather than use GFCI outlet, I would use a GFCI breaker. It only tripped once, but it's still a pain to access.

Raised tub is fine, but the step up is uncomfortable, especially if sore or injured (the best time to have a soaking tub, BTW.) I would build in a step. Something tied to framing. Then tile it. Oh, and a grab bar, maybe. Same reasons.

I have had the same experience as ffj with the shark bite pex fittings. With slightly less rage and comedy. I'll never use one for anything else. But, my whole house is done in the compression fittings, I love em.

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