ffj's early retirement

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ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:09 pm

Next up was getting the base in place. For those of you not familiar with fitting joints, here is how I fit an inside corner.

Cut the piece on a 45 degree angle, and the edge of the profile will present itself. Use a coping saw to cut that part away. Note that most of the profile is a straight line in which case I use my miter saw to cut that as it is easier than the coping saw.

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This is what the back will look like.

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Then I test the piece to see if it fits correctly.

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Thats it. You can also use two 45 degree cuts but this method is much faster as most corners are not perfectly 90 degrees.

Some finished results. I'll caulk the joints and nail holes later with a light coat of paint afterwards.

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Also got my countertop installed today which was exciting. I thought they did a really good job on it.

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Dragline
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Dragline » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:15 pm

Well, I know whom I'm hiring (cough, bribing) for any renovations.

It's a vurry vurry naise.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:54 am

@Dragline

Thanks, although I feel I've cheated somewhat by buying myself out of a problem (cabinets and countertop). My old self would have built them. I'm getting soft. haha

The other issue is that the new parts of the house makes the old parts of the house look crappy. I don't know if this remodeling will ever end. :)

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cmonkey
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by cmonkey » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:14 am

ffj wrote: The other issue is that the new parts of the house makes the old parts of the house look crappy. I don't know if this remodeling will ever end. :)
Haha! I have this exact problem now. I certainly hope my remodeling ends. I am genuinely enjoying myself and really love the transformation, but it is very tiring.

Do you have a 'next project' lined up for renovations?

Your kitchen is looking amazing by the way. Would your old self have done the granite/stone counter? I'm not sure how you'd do it without special tools.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:09 pm

I always have a next project, haha. I've got to redo the office which was the temporary kitchen and thankfully it is a smaller project than the new kitchen. There won't be a rush on that job like the kitchen thank goodness.

Regarding the countertop, I used to have a side business replacing laminate countertops with new ones. However, my wife was dead set on quartz this time so I got over-ruled. :D To be honest, I'm glad we did because it looks so good. It is quite expensive though.

Working on installing these appliances at the moment. There is a lot of behind the scenes work being done such as running water lines for the frig, connecting the water lines and drains for the sink and dishwasher, hooking all of the electrical circuits up at the electrical panel, and cutting a vent hole through the side of my house for the microwave/vent. I'm slowly getting them done though as outside work is starting to take over.

Sink and dishwasher completed.

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Refrigerator finished last night. I now have an automatic ice maker for the first time in my life. Pretty cool.

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Next up in line.

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Riggerjack
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:57 pm

Ffj, you used to do cabinets, and this time you hired it out. How did that come about, and how did you choose your source?
I have a kitchen coming up, and thought odds were good my wife and I would be assembling RTA cabinets ourselves. I'm pretty sure she'd be happy have another option...

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:11 pm

@Rigger
I don't have the desire to do everything myself anymore, tbh. For many years I had one focus, and that was to check out of full-time employment and live my life on my terms. If there was a job that I thought I could do and not have to pay someone, I would do it. I liked the challenge and the money saved but at this point in my life it doesn't make sense anymore to hoard all of our cash. I've accomplished everything I set out to do financially.

We interviewed a couple of different places with good reputations and I had in my head what the market price would be for this amount of cabinets. The one we chose came in with a price I was expecting so we went with them. Plus I know the ins and outs of this line of work and they never tried to bullshit or up sell us which was nice. The installers were very knowledgeable too, with the lead guy having 27 years experience.

Here is a view of the most of the cabinets. All that stuff on the countertops is going to be put away tomorrow. :) Installing that microwave and stove took longer than I thought.

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You can't see the pantry beside the fridge but we paid $12,000 for it and everything you see including installation. The quartz countertop was another $3,500. Expensive? Yes. I could have built the cabinets for around $5,000 or so, but I had already spent 3 months gutting these two rooms and by building the cabinets I would have been 6 months without a real kitchen. Return on investment would have still been worth it at six months but at this point in our lives I want to enjoy the money we've accumulated.

We had our first meal in our new kitchen tonight and it was really nice. :)

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue May 03, 2016 11:02 pm

Today I thought I would grill some chicken and as I looked upon my outdoor grill I noticed a bunch of twigs around the base:

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So I decided to investigate further….











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Haha, I just used the grill 3 days ago. That was one busy bird.

henrik
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by henrik » Wed May 04, 2016 3:45 am

The kitchen looks great. You would think that having witnessed the stages of your work and all of what's beneath the coats of paint etc it would be harder to appreciate the finished product, but somehow it always works the opposite:)
That's a whole lot of cabinets though!

Cheers and respect on the IFFD today!

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed May 04, 2016 10:52 am

Thanks man. I thought it turned out pretty good. The only thing left to do is to put in a tile backsplash. We are still trying to decide which style and color to go with, so it may take awhile. :D

I had no idea it was IFFD today. Thanks again. I still belong to two different departments, one as a volunteer and the other as a part-timer. I am currently training a Russian immigrant to certify him as a firefighter, which has been really fun so far as he is really excited to be in the fire service. Here's a picture of me at my last fire before I retired from my career department. I am the ugly guy on the right. Btw, the fire was out and we were clearing the scene when the picture was taken. :D

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Dragline
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Dragline » Wed May 04, 2016 10:57 am

+1

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cmonkey
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by cmonkey » Thu May 05, 2016 9:18 am

+2, nice photo too!

How big were the two windows you put in your kitchen? Are you happy with the amount of visibility to outside?

We are ordering our new bathroom window today or tomorrow and are wondering how large is too large. We are thinking either 5' wide, 4' high or 4' wide 4' high.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Thu May 05, 2016 10:18 am

Thanks all.

The big one is 36" wide by 54" tall and the two smaller ones are 36" wide by 33" tall which are shorter because of the cabinets.

Really the only guideline is that the opening must be proportional to the room. How big is your bathroom and how much privacy are you wanting?

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Thu May 05, 2016 10:26 am

Here you go. http://www.designingyourperfecthouse.co ... r-a-house/

Read the second comment about the Golden Section. Every good design follows this rule.

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cmonkey
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by cmonkey » Thu May 05, 2016 10:32 am

The new bathroom will be ~ 6' by 12'. So I'm thinking the 5' wide is out of the question. 4' might even be pushing it. Privacy is definitely a concern, although the neighbors are not in direct line of sight. Would only be a peeping tom in our backyard, although that would only be myself. ;)


Thanks for the link, that is definitely handy. I think putting some tape on the walls and imagining different sizes is in order.

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Riggerjack
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Riggerjack » Fri May 06, 2016 7:53 am

Something to consider with windows that open (single hung or sliders).

Picture the moving part as a rectangle. You want the shorter side of that rectangle to be the side that latches. I'm having a hard time describing this, but if you have a 4x4 single hung window, that means you have a rectangle 4 foot wide, 2 feet high. If it goes out of alignment slightly, it gets hung up. The sliding side is exceeded in size (leverage) by the operating side. If something blocks easy access to the window, trying to open it with evenly applied force is unlikely, and it can bind, or go slightly diagonal in frame causing the springs to slip. This is why square single hung windows are generally cut into 2 narrower windows. sliding windows are less prone to this, but it still applies.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Fri May 06, 2016 3:26 pm

@Rigger
Good points. The window will jam if it is wider than tall for sure. Same with ripping something on a table saw, which can be really dangerous.

I've decided to try and bake some sourdough bread now that I have a working kitchen. I didn't really have access to a starter, so I Youtubed the subject and found this guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmLmpJhumSM

Sounds like a guy who knows what he is talking about so I tried his method today. Got some potatoes and boiled them:

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Then I took 4 cups of potato water, mixed in the salt and honey, as well as the flour:

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And the final product:

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I constructed a contraption to let the wild yeast in while protecting the mix. I'm hoping for some activity in a couple of days. I'm ready to make some bread. ;)

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ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun May 08, 2016 1:40 pm

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It worked. I've got active bubbles. Yay for fermentation.

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Tomorrow I'll bake a loaf of bread following Steve's advice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgJYSOwWlvU

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed May 25, 2016 1:13 pm

Tomorrow came and the loaf of bread absolutely sucked. I made a couple of mistakes, namely not allowing the yeast to propagate enough to form a healthy colony AND what little established yeast I did have I killed by putting the starter in the refrigerator too soon. I did bake a loaf with what I had but it was really dense and unappetizing. The dog seemed to enjoy it though. :D So, here is my plan B which is in the works:

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I was explaining my plight to my neighbor and she turned me on to the recipe above. Even better, the conversation reignited her interest and not only is she making the above starter now which she intends to share with me, :) she also gave me a starter for Amish friendship bread. :)

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The biggest difference seems to be that instead of relying on natural yeast, packaged yeast is used. I'll post results when I am ready to bake some bread.



In other news, I managed to capture on camera the overly persistent bird that continues to try to create nests in my grill. Every week I have to dump branches and leaves out of grill so I can use it. I don't know what kind of bird he is but he sure doesn't give up easily.

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I planted hops for the first time this Spring and they are doing really well considering how small of a rhizome I received in the mail. I am hoping next year they will be established enough so that I can use them in the beer making process. I planted four different varieties: Centennial, Chinook, Cascade, and Columbus. Supposedly, they will grow to about 20 feet when mature which will be neat to see.

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This is not a hop, but a picture of my pine tree that is pollinating. I thought it looked kind of cool. Every time I hit a branch with my lawn mower I get showered with pollen. Anyway, it is interesting to me how many good photos one can take just in their yard if they are creative about it.

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George the original one
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by George the original one » Wed May 25, 2016 3:08 pm

> Every time I hit a branch with my lawn mower I get showered with pollen.

Living in a forest, our red car turns yellow for 2-3 months every year.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Fri May 27, 2016 10:06 am

@George
It was pretty impressive for a couple of weeks; my shirt would be half yellow by the time I was finished mowing. I've got a bunch of low hanging limbs that I can't force myself to cut because they look so good but every time I mow I curse their existence. ;)

I thought I would share a project from my past which is kind of amusing and a bit naive looking back. I was searching for something in particular in one of my drawers when I stumbled upon these two sheets of paper that were crumbled up with some old receipts:

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I am guessing I did these calculations back in the early 2000's, and I can assure you it was well before 2008. :lol: You can see that one of my kids put their stamp of approval on it for good measure. :)

Let me explain what these numbers mean. I wanted to see how long it would take to become a millionaire if a young person had an early plan and modest investment amounts. Through the miracle of compounding interest, remember that mantra?, how much money would it take at a modest compounding interest rate, say 8% :D , to become a millionaire?

I thought it was reasonable for a person to have amassed $7,500 by the time they were 21 years old, through odd jobs and part-time employment. I assumed they would start a full time job at 21 in which they would contribute $200/month or $2400/year into investments. And then I did my calculations as I wanted to see at each particular year of life one's net worth. So for example, at 21 that would be $10,692, at 31 that would be $60,632, at 41 that would be 168,449, etc. Ultimately at 63 years of age, one would become a millionaire investing $2,400/year at 8% compounding interest.

Unfortunately, life isn't this simple. :cry: I thought some of you might get a kick out of my optimism 15 years ago, although this attitude reflects a snapshot of history and pervasive thought at the time.

JL13
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by JL13 » Fri May 27, 2016 11:56 am

Hey 8% nominal isn't too optimistic! The CAGR on the S&P 500 since 2000 was higher than that I believe, if you were putting in equal annual amounts.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sat May 28, 2016 10:08 am

@JL13
I'm kind of poking fun at the notion that there will no interruptions in the uptick. The math is pretty, but when you factor in all of the variables in life then your final result always takes messy turns.

One of the reasons I latched on to this ERE thing is because it emphasized developing wealth beyond accumulation of money. I spend a lot of my time nowadays on the forum, but every once and a while I'll re-read the blog for inspiration. I really enjoy the sound reasoning behind all of the posts.

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cmonkey
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by cmonkey » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:31 pm

Ok so since you are regarded as 'mr builder' around these parts I have a question for you.

How did you go about evening out your exterior studs so that your drywall wasn't wavy? Interior walls can just be replaced.....exterior not so much. I guess I could but I don't think its worth the effort.

Did you just do it the same as the ceiling, furring on new 2X4s? This is the only way I can think of, but I'm not sure how that would affect the placement of my window.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:38 pm

@monkey

What I usually do is place a straight-edge against the wall to see which studs are the main culprits. If I have a couple that are proud (sticking out) that are causing the problems, then I just take my electric planer (make sure the nails are all pulled) and shave it down until it matches the rest of the wall.

If the problem is that they are recessed then it is usually best to tack on a strip that is ripped from another 2 x 4. If the recess is shallow, but still noticeable, then cardboard shims work fairly well.

The reason I sistered a full 2 x 4 on my kitchen ceiling is because I had to make up a full inch from one ceiling to another. That's a lot. Plus it wasn't a consistent inch across the ceiling, and I didn't want to run tapered shims to make it match. That would have been a real pain in the butt. Much easier in that situation to start with a new edge. Which method you choose comes down to your particular situation.



The Amish Bread recipe is delicious for those of you who might be interested. On the advice of my neighbor, I used pistachio instant pudding and it turned out perfectly. Very moist and flavorful and not green! :) It is definitely a desert cake though; I'm not sure why it would be called a bread.

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This little guy came into my yard the other day which is strange as they are fairly wild birds.

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He's been calling out with his distinctive tune for days now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEKIAteCDYU He seems to be alone and not too afraid of me for some reason. I always thought they lived in coveys but I could be wrong.

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