If you are as lucky as we are and have a house without drywall yet have wood paneling that you would like updated this is the post for you. Continue reading
My husband and I have different opinions on how the finer things in life should be done. Such as painting over hinges and hardware on doors. He can’t stand painting over hinges. I don’t care. He has the mindset of if you are going to do it, do it right, while I have the mindset of lets just get this done as quickly as possible. I must say, this being the third time we’ve encountered this problem, I think he might just be right. Continue reading
The first step in remodeling both the kitchen and the upstairs bedroom was the removal of the dropped ceiling. I’ll be honest, I have never in my life seen these ceilings in the living space of a residential building; outside of a basement. However, we’ve learned it wasn’t terribly uncommon in rural homes as it was a cheap way to insulate and a fast way to have a new ceiling. Our prior owner also used it to hide new wire runs – which were easier to do over top the old bead board ceiling. Although in some places he still went above the bead board and through the joists, so I don’t know… Continue reading
We’ve sorely neglected our blog the past few weeks, mostly because we dove into renovating one of the upstairs bedrooms. The second story of our house has been basically closed off for two years, but with the family growing we’ve decided to start sprucing it up. It has had zero updates since the 1970’s – or at least nothing significant – so there is much to do.
I will have a number of posts on this project when it’s done, but we’ve tackled too many different things to do one post. We’ve continued to struggle to find contractors, so even on the rare occasion when I realize a job is better left to the experts, calling one isn’t an option. In the meantime, the vast array of work we’ve taken on has had me thinking about a topic dear to my heart: the lack of skilled trades.
I think it’s certainly true that many in this country have come to view these once-sought-after jobs as the employment scraps leftover for those who can’t go to college. I know when I was growing up, that’s how middle-class suburban high schools pitched it.
That is a terrible shame because at the end of the day these jobs are often more important and even more complicated than many of the ones of college students end up with. Any successful economy needs men and women wearing blue and white collars, don’t get me wrong. What I take issue with is the notion that one is a better representation of success than the other.
Plumbers, electricians and carpenters provide the most essential work there is, and their jobs are no more likely to become automated than a CEOs. We need these people around and we should encourage ALL students to go after these jobs if they have an interest – even if they do score a 34 on their ACT. Shouldn’t your electrician be as smart as the guy deciding what Facebook ads you see? But, instead of listening to me on a soap box, just enjoy this curated content from AFV as proof we still need skilled tradesman. So far, our project is going better than these… so far.
How to install a toilet. While this is not the most pleasant DIY task, it’s not quite as nasty as I expected, especially since one of the reasons I was replacing the toilet was lingering odors.
The second reason was hard water had essentially ruined the old one, as explained in the water softener post. The other, most significant reason is that the wax ring was clearly shot even when we bought the house and the previous owner put tile around the toilet instead of under it – a big no-no. So, replacing the floor AND toilet were both required.
I went with a cheap but decent looking vinyl floor because I don’t know how permanent it will be. We would like to start from scratch on that bathroom in a few years’ time.
So, how to install a toilet.
- Turn off the water and flush your toilet. This will empty the tank, but not the bowl. With one more flush and a plunger I was able to force a little more water through the trap, but some still remained. To get it dry, you can sponge it out.
- Remove the tank if it comes off. Toilets are heavy and two pieces are better than one.
- Next, remove the closest bolts (that hold the toilet to the floor). Your new toilet will likely come with bolts and you can replace them in step 6 if they’re rusted or broken.
- Pull the toilet up and out (towards you should keep any water left in the bowl above the trap). I just carried it straight to the driveway which is only about 15 steps away. Later in the day we got a snow storm and I covered it with the snow blower… In spring, the toilets will bloom!
- Now things get a little nasty. You have to remove what’s left of the old wax ring before you install the new one.
- If your toilet was properly seated, you’re nearly done. Not the case for me. I added two closest flange risers. They could also be called spacers, kits, etc. Bottom line, they fill the gap between the flange and the toilet when you add a new floor over top an old one. They should’ve have been used during the last remodel.
- (Optional) Put down new floor. Nothing exciting here… it was a floating (no mastic) vinyl floor in a pretty small space. Didn’t take much time and I laid it right over the hodgepodge of flooring that was there with a special matt below the new floor. Next remodel we’ll pull the floor up and lay ceramic.
- Next I placed the new wax ring on the toilet and then placed it over the flange with the bolts through the pedestal of the toilet.
- Push down hard and evenly on the toilet until its level on the floor with no gaps. This crushes the wax ring, which makes a tight seal. The wax is also an unfriendly place for bacteria, another reason why it’s used.
- Fasten bolts, attach the tank and complete any other steps in your toilet’s installation instructions. Now you know how to install a toilet.