OPP: DIY Lead Paint Test

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Today I am patching a ceiling in my bathroom and that involves some painting. (Yes, the Pope is in town and all the major roads are closed so I took a vacation day to spend on a ladder.) My house is pretty old so I had some folks asking me if I was worried about lead paint. I don’t have kids or pets, and I don’t make a habit of licking my walls, but its a legit question none-the-less.

This article, written by my Timothy Dahl, explains how to test for lead paint on your own before you start your reno project.  Pay special attention if your home was built prior to 1950.  You can get a kit for around $40 these days, sometimes cheaper. Check out Timothy’s article to see how to administer these tests without hiring a professional: How to Perform a DIY Lead Test

Have a great weekend,
❤ Roni

For those of you that are new around here, OPP stands for Other Peoples Projects. Be sure to check out some of the past week’s OPP’s while you visit.

My birthday present from Murph!

Heading to my mans birthday dinner. Murph shows up with a birthday present for me (my birthday is tomorrow). A leaking ceiling. Murph, you really shouldn’t have! No, like, really, Dude. I’m sure glad I never got around to patching the ceiling up from last time! Womp womp!


Product Review: DRIcore Subfloor

Next up on the product review list: DRIcore. This subfloor product is intended for concrete basements and other such spaces to help keep them dry and mold free. My home is built on a slab, so I decided to look into this product when I was buying flooring materials per my Dads suggestion.

DRIcore looks like particle board on top and like a plastic version of diamond plate on bottom. That ‘diamond plate’ configuration allows air to flow freely under the subfloor. This design helps prevent mold in the event of a flood or a spill. Each square is slatted on the side to fit together (like laminate flooring). According to the manufacturing info, interior walls can be installed right on top of DRIcore. This subfloor is also has a R-value of 1.7 to slightly insulate. (Per their website, product stats state that this would bump up interior floor temps about 6F).

20140505-213320.jpg Continue reading

Product Review: Roxul Stone Wool Insulation

My opinion on using Roxul Stone wool insulation? In two words: use it! This stuff is great, man! It is more expensive than the fiberglass rolls but it goes up so fast that alone is likely going to be worth it for you. Better yet, it doesn’t make you itch like crazy when you have to modify the shape it comes in and it’s fire and water resistant. It’s made from stone and a byproduct from steel production, so it’s a sort of a recycled product. That byproduct would be in a landfill otherwise.

Also, did I mention that you can cut this stuff with a knife. A run of the mill, ordinary, kitchen knife! How crazy is that? While you are slicing and dicing insulation with your kitchen knife, you’ll find you have little to no waste left. You can use the offcuts to pack in and around odd pipes and other obstacles. I was even able to jam this stuff right up to my high hat casings! Continue reading

Spider-Joe & the Tree Amigos

Ok. So when I say I have the best friends and family, I really mean it. Dudes, my friends and family would totes win the best friends and family contest. They even removed a big ol’ tree for me. On a Saturday. (You heard that right, a Saturday!)

Why commit tree-murder? One by one, branches had been going on the tree, laying the groundwork for its own demise. I don’t have any money to spare after the repairs I am in the middle of, so it was going to have to wait until next year to come down. Meanwhile, my awesome boyfriend came over and took down any branches that were reachable. As if that was not rad enough, my equally awesome friend, Nat, mentioned the failing tree to another friend, Joe. Joe offered to come take it down if I could find him some helpers.

According to Joe, taking a big ol’ tree down is something people can do with buddies. That’s only partly true. You see, that plan only works if one of your friends fearlessly climbs trees like Spider-Man. Apparently, Joe had that part covered. Without further ado, here are some photos of my absolutely amazing friends and family helping take down the tree.

The tree

Spider-Joe & the Tree Amigos braved the power lines and took this tree down.

Spider-Joe & the Tree Amigos braved the power lines and took this tree down.

Spider-Joe & the Tree Amigos

Meet Spider-Joe & the Tree Amigos


Nekkid tree.

Nekkid tree.


The little stump that was left.

The little stump that was left.

The End

One of the masked Tree Amigos does a victory dance to mark the end of our story.

Nat, Joe, Clint, Steve, Dad – you guys are the bomb-diggity and I owe you all BIG TIME. Best of all nobody was hurt (I was so scared that something craptastic would happen all day!)

I leave you with a song:

Spider-Joe, Spider-Joe,
Does whatever a Spider-Joe does
Can he swing from a web?
No, he can’t, he’s a Joe,
Look out, he is a Spider-Joe!

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Padded Door: Retro-Lovely or Accessory to Crime?

So here’s the first thing I worked out after buying and old home: people do some super-weird things to their homes. So what? What could be so outrageous that it could warrant a ranting blog post? Oh, nothing much at all – just a vinyl-upholstered door. No biggie. Totally normal stuff over here. Wanna see?

Prepare thyself:

That is what’s left of the door on the second floor. I have wondered why it was padded since I bought the place. Maybe the reason was to fit in with the jungle décor the previous owners had going. Here is what it used to look like up there:



Or, more interestingly, perhaps they kept their victims up there? That padding would have been for BEFORE they became bodies, of course. Thats totally why they would have needed it – for sound-proofing, right?

Either way, having recently put in new door hardware, it was time I addressed the creepy upholstered door. Uncle Steve and I began to pull off the tacks (brads? whatever you want to call them), in an effort to remove that padding once and for all. As the fabric loosened, we were surprised by what we found. Take a gander at this:

The padding had fiberglass insulation inside!? Someone decided it would be a good idea to put fiberglass insulation on the back of a door. Not really sure what that was all about, but I’m pretty sure the creator had to think they had a stroke of genius with that gem of an idea. I do vaguely recall the seller saying the previous owner complained about the house being drafty. One reason for that, now VERY clear to me, was that Richard and Karen had moved in and (literally) eaten 1/2 the house. Another reason, is simply that it is an old home built without insulation. The original owners later used blown-in insulation and I am going through and insulating everything else as we open areas of the exterior walls. (I’m using this kick-butt stone wool insulation, too. It’s called Roxul. It is fabulous and you can expect a posting on that shortly.)

Back to the door, I find the whole thing very odd. Very odd, indeed. I am annoyed that they put all those holes in such a solid, well built, door. Look at this mess:
But the typography on the back of the insulation is kinda gorgeous. So retro-lovely, dontcha think?
I guess maybe that’s the look they were going for all along with this project, huh? Retro lovely. That’s probably it but thats not as fun as getting to tell people that they held captives in my attic. I’m going to tell the kiddos it was the latter anyway. Keep ’em in line, right? Kidding! Well, sorta kidding. 🙂

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