Gots a SqueezeBox Boom

I just added a Logitech Squeezebox Boom to my bedroom. I can't say enough good about the Logitech (formerly Slim Devices) Squeeze products. I already had a Squeezebox in the living room, and decided that the Squeezebox Boom would be a great addition for the bedroom.

It has a line-in jack so I can take the audio from my LCD TV and jack into it for much better quality than the TV's internal speakers.

I doubled-up on the upgrade and added a Logitech Harmony 610 universal remote. My cable box remote refused to control the volume on the Squeezebox Boom since it acts much like a DVD player. I already had one of the Harmony 510 for the living room TV so it was a natural step. I love how configurable these things are.

Surprisingly, the Harmony wouldn't do the "stop" command for the Squeezebox. You'd think that with both being Logitech products you'd get full button support. I used the learning feature to teach it the JVC DVD remote equivalent that works for the Squeezebox interface.

Changed Blog Software

Well, it seems that Renovations Rants has been going through some virtual renovations of it's own. I've replaced my old blog software with Drupal. I was able to import all the old posts, but the path to those posts has changed - feel free to use the Search feature in the menu above to find what you were looking for.

A bit of wizardry helped me save my old images and actually sort of make most of my internal links between posts work. Unfortunately I wasn't able to migrate all the old comments over.

Porch mostly totalled

I still have a bit of trim work to finish up on the porch (and hang one door) but for the most part the expenses are done.

What did it cost to tear down and rebuild my porch?

$3,526

That's just materials. Imagine if I hadn't done all of the work myself! Average cost my research showed for having a contractor do the work was around $8000 plus the stone work.

In addition, I spent another $571 on tools this year (cordless drill, nailgun.) And another $97 fixing the electrical damage I did to the power line for my washer while reattaching a downspout. lol.
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Working on the Dining Room

Well out of my 'which project should I do next' post I've already tackled the Entertainment Center and Porch. Now I'm working on the Dining Room. That just leaves the upstairs bedroom. I know everyone voted for the bedroom first, but my daughter never could move out her stuff so I could redo the room, so it'll just have to wait until she goes off to college next year.

You may remember the before picture of the dining room:

Well I tried to remove wallpaper and paint, but the room didn't want to cooperate. Much like the upstairs bedroom I renovated back in 2005 it had seven or so layers of wallpaper and at least two layers of paint. I elected to just throw drywall up on top of it all. This time I didn't remove the trim first, and I think it was a very good decision both for time and look.

Here you can see the wallpaper layers peeled back. I've already removed the top layer or two of paper, and got down to the first layer of painted wallpaper, and behind that another layer of dark patterned wallpaper, and behind that a layer of green painted wallpaper that extended behind the trim.

during

 

The porch mostly done and decorated!

Click for a larger view...

Halloween Porch

 

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Got some ceiling hung

Today the kids and I hung three of the ceiling panels for the porch. It was a much bigger deal to do than I had hoped, but I think it's going to turn out just fine.

This also means I got to use my nail gun for real for the first time! It was certainly fun. I can't even imagine trying to install a wood panel ceiling without a nail gun. We'd probably still be on the first panel. imported-484

WaMu, I Get The Last Laugh!

Some of you may recall my scathing review of Washington Mutual titled 'How Washington Mutual Wants To Screw You'.
Looks like I get the last laugh.
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The Stone Work Is Underway

The stone work is underway, and it's turning out better than I had hoped. It's certainly more art than technical skill. Once I figured out the proper mix for the mortar things started going pretty smoothly.

I'm using 'manufactured stone' which is basically concrete poured into forms and tinted. It's about half the weight and half the cost of real stone, and much easier to work with. No, I didn't get it from Lowe's - there's a local concrete supplier who got me everything I needed.

I found that mixing less than a gallon of mortar at a time was best, because my skill level is low so I'm slow at it and that keeps the mortar from getting dry.

Click the picture for a larger view:
49/365 I Hurt.  Really.

 

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The Ceiling-Less Porch

Wow, this has been a long road. It started at the end of May when I tore down the old porch due to structural issues, while saving 85% of the original roof. I also had the concrete slab removed that was in the yard leading to the porch and installed a nice little paver walk.

I framed in a new porch. This allows me to have any dirt/mud splash on the bottom two feet and have screen above that. It also keeps little fingers from tearing the screen once it's installed. Then I got a wild hair and installed low voltage lighting, placing three walk lights and two lights mounted inside the framing of the porch itself for mood lighting. It looks great, by the way! Next I tore out the electrical for the old over door porch light and ran a new 20 amp circuit from the breaker box that handles the new overhead porch light (now mounted in the ceiling), a new GFCI outlet on the outside back wall and a new set of floods with a switch inside the porch for late night grilling.

And now, I've finished painting so all that's left is ceiling, screen, stone wall on the outside and tile floor:

 

Porch Lighting Complete

I was planning to just move the porch light to the center of the ceiling, but when I pulled off the siding to take a look at the wiring I was amazed the house hadn't burned down yet with the multiple splices. I ended up rewiring it all the way back to the panel. I disconnected the original wires inside the wall and drilled a hole through the side of the house to run a new electrical line to the porch light switch inside. A little bit of spray foam sealed the hole back up.

I installed a new breaker in the box and ran the porch light, a weatherproof GFCI outlet on the end of the porch, a floodlight set on the back side of the porch and a switch to turn the floods on and off. I cut a channel in the wood siding behind the vinyl siding for the new wiring to run, and replaced the vinyl siding to cover the wire.

I'm not an electrician but I have enough experience with this and have done enough studying that I am comfortable opening the main breaker box without frying myself (or others) and am reasonably confident that everything is done perfectly to code, even though there's no inspector way out here.
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Renovating our 1916 Craftsman style home, one room at a time.

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