Category Archives: Other Projects

Stuff that does not fit any catagory

Making a Boat Trailer

Hey it’s Spring , warm and I’m busy…

A couple years back I bought a “sea slipper” tri- hull boat.   And it’s a heavy beast..  It came with us on our move to Drumheller … and now it needs a trailer.

Cool hull design.. Should be very stable.

In very good shape. It was a rental boat at a popular fishing lake near Vernon.  It made the trip here on one of my trailers that I picked up also a few years back.

That’s all good …but the boat is upside down..  I need a proper boat trailer not a flat deck.  Solution !  build one by modifying the flat deck frame.

When I got the trailer it looked like this.. I took the sides off and below is what it looks like now..

Has new 12 ” wheels , the lights work..  BUT I will be making some changes!  And that’s what I got up to today..  First I ripped the deck off and tossed it.  then I parked it on stands in front of the garage so I have access to tools.

And this is what we have..  Too much metal !   Nothing a zip cut  can’t fix.  I only need the middle part.

There !  I believe I removed 100 lbs of steel.  don’t need it .  Now I’m planning how to extend the tongue an extra 2 ft out front. As well I would like to keep the tilt feature. So I moved the hinge point for the tilt 24 inches forward.  this was the way to extend the tongue so that the boat would not be too close to the hitch and keep the tilt.

You can see where it was over the axle..  A good place for tilt balance…  But a boat trailer works different.  I’m re- using some the the  channel steel from the extra pieces to add a vee nose out  front.

This brings the saddle for the tilt lock pin closer to where you can reach it.  I’m having problems with my welder … It’s not hot enough to really penetrate the thicker steel..  So I’ll be bolting everything.  A bit of extra work but I don’t want trouble later.   In fact it did not hold at all.   So I will have to think of a way to bolt these two parts together.

And here’s something to fix..  The angle pieces must be different lengths.. Cause things are not meeting in the middle.  I measure from the hubs to the hitch from both sides.  This is how you get a trailer that tracks straight.. I will fix this.

Here’s some more bolts for extra insurance. This is one of two places that take the weight of the pull going down the road.  I’m have to say that’s important !  Yup it’s important.  So at this point I want to put the boat on the trailer and fit the bunks and the winch stand.

Yup it’s a good fit..  Now I need to do some fitting ..  I started with the bunks..  Easy to make. Three foot 2 x 4 covered with boat carpeting.

And large angle brackets too.  Getting the right height was tricky.  I’ll mount them after painting.  Then I need a winch mount .. Lot’s of work getting this right.  And finding metal that would work.

But I got it.. !  Sturdy and the winch strap passes through straight to the bow fitting.  Now to re work the tilt lock so only bolts are used.

Well because we are moving ..with no place to park extra stuff..  I have sold the boat on the unfinished trailer with the 3.5 Merc motor.

2004 Polaris 400 Page 2

Cleaning and Fixing !

This is a bad gash in the top of the speedo pod.  I’m thinking chainsaw..  Can’t for the life of me figure out how one would do such a thing.  But I’ve had more than my share of head scratches.  Look how faded the yellow is..  I’ve tried the wet sanding method..  But this goes deep. I have a solution for that gash I’ll show later.

With the plastics off everything got a good bath.  Now I can thoroughly inspect the drive line and suspension.  And I found some loose stuff, and some things that need replacing.

Like the front brake pads.  This one was beyond wore out !  Tie rod ends are toast as well …So I have some parts coming. While waiting I started work on a boat trailer .   And I did some work on the bush guard and winch.

Cleaned up the winch, breathed new life into the fair- lead rollers.  Some were not turning at all.  And here’s what the yellow top of the light pod looks like now.

The gash was filled with epoxy and I used the heat gun method to deal with the fading.  Not perfect but does work 50% sorta thing..  Once I get my parts I’ll service the front hubs, bleed the brakes and tighten anything I find needs it.  Then I’ll move on to the rear wheels. The brakes are now working great and a new bearing installed on the left rear hub.  We tried and tried the start the quad..  no luck … what’s up it was running..  Best thing to do is park it and wait till I’m in the new shop..  And then do some more tinkering.


2004 Polaris Sportsman 400 Quad

The price was right and it came with extra parts quad.

It runs …it drives ..  But there are a few issues, like no brakes, and some electrical gremlins.  Probably bad connections.  We fix.  The plastics are faded. And the bush bar is a little bent.  The factory winch works, and the tires are good.  Someday I’ll bring it in the garage and look after these things.. What I really needed was the wiring harness that the parts one had.  That harness with / should bring my 2005 back from the dead.

Here’s the parts frame.  I’ve since removed the wheels , wiring and the handle bar.  And I put it on a pallet so I can move it easily.

So this 2004  yellow 400 is just to hold me over till I get the 2005 going..  I’m not sure when that will be, hope it happens this year..  So I’m going to put some effort into the yellow 2004 one to bring it up to my standards .  Here’s what I see is needed..

Wiring:  bad grounds and possible corroded connections.  I noticed the head lights are dim. and the kill switch isn’t working.

Check brakes, hubs and all bushings and bearings:  Just cause !

Plastics:  I’ll remove all the plastics and repair and polish them..  Make it pretty again.  Repaint the rims too.  And fix the bush bar.

And with the garage all organized and clean..   In comes the 400 to look after those things..  First thing remove the front rack and the bush guard and front trim.  Need to get a good look at the wiring..  I also removed the handle bars so I could tweak the the mounting plate a tad.  The bars and nacile had a bit of a tilt to the left.

While the guard was off …why not give it some fresh paint and bang the kinks out.

I was able to find the bad wire and now it starts and stops with the key..  Cleaned a lot of connections too.  Next I need to remove all the plastics.. this is were I find the broken bits.. But let’s start a new page


2009 Avalanche LTZ page 3

Fix’n Time :

Getting warm out so lets see what we can do.  First off I wasn’t happy with some of the work the detail guy did..  Carpets are good and the headliner too.  But he dropped the ball on the seats..  So I gave them another go..  !

Just got to scrub a little harder..  Then I used some leather conditioner / protector.  Nice…  I then used the decal kit for the HVAC controls..

Again… Nicer..  Once I get all the bits for the stereo install I can get that done.

I did find the passenger side running board at a wrecking yard in Calgary.  It’s a good thing Albert-in’s crash a lot.

Also grabbed a good driver’s side tail light.  The other one on the vehicle is cracked.  These won’t be changed till the painting is done. And speaking of that…. I’m getting quotes from small body shops. We will see how that goes..

Update: May 2022

I now have a guy who will do all the body work and painting .  Local too.  He’s got the parts I bought..and soon the Avalanche too.

2009 Avalanche LTZ Part 2

Hunting & Gathering :

Scored some parts !

Referring to the body of coarse…  after having a close look and assessing whats needed and what could be fixed. I need to replace both rear doors, both front fenders..  and maybe the front bumper. Also I need a right side running board.  These are where the most damage is.  Found a body shop in Strathmore that was selling the body parts off of a 2008 Avalanche.  $100 bucks each for the doors and fenders.  Wow my quote from the wreckers was $400 ea for doors.

I also got a white front bumper and the bottom air dam that finishes it.  That will fix the worst goober on the right front corner.

This !  Wonder what they hit..  ?  The right side fender and the front bumper cover will fix this…

The left fender will make this disappear.  Unfortunately I can’t get the same color parts..  So some painting will be needed.

You know I don’t really need the pearl paint.. It’s very expensive. If I just settle for a nice off white  one step paint I could save a lot and do the whole truck.  For now I’m stopping the rust, and sealing it.  And for now it’s too cold for any body work.   SOOO I’m concentrating on the interior.  As I said I’m having the inside professionally cleaned.  That is happening today and tomorrow we will see how that turned out.  I have ordered the bit and pieces to repair the few things not right inside the avalanche.  Starting with the dash..  Wouldn’t you know it one of the cool things you can get is a new dash cover.

Glues right over the old one.  easy fix!  The other cool thing I found was a kit for fixing the heater controls.  The typical scratched off  finish on the most used buttons.

would ya look at that.. even if you found a Hvac control at a wrecker it would still look like mine and cost more than the twenty bucks for these.

Back from the detailing shop..

Well… it’s better .. he did a good job on the carpets..  But could have got the seats cleaner.

At least it smells nice.. More bits and pieces are arriving soon. The console lid, the dash cover.  And a new stereo system.. that will give me the backup camera.  I found out what the 12v plug in the console was for.. it powers up the two DVD players in the head rests..  Hmmm don’t need those so I left it unplugged.

The new stereo arrived today..

This is a media player.  It uses the Android operating system.  It does a lot of things, basically anything my phone does.  All I need still is the dash install kit and the GM interface module.  And some warmer weather.  This will bring the tech in this 13 year old truck up to date. And the “Loaded” term will apply.  Also had an inspection done and only found two small things to fix.  That will be done next week with a service.  I’m not worrying about the ride control anytime soon..  The Avalanche rides nice and the nagging message is not happening any more.  The weather is warming up….SOOO  let’s start a new page.

Page 3  Fixing Things:

2009 Avalanche LTZ

Got it for a great price..  But you’ll see why.

Number six for me…

It’s the one on the right..  Yes I have three.  Yes the oldest one has the least Kms.  But those two will be gone soon.  So time for an upgrade for me. A bit newer and a whole lot more fancier.  Like one grill away from being a Cadillac, but without the expensive parts ! Now for some Avalanche history..  The last year Chev made Avalanche’s was 2013.  This one is a 2009, and there is only a few changes in those last years.  New this one would have sold for big bucks… on the plus side of 50 thousand.  The LTZ model is top of the line, and the only two things missing from this one is Nav and the rear camera.  So it’s definitely what you call “loaded”.  ( I’m adding those)

Hard to tell but this is the pearl white paint.  Which is classier than just white.   From the factory it would have 20 inch chrome wheels , But these are new after market 20 ” “Worx” rims and new Michelin winter tires.  That’s a bonus for me, and so was the new windshield.

It’s nice to see a bumper that is not bent, ya some paint chip and scratches but not bent.. The parking sensors work !  and the trailer plug too. The rest… well nobody ever cleaned the interior.  And something very heavy was put on the dash and cracked it.  But no other damage inside.  Lets have a look , and consider these the “before ” pictures.

Light grey leather seats.  Dirty but still in good condition.  These are heated and cooled ! The driver’s seat is the one that takes a lickin… And there is some cracks on the side, but not on the seat.  They are comfy too.

You can see the cracks… but they are not bad.  These seats are 8 way power..both sides.

The rear seats have probably seen some kid activity, but survived nicely.  I tumbled the seats and opened the mid-gate, it’s all good.  The Avalanche has a date with the auto detail shop this week.. Should see a big difference.  I’m going to interrupt here and say that this Avalanche drives very nice.  Brakes are great …lots of power and good on gas too.  It was a two hour drive back from Calgary yesterday and cruising at 106 kph I got 10.6 liters / 100 km.  Not too bad! Plus it goes down the road straight.  It’s a pleasure to drive.  AND it has 285,000 km on the old odo.  Alberta is like that..  everything has high kms.

Yes two DVD players !  Crazy eh..   They will most likely never get used.

So lets talk about the elephant in the room…the reason I paid six grand for a Ten thousand dollar truck..  THE BODY ! yes That’s where the work will be. Oh and I want to say don’t waste your money on one of those electronic rust inhibitor’s. There’s one installed on this Avalanche from new I presume …I found it.

They don’t work and this truck proves it..  RUSTY  you bet.  Ya it’s Alberta and they use lots of salt on the roads…but if you wash it ..keep wax on it should last longer than 13 years.

This is the drivers side rear fender.  The other side is bad, and bottom of the doors and other places.  So that’s a bit of work..  Then there’s other body stuff…

Like dents and scratches…  Lots.  So I’ll have to figure out what to do. The Avalanche is worth making nice.  As far as the mechanical end of things all I’m aware of are the air ride system not working.  And the two functions on the shift leaver are not working..They are: tow/haul mode and the manual shift button. Could be a bad wire.  As for the air ride…  After 13 years and 285,000 kms one should not expect that to work.. They were prone to failure.  The fix is to change over to regular shocks and remove the compressor and install the delete kit on the wiring so the warning goes away.  I’ll be surprised if there is other problem. Here’s a video.

Let’s start a new page called.. “Hunting & Gathering”



2005 Polaris Sportsman 500HO Page 3

Yes I can do this once more !

Because I have history with ATV’s.  I’m justifying yet another one.. And won’t even include the rare and one’s that float..  Had a few of those.  No let’s just mention the ATV’s that we all understand.  Start with the first one that I just wanted as a project.  Oh and I need to say that I’m a late bloomer in this off road world.  In fact it was in the summer of 2013…  not that long ago… that I first rode a quad.  POST HERE  The very one that my sister sold to Dave and he still has it .  AND THEN !… I found this..

Links to the posts are green.
1998 Polaris Sportsman 500. 

Just like this 500 I’m working on..  this one needed lots of work..  And it had been crashed.  I got it in pieces.  and it was cheap.. $500.  A winter project and for some reason I sold it when I was done.. I got good at welding the plastics..( needed a lot of that )  Oh well found a different one.

1995 Polaris 300 4×4 :

A cute little guy.  In very good condition.. Just needed a few things. Prompted me to join the ATV club and started riding lots..  However this one was a 2 cycle motor.. noisy and I had to pack lots of mixed gas if the ride was long.   Which then prompted me to just go buy a new quad ! WHY NOT..

2014 Polaris Sportsman 400 HO :

I had my choice of color and I fell in love with the blue fire.  I decked this one out and put lots of kms on it.. went amazing places.  Never let me down.  Kept it for five years.  During that time it was a fleeting thought that maybe Mo should have a quad to .. and join me.  So we found this one and also bought a fixer for $100 .

2003 Rally 200 and a 2005 parts Rally 200:

The red 2003 ran good..   the yellow 2005 was not good.  Dropped a valve and broke the piston.  She gave it a try but NAWW  these machines scared her..  So we sold the 2003 and I stored the 2005 with good intentions.  I finally passed it on during one of my purges to someone else to fix.   Then in the fall of 2018 my friend got me to fix the bush guard on his RZR..  And I really like driving a side by side.

2010 Polaris RZR 800:

This is his 2010  RZR 800.  He asked me to fix the bush guard .. you can see in the picture that it’s bent down from lifting the snow plow.  He let me take it for a ride for a day.  I really liked the comfort and the fact that if it rained you were dry..  So I went looking for a RZR…

2014 Polaris RZR 570 LE:

In Dec of 2018 I spotted this little gem at the dealer where I bought my 400.  It was perfect , blue , smaller motor, Lot’s of goodies , new tires and belt.  Perfect !  So in January I traded my 2014 quad for this.  Never ever regretted this move.  Best ATV ever !  AND..  I got some extras like the doors from a fixer RZR I got in 2019.

2008 Polaris RZR 800:

This was cheap fixer I got ..  needed some work. I took the doors for mine and fixed the issues. Sold it for a profit too !   THEN we moved to Alberta !  The 570 RZR came with me! However there didn’t seem to be a place to ride..  So I sadly sold it and the trailer I had to haul it..  Got more than my money back.. so not all bad..  And now this 2005 Sportsman 500 has come along..  I would like to keep it. After all it’s blue !   Waiting for parts  still and just putzing around till then.

So now that I qualified myself… Here’s the latest..

Update: May 2022..

The needed part.. ( SSCM surepower  regulator / control module ) will be a long time coming. Or maybe not at all.. So I cancelled and exploring other ways to power up the quad. It’s nice weather to work out in the garage now..  So I put the whole quad back together and kicked it outside under one of the shelters.

Here we are all back together..  and heading for storage till I figure things out..

And this was ( what I think) is the answer…

Someone on YouTube had this same problem..  and his solution was to go back one year ..2004 when there was no Solid state Control module..  just simple stuff like voltage regulators …  and use that wiring harness.  Forget the BS.  It’s possible !  But at what cost as far as losing some of the features.   I’m going to find out !  today I brought home a running 2004  400HO Sportsman..  AND a parts machine with the wiring harness still there..

This is the post…   2004 Polaris 400

She’s a beaut !  Hey unlike the 2005 this one drives and everything works.  A little rough but nothing serous.  And that’s thanks to this very sad looking ( what’s left) quad.

And the winner of the three legged race is….   Ya.. The parts you don’t see like the motor are in the barn. None of the plastics or the seat survived.  This was the donor of parts that made the yellow one good.  The frame is cracked so it’s just for parts..  And all I’m after is the wiring.  I’m eyeing up the handle bar stuff too..  There’s other things now that I need to do ..So this project will have to wait for now.


2005 Polaris Sportsman 500HO Page 2

Repairing the body parts:

Got a new plastic welding kit I’m dying to try out.  However the welder uses butane… lots of butane.  So I’m not super impressed..  But I can use the mesh and the rods.  I have a cheap soldering gun with a flat shoe …and that works great.

Here’s the worst crack.  Front fender …left side.  I use the heat gun to soften the plastic and re – align the crack.  Then weld the backside to make it strong.

Then weld the good side.. but it never comes out perfect  with colored plastic.  But it’s repaired and strong .   This process works very good with the black plastic parts.  When melting the PE plastic some of it evaporates into the air.. So it’s necessary to ad more plastic .  Hard to do when it’s a color.

Here’s a bad one on the foot well.  Same process but looks much better.  The foot wells take a beating.  Even if you are careful…

There is the same crack on the other foot well too.  And a crack on the front bumper.  All easy to fix.  However lots of work needed on the rear fenders.

Two of the tabs under the seat were broken off. These are the front ones..  of the six along the upper frame.  When these broke it allowed the plastic to get too close to the exhaust pipe and melted the broken parts.. I had to re construct some parts..

I use paper clips embedded in the plastic.   It’s not pretty but works.  And it is under the seat so no problem.   That’s about it for repairing plastic parts.  Finally I’m trying different ways of polishing out some of the scratches.

Here I tried wet sanding with very fine grit. works but leaves a dull finish.  Power polishing with cut polish could bring the shine back.  This is much the same as restoring headlights.  One thing for sure it gets the years of grime off.

As a final step I use this ultra protectant.   Looks new.  But I haven’t dealt with the scratches on this yet..  So you know I’ll make the body parts nice again..  And I may just see about making my own side panels too.  Some of the parts may take a while to come..  So I’m going to start a third page on the ATVs that I have had, fixed and rode.   PAGE 3  My ATV history..

The Basement Bathroom Page 3

The final finishing touches !

I’ve been working away since the finishing of the kitchen.  Once the plumbing was all done and the last of the framing..  I was able to put up some drywall with the help from Brother Scott.

And this is where we are..  flooring is in .  then the shower stall had to be installed.

Done !  Took a whole day to do this part.. some tweaking needed. But it looks great.  Then the drywall is finished..  that covers the attachment flanges. We are ready for the taping now.  The flooring was done before the shower because I wanted the flooring to go under the shower base.  The floor is a new product.  No glue vinyl sheeting..  Thick and water proof.. just like vinyl planks but no seams. Notice the upstairs toilet drain is gone from this picture.  The modification done by the plumbers worked out perfect.

My Son has Come and taped and filled all the drywall.  And today I sanded cleaned and primed the room.

Two more days and the painting will be done. And there’s more work after that.

Painting done ! and the trim is in too.  Lights and the vent cover done !  And today I put the toilet back.

Vanity next… then maybe the door..

All DONE !

Skipped taking photos.. Sorry…  But the important thing is … I’m finished.  And we are having showers and using the bathroom.

This project turned out great.  Careful planning and quality components makes the difference..  We love the shower.  The vanity has lots of storage and counter room.  The powered mirror is just cool.

Thoughtful things like LED lights (shower too) and coat hooks for the towels.  I made a short video to point out the changes from the old bathroom..

And that concludes this project..  Taking the winter off renovations.  I will be out in the garage fixing up my new Polaris quad.   Check in on that  HERE.

2005 Polaris Sportsman 500HO

I’m gonna need a winter project !

( photo from google)

But the photo is the exact same as the one I found ..  the front plastics are off mine, but I have them. Soon the reno’s to the house that need doing will be finished.  And in the yard there’s nothing to do but clean snow.. ( if it snows).  The garage is keeping a nice temperature.. so ya I can work out there.  This popped up for sale and I jumped on it.  $600. for a fixer quad that is my favorite model and my favorite color ! Dam right.  This one was listed as a 2004… but clearly not.. Right above the Vin it says a manufacture date of 02/04/2005. Even the key tag says 2005.  Bought in Red Deer.  A bit of research tells me that this is an early release of the new Sportsman models.  A body style that went right through to 2011.  I believe it’s the first years that you will see EFI as an option. Plus the new shape for the head lights, and a trunk under the front rack.  If it says HO it’s still got a carburetor, like this one.

Not as pretty as the top picture..  But that will change.

Here’s what I know:

It wasn’t crashed…nothing is bent or damaged to suggest it was. The motor and drive line is fine.  I can’t start it because the problems are electrical.  But the motor turns over nicely.  There’s oil in the motor and coolant in the rad..  can’t see any leaks.  The plastics have a few cracks in the typical places.  Nothing that I can’t fix. However we are missing the two side covers.

The tires are factory Polaris and not cracked and still holding air! Wow. Even the rims aren’t bent. I’m certain there will be things like bearings and brakes / bushings that will need attention, but not worried.  what is needed is repairs to the wiring harness. That will solve the problems that I will explain later.  For now I’m giving it a bath and storing it until I clean up the garage and finish in the house.

It’s full on December now.  The work in the house is done and Winter is here …maybe not officially, but it’s snowy and cold.  I’m making room in the garage for the Polaris.  I have one of the missing parts , the CDI.  The surepower ECM is on order and who knows when that will show up.  Those two things will get the electrical system up and running.

Here it is ! In the shop and on the table.  Still waiting for the ECM..  but I’ll remove the rear plastics. Makes it easy to get at things..  And they need cleaning and repairing too.

Wow…no damage to the frame.  Everything is straight.  I have found one broken wire and the left front brake caliper is hanging from a wire !!  It looks to be ok just missing the bolts to hold it on..  Fairly sure that this quad was stored outside..cause it’s dirty.  But there’s other things needed… Here’s a list …and this could grow.

  • New CDI  : I’ve got it now
  • New  ECM  On Order
  • New carburetor,  Got a new one cause I can’t get the float bowl off and they are cheap..
  • New rear brake Master,  old one looks like it leaked.
  • New choke cable,   Old one broken
  • Battery, later when everything works
  • New Fuel pump. On Order, Again cheap so why not.
  • All three filters needing changed, need to order them

As well..  I’m going to replace all four wheel bearings.  Change the oil.  While I wait for parts.. I’m going to clean and repair the plastic body parts.  So we have some  Plastic Welding to do…  Page 2


2005 Avalanche LT Z71

It was cheap, a bit rusty, and a million kms !

Well ok only the first two are true… only 340.. thousand.  Only !  that’s 100,000 more than my 2003.   Yes there is two Avalanches in my driveway…  This one will end up being my son’s.  Unless I fall in love with it… hmm.

This one is a little bit rough on the outside.  Some rust on the lower parts of the body. That’s typical for Alberta.. even newer trucks.  Rock chips on the hood..yup.  Bent back bumper..yup. Again typical for here.  Most trucks here are rode hard and put away wet..  or dirty.

Well look at that..  This one is deluxe !  Typical wear on the drivers seat but the rest is nice …dirty but nice.  Both seats are power, heated, and the driver’s has memory..which is more that I can say about myself.  Sunroof and rear DVD off the differences from my Avalanche.

It all works !  Put a new stereo in this puppy with a back up camera and you have it all..

Nice eh..  This Avalanche needs to be made nice again.. And we start with the inspection to tell me how’s things.  Mostly the things I knew about.  And here’s the list:

The Differential : howls like a coyote when you put the gas to her.. Not a super bad thing to worry about but one day we’ll find a new rear axle.

Shocks :  4 new shocks installed.

Ball joint :  replaced and wheels aligned.

Sway bar Link : Replaced

Rear Transmission seal :  Replaced .

Tail lights wiring : I have the new part needed just waiting for a nice day.  This only effects the license plate lights ..  DONE and the lights work as they should.

Park Brake cable:  Is typically seized Will replace it later.  Or leave it,

There’s more to do.. but no safety stuff.  So for now we drive it ..

So here’s an update.. It’s been cold …really cold through December… I plugged the block heater on all the vehicles.  I’ve started the 05 every so often.   So mostly sitting there waiting for nicer weather to happen..   The battery suffered a bit during the cold .. so I’ve put the charger on.  Should be good to go … Plus the weather is warming up now in mid January !  And some plans have changed….

I bought a third Avalanche .. newer and more deluxe..  See the post :

2009 Avalanche LTZ

I had the dash cluster repaired , and it all works good now.  The Avalanche is up for sale …we’ll see how it goes..


New Kitchen #2

The cabinets are Here !

And being installed .. All the base cabinets are in place now..  And a few of the uppers too..

Enough to tell me how much room on either side of the window. And whether my wire for the light was in the right place.. So far everything looks good.

Well here’s progress.. All the cabinets are installed and the crown molding done.  It’s going to take another day to build the counter tops ..

A different view.  We have more cupboard space now.

Here’s the first peek at the counter tops..  We like !  getting closer to the finish.  Also the new stove is installed.

All Done !

And she’s moved back in..  Just the back splash tiles to choose and install.

A Few improvements…  Cupboards and sink are now centered under window.  New sink but kept the faucet… in works fine.  Dimmable pendant light too.  All the plumbing under the sink is new and improved.

More counter space. The dishwasher fits better so it’s very quiet now.

Garbage and recycle bins !  We had this in GF kitchen.. All the drawers are soft close.

In the old kitchen we moved the island from the middle to this position.  Now it’s permanent with a one piece top.. and full height counter.  The upper cabinets are higher to accommodate taller appliances.  Extra outlets for charging stuff.

We had him do open shelves on this side…  works for us.

We Love the new kitchen !

Now we do a back splash..  Carefully. Found the perfect tile right away ..  Glass tiles with the odd aluminum one.  We like it.  This did not add any color, but that maybe a good thing .

It still adds some “pizazz” to the look.  Very little cutting with the one inch tiles.  But lots of grout ! 25 lbs to be exact.  But it’s done and I can move on back to the downstairs bathroom.  More pics:

She’s adding color with things on the counter and a red shade on the pendant light.

We used aluminum trim along the counter and where the tiles end on the wall.

New Kitchen #1

We’ve been waiting for months for the cabinets to be delivered.

And that time has come!

We knew it would be sometime in October.  Got the call “get the kitchen ready”  Everything else gets put aside … Cause there’s work to be done and it’s a bummer not having a place to cook. So the quicker the better. The photo above was taken a week after moving in.. Therefore this is what we call a “base line”.  Almost immediately we moved the island from the middle of the kitchen to the place you see here. This worked better, and made sense to us..  So you will see that the new kitchen design has this configuration. Here’s a video explaining some things..

As the story goes we really never intended to replace the whole kitchen.  But when we looked closer there was just too many things wrong.  We thought that just getting new counter tops would be great..  Now that grew into spending three times as much and just make it right!  Worth it Right!

The first cabinet to go was the tall one with the wall oven and the microwave.  The microwave was plugged in behind the wall oven, and that was hard wired in behind the cabinet. Nope not surprised. I’m repurposing this cabinet out in the garage. Only a few cabinets were junked, the rest will find a home either in the garage or the basement.

This is the wall that a lot of folks remove for an open floor plan. That’s not going to work for us.. it’s needed for more cabinets and more electrical.  I had to remove the band of drywall that had the tiles glued to it.  That allows for fixing the wiring, and new surface for new tiles.

With all the old cabinets gone , I’m working my way around the walls removing only what’s necessary.  Those access holes were already there.

There! all the drywall removed and a few surprises. I moved the stove over to it’s new home so we could still cook.

So let’s talk about those surprises shall we !

Nothing wrong with the window wall.  But the one between the bathroom and the kitchen…  I was really wanting to see more of that. First off there was a stove vent..  I believe it went up to the roof.  Cause the roofers found a vent cover that seemed to go no where.  So they patched the wood and carried on.

There it is beside the fridge.  Whomever did the back splash tile just tiled over it..  Okay that works..  But the wire for power to the hood was just taped up and left in the wall. You can see it by the red broom.  NOT good !  There also was a set of three switches that worked the hokey lights over the upper cabinets, and the one over the sink. And the heat lamp under the cabinets ?  Not sure what that was for.  Both these wires got pulled back into the basement and removed from the utility room light box …. where a zillion other wires were connected.

And here’s the bath tubs business end of things.  Some pretty fancy framing there..  I was thinking of changing out the tub faucet … but there is nothing wrong with it. The pipes are good too.  So leave it alone.  The one mystery that needed solved… Was the creaking sound coming from in the wall when hot water was run in the bathroom sink.  Watch this video…

Again not too surprised ..  The house has been full of DIY gone wrong.  The fridge needed it’s own circuit  and we needed a proper ground fault plug in the bathroom..

Done!  Easy when you have this kind of access.  And the mystery pipe noise from in the wall..  Solved !  Someone mounted a shelf bracket into the drain vent, pinning it against the dry wall.

So after several attempts to find something solid they did !  the vent pipe …  Why not.. but to their credit there was no way to know unless you have a stud sensor.  Stuff happens.

Speaking of things happening…  The dry wall is done and the first coat of tape and filler. It feels good to be putting things back together rather than fixing stuff.  One more coat of filler , then primer and paint..And DONE !

There… ready for the cabinets.  They are coming tomorrow.  I only painted the grey where needed..  So lets start a page 2.


The Basement Bathroom Page 2

Everybody’s favorite..  pipes !

I already did the bathroom drains, and the plan from the start would be to replace the pipe nightmare with new PEX .  And I can do the whole house… because the kitchen is getting it’s overhaul in October.  That will involve taking down the drywall behind the sink and the wall backing the upstairs bathroom.  All the back splash needs to go.  Some wiring needs work in those walls too.  So much of the water piping is a bloody mess.  No saving it..  And there’s some bad things the main water feed going along the outside  concrete wall.  YA it could freeze if it gets cold enough.  Guess that’s why there is pipe wrap on it.

In this photo you can see that pipe running under the window ?  It does not need to.  And what’s up with that drain pipe?  Fairly sure it was hooked up to the kitchen sink drain (red arrow).  I’m thinking that will go back there instead of cutting across the room.  In the future this laundry room will also get a much needed makeover.

These two pipes (one hot one cold)  Go up into the wall between the kitchen and bath. I’ll temporally hook up to them …till the kitchen work happens.

So the plan is to build the new plumbing system along side the old.  Then hook it all up at one time so there is less down time.  And what are those mystery pipes..  just rattling around in the wall..  I think there was a bar sink in the rec room other side of this wall.  AND did you know …you can’t buy the old style laundry sink faucets any more..  had to make my own. Down the road when this room gets it’s make over All this will be inside the wall and proper faucet.

Here’s the new plumbing all done in the basement bathroom.  No mistaking hot from cold.. And yes the cold is on the wrong side.. but these pipes cross the utility room parallel to each other and I did not want to cross them over.. On the other side they are correct.  You will see later.

Here they are 3/4 ” PEX and are (loosely ) in place..  I’ll firm them up after the copper is gone and out of the way.  This is were they cross over the hot water tank on their way to the other side of the utility room.  Where they go back to 1/2″ PEX  and feed the laundry , kitchen and utility sink. And that’s where things were left…  There’s a part of me that wants the plumber to do the switch over..  I had to do some outside stuff ..getting ready for winter… and the Kitchen has to be started on soon..   See that post HERE.

Well After dealing with the kitchen… I did get the plumbers to finish up the conversion to PEX.  All done .

Here the part over the hot water tank.  Tons of copper taken away. I all so got them to redo the upstairs toilet drain..

It’s now tucked up and out of the way..  The city water feed / meter is up and ready for the water softener to be hooked up. Now I can resume work on the bathroom…  as soon as the back splash in the kitchen is done..

The water conditioner is in and working great.  What a difference! This should help save all our new appliances.  No more water lines near the outside wall.

It’s great to get back to work on the bathroom.  Got all the framing done and all the drywall that can be done before the shower stall is in stalled.  Things should move along nicely.

I’m going to start a new page for the final finishing of the bathroom.

Page 3  Finishing


The Basement Bathroom

Yup It was usable….  JUST!

The toilet was new-ish.. Good.  The sink and vanity were right outa the seventies..  Oh they worked but they were but ugly.

All paneling,  check..  ceiling tiles, check.  Bedroom closet intruding into space, check.  Phone booth sized rusty metal shower,  check.

And …holy crap the plumbing for the toilet and the shower is down right embarrassing.

And the mystery hole in the ceiling turns out to be someones attempt to have a heating duct.  Not the least surprising.

So let’s gut the room and reconfigure it !

First to go bye bye is the shower..  it was not even attached !  just sitting there ?  WOW.   The label says “Fiat”  that figures.

So they put the shower stall up on a base so as to run the drain out to the laundry drain..  NO P trap ! Removed the copper mess and ran a temporary pex line for the toilet..  not wanting to give it up yet.

We took down all the paneling for the bathroom and the bedroom next door.  And removed the closet.  Yup no insulation behind the shower ?  HUH..   The outside walls were framed with 2×2’s and R6 insulation.  Ya the works for an Alberta winter… NOT!  Quite a bit of the 2×2 sill plate was black and rotten from wayward water..  Still using that toilet..

When the vanity was removed the drain pipes fell apart !  The funky vent pipe going across the ceiling was not glued ?  And it all fell down.  Fine by me.  All the framing was removed on the outside wall.. bedroom too.  The flooring was scraped up.  New windows were installed in the whole house including the two small ones one this side of the basement. It’s good to have a bare concrete wall.  And I had a bit of a leak under the bedroom window.. That needed to be remedied.  This is the way it sat for most of August and a bit of Sept.  Still using the toilet !

Time to get going again..

Looking like I got that crack fixed good..  So I guess the toilet needs to get outa the way.

Time to move some drains.  I rented a Hilti concrete drill and hammer..  Hard work but the 4 inches of floor gave way to my aggression’s. Reveling where the sink drain goes. And the 3 inch toilet drain goes straight to the clean-out under the plywood lid.    We decided to move the toilet a bit into the bedroom.  Just ten inches give a little more room when you step out of the shower.

Lots of trips outside with the concrete bits and dirt.  Time for new pipe..

I moved the toilet flange just 40 inches. And the shower now has a P trap.  The sink drain is also a vent there’s plenty of air.

I put sand around the pipes and a layer of gravel too …All packed .  Five bags of Quick Crete and there you have it.. Just leave it for a few days .

Ok framing time !

Well all that rippin things apart..  now it’s time to put it back properly. The bedroom closet used to intrude the bathroom space..  Now we are going the other way.. 10″ into the bedroom, making a bit more room for the toilet.

Treated lumber for the sill plates with gasket.  2×4 walls  for better insulation.

I have the shower sill plates down.  And a bit more framing a point where the old plumbing is in the way.  Look up..

That mess needs to be dealt with..  Sooner or later I was going to get to the point where all the water pipes would need to get cleaned up and become PEX pipes.  And I would need to do something about the upstairs toilet drain.

This intrudes into the shower big time..  It’s working fine.. all the drains in the house work fine..  But this needs re-working .  As well that 3/4 copper water pipe is in the way.  Time for some… PLUMBING !   Let’s start a new post..

Page 2 Pipes