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Follow My Perpetual Remodeling Syndrome

All the Fun of Home Ownership in Suburbia. Remodeling, Lighting, Flooring, and More

© 2009 by all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission. Author’s Google profile

Rain Gutter Spill Over

A rain gutter spill-over

This article was updated on 06/30/20.

A while ago, I had a gig as a contract blogger for AOL. Remember them? They downsized our web niche representation; so sad, too bad. While there, I wrote a longer feature weekly called Perpetual Remodeling Syndrome™. This article gives you an idea of what it went like.

Bathroom Remodeling Sounds Like a Good Start

First a bit of background; this bath underwent a flood when the braided hot water supply line to the sink burst, flooding and steaming the room. The rest of the house flooded as well. Not a good day. Not at all.

OK, I’ve already done most of the work in the bathroom remodeling project, but there’s still a bit to do. I finished cutting and installing the baseboard.

Click the pictures to see a larger version. These are deliberately smaller to keep the page download speed reasonable.

Bathroom Baseboard and Lying Scale This is a view of the back wall and our body fat/weight scale. On the wall you can see the results of using my homemade knockdown texture tool.

Bathroom Baseboard Corner View This view is of one of the corners. The framing was done well; the 45 degree miters worked with no fine-tuning.

All of this is vinyl base rather than wood. It costs a bit more, but works well in wet bathrooms. It's also very easy to work with and has none of the flaws found on wood trim and molding (cupping, warping, splintering, etc.). Next we’ll take a look at how I handled the door.

Door Trim with Corner Blocks

Corner Block Door Casing This shot shows the door trim using corner blocks rather than cutting a miter using a compound miter saw. This style hearkens back to older days when wood trim was a bit more ornate (for those who could afford it that is).

You can buy the entire door trim kit from Home Depot for about 20 bucks. All you need is about 15 minutes and a miter box and back saw for straight 90 degree cuts.

What you see here (click pic for a larger one) is a conventional rosette cornerblock coupled with decorative casing. You might hear these blocks also called case or plinth blocks. Mine looks as if it’s not quite plumb and level, but that’s just the angle of the pic. Honest.

Corner Block Door Casing This is a larger view of the door. Mind that the color is wrong; the CFLs over the sink did funny things to my digital camera.

Check out the door handle I installed. It cost about 3 times as much ($26) as the boring contractor-grade, boring passage handles at Home Depot. You might notice that I didn’t paint the portion of the hinges sticking into the bathroom. They’re still white from a previous remodel. Up close they don’t look good.

I’m planning to chip them and paint them the same color as the handle, which is best described as brushed pewter in my opinion. Nex’t we’ll look at what I’m going to do to the overhead fluorescent light fixture in the kitchen to almost double the light output for about a Jackson.

Beefing Up Fluorescent Lighting Output

Bathroom Baseboard Corner View This is the fluorescent light fixture in our kitchen. The previous owner installed it by recessing a box and installing drywall. He then mounted two 4’ light fixtures and wired them in series.

Great idea, better than a simple 2’ X 4’ fixture because of the way he trimmed it out to match the kitchen cabinets and crown molding. Unfortunately, when he sprayed the stain finish on the wood trim, he got it all over the sheetrock as well. As we know, dark colors don’t reflect.A

lso, the luminescent lenses he put in were, well, butt-ugly.So as you can see, I painted the interior of the box a Behr high gloss white paint.

Bathroom Baseboard Corner View After two coats of paint had dried, I substituted the tired, old lens panels with white eggcrate. I flipped on the lights and WOW! I’m estimating that the light output increased about 40% due to the combined effect of reflection off the high gloss paint and the see-through aspect of the eggcrate.

Total price of the job? About $10 for the paint and $10 for the 4’ X 8’ panel. More light with no increase in my utility bill. Can’t beat it with a stick. I just cut the panel in half with straight-cut tin snips.

Radiant Barrier Foil and More Attic Insulation

Radiant Barrier Foil, Paint, and Insulation I took about four days to complete this radiant barrier foil installation project, but then again, I only worked about three hours every morning, before the attic heated up too much. (Click the link to read lessons learned and more.)

The foil I used is an Energy Star product, so it as well as the new insulation satisfy the requirements for an energy tax credit. I can already see the difference in the electricity bill. I’m just waiting to compare my Kw usage with last year’s.

Another Home Improvement — Recessed Medicine Cabinet

Building and installing this recessed medicine cabinet was the last part of the jigsaw puzzle that was the bathroom remodel after the great flood. Sure, there are other things I can do and will when I get time, but I hereby declare functionality complete. I'm using Plexiglas for the shelves so that I can get a better strength to thickness ratio (and visibility) than with wood.

Medicine Cabinet Rough Opening Check out my recessed medicine cabinet plans if you have a desire to build one or even a bit of woodworker curiosity. Note that since this is a custom bathroom fixture, it was a design-on-the-fly. But I kept good notes on the design and steps for my readers.

So, the exact dimensions and fine details of yours will be different, but these are the steps. What are you waiting for? All you need is a desire and some woodworking tools.

Stay tuned for my next adventure in the Perpetual Remodeling Project!

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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

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