Greg MacLellan

August 29, 2009

Plumbing fixtures installed

Filed under: Renovations — groogs @ 8:18 pm

In the laundry room, I used some ready-to-assemble cabinets from Home Depot, and some off-the-shelf laminate counter top from Rona that I had them cut at the store.

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The sink came with a template, so I traced that onto the countertop with a sharpie, use a hole saw on the edge to start it off, and then cut out the shape with a jigsaw.

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imgp3741 Almost constantly, the box stores have different promotions going on (eg, I bought the cabinets during a 10% off all kitchen cabinets sale), and I’ve tried to take advantage of these as much as I can. I went to get a sink during one such event, but it was out of stock, and I was at the point I actually needed one, so I ended up buying a much more expensive 10″ deep sink (most are 7″), but in hindsight this is a much better sink to use for the laundry room so I’m actually glad it worked out this way.

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imgp4121While doing the final hookups, I was again reminded why I like PEX so much. It took me maybe a bit more thna 5 minutes to crimp on all the valves, and probably 45 minutes driving time for the $8 tool rental (ok that slightly annoys me, but it likely would have taken longer to it with copper, especially when you factor in draining basically the entire house, which is unnecessary with PEX). All the vales are PEX 1/4 turn stainless ball vales, except the toilet which is a more traditional valve which looks a bit nicer.

imgp4115 On the laundry room, it’s probably worth showing the in-wall washing machine hookup, which worked out quite nicely. Now that I have the flooring in, I replaced the old rubber hoses with some stainless braided hoses. You can see an old photo with the plumbing exposed here.

I bought everything for the bathroom on sale almost a year ago, and have been storing it in the crawlspace since then. As it turns out I’ve seen the cabinet on sale since, but it was still more expensive than what I paid. The toilet is a dual-flush, and otherwise your typical round toilet. imgp4108

Having the small cabinet (24″ x 12″) works well – the sink is large enough, but with the cabinet itself being smaller, it gives a bit more floor space, and makes the room feel a bit bigger. Since the bathroom is only 5×5′, this is important. I should also mention that Jocelyn has helped with the bathroom a lot: picking out and installing the toilet paper roll, mirror, and toilet seat.

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Check out an old post on doing the bathroom rough-in for details of all the plumbing.

August 27, 2009

Installing Casing

Filed under: Renovations,Reviews — groogs @ 8:00 pm

imgp4068 Lately, I’ve spent a lot of boring time painting (though Jocelyn has helped me a lot with painting), cutting, installing, and wood filling trim (and still have some more to go). I’ve been coming to the conclusion that I am not a fan of finishing work.

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imgp4064 I’ve been borrowing Jocelyn’s dad’s mitre saw almost since I started this project, but I’ve used it so much that I decided it was time to buy my own. After looking at several, I settled on a Craftsman 10″ sliding compound mitre saw. There were three of these that almost looked identical, but differed in price by about $130. The people at Sears could not tell me the difference, other than one, which was ~$250 CDN, has arms that extend out from the base, so that’s what I ended up buying. So far, I’ve been quite happy with it and would recommend it without hesitation. The laser is pretty accurate, and the positive miter stops make doing the different angles for trim very easy.

Update: Part 2 – Finishing baseboard.

August 25, 2009

Laminate Flooring

Filed under: Renovations — groogs @ 11:55 pm

imgp3716 I put laminate flooring in the laundry and bathrooms, because it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain. Though I’ve never installed it before, it’s pretty straight-forward (and as such, I didn’t take very many pictures, I’m realizing now).

imgp3731 I put a basic foam underlay in first. Even though this is a basement, I already have a sub-floor that acts as a vapour/moisture-barrier, so I didn’t need the fancier (and more expensive) underlay that also does those jobs. If you are installing laminate floor directly on the slab, there are some neat products out there.

I started on one side of the room, and used a compound miter saw to cut the boards to length. With only a 10″ non-sliding saw, I could only cut about 75% of the way through a board, and then had to turn it around to make the rest of the cut, but this was not a big deal at all. I used a table saw I’m borrowing from a friend to cut the final pieces length-wise on the opposite wall from where I started.

imgp4130 For the closet in the bathroom, I used an 8mm tile edge strip. This gives a nice metal edge, which just slightly overlaps the laminate and protects the edge of the laminate.


imgp4126 The laminate ended about halfway through the laundry room closet door, which wasn’t quite enough. I only needed another inch or so, which wouldn’t have been very strong with laminate. I used a special transition strip to end it, which matches almost perfectly, and made up the extra distance.

For the transition from the laundry room and bathrooms to the rest of the basement (which will be carpet) I’ll likely be using a vinyl strip that snaps into a metal track attached to the floor (I can’t remember the name, but it’s very common). The strips have metal teeth that the carpet attaches to, and don’t go underneath the laminate at all, so I’ll install them later with the carpet, when I know what color it will be.

imgp3729 There is a floor drain in the laundry room, which I wanted to provide access to. I used a 3″ holesaw and some careful measurements to cut a hole for it, and right now I’m just using a standard floor drain cover. It doesn’t look bad, but I’d have no problems using something else for the cover if I can find something that would work.

imgp3727 It’s definitely starting to look closed to finished now.

August 11, 2009

Heating Vents

Filed under: Renovations — groogs @ 8:10 pm

I used circular vents for the ceilings, simply because I thought they were nicer looking than the square floor-style vents mounted upside down. There are two 5″ vents in the main room, one 5″ vent in the laundry room, and a smaller 3″ vent in the bathroom. imgp3698 For all but the bathroom, I just used the previously existing vent lines, but cut them shorter and used 5″ flexible duct to connect them to the vent in the ceiling tiles. This made it easier to hook up, and possible to move the tiles later without having to disconnect everything.

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You can see the completed vents in yesterday’s post.

Since the bathroom didn’t exist as a separate room before I started, I had to add a new vent line for it. I thought this was necessary, just because of the way I split up the rooms – the only remotely close vent to the bathroom is around the corner in the laundry room, and if the door is closed then there is nothing.

The main ducts run just outside the bathroom door, so it was relatively easy to add a new line for the bathroom. I just added a 4″ collar into the side of the duct, and then used a reducer and flexible 3″ vent tube to bring it into the bathroom. I’m using relatively rigid pipe for this, not the thin flimsy stuff you’d find on the back of a dryer. The below pictures are older, obviously, and are from in the bathroom, looking out at the top of the doorway.

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August 10, 2009

Paint, Ceiling, Lights

Filed under: Renovations — groogs @ 9:10 pm

imgp3703 Continuing to move along, with painting complete, suspended ceiling finished, and lights installed. Still need to make a couple touchups on paint in some spots where the tape pulled it off, and a couple dings I made moving things around. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, the main area is painted dark grayish-brown (though it took Joce a good week or two to acknowledge it even had brown in it, to me that was the first color I saw..), the laundry and bathrooms are a light gray.

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imgp3701 Here you can see the bathroom ceiling, with the completed bathroom vent visible. The light in here is a vanity light on the wall, I don’t think it was mounted yet when I took this picture.

imgp3717 I used low-profile “circ-line” fluorescent fixtures in the laundry room. These fixtures take two bulbs each (a 32W and a 22W) but I just used the one 32W in both which provides plenty of light. They’re very nice, only extending a couple inches down.

For the main area, I have 3 independent sets of lights: 4 wall sconces (dimmable); 8 halogen pot lights (dimmable); and 1 halogen pot light mounted for a dart board, controlled by a switch on the wall next to it. Since one of the major uses of this room is a home theater, that was my main concern with lighting. I initially spent a lot of time researching dimmable CFL and LED technology, only to come to the conclusion that right now, even if I were to spend a ton of money (eg, even more than I would paying for electricity for these bulbs for a few years), it simply wouldn’t be as good as halogen/incandescent for dimming and warmth/color.

Mounting the pot lights was a bit of a challenge – I spent a couple hours trying to figure out the best number of pots and layout, which would provide adequate light when needed, but also physically fit the lights (eg, not have vents/joists in the way). Ultimately, I had to cut out notches in a couple joists to make it work. I used some reflective tape to try and reduce some heat, not sure how well it will work yet. I may ultimately end up cutting another inch or two out.

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