Best friend's house burned on Easter five years ago

Help Support House Repair Talk:

zannej

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The ex has really been mucking things up. She's a slob who never cleans up after herself. She's also upset the girl who was cleaning to the point the girl barely comes out of her room and hasn't been cleaning (she's also exhausted from being pregnant). Quite frankly, I don't blame her for not wanting to clean up after my friend's ex. The ex will get a drink out, take a few sips, set it down, forget about it, go get another drink, take a few sips, & repeat. She then has partially consumed drinks that she throws out. She will drink some of a bottle of water and rather than finish it later, she pours it out. She stopped taking her allergy meds so she has a lot of mucus and she spits it out on the carpet. When she spills something on the floor or knocks something on the floor, she doesn't clean/pick it up. She also doesn't put away leftovers or wash dishes after cooking. So between her being a slob, 2 other adults staying there (a male friend & the pregnant girl) and two kids (not counting the baby), the place is a mess. I think the 11-yr-old isn't as messy as my friend's ex. He's the pregnant girl's brother. His mother just dumped him over there and left him. He's been there since before Christmas. His sister is paying for all of his food with her food stamps & paying for anything he needs for school with her unemployment.

Friend is starting to lose vision in his right eye as well and he's terrified. The ex not wanting to let him go is causing him stress. She's convinced he's going to take her back and they will move into a different house & everything will be fine. But she's stopped taking her meds for her bipolar disorder and anxiety so she's likely to become violent again. The sooner he gets her out the better. She's got a job for now but we give her 3-weeks to a month before she blows it. She'll either quit or get fired.

Anyway, all that drama aside, here's the new Rev-A-Shelf I got for him. It was on sale.
 

zannej

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Friend got his new vanity that came with counter-top (with built in sink) and a mirror. It required an 8" widespread faucet so he got a new faucet.
newvanity&mirror.jpgnewvanitymarch3-2021.jpg
 

zannej

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My friend had to clean up his yard because of the mayor's attempt at extortion. It needed to be done though. Still needs some weeds cut in the back, but we did a little landscaping in the yard. He dug a drainage trench next to the sidewalk and filled it with pea gravel. Filled in some of the pot holes in the driveway, but 100lbs of pea gravel barely put a dent in one of them. We had a very nasty rainstorm yesterday but my friend reported that the new trench worked. His lawn did not flood like it usually does.
yardtrenchMar10-2021-1.jpgyardtrenchMar10-2021-2.jpgyardtrenchMar10-2021-3.jpgyardtrenchMar10-2021-4.jpg
He re-arranged his office again (and will have to do it once again since I got him another chair for the office-- his old one broke so it won't stay lifted and the seat back won't stay up).
officeMarch2021-1.jpgofficeMarch2021-2.jpgofficeMarch2021-3.jpg
That's a moving blanket on the wall over the Reflectix. It helped keep the room even warmer during the winter storm.

New vanity and mirror are working well in the bathroom. The cabinet from Facebook Marketplace was moved over. An extension showerhead thingy was added to the rainshower thing so it can be raised up more and my brother can fit under it.
bathroomMarch2021-1.jpg
bathroomMarch2021-2.jpgshowerheadMarch2021.jpg
 

Hal201

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It's sad to see this happen to your best friend...but still, great work tho on the renovations.:thumb:
 

zannej

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Friend got his grandfather's old dishwasher (since the grandfather's insurance is paying for a whole new kitchen after a tree fell on it-- I'm tempted to go over and take pictures).
It needs end panels and friend wants to put butcherblock countertop on it.
View attachment 26236
I believe it will need new insulation wrap because it doesn't appear to have any. From what I understand the underside of the countertop will need some sort of flashing tape to protect it from steam at the front of the dishwasher.

Friend also replaced some of the flooring pieces so it looks better. I need to get a better pic without the trash can in the way. LOL. I think maybe some of that peel & stick stainless steel vinyl might look ok on the front of the dishwasher.

Planning to put a microwave cabinet above the dishwasher-- high enough to allow for some small appliances and prep space but low enough to be easy to use. Friend and I are about the same height so what works for me should work for him. His tiny gf will just have to use the stepstool I gave them.
Trying to figure out the best way to finish this off. I need to plugin measurements to Sketchup.

Any suggestions for the framing/cabinet support for the countertop? Ana White used 3/4" plywood with some 1x2 as face trim, but plywood is still super expensive here. Buying a pre-made birch dishwasher end panel is cheaper. She used the scrap plywood for the back part of the "cabinet"- here's her photo:
1627773754527.png
Not sure if this is feasible in my friend's house because his walls aren't plumb. They lean back. And the plywood is probably a no-go. May end up having to get a storebought end panel (the oak ones from where we got the cabinets are out of stock but they are $30 when in stock) and use some scrap wood as well as some cheap 1x2s. I will have to see how birch looks when stained compared to the oak.

Lowes has a 4'x25'x1-1/4" Rubberwood butcherblock top for $99.99. I'm still hoping to find or make something cheaper but wood prices are still insanely high. Nothing on craigslist or marketplace in the area.
 

zannej

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Another update. My brain would not let me rest until I went over to take some measurements. It looks like the wall on the right is about 8'6" (or so- measuring tape wasn't long enough) from the range hood cabinet. The dishwasher is 24" wide and there is a 13.5" gap between the washing machine and the wall. That means we could put ~1.5" of spacers and have a 12" base cabinet. It's only about $61 for the base cabinet at surplus warehouse.

The plan for lower part is to put 12" base cabinet against the wall- perhaps with a little scrap wood/trim filler to cover gaps Maybe even some cove molding. We can put a bit of similar trim/filler the same height as the cabinet between the sink cabinet and the dishwasher. Dishwasher will get some new insulation wrap and maybe some peppermint oil to deter mice. Need to find some insulation that mice don't like. Any recommendations?

The butcherblock countertop may stick up a little above the other counter, but my friend said that is fine. He can seal the gap with clear caulk or even some sort of stainless steel trim (do they sell very thin stainless steel looking transition trim/edge trim or something?) I guess it depends on how much more the top sticks up. We're going to get a stainless steel vinyl sticker to put on the front of the dishwasher to hide the stains and make it match the rest of the kitchen.

I got the dimensions of the microwave cabinet: 30"W x 34.5"H x 18"D. His gf may have to use a stepstool to use it, but that will be her problem. There will be a decent amount of space beneath it for prep & the space where the microwave used to be will be more prep area. With the way the countertop hangs over the other cabinet, my friend should have about 12" of the butcherblock left over. It could be an additional cutting board or even a shelf somewhere. Maybe it can be a shelf in the corner where the microwave currently sits.

Since it would be awkward to mess with the microwave so close to the wall, it will be bumped over 3" to 4" and my friend wants to get a rev-a-shelf wall cabinet filler (one of those things that pulls out). I don't know if he realizes it doesn't come with the face. Not sure how difficult it would be to get or make a face with lumber prices the way they are. I suppose we could check my lumber supply and find something that would work. I still think $90 is too much for the Rev-a-Shelf thing. We could custom make one for cheaper using scrap lumber & some drawer glides. The $90 one is not as deep as the microwave cabinet so either there will be a gap behind it, or it will get bumped back.
 

zannej

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I went over with a longer measuring tape. My guess for the remaining distance was about right-- off by 1/4". So it's 8' 6-1/4". (So 102.25" inches). That means we can fit three 30" cabinets and two 6" fillers (he didn't want to go with a 12". Surplus place has some 30"x24" wall cabinets. Found a place called Imeca that has lower prices on the rev-a-shelf pullouts but shipping is $17 (and it is not combined). So shipping is doubled if you order 2. Anyway, they aren't exactly the right size. Only 30" high and the microwave cabinet is 34.5". I will have to measure from the top of the range cabinet to the bottom of the range hood to see what the height on that one is. I suppose worst case scenario, friend could buy one of the 30" ones and we could study it to make the taller one.

Alternatively, we could make one 30" one and one 34.5" one. Although, I should measure the height of the range hood and upper cabinet combined. I believe range hood is 7". Can't remember height of other cabinet. I think 18" or 12". If it's 18" then it will be about 25".

I studied the construction of the pictures I found of the wall filler pullout and it looks like it has one side-mount slide at the bottom and a center mount slide at the top. The support frame is shaped like a C bracket (obviously not curved). So there is a top horizontal piece with the drawer rail part. At the bottom it comes up like an L sideways to for the side mount rail. I believe this set up should work even for the 6" version, although I will have to see. A wooden drawer slide or some sort of guide can be added to the other side for more support (with the moving shelf part being notched/built around it). Even with lumber as high as it is, I should be able to get everything for this for less than $200.

Since I want adjustable shelves, I'm looking at options for how to do that. I saw some vertical shelf rails that can be set in to the wood in dado cuts. I can use clips that can go in to the grooves to adjust shelves. Would take about 4 of the rails (or a single rail long enough to be cut into 4 pieces). For the sides to hold spices in, I could have some wood strips on the outside edges with holes to attach some bungee cord. That will allow some flex to make it easier to get stuff in and out of the shelves.

I just got brain freeze...
 

zannej

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Found a picture of the microwave cabinet that will be moved from laundry room to the kitchen (will sand it & stain it first)
1628034928229.png
Friend's gf is happy about the microwave being up higher. I may have to get her a taller stepstool though.

I did some crappy not-to-scale sketches of the layout.
Current 30x24 + 12x30 + two 30x24s + 30x34.5
1628035191887.png
I made a rough collage of upper and lower (dishwasher compartment won't stick out that far)
1628035271891.png

So, that's 4 more cabinets (3 wall + 1 base) that need to be purchased as well as 2 end panels, pet proof screen, some 1x2s maybe and possibly spacer trim panels.
I'm going to staple/nail metal mesh/screen to the back of the dishwasher cabinet in an attempt to keep mice out. Middle cabinets are $109. Base cabinet is $61, 12" wall cabinet is $46. The end panels are $24 each.

Although, we could get plywood for the sides. I see some 24"x48" plywood for around $9. And some 24"x24" for around $6. Although, if we do the cutting right, we should have enough leftover off the 24"x48" piece for the back & top. Thin strips but better than nothing. Or we could still get the 2nd panel and leave some sort of cutout for screen to let heat out.
 

zannej

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I had to install new graphics drivers to get Sketchup to work.
1628073557659.png
It's only an approximation of the stuff though. Different stove, dishwasher, sink, faucet, microwave, dish rack. I wanted to get the general feel of it though.

I was too lazy to draw walls, but the full cabinet set in the kitchen looks like this: 1628073760435.png
After taking these screenshots I redid the older cabinets because they were a mess. Adjusted sizes, fixed countertop, added walls, etc. I'll get more screenshots later.
 

zannej

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My friend got enough $ to buy the butcherblock, a base cabinet, butcherblock sealant, and a dishwasher end panel. The butcherblock was 30% off (marked down to $119) and I got him an additional 20% off because it had some damage on one side. I spoke very politely to a manager who agreed to discount it.

The end panel was $30 but it has actual red oak on it. Base cabinet was $61.

Friend saw a sink he liked in the store. He wants to get rid of his shallow 2 basin sink and replace it with a deeper single basin sink. It's the same size (width and length) as his current sink but it's 9.5" deep and his current sink is 6" deep.

There was an unexpected problem. Since my friend didn't listen when I initially suggested we use my tablesaw to cut the formica counter, he was only able to cut through the counter part and not the backsplash. He'd left the backsplash long. He decided to cut it off so it wouldn't get in the way of the butcherblock. Saw kicked and split the formica (separating the backsplash from the counter). Instead of trying to glue and clamp it back, he cut off the part with the crack. This has caused the middle edge of the formica/particle board to sag as there is nothing under the edge to support it. I suggested putting a 2x4 underneath that sticks out enough that the edge of the butcherblock can also sit on it a bit. He decided to leave the butcherblock at 48" instead of trimming it (smart move IMO). Gives a larger cutting surface.

The butcherblock that was available was 1.75" thick. The countertop was 1" thick. So we will need some 1x2s (perhaps ripped down) to fun along the perimeter of the cabinet to raise the formica up to about the same height. I suggested putting the 2x4 in after the 1x2s and getting it to the same height as the 1x2s to prevent sagging.

Additionally, my friend wants to remove the curtain and window trim and put drywall (or waterproof cementboard) over the window. I suggested building a box to leave at least some small portion of natural light visible, but we'll see. He did that with the gaming room to put in an air conditioner.

My friend already put the base cabinet in the corner next to the dishwasher and loosely set the end panel in place (it needs to be trimmed down a little). I decided to stain the base cabinet and the trim. Even though trim will get ripped, I didn't want to have more drying time/waiting. I figured I can do touch-ups after it is cut. We'll probably grab some more lumber to frame out around the dishwasher (and have some rear support for the butcherblock). I got 2 coats of stain/paint on.

I got 1 coat of the sealant on the top and 3 of the edges of the butcherblock. We put foil tape on the underside where the steam from the dishwasher may rise up from the door. I will also poly the bottom, side and back of the butcherblock. There will be some heat barrier on top of the dishwasher underneath the butcherblock.

I will probably pick up more shims to get things to line up.

Picture time!

Photo my friend sent me of when he first set things in place (nothing was stained or coated)
butcherblockpreseal.jpg

Base cabinet after 1st coat I managed to only get one little spot on the wall since I couldn't find the painter's tape and it was tough working in that corner-- especially with that huge door trim. That wall paneling will eventually get painted some color.
newbasecab1stcoat.jpg

Butcherblock with 1st coat of sealant. The brown smudge on the floor was cocoa powder that had been there for a week. I got annoyed with it so I cleaned it up.
butcherblock1stcoat.jpg

Wider shot with the trim, base cabinet and some of the butcherblock after their 1st coats. (I'm going to need to clean up those older cabinets and do a 2nd coat of poly).
butcherblock&base1stcoat.jpg

The butcherblock loosely in place with 1st coat of sealant. Base cabinet and trim had 2nd coat of stain at this point. (I left the drawer open while the face boards were drying)
butcherblock1stcoat2.jpg

Another shot of the butcherblock, base cabinet, and end panel trim. The visible edge on the side of the butcherblock was on the floor so I didn't get to seal it yet.
butcherblock1st&base2ndcoat3.jpgbutcherblock1st&base2ndcoat4.jpg

Sadly, my friend didn't use a straight edge to help him line up his cut and he used a jigsaw so the cut on the formica end is jagged. We will need to figure out how to bridge this gap somehow once the formica is raised up to the same level.
butcherblockgap1.jpg

Any suggestions? I'm thinking a very low profile t-molding or something... Something that will sit over the top but not stick up too much that will hide the jagged edge...
 

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