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...
 

zannej

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He put one of those things that goes between a stove and counter over the gap but it doesn't cover all of the way. Need something longer. I wish they did the stainless steel ones longer, but for now it works. Butcherblock is still sitting loosely. He removed the side window trim and moved the microwave cabinet from the laundry room to the kitchen and set the microwave on it. He moved the wires from a receptacle covered by a base cabinet up and installed a new receptacle. He wants to get a surge protector/power strip to stick to the wall and plug in appliances. He also installed a slim LED undercabinet light on the microwave cabinet.
microwavecabinkunfin1.jpg
 

Eddie_T

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I like the paint color! For a gap filler how about a strip of brushed aluminum with tab strips epoxied to the bottom?
 
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zannej

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Thanks, Eddie. It's supposed to be a stain but it just refused to soak in to the wood properly. Kept leaving yellow undertones that didn't look good. Its red oak so I should have pickled it first to get a more ashen color. But the stain has a blue tint. After discussing it with my friend, he said to just do it like paint.

I was thinking of this: https://www.amazon.com/Edge-Supply-Stainless-Thickness-Edgebanding/dp/B0953ZGJTJ/ with painting sticks glued to make a T on the underside. I've seen there is stainless steel colored caulk for the ogee part of the formica if a gap still looks bad.

Another pic sent by friend's gf (she's only 5' so it's from a lower perspective):
bb&mwavecabunfin.jpg

I'm debating whether the insides of the shelf should be painted or just covered with poly. If I do poly then I will have to tape off the insides to keep stain from leaking in. Might be easier to just stain inside. I'm concerned it might be too dark. I suppose worst case I could try to find some metallic silver paint for the insides for more light reflection. I'll have to see what my friend thinks. His gf is apparently loving it thus far.
 

zannej

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I painted the microwave cabinet today. My friend is trying to send the pics but the internet isn't working properly. I forgot that I will have to paint more of the side of the microwave cabinet since it is 18" deep vs 12" deep of the other cabinets and it's at least 4.5" taller so I will have to hit the bottom. I might see about doing that tomorrow when I go to pick up mail.

This is a sketchup version of the current look (well, side of the cabinet isn't painted, but you get the idea). I left the insides of the opening unpainted. Friend wants to leave them natural so I will hit them with poly.
sketchupbbcabssept-2.png

This is the plan:
sketchupbbcabsplan2.pngsketchupbbcabsplan3.png
 

Eddie_T

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@zannej Just another wild thought, how about using the colored caulk that is sold for use with formica and granite to fill cracks. If you do so stuff with paper towels or such to fill most of the crack so as not to require so much caulk.
 

zannej

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I tried ordering the color-match caulk for the formica but it was out-of-stock and I've never been able to get it. Paper towels would not work. Mice would get them for sure. Old house that isn't sealed up properly so it has mice. He tried bringing a cat in to get them but they were in places she couldn't get to.

I went over and painted the side of the cabinet while my friend was asleep this morning. No pics since I still can't find my phone.
 

Eddie_T

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@zannej If the cracks are big enough for mice to get in you need to glue a spacer on the edge of the butcher block. Then a piece of butyl tape could be used as a gasket seal it to the formica countertop.
 

zannej

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Eddie, the mice can get in from behind the base cabinets. Also, one of the base cabinets is made of particle board so mice can easily chew through it. We are trying to figure out solutions for it. Apparently the drain came disconnected and dumped water down under the cabinet and messed it up so he might need to replace it though. We'll have to see if it can be repaired. I think I may have found some solutions for the gap though. At least I hope.
 

Flyover

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Holy cow y'all have been busy over here.

Zannej, that's really impressive work. My only suggestion is to not angle the fridge like that, you lose all the space behind it. My wife used to be into angling furniture in the corners of rooms and it always drove me nuts. It creates this triangular cavity back there where you can't clean, you can't store or access anything, it's just wasted space.

PS. Also, I'm not sure what's up with the aluminum stuff over the windows? The UV from sunlight will help keep the kitchen clean and reduce odors.
 

zannej

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Thanks, Eddie.
The fridge is pulled out enough that people can get behind it. when it was sitting straight one of the doors couldn't open fully-- would keep hitting a wall. Tried it on both walls and still not quite enough room so my friend settled for having it at an angle. He stores some stuff behind the fridge that he can grab-- like brooms). We may play around with moving it again though.

The new microwave is too deep to fully fit in the cabinet so it sticks out a little, but my friend is fine with that. It apparently does air frying and convection. Old microwave stopped working. I think it was a cheap Mainstays microwave. New one is something like Galanz or Galant.

The Reflectix was put over the windows in anticipation of the winter storm earlier this year. The window is huge and not sealed well. It leaks in cold/hot air. The kitchen was getting extremely cold during winter & we knew the storm was coming so I got Reflectix and moving blankets. He put the moving blankets on the walls in his office (which he plans to turn in to his son's bedroom eventually) and put Reflectix over the entire window.

The plan is to eventually add some studs inside the window frame, put in some drywall, put wall cabinets on the upper half, but make a box/frame to have a small opening to allow natural light in. Replacing the whole window is not an option-- far too expensive given the size of that window and the outside of the house would have to be altered quite a bit to add a smaller window in that space. Maybe eventually it could be done, but it's not in near-future plans. Although, when I get my old windows removed we might be able to give him one or two of them to put in that place and figure out how to cover where the big window sits and put on some sort of siding.

Current wall cabinet plan may have to be revised based on price and availability of the cabinets. Prices went up on some of them.

The plan is to have a single upper 12"x30" cabinet ($46 + tax) and two 30"x24" cabinets for $109 ea (problem is, we'd have to go to Lake Charles to get them as they are not in stock at the local place).

Alternatively, he could get 30"x18" cabinets for $78 ea plus the 12"x30 cabinet. (But they are shorter than he wanted to go for cabinets)

He could ditch the 12"x30" and get two 36"x24" ($116 ea + tax).

If he shortens his over-the-sink dish rack he could get the 12"x30 plus two 30"x30" ($79 ea + tax).

If he got two 36"x30 it would be $87ea + tax.

Shortening the dish rack may be a pain though. Wish I knew why the 36x24 was more expensive than 36x30.
 

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