Thursday, December 28, 2023

Shed pt 5 cost roundup...

The kit from Costco came with a flour, but I wanted to put it on piers and I wanted 10/12 foot pieces of lumber, so I bought that separate.  I put 9 piers under it, with 3 double 2x6 beams.  That seems to be working well so far.  We are trying an ice rink in front of it.  It hasn't been cold enough to freeze yet though.

We still need to paint it next spring.
  • Costco Kit: 2400
  • Deck flashing - 23.50
  • Screws, hook blades - 25
  • Concrete - 100 (tubes) + 135(concrete)+135(brackets)
  • Floor - 35+290+15+
  • Deck - 200+
  • Ramp - 30+21 
  • Roof Edging - 41.88
  • Shingles - 210
  • ~256.20 (tax)

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Snowblower Repair...


So I am not sure the exact comedy of errors that happened with fixing the snowblower, but it started out with it not starting.  So naturally a carburetor problem...  Nick and I took it apart and found that the needle valve was indeed covered in stuff.  We cleaned it off and it worked for a bit.

Then it must have stopped working again, because I am pretty sure we took it apart again...  Then after we put it back together it wouldn't start.  So my fallback is to order a new carburator.

We got it and I started putting the new one in, but I was having a problem getting the spacer to fit.  So I checked You Tube and figured out that the spacer went on the other side of the carb.  So we must have put it back together incorrectly that second time.

So I doubt we needed a new carb, but I put it in anyways and it ran right away so we are ready for winter now.  Lesson of the day is to double check how to put things back together...

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

New Washer and Dryer

 It took some doing, but we finally got a new Washer and Dryer installed.

They were delivered on the 28th, but the installers wouldn't move the old washer because we hadn't done a good enough job getting the water out, and it was so old that they didn't know how to empty it.

So we had to call to set up another time to have them install it.  That was supported to be Friday, but their truck broke down, so we had to reschedule again.  I heard Tuesday and figured we could make it.

Tuesday came and no call or delivery window, so I call them bright and early and they update me it is the following Tuesday.  That is no good so I am begging the guy what can you do, he can do Thursday, but eventually agrees to come over at lunch and install it himself if I can help with the heavy lifting!  Sure.

Important notes in dryer install, they ship with the neutral line attached to ground, you need to move that when installing the plug.

These are quite a bit bigger, which should be nice.  Black "Friday" sale made them $1496 for the set.  Then when I called they gave us back the $50 for hauling away the old washer, even though he did.  Then we returned the plug we didn't use and the dryer vent (we used our old one), so made back $60 there as well.  Not too bad.

The old washer dryer lasted almost 15 years and washed all our babies cloths.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Garage Door Springs

 It is that time again...

It was the main garage door again, almost exactly 7 years again.  Crazy.

The spring on the smaller door has never needed replacment (knock on wood...), though we use it less.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Shed pt 4

 My friend from work Jon offered to help me with the shingles on the shed.  I am very glad he offered and didn't resist too hard.  I had never put on shingles before and didn't realize how much work it is.  Once you get a rhythm going they go, but it still takes a while.

Also, the shed has a pretty steep roof, and having his longer ladder helped.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Bathroom pt 10

We came up to do some raking and to turn off the water.  I was able to grout the shower so the next time we come up we can seal and put in a door and should be able to shower again!

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Shed pt 3

I was working by floor lights Tuesday night, but by this afternoon I had the roof on and a tarp mostly covering it.


Sunday, October 15, 2023

Shed pt 2

I must have worked on the floor sometime during the week, because it is in.  I added some little blocks under the floor joints so the shed would sit higher then the deck on the front.  It was a good idea, but I still ended up trimming the bottom of the door so it would slide over the deck...  I didn't realize the door hung lower then the floor.

I made good progress and had the walls complete and the roof started on Sunday.


Monday, October 2, 2023

Oil cap goes pop?

On my way back from a volunteer event for Dakota County I pulled into the garage and smelled a terrible smell.  Like burning oil, and guess what it was.

The oil cap in my car was gone, I looked around and it had popped off and was fortunately sitting over on the right of the engine block.  However, it no longer would attach to the engine.  I ordered a replacement, and I could see that some little tabs had broken off, this riser piece that was added to this oil cap the year before my model.

Apparently, it was added so the oil wouldn't splash up and hit the cap I guess, but it introduced another point of failure I guess.


Sunday, September 24, 2023


We purchased a shed kit with our new costco membership, so we had to find a place to put it.  We cleared a spot, and put in some pier and beams.  This spot in the yard can get wet in the spring, so putting it off the ground seemed wise.  I also allowed for a small desk on the front for a place to sit and watch the kids ice skate.


Sunday, September 17, 2023

Wood Chipper

 Jen's Aunt and Uncle had given us stuff from their garage last year, one of those things was a wood chipper that didn't work.  I took the carb off and it was a mess, so I tried to clean it up, but there was gunk that wouldn't come off.  So I ordered a replacement and it came and worked, so now we have a wood chipper.

It is a bit undersized, but it did get through a lot of the stuff we cleared for our shed.

Monday, September 11, 2023

One more update on the Pool Pump

 Apparently it gets hot in there...

So we need to figure something else out.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Bathroom pt 9

We came up the previous week as well, but I didn't grab a picture.  Most of the tile is in now, I had pieces fall out on me, so I had to mix up a little thinset and re-apply.  Fan is in now too, that needed some work to get the hole right.


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Update on the Pool Pump...

Pool pump overheating issues.  I didn't realize how hot an electric motor gets.  The fan that was installed in the pump broke, Nick tried to glue it, but it didn't hold up. So he 3d printed one, then another (center hole was too big, tried to print an adapter, but that didn't work at all...), then another.  The issue is that they get too hot and deform.

His current design is pretty tight on the shaft.  I had to heat it up to get it on.  Maybe it will work, not sure.  It ran for 2 hours last night.  Time will tell.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Septic fun

 Jen and Nick and probably Maddie too, noticed that the toilet in the basement was slow to flush and there had been some water coming up from the drain in the basement.  I might have noticed that the alarm light on the septic had been on for some time as well, but busy you know...

Anyway, went and out and found this when I took the cover off.

So that ain't right...  Made some calls Thursday, and Friday morning Mike's Septic called me back and said they could have someone out in the evening.  Of course it was my work golf outing, but I said I could be there.  Maddie had to take a driveway shower, but luckily we have hot/cold water at the faucet in the garage.

Fortunately, they didn't arrive till 5pm, which worked well for my schedule.  Matt and Matt were very nice and were able to replace the pump and also fix a baffle on the outlet of the first tank.  Or course they charged me an arm and a leg for it.  Especially $500 to replace the baffle which was less than 5 minutes of work.  But no one wants to jump into a septic tank, I get it.

I talked with an older septic guy, who couldn't come out, Thursday night and he helped me verify the problem was with the pump and not the switch.  There is a plug on the back of the switch plug, if you plug that directly in it will run the pump and take the switch out the equation.  Unfortunately, the pump was triggering the breaker each time I plugged it in.

Good times...

Monday, August 14, 2023

Update on the Ice Maker...

 So about 4 months after we installed and had been using the Ice Maker it went out...  It wasn't pushing the ice out anymore.  Turns out the issue is pretty common, Nick took it apart and found this:

You can see the screw has broken on the cylinder...  That piece turns and pushed the slushy water through and up and out the holes at the top of the mechanism.

Here you can see the cooling camber and the cap with the holes that the ice comes out.

Fortunately, we were able to get a refund for the machine through Amazon, but it took awhile as I originally contacted the seller directly.  They offered a replacement unit, but it didn't have the water line input which I wanted.  So they sent me back to Amazon.

Once we had the refund, I order a very similar looking one, which we have been using since June 12th...  We will see if this one has a bit more life.

Pool Pump issues and fix!

 A couple weeks ago the pump on our pool went out.  From the symptoms, humming noise, I thought it might be the starting capacitor, so I looked at it and it was bulgy...  So I ordered some replacements and tried that.  No good.

Luckily out friends (thanks Klimpke's!) have a similar pump and didn't put their pool up this year so we were able to borrow theirs while we worked on this.  It is a bit smaller though, so we didn't want to run it too much.

After the capacitor didn't work I found a video where the bearings had gone bad and the guy was able to replace them.  So I put Nick on the task of taking it apart and I ordered the bearings 😊

We had to order a bearing puller as well, which worked on 1 side, but the other side was falling apart, so I ended up using the demel to get it off.  Then he was able to put it back together.  On the first try the plastic fan fell apart (it was already partially broken) so he had to take it back apart and use plastic cement to fix it.  Then put it back together, and Success!

So we saved probably $200, and kept it out of the landfill, win win!

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Bathroom pt 8

 More tiling this weekend, trying to figure out how to do the recess and cutting around the faucet.  Also, ran the water to the faucet so I could test that out.  Used the pex clamp.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Another Flat Tire!

We had a busy Monday planned, Jen was getting her braces on, everyone (but me) had dentist appointments.  It was 6:50 in the morning and as we pulled up the driveway we noticed the tire was flat.

Not sure when it happened or how even, we jumped in my car and went on our way.  When we got back in the afternoon and got the tire off Maddie found the leak.  Nothing obvious.

Luckily Toyota was able to patch it the next day and it has been OK for a week now.


Sunday, August 6, 2023

Bathroom pt 7

I was able to get the shower waterproofed and start tiling this weekend.  We have that nice accent tile, but it ended up being closer to the wall then the big tile, so I am not sure how that is going to turn out.  But I went with it.
Loving the tile spacers and levelers!


Sunday, July 30, 2023

Bathroom pt 6

 Progress continues, slow but steady...  Hard to get a lot done 2 days at a time, when your family enjoys your company as well 😁

I was able to get some drywall and durock up.  I used my left over thinset from filling in hole and tried to tuck point the cinderblock wall a bit as well.

Looks like the lights were installed as well.  I forgot to mention a spend a good chunk of time vanishing the ceiling as well, before the show pan went in.  I had a good respirator for that, and I am glad that I did, because it made the entire cabin stink for a day or 2 after!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Bathroom pt 5

 Another weekend some more progress.  I was able to get the hole drilled for the vent, install the sliding door, and get the shower pan installed (with the issues I mentioned in the last post).

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

A playset for Kit

My niece is coming to live at my Mom's cabin this fall.  My Mom found a playset on marketplace and recruited us to pick it up and install it at the cabin.  Our trailer handled it well and we were able to get it up and running in short order.


Sunday, July 16, 2023

Bathroom pt 4

 I was able to finish up most of the ceiling, and I put down self-leveling concrete in the shower pan.  However, self-leveling is a bit of a misnomer.  It looks really smooth and level, but it isn't 100% level there is probably at leave a 1/4 to 1/2 difference in some places...

I put some glue on the fins of the shower pan, but it didn't fix it entirely and the pan will squeak a bit here and there.  I may try to spray some foam under it, but it will probably not work well, since there are fins in the way...  If I could start over I would put down a bed of mortar, or make sure it was really level.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Bathroom pt 3

 As I was waiting for the concrete to dry, I started working on the ceiling.  Greg has a bunch of cedar he had planned to use for a sauna, but it worked really well as the ceiling in the bathroom as well.

I would end up regretting just putting the wood in there like that, as they were not easy to remove.  However, they did get the job done.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Bathroom pt 2

 I was eventually able to get the old plumbing out, I tried heat, that didn't work and probably wasn't too healthy...  The I used a reciprocating saw and cut off the trap, so I could use some drill bits and drill out the lead/oakum.  Eventually I was able to wiggle it out.

That is a lot of years of built up hair in the drain, amazing that it worked at all!

There is a rubber gasket that goes into the iron pipe, then this goes in and we start the looping.

I thought about putting the trap coming right out of the iron drain, but the guy at Ace said it would be best to have it right under the drain and it worked well like that.  Overall very happy with how it all turned out.  It seems to be draining well, and hopefully will be for a long time!