HOME  |  June 2007

Projects at Tara's House - June 2007

So here we are in Texas - a vacation from my pool project.  There are "one or two" things that need fixin' though.  We make a list of projects, the materials we need, and the tools we need (yup, an excuse to shop at Harbor Freight Tools).  And, of course, Bonnie starts trying to tame the yard.
Electrical things first.  Buy a new front porch light and begin to install it.  When the old fixture is removed, I find that there has been a friend in the electrical box helping to reduce the population of bugs attracted by the light.  Can you see the size of the belly on that guy?  He stayed right there until I gave him a push so that I could install the new fixture.
The garage door opener needed to be replaced.  It looked fairly simple when we found a similar unit at Sears.  But because the garage ceiling is low, there was not enough clearance for the standard fittings, and the old ones didn't match.  So we did some improvising (or McGivering, as Tara calls it). 
The condensation from the air conditioner (an attic unit) drips on the driveway at the middle of the garage door and is leaving rust stains.  Install an extension to the drain so that the water goes to the side of the house.  But wait, why would they route the condensation line to such a "bad" location?  To get your attention, of course!  This is the drain from the secondary pan, which means that the primary drain (which goes to the regular house drains) has failed (rusted through).  And it wouldn't have been too much longer before the secondary pan rusted through and dumped water onto the downstairs ceilings.  A new air conditioner was needed (fortunately Tara had purchased a fairly good home warranty).  And while we were in the air conditioner area, I installed some new parts into a door handle so that the access door would remain latched - sorry, no photo.
Apparently the house shifted slightly after the french doors to the patio were installed, so the latches were no longer aligned - translation - Tara couldm't lock her patio door.  A temporary fix (yeah, another McGiver) was to a a new strike plate to engage the dead bolt, but the real fix is that the door frame has to be realigned - not a Dad job.
There has to be at least one "gimme" job, right?  So when Tara needed something to refinish the top of the end table, we found a ceramic tile that was a near perfect size match - lucky.
The enamel in the sink in the guest bathroom had a number of large chips.  Some paint-on enamel repair goop and some dim lighting and some selective eyesight - looks pretty good.
Replace the ceiling fan.  The wiring is in place.  There is already a fan mounted there.  What could be easier?   HA!  The reason that the fan unit had vibrated to it's self destruction is that it was mounted to a nailed-in electrical box - and the nails were coming loose - surprise, surprise.  So we had to devise (OK, McGiver) a new fan mount and somewhat reroute the wiring so tht we could use screws to firmly attach the new fan to a rafter.

Wow, another "gimme".  Readjust the gate hinges to compensate for the lean in the post.  And in this corner, you can see the typical "taming" of bushes that Bonnie needed to employ.

Ans since there was some "spare time", the box of chain saw parts was assembled into a working tool.

Give Bonnie a pair of loping shears and stand back.  Branches will be a flyin'.
A couple of Tara's fruit trees were leaning all the way to the ground (which would let the fruit rot), so I built some crutches for the heavy branches.
The garage doors had some large gaps between the dors and the frame, so we added thick weather striping to keep some of the breeze out.
While all of the above fun was going on, Tara repaired her screen door and put some new tack strip on the lower screen.
Since I took pictures of most of the projects, and I have a picture of this light fixture, I must have done something to either the fixture or the wiring.  New fixture?  Perhaps.
High on the list had been the request to sharpen the kitchen knives.  We bought the diamond hones (Harbor Freight, of course) to do the heavy removal, and then used the steel to finish the edges. 
The upstairs office closet door were off track and the fitting were misadjusted (is gullywampus a word?).  A fairly quick fix.
Tara had purchased a very sturdy metal bookcase at a garage sale, but had to disassemble it to get it home.  'Twas a bit of a challenge to reassemble since some nuts had been stripped (original assembly) and only wanted to turn-in-place, not loosen.  But more force always wins.

We have the happy homeowner (possibly an oxymoron) smiling and probably mentally preparing for the next visit.

But for mom and dad, it really was a fun visit.