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zannej

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
193
I'm zanne & I'm diysite-aholic. I live in the deep south on a 30+ acre rural property in the woods. It used to be a farm but has fallen in to disrepair. I live with my disabled widowed mother and my little brother (who just turned 40). I'm a full-time caregiver for my mother. We have 2 cows, 2 dogs, and 16 cats. Our former tenants made a mess of the place & there were things that weren't done right when the house was first built so we've slowly been trying to fix things.

There are 3 bedrooms (two with ensuites) and 3 bathrooms but only 1 bathroom is functioning. I'm still working on repairing my ensuite's floor so I can install a toilet and then put in a wall set for my shower & update from the 2 handle system to single lever. My mother's ensuite (the fugly green room) needs to be updated to be ADA compatible so we are working on that. The avocado green one-piece showertub needs to be gutted, it needs new paint, new floor, and some grab bars. We are replacing the toilet with a taller one soon (a Toto Eco Drake). Right now the closet flange is broken & needs to be replaced but the plumber won't return my calls (there are only 2 licensed plumbers in the area but only 1 will come out to my house).

The biggest project is the bathroom & laundry room reno. We need to tear down some non-loadbearing walls, repair floors, move plumbing, and swap the laundry room with the bathroom.

I am only slightly handy but I'm not very strong & not very coordinated. I used to help my late father with projects. Another project is fixing up his workshop (which is a separate building). I am hoping to learn more and get more confident with power tools (and figure out what the hell the tools in the workshop are and how to use them). I have health issues that make it difficult to do things, but I'm trying to be more productive.

I'm a massive procrastinator & my projects have been put off for years, but I'm trying to motivate myself to get things done. I've also been helping my best friend (who has the worst luck of anyone I've ever met) with fixing up his current house (I helped him fix up his old house before it burned). I learned how to install vinyl plank, helped him install cabinets, planned out his plumbing (making sure he used the right fittings), & painted his cabinets. Next up is helping him move his toilet & patch his floor, install metal roof (if I can manage any assistance), and installing a new shower-tub combo. I have a fascination with plumbing-- mostly the DWV side as I've had to fix a lot of things at my house by myself.

I love looking at pictures of things and I'm better at figuring out things from pictures than from words. I also babble a lot (gee, could you tell?)
TL: DR? Hi! I'm chatty. :p

Thanks to Havasu for sending me the link to this site. I hang out on a few of the forums he admins at.
 

Caribou

Time traveler
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
4,109
Welcome from Alaska. You might find a lot of how to info on youtube. There are places that deal in secondhand building materials. If you can find a place near you you might be able to get a fair price on building materials. The recycle centre at my local dump has free paint available, as well as other stuff.
 

zannej

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Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
193
Thanks Caribou!
My local dump doesn't have a recycling center and is only open for a couple hours about 3 days a week. LOL. I'm in the middle of a No Man's Land in terms of contractors and supplies. There used to be a Habitat For Humanity ReStore an hour away but it shut down.
I don't know of any recycling centers in my entire Parish. We do get military discount at Lowes, HomeDepot, and Surplus Warehouse an hour away though. We live outside a small town that is an hour away from the nearest mall. The town we go to for major shopping & stuff is small considered to places in larger states. They call it a city here even though it's a town.
I forgot to mention that I've traveled a bit and spent almost a decade overseas in southeast Asia. I'm not used to the colder weather back stateside still. I couldn't imagine living in Alaska. My father went there for some of his Army training back in the 60s. He joked that it was so cold the flames on the campfires froze.

As a weird aside, I like to visit Ana White's website & watch her youtube videos & I believe she lives in Alaska.
 

Sentry18

Hired Gun
Staff member
Moderator
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
15,417
Location
US of A
Welcome from a call center in India! Err I mean West Carolina or another popular American state. Would you believe Canada? Regardless welcome to the forum!
 

SheepDog

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
4,347
Location
SE Washington State
Welcome from the SE corner of Washington state.
Plumbers dislike renovations and repairs because they always end up having to fix the things that don't meet codes.
If you have an interest in it you should get some books and study it a bit. You can save yourself thousands of dollars doing it yourself and end up with a better system than you will get from a professional.
I have redone a couple of bathrooms and a kitchen, including the plumbing and had to install stand pipes that were missing and match drains between modern PVC and the original cast iron drains.
As long as you study the process you can be very successful with it.
 

viking

I know a lot of things, but master very few
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
560
Location
S.W. Oregon
Hello and welcome from S.W. Oregon, seems like most of the things in our home are ongoing and sometimes I do get flack for that, I have to clean the grease film from the kitchen cabinets so I can install the door and drawer handles ( had the handles for about 5 years), then there is the trim I need to install on the backsplash and then there's the bathtub cold water valve that gave up, with all the research I've done, the company no longer makes replacement parts and so I'll be tearing down the tub surround and green board to install a new Delta one handle valve system. I really try to install the best products I can get a hold of but doesn't always pan out. Anyway, just know that you're not alone on things that seem impossible to finish and not to complain but I don't get gold stars in my completion book for getting things done, bet I'm not the only one on that.
 

zannej

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
193
Thanks for the welcomes!
My sister lives in New Mexico & we sometimes visit her. She just got a new house & first thing I did was start inspecting the visible plumbing to see if it was done properly. I carry a measuring tape with me & measure stuff all the time. When we were thinking of moving, I was pulling out the measuring tape to make sure the toilet center was the proper distance from the walls-- found a couple where they weren't far enough.

A little more info: My road isn't paved, we don't get USPS deliver, no trash pickup. We're on a well and septic tank. We can't get DSL, cable, or even dialup. We do have a crappy landline as we can't get much cellular signal out here. Tried all sorts of signal boosters, amplifiers, and antennas but nothing has worked. We get satellite internet where they charge you through the nose for a small amount of data, it goes out when it rains, & the latency is high. It can be a pain, but I'd rather sacrifice things like that than have to be close to other people. I have some good neighbors, but my nearest ones are scumbag criminals. We can't even see our neighbors from our yard. There is trash pickup about a mile down the road but the criminal neighbors kept stealing our trash cans (stole 11 of the large sturdy plastic ones that they don't make any more). We tried painting our name on it & they just sprayed over it to cover it up & took them anyway, so we finally stopped taking trash out there and burn it instead.

Sheepdog, the plumbers around here don't like to do stuff right. I saw the work of the licensed plumber my best friend's grandfather hired (the plumber who won't come out to my house) & it was a mess. He didn't slope the pipes, he left them slightly above ground instead of burying them, and he slapped an AAV on a pipe OUTSIDE that was serving a washing machine standpipe. All he had to do was continue the pipe up the wall and around the eaves and up above the roof level but noooo. AAVs weren't even allowed by this state's plumbing code at the time he did it. Not a single fixture in my house is properly vented. They tried in a few places but they royally screwed it up. My old plumber (who has since passed away) came in to try to fix stuff but wasn't able to do much. He was the plumber for the house for over 50 years & he said that it used to have vents but someone pulled them out. He did what I think was an attempt at circuit venting for the fixtures. Last time he came out before he passed away, he could barely stand and was going blind. He was a very sweet man who liked us & asked his son-in-law/assistant to look out for us because when my mother saw a check she gave him wasn't cashed, she asked him about it and he'd lost it so she voided the old one and wrote him a new check. He always remembered that & appreciated it. His son is our current plumber and he's not as good at the job & is a bit on the rude side. He was mad we didn't offer him coffee when our water wasn't working so we couldn't make coffee. I saved $160 a pop by learning to snake the cleanout to the septic tank myself. I've been studying the plumbing code and badgering the people on the plumbingforum for a few years to get more info.

Viking, I hope things work out for you in finding parts. I'm going with the Delta Multichoice valve and the Lahara trim kit. It has two levers coming out of the same hole. One adjusts temperature and the other adjusts pressure. For my mother's bathroom I'm installing the Moen Kingsley trim. I think I'll go with the Delta valve for the guest bathroom as well. I'm hoping to see if any of the tub plumbing from my mother's bathroom can be re-used for the shower plumbing in the guest bathroom and vice versa. To give an idea of what a colossal procrastinator I am: I have boxes that were packed up in 1992 that have not been unpacked and my ensuite renovation started in 2008 (which was when the septic tank backed up, blew the wax seals on the toilets, flooded the bathrooms, etc). I've had a Toto Drake CST744SG sitting in boxes (tank & bowl separate) for all that time. My attempt to level the floor with a mix went horribly wrong so I've been trying to fix it gradually. I really need to work on that soon.
 

viking

I know a lot of things, but master very few
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
560
Location
S.W. Oregon
Don't feel bad, it's tough to get things done when you're already going 7 ways, we still have boxes around that haven't been opened, other than to see what's in them, since the 1980's, you're not alone. The one thing we did right is to build our home, mostly by ourselves, very little outside help. All our septic lines have perfect fall lines as does our water line from the spring source, about 500'+ from the cistern that's at the top of our property, I didn't want any pooling that might lead to a freezing point on that line.
 

zannej

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
193
Thanks, Viking. Sounds like you planned things right. I don't know for sure when my house was built. I was told the first house here burned down & that at one point it was a peanut farm and they had a building to smoke meats. Originally it was just a bedroom, the laundry room, tiny bathroom (although possibly just the bathroom & changed later) and the kitchen. They later added on two bedrooms off to the side and turned the porch in to a room. Then a front room was added to the other side. The bedrooms were probably added in February 1947 (based on some writing on a joist which had 2-22-47 FAT). I'm not sure if joist is the correct term-- its a very large beam that runs perpendicular to the joists and the joists rest on it. It seems they did some renovations to at least one of the bathrooms at some point in the 70s. There is a spot where the toilet flange used to be under the vanity and they installed the toilet over carpet. Not sure which "genius" decided to add carpet to the bathrooms. It made it so much worse when the water overflowed.

Right now none of the showers are functioning. Hot water stopped working & I tried fixing the valve/cartridge but it is jammed. My best friend is going to come over and see if he has more luck with it. He has stronger hands & is more coordinated. I think after I pick up my medicine from the pharmacy tomorrow and check mail at the post office, I will try to see about doing another layer of floor leveler. I don't even care if it will be level anymore just so long as it stops resembling the surface of the moon with all the bumps. I also need to find a new septic tank sucking guy. Ever since my old plumber died, I've had a hard time finding someone who does the job right. The one guy I have found is extremely unprofessional & doesn't drain the tanks all the way. I will have to watch him to make sure he actually takes the chunky stuff out. He's got a smaller suction hose than my late plumber had so it takes longer and doesn't get the large clumps as easily.
 

zannej

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
193
You post all your cats and you will exceed our bandwidth!
Probably. At least I didn't post all of my past cats bc I've had over 100.

I'll just name my pets for now (chronological order by type).
Cows: Kwai Ying (horned red Brahma jersey mix), Alleria (Kwai's daughter-- part Brangus- polled black w/ white spots on head)
Dogs: Fippy Darkpaw (black chiweenie), Princess (??? no idea what she is but she's got a sort of curled tail, brown & black colors, & long fur).
Cats: Boo (fluffy black), Itsy (Boo's cousin- fluffy tuxedo tabby), Predicate (Itsy's nephew classic tabby), Ginger (cousin of Itsy & Boo- one-eyed orange tabby), Rupert (Ginger's littermate- orange tabby w/ no teeth), Mewlatto (fluffy black & white tuxedo w/ black nose), Fry (fluffy orange tabby-- although he's been missing so he might be gone), Sir Hammington (Fry's son, 1st litter- fluffy gray & white tuxedo), Biscuits (Fry's son, 1st litter- fluffy black white tuxedo w/ pink nose), Yasuke (Fry's son, 1st litter- black soft fur, green/yellow eyes), Obsidian (Fry's son, 2nd litter- black rough fur, orange/yellow eyes), Senator Snugglebum (Fry's son, 2nd litter- solid gray), Gravy Jones (Fry's son, 2nd litter- black & white tuxedo), Aminatu (Fry's daughter, 2nd litter- fluffy calico), Lady Sylvanas (Fry's daughter, 2nd litter- dilute tortoiseshell), and Bethesda (white with gray spots & white tip on her tail).

Kwai-Ying was a gift from the vet because he needed someone to take care of her as she was a "dummy calf" and needed to be bottlefed. He originally called her Hamburgersteak. I think that was 2004/2005. In 2007 a polled Brangus broke the fence to impregnate her and in March 2008 she gave birth to Alleria. There was some confusion since Kwai didn't know how to let a baby nurse-- I always stroked her face while I fed her so she kept trying to lick Alleria's face & we had to hold her still & I had to bottlefeed Alleria some cholostrum before I could get Kwai to hold still enough. She used to follow me everywhere like a puppy but now she's devoted to her baby.

We found Fippy abandoned on the side of the road the day after our favorite dog, Vic, died. Nobody claimed him & Mom had only been widowed a short time by that point & needed the emotional support of a devoted doggy. He's spoiled rotten. Princess showed up about 2 or 3 years ago at my brother's former workplace. Her puppies were also abandoned but someone took them in. She climbed into my brother's lap so he brought her home. Nobody claimed her when we posted about it & we checked with the vet. We think she belonged to an elderly person that died & the family must have dumped her. She's definitely an indoor dog & knows how to stay still & be patient- loves sleeping in people's beds (mostly mine).

We got Boo & Itsy from a semi-feral cat colony our late elderly friend had been feeding. Technically Boo's name starts with Jigga (which was a joke from our friend-- the white kitten from his litter was named Cracker- friend realized my mother found the name offensive so he called the cat that and it was the only thing he answers to). Itsy had a littermate named Bitsy & we adopted her too. Unfortunately, she died from a snake bite a few years back. Itsy & Bitsy both had kittens but Predicate is the only one who is still with us. We lost a few to cancer. Ginger and Rupert were from the same feral cat colony (but came after Predicate was born). I had been trying to keep up with the feeding of the cat colony after my friend passed away & his widow was forced to move. Ginger had a severe eye infection so I took her to the vet & ended up keeping her. Rupert got an ear infection so severe he was walking in circles & falling down so I took him to the vet & kept him. The rest of the colony eventually disappeared over time-- at one point some neighborhood creeps killed some of the cats. Fry was supposed to be a temporary foster cat along with his mate, Daisy. A friend had to move & couldn't take cats with him & was supposed to send for them when he got enough money but he never did. Daisy's first litter was about 6 kittens but 2 had died before we found them under a recliner. Daisy's 2nd litter: Obsidian was born more than 24 hours before his other littermates. She had about 6 or 7 kittens but only 5 survived (I was out of state so I wasn't there to check on them). Daisy, disappeared last year along with her daughter from her first litter, Hatshepsut. Bethesda showed up around my best friend's former workplace-Autozone- and had a huge lump on her side. I took her to the vet & decided to keep her. She's curled up with me right now.

Back in the 80s we had over 60 cats. The vet gave us discounts and did some treatments for free-- but he has since passed away from cancer. Current vets aren't as competent & charge up the wazoo.

And that is probably more than you ever wanted to know about my Menagerie.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I used to work at a zoo in Singapore back in the 90s. I've always loved animals.
 

Frodo

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Messages
208
Location
right here right now maybe later over there
I'm zanne & I'm diysite-aholic. I live in the deep south on a 30+ acre rural property in the woods. It used to be a farm but has fallen in to disrepair. I live with my disabled widowed mother and my little brother (who just turned 40). I'm a full-time caregiver for my mother. We have 2 cows, 2 dogs, and 16 cats. Our former tenants made a mess of the place & there were things that weren't done right when the house was first built so we've slowly been trying to fix things.

There are 3 bedrooms (two with ensuites) and 3 bathrooms but only 1 bathroom is functioning. I'm still working on repairing my ensuite's floor so I can install a toilet and then put in a wall set for my shower & update from the 2 handle system to single lever. My mother's ensuite (the fugly green room) needs to be updated to be ADA compatible so we are working on that. The avocado green one-piece showertub needs to be gutted, it needs new paint, new floor, and some grab bars. We are replacing the toilet with a taller one soon (a Toto Eco Drake). Right now the closet flange is broken & needs to be replaced but the plumber won't return my calls (there are only 2 licensed plumbers in the area but only 1 will come out to my house).

The biggest project is the bathroom & laundry room reno. We need to tear down some non-loadbearing walls, repair floors, move plumbing, and swap the laundry room with the bathroom.

I am only slightly handy but I'm not very strong & not very coordinated. I used to help my late father with projects. Another project is fixing up his workshop (which is a separate building). I am hoping to learn more and get more confident with power tools (and figure out what the hell the tools in the workshop are and how to use them). I have health issues that make it difficult to do things, but I'm trying to be more productive.

I'm a massive procrastinator & my projects have been put off for years, but I'm trying to motivate myself to get things done. I've also been helping my best friend (who has the worst luck of anyone I've ever met) with fixing up his current house (I helped him fix up his old house before it burned). I learned how to install vinyl plank, helped him install cabinets, planned out his plumbing (making sure he used the right fittings), & painted his cabinets. Next up is helping him move his toilet & patch his floor, install metal roof (if I can manage any assistance), and installing a new shower-tub combo. I have a fascination with plumbing-- mostly the DWV side as I've had to fix a lot of things at my house by myself.

I love looking at pictures of things and I'm better at figuring out things from pictures than from words. I also babble a lot (gee, could you tell?)
TL: DR? Hi! I'm chatty. :p

Thanks to Havasu for sending me the link to this site. I hang out on a few of the forums he admins at.
I know this Zanny person. And she gets my full support
and a thing that is not easy to get

stamp_of_approval.jpg
 
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