Sunday, January 8, 2012

Projects Galore

We've been getting a lot done around the house over the past few weeks.  I finished the back of my first chair, and I've also built the seat, but I don't have the right screws to attach the seat to the chair frame.  Therefore, it'll be a few more days until the chair comes indoors for good.

A few projects that have been completed:
Bought and installed a chandelier
Didn't get electrocuted
We've been pretty lucky in our trips to West Elm.  We bought our sectional sofa for a big discount because it was the floor model and was no longer being carried by the store.  We've been looking for a hanging lamp for the kitchen for some time, but hadn't found anything we were in love with or at a reasonable price.

This weekend, we found this chandelier (not sure what constitutes a chandelier, but West Elm called this one) in the store.  It was originally priced at $250, but on sale for $150.  A clerk told us they weren't carrying any more, so they offered to sell the floor model to us for $75.  Done.

While these kinds of savings are hard to come by, I think you can come across opportunities like these, although it takes time and luck.

Unfortunately, installing the chandelier was a gigantic pain, which was all our fault.  I bought a voltage tester for $5 because we weren't sure which breaker controlled the wiring.  We shut down the power, installed the lamp, then turned the power back on.  When that didn't work, we hit the wall switch but to no avail.  We then undid all the connections, took it down, and then re-wired it.  We probably did this three times over the course of an hour.  It was a special kind of torture because it required one person to hold the lamp up to the ceiling while the other twisted the wires together, put on the electric nuts, and screwed the casing back together.

We were ready to quit, but Pamela insisted we give it one more time.  While I was holding the lamp up, I had an epiphany - we kind of assumed the wall switch we were hitting was correct, but we couldn't be sure.  On the other side of the room was another switch with a dimmer which we had never used before.  Lo and behold, that did the trick.

Replaced boiler pilot light
This wasn't a DIY really.  The pilot light on the boiler which supplies heat to the house went out twice in two weeks during the coldest days.  Pamela came home to a cold house and a nearly frozen dog.  We found instructions online to re-light it, which wasn't much of a challenge, although any time you are playing with gas, exciting things can happen.

Unfortunately, since the pilot went out twice in a short period of time, we figured we'd need to have it looked at by a professional.  The thermocouple was shot, which is a pretty standard problem that is expected to happen every few years.  The $200+ bill was a bit of a surprise.  $30 part and $170 for the one hour of service.  Ah, the joys of homeownership.

Built an equipment drying rack
This was a fun project that took all of 30 minutes.  10 feet of 1" PVC costs $3.  Joints and end caps cost up to $1 each.  Now my gear won't sit in my hockey bag for a week fermenting in between sessions.
Hockey scarecrow

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