Home Improvements

Posted: April 24, 2013 in Miscellaneous

Been doing a lot of home improvements the past 6 months that it is taking up a lot of my time.  As we were considering having the house up to par to sell we had lots of small improvements we needed to make and update the appearance.  We did the following:

  • Repainted the majority of the interior
  • Added Shutters to front of the house
  • Replaced all the faucets from the cheap builder’s grade
  • Added a gas cooktop in the kitchen
  • Replaced the wood spindles on the stairs with iron ballusters
  • Added some home made artwork using reclaimed materials
  • Added a tree ring in the backyard and will construct a patio adjacent to it
  • Adding a retaining wall in front to reduce water runoff and improve appearance

Next Up:

  • Finish retaining wall
  • Recarpet
  • Add tile in master guest bathroom
  • Add hardwood to master suite and office
  • Put in patio in backyard with Belgian stone style using concrete molds
  • Put in concrete edging in front yard
  • Relandscape outside of house (including front and backyard

Adding DIY Instructions for Spindles: I had to do both carpet and solid wood so the mechanics are about the same but with carpet you need to cut it about 1/4 shorter to get them in properly.

Step 1: Procure spindles – count out the # you want and make sure you order enough plus ~ 10%.  That way you have excess.  I’d suggest getting more twists than baskets as it makes it busy.  There is also a lot of different designs and you can find websites that you can put in spindle designs and print out to see what it looks like.  June picked the two options and I just alternated each and it came out great.  Also check out the thickness of the top of the spindle and the bottom as they can be quite a difference in thickness to make sure you get the proper replacement or shoes to cover the bottom.

Step 2: Get a miter saw and a metal chopping blade (or a chop saw if you have one already).  Tape Measure and long stick to help measure the baskets; ear and eye protection for when chopping; liquid nails in a caulk gun; the correct diameter drill bit to drill up further into the handrail as you want to be able to push it up and in to get it placed below.

Step 3: Remove old wooden spindles – use a sawzall to cut through 3/4 of the old spindle (not all the way through).  Wearing gloves give it a good shove and it’ll break easily.  Pull out old spindle and remove bradnails that will be at the bottom or top.  Drill further into the hand rail to ease installation of balluster (I drilled 1 1/2″ into it as there was only 3/4 drilled at the time).  This takes time and lots of arm strength (after doing 3-4 your arms will be tired).

Step 3: Measure the length of where the spindle will go and add 1″ if it will go on wood or 3/4″ if on carpet (need more room to get it in there).  Only cut the bottom end (not the top).  Test fit each one to make sure it fits and make adjustments (drill deeper or cut the balluster shorter).

Step 4: Installation of the balluster.  Put the shoe on before installing.  Put some liquid nails in the top then install the balluster top end first and push inside to get positioned.  If on carpet you may need to use small thin pieces of wood that will be hidden by the shoes to help raise it up to the proper height.  Use liquid nails at the bottom.  Make sure the shoes are all facing the same direction.

Step 5: Wait til it dries and test bottom and top.  If it still moves at the top you can use tooth picks at the top to secure it better.  If it moves at the bottom use more liquid nails or a small finishing nail to help secure it in.  The shoe will hide it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s