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Thread: Official Pit Home Improvement/DIY thread

  1. #1

    Official Pit Home Improvement/DIY thread

    The purpose of this thread is for people to post questions about home projects and improvements, or to post pictures of stuff you've done yourself like a boss.


    I'll start:

    1) We built a fire pit in our backyard a few years ago. We basically threw down some pond stones and put a firepit on top. Lo and behold, it was overrun with weeds in about a year, so we pulled the whole thing up, put down some anti-weed mesh on top of the dirt, then put the pond stones back down. We're starting to notice tiny blades of grass and some lichen coming up through the stones, so at this point we're wondering what other solutions might be other than to scrap the entire thing. Should we just Roundup the whole thing on a weekly basis?

    2) One of our projects this year will be to replace our countertops which are formica and came with the house. Any opinions on what to get? Right now we're interested in solid surface or granite but have no idea which one would be better.

  2. #2
    Resident Astrophysicist
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    We will also be looking into new countertops and refaced cabinet this year. This will be a good thread.

  3. #3
    i love concrete counter tops. granite probably has best re-sale value, though, if you're concerned about that.
    I know how to spell definitely.

  4. #4
    Do not get dark granite countertops, they are a BITCH to get clean.

    TW Deac, when we put in our new countertops a few years back we were also going to get new cabinets. They guy came to look at replacing them and talked us out of it and instead had us pop out the panel and replace them with glass. We went from stain to painted and all our friends thought they were new cabinets. Saved a ton of cash.

  5. #5
    we're looking to replace our cabinets pretty soon. but we want to save the existing granite. i hope that doesn't create too much of a problem. the new cabinets hopefully should lighten things up a bit. right now they're very dark brown. looking to move to white, possibly with glass or frosted doors on a few of them.

    last night, dhtoy asked if i just wanted to repaint the existing cabinets white some afternoon, just to be sure we like the color. the cabinets are in rough shape, so regardless we're going to be tearing them out/replacing them. might as well make sure we're good with the color before we pay to have new ones put in.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by iodeac View Post
    The purpose of this thread is for people to post questions about home projects and improvements, or to post pictures of stuff you've done yourself like a boss.


    I'll start:

    1) We built a fire pit in our backyard a few years ago. We basically threw down some pond stones and put a firepit on top. Lo and behold, it was overrun with weeds in about a year, so we pulled the whole thing up, put down some anti-weed mesh on top of the dirt, then put the pond stones back down. We're starting to notice tiny blades of grass and some lichen coming up through the stones, so at this point we're wondering what other solutions might be other than to scrap the entire thing. Should we just Roundup the whole thing on a weekly basis?

    2) One of our projects this year will be to replace our countertops which are formica and came with the house. Any opinions on what to get? Right now we're interested in solid surface or granite but have no idea which one would be better.
    We went with Silestone for our countertops a few years ago and really like them. Silestone is just a brand of man-made stone-like stuff. It is easier to take care of than granite and virtually indestructible. Lots of color choices. About the same price as granite, I believe.

  7. #7
    Resident Astrophysicist
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    Quote Originally Posted by TARDAWG View Post
    Do not get dark granite countertops, they are a BITCH to get clean.

    TW Deac, when we put in our new countertops a few years back we were also going to get new cabinets. They guy came to look at replacing them and talked us out of it and instead had us pop out the panel and replace them with glass. We went from stain to painted and all our friends thought they were new cabinets. Saved a ton of cash.
    No way are we replacing them completely, we are going to get them refaced.

  8. #8
    I would recommend quartz counter tops. A friend of mine bought a house with her husband about the same time I bought mine. She's doing quartz in her kitchen and it looks amazing. I think it's easier to clean, withstands more heat, and is a bit cheaper, though still pricey.

  9. #9
    We can also brag about our bauce accomplishments. For example, in August 2011 our house flooded. We had a surround sound system that we installed after we bought our house where the wires were exposed...looked something like this:



    After our living room flooded, we pulled up the carpet, took up 12 inches of sheetrock from the floor, and ran speaker wire through the studs behind the sheetrock, as well as put down hardwood floors. We did the baseboards/quarter round ourselves (mitre saw FTW) and now our living room looks like this:


  10. #10
    Resident Astrophysicist
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    I've been playing around with the Home Depot Countertop estimator. It is a pretty cool tool. At least with Home Depot, quartz is more expensive than most granite. I don't think I'd ever use Home Depot to install, but it gives you a good sense of things.

    http://ext.homedepot.com/shopping-to...d/measurements

  11. #11
    cookout = blabbermouth?
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    We have brand new white marble countertops, and while they are awesome to look at now, marble does stain pretty easily. The patina doesn't really bother me at all and I think they could show some serious character in a few years, but I know that it would bother other people (my wife included). Granite stains as well, but not nearly to the same degree as marble.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by scooter84 View Post
    We went with Silestone for our countertops a few years ago and really like them. Silestone is just a brand of man-made stone-like stuff. It is easier to take care of than granite and virtually indestructible. Lots of color choices. About the same price as granite, I believe.
    We went to a friend's house yesterday who had Silestone and it looked really good.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by wfudkn View Post
    We have brand new white marble countertops, and while they are awesome to look at now, marble does stain pretty easily. The patina doesn't really bother me at all and I think they could show some serious character in a few years, but I know that it would bother other people (my wife included). Granite stains as well, but not nearly to the same degree as marble.
    I love white marble countertops, but would be (and am at my best friend's new house) scared to pour a glass of red wine over them, or a jar or spaghetti sauce, or really pretty much anything. For that reason, I will stick with my tan/brown/black speckled granite.

  14. #14
    pm giDEACon with your counter top questions. He works for a wholesaler and knows the ins and outs of the market.

  15. #15
    Robert O'Kelley
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    We'll probably do our counters/sink this year if we don't have to drop a ton on our roof.

  16. #16
    Not necessarily house related but does anyone have recommendations on a good lawn mower. My yard is listed at 1/3 acre but I don't think it's that big. I'm really looking for a good basic gas push mower. My yard is flat so I don't want self propelled and would rather not have the bagging feature.

  17. #17
    Sheikh of Smoke
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    Quote Originally Posted by dot com View Post
    We'll probably do our counters/sink this year if we don't have to drop a ton on our roof.
    Go metal, and thank me later. Roof, not the countertop.

  18. #18
    Stuff I've done around the LK homestead:

    1) Built my own fence. NEVER AGAIN.

    2) Built a pergola over back patio

    3) Removed 90% of the carpet in low level of house and put down 1000 sqft of hardwoods

    4) Tiled kitchen floor

    5) Build a new mantle and surround around the fireplace (still looks fantastic 5 years later)

    6) Replaced thermocouple in hot water heater. Pain in the ass, but saved a couple hundred bucks.

    7) Attempted, with nearly catastrophic results, to replace the torsion springs on the garage door yesterday. Not realizing how much tension they were under, a bolt came flying out while I was loosening it and shot 20 feet across the garage and dented the drywall. Very lucky it wasn't my head. Professionals are coming to do it today.

    8) Built numerous bookshelves, tables, etc.

  19. #19
    You installed your own hardwoods? How was it? Also, we're thinking of tiling our kitchen floor or foyer...about how much did it cost you to tile your floor, and was it hard to do?

  20. #20
    Also, what are the Pit's opinions on furniture from Ikea for a married couple with no kids? My hang-up with our living room is that we only have a recliner and loveseat. We don't have people over that often, but when people visit I hate the fact that I don't feel like they can relax...pulling up chairs from the kitchen table isn't really the same thing. I'm thinking about buying some affordable furniture, maybe something like this with some one-pieces we can move around:


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