Sunday, August 7, 2011

projects and pins

Thought I'd do an update on the household projects.  It took a bit longer to finish the kitchen/living room than I expected, but I'm okay with that.  I'm just glad it's done.  Well, done may be too strong a word, as the assorted things we moved out of the living room are still stacked (albeit neatly) in the guest bathroom and I've not repaired and painted the two bits of wall that we are affectionately dubbing "the hallway" to remove them from the living room equation and I didn't quite get to the archway painting bit.  I did, however, start on the repairs and then... stalled out in frustration at more of the shoddy building techniques used during the construction of our home.

Okay, I know it's a mobile home.  I know they aren't the same as site-built homes.  I know that some of the specs are going to be different and some of the materials are going to be different.  But when one is going to go ahead and lay down OSB instead of plywood for a floor, it darned sure ought to be pretty thick OSB. 

The nifty part about a double-wide-mobile-home is the seam that runs down the middle.  This is a nifty thing for one reason.  When the crap that the installers filled the seam with starts to crumble (and oh, yes, it will  start to crumble) you get a good look at how your floors were made.  That darned OSB is barely 1/2" thick.  I'm being generous calling it 1/2".  And to top it off, the "columns" set on either side of the living room - theoretically there to hold up the roof - aren't even made with actual 2x4's.  And the gaps.  Don't get me started on the gaps.  Gaps that run beneath these "columns" and open right up to the ground.  Gaps that, once I vacuumed out the crumbling seam-filler, started readily swapping my nice air-conditioned inside comfort with hotter-than-heck outside nastiness.  Gaps that beg to be filled with whatever dirt and dust I'm currently sweeping up.  Gaps that are on the project list for tomorrow morning - where I'll be filling the suckers with as much drywall mud as they will hold, then sealing it over with a heavy-duty primer and some of that handy floor paint.  At least until we can afford to put new flooring in both the living room and the kitchen.

But the kitchen has vinyl - and it hasn't been that long - what's the problem?

The problem, again, is the installation of the product.  Well, that, and substandard product in the first place.  But when one puts down any kind of vinyl - regardless of quality - laying it over assorted, random loose screws, nails and debris tends to make the vinyl rip and tear and generally become FUBAR in short order.  Oh, the tears are tiny at first, and you think "oh, that's not so bad.  we can live with that."  And then you turn around one day and notice a 3" slice across your flooring that is peeling up on either side and you go "when the heck did that happen?"  And you're sitting in the bathroom, you know, enjoying a little downtime, when you notice that the tiny slices that were oddly in three sides of the grooves around one of the printed squares have now become mold-infested splits just waiting to shred open an unsuspecting toe.  Yeah.  The flooring issue has to be fixed.  In an ideal world we would install hardwood or one of its more affordable cousins.  In our world, the reality is six chihuahuas, two of whom are getting up there in years, tend to have accidents.  I don't care how tightly you hammer your seams or how secure that snap-lock is... unless you're going to seal that sucker with something akin to a 1/4" layer of solid acrylic, wet and wood do not mix.  Most likely we'll go for this nice vinyl option we've been shopping.  It is printed and textured to look like hardwood.  It's thicker than most of the other options.  It has a 20 year warranty.  Even with all that, it's still under $1/sq. ft.  Not bad.  Granted we have a chunk of square feet to cover, but we'll get there.  Eventually.

Meanwhile, I've mostly recovered from putting my body through the rigors of clearing and painting and am about ready to tackle the next few projects on the list.  This is good.  This has also given me far too much time to bounce around internet links.  Generally I tend to end up in places that resemble dark alleys... scary at best.  Today, however, I found something both fun and useful.  It's called "Pinterest" and is a site that allows users to collect images from their internet wanderings.  It's much easier than trying to copy/paste random photos and then figure out where you found them in the first place - Pinterest attaches the home website url to the image, and allows you to jot down comments about the image.  I've spent the last couple of hours joyously collecting things for my first pinboard (you can have more than one!)  If you're interested in seeing what I like to look at when no one else is looking, you can find me here: Annamammal's Pinterest -- it even lets you follow people and look through their pinboards. 

As with anything shiny and new, I'll probably play with pinning things on my board for a few weeks, then slowly let it slip off into obscurity.  Kind of like Google+.  I haven't logged in there for over a week, and I really don't miss it.  I sit on facebook for obscene amounts of time because of the games, and G+ hasn't added that sort of content yet so there's nothing shiny enough to keep me coming back.  At least that's what I tell myself.  Maybe I'm just afraid that I'll have to start posting actual content in a social networking format.  It seems too restrictive for the way I think.  Blogs are much better.  I can explore an idea to my finger-typing content and my readers are free to read or not read at their whim.  It's harder to avoid short snippets.  It's easier to misconstrue them as well.

Tomorrow I'll be repairing walls and gaps and if all goes well I'll be painting the "hallway" and priming the "arch" and grumbling at puppies who get underfoot.  I wonder if primer will stick to vinyl... I think a test patch is in order!

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