Condo Blues: home improvement




Showing posts with label home improvement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home improvement. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to Clean and Replace a Roomba Battery

I like technology. I like a clean house, especially when all the exertion it takes is to push a button. Being the early adopter than I am, I have a Discovery Series Roomba robot vacuum sweeper. Being the 400 series (they are now up to the 900 series), it isn’t the most powerful robot sweeper out there. I still like to use it to sweep our bedroom because I don’t have Superman strength to lift the furniture over my head to vacuum under it.

Until the rechargeable battery died.

As revolutionary as iRobot is to give us the first robot cleaners, the company’s customer service is as backward as you can get. The iRobot people at Blissdom were surprised my Roomba Red lasted so long because they don’t service or replace defective products. If you have issues with your Roomba they tell you to buy a new $800 robot to fix the problem.

Seriously? To fix a dead battery?

How to Repair a Dead Roomba That Won’t Suck

   how to replace a dead Roomba battery and clean the brushes the quick and easy way!

Pin this tutorial for later! Share it with your friends!

Monday, August 8, 2016

How to Make Flamingo Wall Hooks

I needed several decorative wall hooks to organize my craft room. I want something fun, yet versatile, since I have a pile of conference lanyards, craft aprons, and race medals in need of some serious organizing.

I headed to my workshop and made the perfect wall organizer using my all time favorite pieces of kitsch – plastic pink lawn flamingos!


 Pin this tutorial for later!

DIY Pink Lawn Flamingo Wall Organizer

 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

21 Unique Bottle Cap Crafts to Inspire You!

I remake and makeover a lot of things using bottle caps but as our collection grows I need new recycled DIY ideas.

If you look at my Pinterest Crafts board you will see I have bottle cap projects on the brain. It seems like after I complete one bottle cap decorating project I see and pin a bunch more. (Follow me @condoblues on Pinterest pretty please?)

I can’t be the only one that doesn't this, can I?


Pint this post for later!

I thought I’d share the bottle cap craft love and show you some of my favorite recycled bottle cap projects from around the web to inspire you.

You can just drool over them like the bottle cap house. I doubt my Home Owner’s Association will let me do that or Husband for that matter.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

How to Make a Bottle Cap Mosaic Chair

mushrooms growing in chairs
Ewwww!

The cute little mosaic tile bistro set on our patio has lived outside in the rain sleet and snow for a very long time.

How long?

Long enough for the elements to take their toll and dry rot the wood base of the table and all of the chairs.
 
The thing I like best about the current set is the size and design of the metal ice cream parlor style chairs (minus the mushrooms.)  I wasn’t in love with anything I saw in the stores as a replacement.

Well, when I can’t buy I DIY!

Recycled Bottle Cap Craft Tutorial


   Pin this recycled bottle cap craft idea for later!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How to Install a New Doorbell Chime and Button

Normally I’m a fix it instead of replace it kind of gal but neither Husband nor I have any great love for our builder basic doorbell. When our doorbell wouldn’t chime even after I replaced the transformer, we took the opportunity to upgrade it to a door chime we can actually hear from upstairs as well as down.

I wanted a pretty doorbell button to replace the plastic builder grade monstrosity we had. Husband thought the door chimes that played different music and tones are more fun than the faint, “ding dong!” that bit the dust.

How to Install a New Doorbell Chime and Button
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So of course we acted like two dorks testing all of the doorbell chimes in Lowes multiple times to find one we liked.

Sorry Lowes fellow shoppers.

Sometimes we are 12.

We bought the Utilitech Wireless Doorbell and Utilitech Antique Brass Doorbell Button (affiliate links for your convenience) to coordinate with the front doorknob and lock. This particular doorbell comes with a bunch of chimes (we are currently using the Westminster chimes setting.)

I got the opportunity to pick out a prettier doorbell button. Most importantly this doorbell lets us hardwire it to our current doorbell wiring although you can also install it as a wireless doorbell if you like.

We wanted to stay with a hardwired doorbell so we didn’t have to play Where are the rest of the rechargeable batteries? Did you recharge them? game on a regular basis but that’s just us.


How to Replace a Hard Wired Doorbell

Sunday, June 12, 2016

How to Make a Power Tool Battery Charging Station

It’s funny how one little project like hanging a DIY chalkboard above my workbench quickly turned into a reorganize the workshop project. Well, actually, it was more like an ACK! I can’t find the bench top and the mountain of STUFF is driving me crazy project but why quibble over details?

I made an easy sandpaper organizer and a quick woodworking clamp rack. My latest project – a power tool battery charging station and organizer is the last workshop organizer I need to keep my bench top clean and my power tool batteries charged and organized. Woo hoo!

how to build pallet wood garage organizers

I built the workbench from reclaimed materials too.

How to Build a Hanging Power Tool Battery Charger and Organizer

Sunday, May 22, 2016

How to Make a Small Space Sandpaper Organizer


It's amazing what you find when you decide it is time to clean and organize a workbench or workshop.

In my case it is sandpaper.

Lots of sandpaper.

Like embarrassing amounts of specific grits I bought because I though I didn't have it, when not only did I have it, I have epic loads of it because I kept losing it in my messy and disorganized garage and workshop.

I'm sure all of you organized crafters and DIYers cannot relate at all to this. (Although I'd feel less like a slob if you do.)

Dollar store sandpaper organizer!
That's what happens when I get tired of storing a mount of objects on my workbench top after creating a motivational gallery wall above the workbench in the garage.

So I started poking around Pinterest (follow me @condoblues pretty please?) looking for workshop sandpaper storage and organizers and coming up empty because I work in a small space.  I'm too short to reach all of the organizers I saw hanging on the wall over a workbench.

Funny thing, I found the inspiration solution on the Craftsman website when I was on there dreaming about lawnmowers. Sorry about the weird stream of conscious thing but our lawn service has given us so many excuses about not cutting our grass (that I'm allergic to) that  is almost as tall as Lacey. Grrr!

But that is a different story for a different day.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Aquaponic Gardens for Lazy Gardeners

Husband and I are on again off again gardeners.

Why?

Because gardens, especially vegetable gardens, are needy. You can’t just plant some seeds and walk away until harvest time. Nope. There is the watering, the fertilizing, the watering, the thinning, the watering, the staking, the watering, the pest control, the watering…and did I mention watering the garden?

With all of our summer and warm weather activities it would be nice if there was a way to grow fresh vegetables on auto pilot or inside during the winter when we have more time for more involved projects like gardening. I’ve been thinking about growing vegetables in an aquaponic garden ever since Husband and I saw a display on aquaponics last summer at the Ohio State Fair.


 Pin this post for reference!

In both hydroponic and aquaponic gardens, the seeds and plants are not planted in traditional soil but some sort of growth medium suspended above a pool or tank of water. We saw examples of plants growing in clay pebbles, stones made from recycled glass, foam baskets, and on a floating raft.

Monday, April 4, 2016

How to Test for Lead Paint on Flea Market Finds

We are the first owners of our condo built long after the US 1978 lead paint ban. We don’t have peeling paint and my family doesn’t lick the walls (which in my opinion would mean we have a bigger problem!) As far as any scaremongering about lead being everywhere in every home, we figured we’re good.

Except.

Maybe not.


Pin this post for reference! 


I like to upcycle and recycle found, salvage, and old stuff in my DIY projects. Swap meets, antique shows, and flea markets are my playgrounds. Some of my favorite transformations started out as thrift store finds or from the side of the road. I didn’t think I had to worry about lead in my project materials because I generally steer clear of chipping paint because it is a pain to sand smooth.

I recently discovered chipping paint does not mean an item is covered in lead paint. Neither does the color of the paint. Actually  bare wood or stained items can test positive for lead because of something in the stain or varnish.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How to Adjust a Shower Water Temperature Valve

The shower in our guest bathroom runs cold and takes forever to heat up. It can be sign your water heater is ready to heave its last breath. Sure enough after 11 years of faithful service, our water heater went to that great metal recycling plant in the sky.

Well, actually, it went to a metal recycling plant down the round but in the sky sounds more poetic.
Shower water still took forever to heat with the new water heater. I thought it was set at a lower temperature until we passed inspection from the natural gas company.

Nope.

The natural gas inspector told me our hot water heater passed with flying colors and is already set at the correct temperature. He said the issue is with the faucet not the water heater. The water temperature regulator (also known as a scald valve) on the faucet is set too low.

How to Adjust the Water Temperature Regulator on a Kohler Shower Faucet

 

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tiny House Living Lies

I think tiny houses are twee and adorable. I have dozens pinned to my Pinterest boards (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest, pretty please?) I applaud living in a small ecological footprint. There positive financial aspects too. I understand how freeing that can be.

But.

I find it hard to believe that living tiny is nothing but utopia.


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We never hear about the downside of living in a tiny home. Sure, there is talk of how difficult it can be to decide what to keep and what needs to go. However the elephant in the itty bitty room no one will openly admit or discuss especially on tiny house TV shows is this:
  • It is illegal to park and live full time in a tiny house on wheels in most parts of the United States. Legally parking a tiny house is the most problematic issue and absolutely not addressed. Most camp grounds and mobile home parks forbid tiny houses - which is their right - as they are privately owned. Buying or renting land and plopping a tiny house on it may not solve the problem either. Local zoning laws often include minimum square footing for a house on a foundation and prohibit full time camping in a RV which is how tiny houses on wheels are classified. And sometimes what must be done to make a tiny house legal makes living in it all but impossible as Rowdy Kittens discusses here in her post On the Road Again…
 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Make an Office Chair Mat

The plastic mats under the rolling chairs in our home office have seen better days. No matter what kind of office chair mat I buy, it eventually cracks, breaks, and sheds plastic chunks all over the carpet in the office.

I need to use a chair mat under our rolling chairs to protect the carpeting we aren't ready to replace.  Replacing the mats every couple of years isn’t sustainable. More than that it is a pain!

I solved our problem by making durable office chair mats from laminate flooring I bought at the Habitat Restore. I went with laminate flooring instead of plain plywood because I was concerned the plain plywood office chair mats would crack and break. Laminate flooring isn’t my favorite look but it is built to do the job I need it to do – be a floor.


Pin this tutorial for later!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Our Top Condo Blues Blog Posts for 2015

 Before we can say hello to 2016 we should take a look back at 2015. It is always interesting to me when I take a look at which Condo Blues projects and blog posts are the most popular posts of the year because I am almost always surprised!

2015 is no exception. I had no idea there were so many readers who want to cut glass bottles without fire or risk of burning down your house. I thought it was just me!
As we say good bye to 2015 and before we say hello to a bright, shiny, and new 2015 let’s take a look at my most popular Condo Blues in 2015.
 

How to Cut a Glass Bottle with Hot Water

 


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How to Fix a Broken Dishwasher Rack

The top rack of the dishwasher was a little wonky.
 
Scratch that. A lot wonky.

The top rack wouldn’t slide in and out of the dishwasher easily. When it does, the rack dips down to an angle instead of being parallel to the bottom dishwasher rack.


Husband did a little investigation.  Instead of something being misaligned, the sliding brackets on both sides of the dishwasher rack broke off. So that’s why the dishwasher recently wasn’t cleaning dishes well!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

10 Garage Storage and Organizing Hacks

Fall is one of those busy DIY transition times in the garage. The summer things need to be cleaned and put away for winter and it’s time to dig out the rakes to deal with all of those leaves falling off the trees that make Fall, well, Fall.


Fall is also a great time to reorganize the storage in your garage. Need some help? I have 10 garage hacks to share with you!


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(Not that I pinned all of these hacks to Pinterest (follow Condo Blues on Pinterest, please?)  because I personally need every single one of them. OK. I’ll be honest. I need to all of these hacks to keep our garage neat and tidy.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quick and Easy Boat Cleat Towel Rack

I need to to organize the towels in the guest bathroom and found my design inspiration at the vet’s office. Wha? Let me explain.

Lacey’s vet has boat cleats on the main desk which allows you to anchor your pet’s leash (pun intended) over the cleat so your hands are free to make payments and sign paperwork.  It is quite genius and something I’d totally expect seeing growing up on Lake Erie.

The guest bathroom is taking on a nautical vibe. I like repurposed and reclaimed design elements. So why not organize my bathroom by repurposing dock cleats? Sounds like a plan.

How to Make a Boat Dock Cleat Towel or Coat Rack

 
Pin this post for later!
 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How to Fix a Running Toilet: Replace the Float

Water in the guest bathroom toilet kept running after every flush. I removed the lid to the toilet tank to investigate.


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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The House of Unfinished DIY Projects

Husband had a dream.

One of those I dreamed I ate a giant marshmallow and in the morning my pillow was gone kind of dreams.

His dream was about making a list of DIY projects we need to do and actually finishing them.




I have no idea how his subconscious cooked up that idea for a dream.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How to Build a Rain Barrel Drainage Pad

Late summer/early fall is a great time to do garden landscaping projects. The weather isn’t as blazing hot as it is in the middle of summer and most of the materials are now on clearance to make room for fall and winter merchandise.

  
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Or in our case, you end up with a bunch of extra bricks from repairing your vintage brick garden border and want to do something with the lovely, worn, and free reclaimed bricks.

Thanks to two months of never ending rain and me replacing the broken spigot on the rain barrel (read the tutorial here) before the rains came, Husband and I have plenty of water to use for watering our new plantings. Eco Dork that I am, I get positively giddy watering my plants with rain water but I’m not happy with stepping in the mud that sometimes surrounds the rain barrel spigot.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

10 Amazing Pirate Ship Beds

Ahoy ye matey!

In honor ‘o International Talk Like a Pirate Day I be roundin’ up a bevvy of pirate d├ęcor for ye children be they wee pirate lads or wee pirate lasses. Yaaaaarrrrrrrrrrr!

 10 Incredible Pirate Ship Beds
Pin for later ya scurvy dog! 


</end pirate voice mode>

I’m using International Talk Like a Pirate Day as a big fat crazy excuse to dive head first into my Pinterest boards (follow me @condobues on Pinterest pretty please?) and share with you 10 of the most spine twinging, shiver me timbers and blow me down pirate ship kids beds that will make you the coolest parent on planet earth.

Or if you can fit one into your master bedroom, make your inner pirate child happy.