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Kitchen Sink Faucet - Repair Becomes Replacement

I’ve had some sort of water leak going on under the kitchen sink for a while. One day last week the opportunity to address that leak finally arose. It was a perfect day for an indoor DIY project - rainy.

LOCATING THE LEAK

One of the first steps involved with repairing any leak is to locate the source of the leak. In this situation, I needed to empty the contents of my kitchen sink cabinet so I could get in there for a better view. (Sort of looks like I needed to do some dishes too!)

To locate the source of a leak it’s always best to start with a dry area, if at all possible. After removing the sink cabinet contents, I thoroughly wiped the water supply lines and the inside of the cabinet dry with a towel. Starting with a dry area allows you to easily see new drips.

I turned on the cold water tap and let the water run for about a minute. No leak. Next I tried the hot water tap. Ah hah - there it was! I turned off the hot water tap, and with a dry paper towel, wiped off the current drips, then turned the hot water tap on again to see exactly where it was leaking from. My first thought was that the water was leaking at one of the connections between the faucet and the water supply lines. As it turned out that wasn’t the case. Upon closer inspection, the drips appeared to be coming from within the kitchen faucet itself. Like many people, I turned to the web for repair help, but the only leak repair instructions to be found were for dripping spouts or leaks at the base of the spout. My kitchen faucet was leaking underneath. Looked like I’d be replacing it. [Read more →]

July 2, 2008   2 Comments

Trimming The Base of A Shower

Finishing Touches of a Small Bathroom Remodel
(See Below for DIY PVC Trim Installation Instructions)

Finishing touches of a small bathroom remodel.

Bathroom remodeling is a wonderful thing. New tub, new shower, new sink, new tile, new bathroom fixtures - it’s all new! Sometimes, however, after getting all those new important bathroom items installed, the small or inconsequential finishing touches get left undone. You are so overwhelmed and (hopefully) happy with the completion of the big renovation picture that little things like trim and molding fall by the wayside. They may be small, but those little bits of untrimmed areas can make a big difference to the overall finished appearance of your bathroom. Left with unfinished or incomplete trim and molding, your bathroom renovation or remodel just doesn’t shine as brightly as it could. [Read more →]

June 18, 2008   1 Comment

My Mind Is In The Gutter

It’s the job that’s dirty - not my mind! That’s one reason why I put off cleaning the rain gutters. The other reason, which sounds so much more acceptable, is…

I like to save this particular job for late spring - after all the dirty trees have shed their litter and the spring rains have washed that debris off the roof shingles.

Cleaning Rain Gutters & Downspouts/DrainpipesCleaning rain gutters can be a pretty dirty job. Depending on the types of trees you have growing around your house, your gutters could be full of pine cones, pine needles, leaves, discarded blossoms or maple keys. Too much dirt and debris will plug the downspouts and prevent rain water from draining properly. Instead it will flow over the sides of the eaves troughs like a waterfall, which totally defeats their purpose. If you missed cleaning your gutters in the fall and your downspouts are blocked, you’ll be scooping out handfuls of tree dirt that has turned into a disgusting sludge from sitting in rain-filled troughs. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?! [Read more →]

June 10, 2008   1 Comment

Home Maintenance - No More Procrastinating

There are certain efforts we must make to keep our homes looking good that aren’t nearly as much fun as decorating and interior design. These not-so-glamorous tasks fall under the category of home maintenance. Sometimes they involve picking up a paint brush or donning a pair of work gloves. Often the mere thought of performing these jobs turns even the most enthusiastic among us into time-wasting procrastinators. Sometimes we put things off because we’re not entirely sure where to start. Unfortunately, those little repairs or items requiring minor upkeep have the potential to become major problems if they are not addressed. I have a few home maintenance duties that have been put off long enough, so over the next few posts I’ll be sharing with you my endeavors to conquer the beast that is procrastination and get some stuff done around here! Hopefully you’ll be able to gather a few helpful tips and be inspired to get moving on the jobs around your house. If nothing else, I’ll be crossing items off my list that have been niggling away at my conscience.

Stay tuned for cleaning rain gutters, fixing a leak at the kitchen sink, repairing a nail pop, and trimming around the base of a shower.

June 9, 2008   No Comments

Kitchen Cabinet & Lighting Fix

What’s wrong with this picture?

Kitchen cabinets before the fix.

If you said the gap between the cabinets over the kitchen sink, you’d be 100% correct! The other thing that’s been driving me crazy is the lack of lighting above the sink and over the counter top work areas on either side of it.

I’ve decided to bridge that gap and add some lighting to the kitchen while I’m at it. The kitchen cabinets aren’t necessarily to my liking, but one step at a time folks! This is a quick fix intended to improve the appearance and efficiency of my kitchen until such time as I can afford to do a more major renovation (or I move).

The Whole Process Including Pictures

Because the kitchen cabinets are melamine, I chose to use that same material for my mini renovation. Before buying any material, I carefully measured the gap and planned not only the design of the bridge, but also how I would support it between the two wall mount cabinets. With my plans formulated I headed to the closest Home Depot. [Read more →]

May 18, 2008   No Comments

Black for a Dramatic Kitchen Backsplash

Black Beadboard Backsplash - Design Components

This is in response to a reader’s inquiry about using the color black on a beadboard backsplash in her kitchen. Specifically, she wanted to know if a black beadboard backsplash with oak kitchen cabinets and a sunset gold granite countertop would work with off-white trim and baseboard molding. My response is a definite yes! [Read more →]

May 5, 2008   No Comments

Ikea - It’s All Good

Let’s give credit where credit is due. There are few places in this world where you can find so much good in one place. At Ikea it’s all good.

It’s All Good At Ikea

Good Vibes

For many of us, our first foray into the world of home furnishings and decor took place at an Ikea store. Ahhh, remember that heady sense of new-found independence as you went in search of the perfect Poem chair for your first home away from home?! Now, it’s some twenty years later (has it really been that long?) and the prospect of a trip to the mecca of Swedish home furnishings excites us still. With the addition of many new locations, the trip may have been shortened somewhat, but the possibilities remain endless.

2008 Ikea CatalogOpening the first page of the annual catalog is viewed as a sacred ritual, reserved for a special time and place completely removed from distraction or interruption. Opening the doors of an actual store and stepping inside, whether it’s for the first time or the fifty-first time, is an exhilarating experience.

Yes, there are Ikea-haters in this world. They are the people who choose to dislike anything that the masses adore. If you say up, they’ll say down - you say right, they’ll say left. Hate all you want people. With your self-imposed ban, you are the ones missing out!

Good Prices

Ikea Gilbert ChairSometimes you just have to ‘make do’ with what you have or what you can afford. This doesn’t necessarily change with time. Luckily, the selection of what we can afford has been greatly expanded thanks to Ikea. From starter kits for the kitchen, to furniture and decorative accessories for every room in your home, Ikea gives us a broad range of home outfitting and decorating products at good prices. So while you’re waiting until you can afford those Eames chairs to go with your dining table, it’s good to know that Ikea’s Gilbert chairs will provide you with an inexpensive and stylish alternative to eating on the floor.

Good Quality

While a large number of people use the word ‘cheap’ as a positive reference in place of ‘low-cost’ or ‘inexpensive’, for me, cheap is a word more aptly used to negatively describe quality. You’ll hear or read numerous comments that bring the quality of Ikea goods into question. Speaking from personal experience, all the products I have purchased from Ikea over the years have not only met, but exceeded my expectations for stability, longevity, and quality. The negative connotations of ‘cheap’ simply do not apply.

Good Inspiration

Ikea for inspiration.Where do you go when you need some real life inspiration? Beyond the flat pages of magazines or computer screens the choices are few. Sure you could traipse through decorated model homes, but in many cases the furniture and accessories are way beyond your range and the design style doesn’t match what you have in mind. Ikea stores provide inspiring display rooms and fully furnished apartments in a variety of decorating styles from modern to traditional. There’s no better way to try before you buy.

In case you haven’t already figured it out, I am an Ikea advocate. For the reasons outlined above, you have and will continue to see Ikea products featured on the pages of SuzyRenovator.

April 28, 2008   No Comments

Small White Vessel Sinks

I found so many funky bathroom sinks when I was looking for one to fit on a modern bathroom vanity cabinet that I thought I’d do a post dedicated entirely to small white vessel sinks.

To make the cut, the vessel sinks had to be small and white (hence the title - Small White Vessel Sinks), but they also had to be priced under $150 and be somewhat unusual or unique. I’ve broken my selections down into two categories - Round Vessel Sinks and Square Vessel Sinks.

Round Vessel Sinks

You might think that a vessel sink would only be suitable for a bathroom with modern decor, however there are several choices in the round vessel sink category that would complement a more traditional decorating style. Check out the vitreous china vessel with the scalloped edges and the elegant design of Laurel. A definite plus for anyone wanting to convert an antique washstand, dresser or cabinet into a functional lavatory feature. [Read more →]

April 23, 2008   2 Comments

Ikea Hack - Bathroom Vanity Cabinet

Hey, I had an idea for a low cost modern bathroom vanity cabinet!

Modern Bathroom Vanity Sink Cabinet

For some bizarre reason it’s hard to find a modern bathroom vanity cabinet at a reasonable price. Modern vanity cabinets alone run into multiple hundreds of dollars. Add onto it the cost of the bathroom sink and faucet and it’s no wonder that bathroom renovations come in near the top of the list for most expensive home improvement projects. With this proposed hack of Ikea’s Bestå shelf unit, you can have a modern bathroom vanity sink cabinet for less than $150 dollars. Even with the addition of a small vessel sink and a vessel sink filler faucet, you can still put it all together for under $400. (Don’t forget the pop-up drain and mounting ring.) [Read more →]

April 17, 2008   4 Comments

Bathroom Remodeling - Money Saving Tips

If this was my bathroom I would:

(a) Close the door and never set foot in it again.
(b) Burn it.
(c) Post toxic warning signs and string yellow caution tape across the doorway.
(d) Remodel.

Outdated Bathroom

You know I’m going to pick (d) ! This isn’t my bathroom, but for the purpose of walking through the important factors and considerations to keep in mind when thinking about a bathroom renovation / remodel, it’s a perfect example. The bathtub and shower don’t match the toilet, the toilet itself is disgusting, the vanity cabinet and the mirrored medicine cabinet are dated, and the sink faucet and the tub/shower faucet are less than appealing. [Read more →]

April 15, 2008   3 Comments