Home renos

Dishwasher repair: success.

December 26, 2021 Home renos , , ,

We have a Meile dishwasher that failed about a year ago.  Sofia’s sleuthing led us to believe that this little part, a fill valve, was to blame.  People with Meile dishwashers have reported having to replace this little part multiple times.

We were confident enough that this was the source of our issues, that we went ahead and cut the original out, expecting to be able to find a replacement part easily.  It turns out that it was not so easy.  To get a branded replacement, we weren’t finding anything less than about $250 (some of which had the right part number but sold in the UK where they use 220V lines.)  At that price, it is tempting to just ditch the dishwasher and get a replacement, however, this is a stupidly expensive false front unit that has a cover that matches the other cabinetry.  I don’t expect that we could have pried that facade off easily to replace the unit, and if we had to, who knows where we could have gotten a replacement facade (assuming it was destroyed attempting to remove it from the old dishwasher.)

Anyways, after way too many months of hand washing our dishes, we finally gambled on a generic replacement ($35+$10 shipping CAD):

It’s a single solenoid GE component, but it worked!  Two additional parts were required, the first of which was a 3/8″ -> 3/8″ interior to exterior elbow (somehow I had one of these in my drawer of random plumbing related crap), and the second of which was a set of crimp on electrical connectors ($6 for a package of them at home depot.)  It took me two tried to get the connection not to leak (it dribbled a tiny little bit each dishwasher cycle), as I hadn’t put enough teflon tape on the connection between the fill hose, and the elbow.

Kudos to Youtube’s Scottthefixitguy, as his video on Miele fill valve replacement video was perfect instruction for this operation!

All is now well, and we are already enjoying not hand washing the dishes.  It’s amazing how much time that has added up to over the last year or so.  We should have braved the generic replacement fill valve months ago!  Total cost (parts, shipping, labour;) was only ~$50 CAD.

Building my new “garage”

November 12, 2020 Home renos , , , , , , , ,

I managed to sneak in a day off of work (split over two days), and built a space for all the tools that I used to keep in my double car garage. We’ve been in the new downtown house now for a year, and had most of the old house cleared out except for the garage. You can accumulate a lot of stuff in 20 years of home ownership, and moving from a house with a double car garage to a no-garage house, was quite a challenge. After many panic-demic induced delays, we eventually finished the renos on the old house, and sold it.  I’m really enjoying the new neighbourhood, where I can walk to just about everything I need, but there’s a few things that I miss from the old house:

  1. The garage!
  2. Parking spaces (6 not including the garage — I won’t miss shovelling that driveway!)
  3. The pool.
  4. The hottub.

However, number 1 — the garage, has been the most challenging.  We’ve had stuff from the garage all over the house, in the sheds in the back yard, and a whole lot of it on the back deck under a tarp.  We replaced our washer and dryer with a stacking unit to maximize the space, and I’ve now built some heavy duty shelves next to it for all the tools and toolboxes:

I’ve drilled three rows of holes, each 2″ apart, so that I can adjust the height of the shelves.  I’ve fixed the middle and the top shelf for stability.  I also tacked in the shelf on the bottom with a couple screws and should put some sort of fixed back brace, or a bottom piece so that the side supports cannot spread.  That will have to be later, since I’m out of wood (I had to scrounge a bit and my top most adjustable shelf is not big enough — so that one is temporary too.)

We may redo the plumbing on the other side of the washer dryer too. We have some long multiple hose runs, one of which leaked at one point, because of a degraded washer.   It would be better to put one of those tidy washer/dryer plumbing boxes right in the wall near the washer dryer instead of the current leak ready to happen system.  That would allow for eliminating all the too-long hoses, and give us a chance to fully optimize the long laundry closet for storage.  That and the opposite storage unit is the closest that we will get to a “garage” in the new house.

In the 2o year accumulation of stuff, I have a whole lot of tools that actually need to go.  Some of these were dad’s, and I didn’t have the heart to toss them, but it would be better to find them homes with people that will actively use them.  At the bare minimum, some of these excess tools should go to people who actually have storage space to be hoarders, something that we can no longer do.  Now that I have things arrayed in an accessible fashion, it’s time for the big sort, and then the purge after the sort.

Final touches for the kitchen renovation are now done.

June 22, 2020 Home renos ,

Today included a second coat of paint, cleanup, and little bits of detailing.  The kitchen is now fully operational, and looking pretty sharp:

I also got the 2nd coat in the front foyer done today — we were saving that painting for last since we didn’t want traffic in and out of the house messing it up, and it’s looking good too (especially having removed the “popcorn” stucco from the ceiling.)

For anybody who had seen the old kitchen, observe that there is no longer a microwave embedded in the staircase for the basement (replaced with a more sensible microwave/range-hood combination.)

The bulkheads that on the fridge side of the kitchen are also now gone, and we were able to put in awesome floor to ceiling cabinets.  This will provide the new owners with lots of space!

patching plaster and lathe: no strapping required!

February 29, 2020 Home renos , ,

I’d never had to patch holes in plaster and lathe before, and proceeded in the normal fashion, trying to slip strapping into the hole like you would with drywall.  That was really difficult (at least in the small holes I was trying to patch.)

I got smarter on my second hole, and used the lathe itself as the strapping.  All I had to do was cut the hole a bit bigger than my hole, like so:

then I was able to anchor my filler piece of drywall nicely using the lathe

my first coat in the closet side is a bit messy since that side it just plaster and lathe and very uneven

but on the outside side of this wall, where we have drywall on plaster on lathe, the patch will be nice and smooth:


This is a new switch for the wall sconce light outlet that we presume was a wall sconce that had its own switch initially.

I had some trouble using my new trick on one of my four holes, since the plaster and lathe in that section was thinner than my drywall.  In that section, I tried trimming my filler drywall edgewise, which didn’t work too well, since it cracked once screwed in, but it was good enough to hold the mud in place, so it all worked out in the end.

Kitchen progress, we have a floor!

February 24, 2020 Home renos , , ,

Our contractor installed the new kitchen tiles this weekend, and I think it’s looking pretty good, even without the grout:

There’s still some finicky work with the thresholds to do, but we should be able to get the cabinet installers in to do their work soon.

We spent some time at the house too. Sofia got tons of the remaining chaos under control, and I putzed away, patching up the giant holes in Connor’s old room’s closet, which we ripped the plumbing and electrical out of (there was improperly installed plumbing and electrical in there for a 2nd floor laundry.)

The holes in the floor are because the old owner didn’t properly replace the subfloor that he massacred to run his plumbing and electical (on one side he didn’t have anything at all, and just covered it up the hole with some click-together hardwood). I have some nice solid plywood that I’ll put in here to replace the missing OSB, but I couldn’t do that this weekend (at least easily) without my table saw, which was at the new-house. I’ll also screw in a parallel section of 2×6 on the right hand side of the closet to strengthen the joist, which was also massacred a bit — that’s probably overkill, but I may as well while the floor is open.

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