Things have been a little hectic of late, but our 12 DIYs of Christmas are nearly complete.

I started this goal of accomplishing 12 nagging tasks with every confidence I'd finish them all of without issue. But as DIYs tend to go, several little things got it in the way of successfully completing all 12 prior to Christmas January 6th, the official 12th day of Christmas.

A very rainy week of weather kept me from making adjustments to our garden gate to allow it to close without sticking. This was supposed to be DIY #12. I'm waiting for a bit of dry weather that's over 40 degrees for a little while, which may not be for some time. And frustrations with our attic furnace have kept me from finishing up DIY #9, the install of our new thermostat. At this point I've even replaced a few parts on the furnace in an attempt to resolve the fact the thermostat isn't getting 24 volts of power over the common wire as the wiring diagram suggests it should. Let's just say, I'm very familiar with this diagram now.

It's been a frustrating couple of projects to say the least. However, and this is a big however, we were able to get DIY 10 and 11 wrapped up before the January 6th deadline. These were both located at our new house, and both were shockingly boring in comparison to a major event that happened when we were there last weekend working on these projects. That's because, we officially met our neighborhood pig!

Yes, it's true, she's amazing! We don't know her name yet, but we're going with Petunia until we learn it. I'll let Wendy fill you in on more details about her next week.

Anyhow, back to our list of DIYs.

On the 10th DIY of Christmas I did for my true love to see, we ripped out old gross tile.

The downstairs bathroom has been an ongoing project since we bought the new house. It seems like every time we "finish" it, the damn thing is torn apart a few weeks later. The last time we told you about it we'd just completed the butcher block remnant sink install. 

Well, almost as soon as that was in place, Wendy grew very, very tired of the old, cracked, scratched, and dingy tile left on the floor. So tired, in fact, that she couldn't even stand the sight of it for one more second! So she started to rip it out.

My 10th DIY was completing this job of ripping out the tile and improperly installed plywood subfloor. Let me tell you, it was a task and a half. The tile was installed with glue and insufficient subfloor nailed in place, which meant it was sure to fail and look bad. But it was installed just well enough to make it hard to remove. 

After much struggle I had removed all of the tile and subfloor and could see that a lot of the old pine floor was in really good shape and would clean up nicely. But at the same time there was a rectangular cut out and some damaged wood around the toilet area that would need to be repaired. 

While completing this task just opens up more work that needs to be completed, it was something that needed to get done once Wendy decided the tile really had to go.

On the 11th DIY of Christmas I did for my true love to see, insulated our water supply.

After we had our big freeze last winter, we had to redo all of the plumbing in the house. This is old news by this point, I know, but we're still not 100% done with the work. When I had the plumber run the water supply to a new location in the crawlspace, he mentioned that we'd want to insulate the crawlspace area to make sure the main supply line doesn't freeze and rupture again. This is how supply line looks just under the floor, somewhat open to an unconditioned space.

I wanted to maximize the insulation on this supply line by surrounding the sleeve the supply line comes in though with spray foam insulation. In order to do this I had to form a container to keep the foam in place using a cardboard box surrounded by plastic.

Once the cardboard was in place I was able to apply copious amounts of spray foam. If you've ever worked with foam, you know once it's in place, it's in place and there's no servicing things. Since this has a joint that can fail, I wanted to make sure the joint would stay open so we could fix it if need be. So I only foamed around the sleeve and on the exposed part of the pex line.

I was then able to protect the joint itself with a bit of insulation batting before putting the subfloor back in place.

I got all of this done just in time as we ended up with temperatures down to 17 degrees this past Tuesday. And as far as I know, we've had no new issues with ruptured pipes. 

Now sing it all with me!!

On the 12th DIY of Christmas I did for my true love to see, I'm in a weather delay for our gate.

...insulated our water supply...

...we ripped out old gross tile...

...still derailed by a thermostat...

...patching and painting in the hallway...

...also patched and painted the bathroom ceiling...

...Fixed the rim lock's catch...

...Replaced the giant wall clock's movement...

...Finally fixed our shutters...

...Patched the hole in the side of our house...

...Some paint on our chimney... 

...and a chiming clock next to our Christmas tree.

Overall we're so happy that these nagging items are finally crossed off our to do list. With old houses, it seems the work is never done. We hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and your New Year is off to a happy, healthy, and productive start! 

Comments 6


1/8/2016 at 5:30 PM

You didn't make the deadline. But since the last few are really more involved than thought, and since you've made progress, you get a pass. Contingent on you posting the completion IMMEDIATELY, not week or two later. Deal?

1/9/2016 at 12:21 PM

...and a piggy in a pear tree.

Congratulations! I'm still trying to work up the energy to take down the Christmas decorations.

Franki Parde
1/9/2016 at 1:10 PM

BRAVO!!! franki

1/10/2016 at 12:56 PM

Great work! I can imagine how nice it feels to have those projects off the to-do list. Happy New Year!

Spencer Koch
5/19/2016 at 10:03 PM
I had to do some extra wiring to get my Nest thermostat working. Turns out it really needed a common wire when it claimed it didn't.
Old Town Home
5/19/2016 at 10:03 PM
That's essentially the issue here. I was able to get the common wire to the Ecobee, and also made 100% sure I'm wiring to the correct wires, but my multimeter is reading 0 when it should be reading 24volts between the R and C. I thought it was a bad transformer and so replaced that, but it's still the same deal. Even tested with a multimeter right at the units wires to eliminate the possibility of a short in the wall. Nothin. Will be on with tech support soon. I really hate this old POS furnace. It's so terrible.
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