Category Archives: BUDGETHOUSE RENOVATOR

Don’t Fall Off The Roof

Fear Of Roofs I don’t like working on roofs. My real fear started when I contracted a job in California. It involved the repair of a wood shingle roof on an older home. That type of shingle requires breathing from the underside and the framing procedure does not allow the use of plywood to cover the rafters. Open slats are installed with spacing 6″ to 8″ apart. Wood shingles swell when wet to seal against leaks, and must dry out after the rain. I started to remove […]

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DIY Molding Tips and Tricks

Who Is The DIY Homeowner I have often wondered what the typical Do-It-Yourself homeowner is like. If it is you, what do you know how to do or expect from your self-directed efforts? What percentage of you know how to make nice fitting trim joints?? How many homeowners can’t afford to hire someone else to do a job and windup taking on the task themselves? I started life as a homeowner who had no experience as a contractor or as a fix-it-myself aficionado. But I was a […]

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Ugly,Ugly Walls In Your House

What’s An Ugly Wall? I bought a house with ugly walls. One bedroom has screws showing in the ceiling and drywall joint tape peeling off the walls. It has no drywall in the closet and studs showing. For the time being, it has been turned into the bird room where my wife keeps her 2 Conjures (Parrot-like birds). The house originally had the pathetic looking laundry room right next to the master bedroom. The texture finish on the walls was awful and the ceiling was just as […]

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The Budgethouse Purchase: Lease Options

California Heyday During the late 80’s, I was involved in a couple of partnerships. They were set up to buy real estate properties in California during one of the boom times in that state. House prices were increasing at the rate of 2 to 5% per month in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. It was a crazy time that seemed to go on forever. Great for selling but really difficult for those who wanted to buy. Especially when many people were losing their ability to […]

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The Budgethouse Purchase: VA Foreclosures

Inspiration Veterans Administration (VA) foreclosed homes were part of a world I knew nothing about. At least while living in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area in the early 70’s. We were living in an apartment, and were desperately trying to make ends meet. One day I answered an ad placed by a real estate broker who specialized in managing, repairing, and selling homes foreclosed on by the VA Real Estate Owned (REO) department. It was a fortuitous meeting since the economy was starting a slow downturn. Being […]

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The Homeowner Painting Like A Pro

Artistic Endeavors I once wanted to be a professional artist. I can draw someone’s face and make it look just like them. I can paint a street scene or wooded pathway just from memory. Houses, buildings, people, vehicles, trees, desert scenes, and likenesses of statues. I have been there and done that. Commercial art was my goal when I was in college. It didn’t pan out. Art teachers can be very critical and discouraging. They look for a particular style and certain characteristics from each student. One […]

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DIY EuroKitchen, Part VI

Cabinet Door Sizing The big difference between measuring for Frameless Kitchen Cabinet Doors and Framed Cabinet Doors is precision. There is leeway when fitting doors to a cabinet with a face frame. Not so with frameless. Euro-Style Kitchen doors have a tolerance of 1/16th of an inch. All you will see when you are done is the cabinet door, false door panels, and corresponding fillers where opposing cabinets meet. Gaps between doors and fillers are approximately 1/8th of an inch , plus or minus a tiny fraction […]

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DIY EuroKitchen, Part V

Criteria For EuroKitchen Cabinet Doors There are an unlimited number of cabinet door styles to choose from. To get a quality look for your kitchen the choices are narrowed way down to a few styles. With a EuroKitchen you cannot put decorative edges on the doors or drawer fronts without affecting the uniform gaps between each door. Remember, all you are going to see is the Doors, Drawer Fronts, End Panels, and Fillers. No face frames here. The best edges will be primarily squared with a very […]

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My DIY EuroKitchen, Part IV

Deciding On Material For The Counter Top A kitchen countertop can be a huge expense. The most popular top for higher end kitchens is granite. The cost can be upwards of $45 to $200 or more per square foot. A typical installation can total well over $5,000. My last kitchen done for our home cost $117 per square foot for a total of $5,500. Other choices like Corian and Stone can have high prices as well. This is Part 14 in the BUDGETHOUSE RENOVATOR series that involves the search for, […]

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My DIY Euro Kitchen, Phase III

The Best Kitchen Drawers There are only 2 types of drawers I am going to recommend here. They are solid half-inch maple or similar hardwood and half-inch Baltic plywood. MDF or particle board won’t last and can swell with any moisture present. The second recommendation I am going to make is that they are made with dovetailed joints and solid plywood bottoms. Good quality cabinet materials includes the type of wood that goes into making drawers. The third thing is the type of drawer slides. This is […]

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