Archive for the 'Tips' Category
A little side project.

The lot is kind of tight on the north side of the house and has been made more so for the last several years by my tool trailer parked next to the basement stairs.  Yes, tidewater, I have a basement!  With the floor 1.6 feet above sea level, this is not a good thing.  Hence the tool trailer.  Plans for the basement are to fill it with sand and convert it to a crawl space later.  After the wiring and plumbing are finished for the first floor remodel!

Anyway, I need to clear the side yard so I needed to move the trailer.  The most out of the way place is the rear northwest corner of the yard but I have a terrain issue.  The yard drops off steeply in this corner.  The answer was a retaining wall to make a level parking space but how to do it quick, easy, cheap and good.  I know, you only get to pick three out of that list!  However, I believe I have found an exception.  It took about 50, 50 lb. bags of concrete and about an hour to build the wall.  Y0u can read all about this technique on the quickcrete web site.  Rip-Rap wall   Basically, you dig and level a trench, lay the bags in running bond pattern, drive in rebar through the bags, wet with hose,  and backfill when hard.  I used crush and run to fill the parking spot.  There is actually an entire duplex built on a 7 foot high rip-rap retaining wall on the water across the street from my house.  It has been there over 15 years and doesn’t show a crack or settling at all.  My wall is only 16 inches tall so I think I’m ok with this!

Here are some Picts:


Praise be to my girlfriend Karen!

Thanks to Karen, we were able to knock out most of 6 windows over a weekend.  This also included moving all the equipment to the backyard and setting up staging to be able to get to the level of the windows.

A couple of lessons learned.  Cutting the blind stop off with the sawsall is much easier with the right blade.  I had been using Dewalt’s 6″ 6 Teeth/inch blades and they really didn’t cut the mustard 🙂  At lowes I lucked into Lenox Extra Sharps.  They are the same size blade but the teeth are angled alternating left and right.  The package says they are good for plastic, wood and pruning.  LOL  They are really sharp and make quick work of my job even when encountering knots.  Check’em out here.



Shimming from outside is difficult because the window frame is not flat through its width.  It is a channel frame.  I solved this with some 1/4 ” lath glued inside the channel. This way I can cut the shim to the proper size and tap it all the way in to the screw hole so it will be properly fastened.

Attached below are the latest pictures.  I have been digging out of the snow storm and will start trimming the side windows tomorrow.