I have been seriously interested in the value of Infrared photography ever since I had my home inspection almost ten years ago and the inspector went around taking pictures with his ten-thousand dollar thermal camera. A DIY'er can know the value of insulating and caulking like a pro but to actually visually quantify and identify issues in your own home is amazing. So why didn't I just run out and buy an infrared camera ten years ago? Expense. Ten years ago infrared cameras were so price prohibitive that a home owner would never see the return on investment from energy savings.
Here in Oklahoma it's kind of hard to tell that Summer is right around the corner, but it is. Since air conditioning is a large portion of my utility bills I am moving my energy saving focus in that direction before it gets hot. When I bought this house the HVAC unit was virtually non-functional, and to be honest I was a tad scared to turn it on, so I had it replaced. Having a spiffy new HVAC I didn't pay much attention to it as a place to save money until I went in the attic and saw this; The main return air duct was patched together with plastic and duct tape.
Ever see those neat landscaping lights that light up your tree at night but stay hidden in the day acting like rocks? Ever notice how the store bought ones look fake? Plastic rocks are hard to make look like real rocks, and even if you find one that looks like a real rock, does it look like the other rocks in your garden? Probably not, and you just paid $20 to $50 to have a plastic rock in your garden. We can do far better for far cheaper.
Sadly today not everyone can be trusted and security is a must. I have started on the venture of increasing security at my home in several ways, first off cameras. Luckily it is rather easy to install security cameras but there are a few things to keep in mind. I give this a difficulty factor of 2 on a 5 point scale. if you can work a drill and a screwdriver, you can do this.
Sound is an issue with any workshop, power tools are cool but make lots of noise. My workshop has the added benefits of being in a garage, close to neighbors and harboring a CNC table. My primary concerns are the air compressor, shop vacuum and the CNC router table since it will run patterns that could easily run 30 minutes, an hour or more. Luckily, I am designing a cabinet to hold the vacuum, compressor and most importantly the CNC table for both dust and sound control. The empty pockets created in my 2x4 frame design will create great places for sound damping panels.
I was shocked when I saw how insanely easy it is to break into anyone's garage with just a coat hanger. I've spent quite a bit of time, sweat and money getting my garage workshop the way I want it and the last thing I need is to have someone break in and have their way with it. Luckily it's easy to prevent.
Labels: Home Improvement
Through a friend of a friend I came upon the blessing of some free stone. It seems Tom had just completed work on his beautiful home and had quite a bit of scrap stone left. Most of the stone was small and irregular, but it was also free. I collected as much as possible in the time I had available but what to do with it? I love stone, it is attractive, incredibly low maintenance and wherever you put it in the garden you never have to weed again...but I can't just pile a bunch of stone in my garden....or can I? After unloading and staring at the stone for some time I came up with the concept; let's build some nice bottomless planters for the garden. Lots of visual impact, lots of stone and it will make some decent dents in the places I need to weed in the future. If you don't have a friend of a friend who just built a house look towards friends in the construction trades. Frequently when houses are built scrap stone is simply discarded often buried at the build site itself. Being friendly to crews when they are finishing up may just score the scrap stone you need to make this project.
The first part of making your garage into a usable workshop is making space to work. An easy and affordable way to do this is by using store bought storage totes for organization and building a heavy duty shelf to store those on. I purchased a bulk pack of totes so I would have a uniform look and matching totes would also help maximize my storage with a uniform size. You could always use mismatched totes, no big deal, just measure all the different totes and use the largest measurement in any dimension when sizing your shelves.
OK, so long project short; I demolished a sidewalk and lowered the area it was in by about a foot and a half or so. Now I need a way to get into the side garage door. A set of stairs was the only choice but what kind? I could make wooden stairs easily, but would be remaking them years later or possibly have the issue of someone getting hurt when they finally gave way, also I didn't want any little critters living under the stairs as we live close to the great outdoors and critters abound. I could do stacked stone, that was pretty permanent but very costly. Concrete it is.