a blog about nothing

Author: markamorim

Why replace something that can be fixed?

Sometimes replacing things is more economical, sometimes its preferential but replacing things isn’t always necessary. In the not so distant past people repaired things, parts were readily available. Some major company’s today are fighting the right to repair. Which are companies I will no longer patronize

My grandparent’s kept things for years. There was never any talk in their house of replacing the aged stove or the even older heater. Our family always drove old cars and fixed things when they broke. At some point I lost this trait and gave into the norm of replacement over repair and I’ve bought two new cars since graduating college.

Recently something changed. I’m not sure if it had something to do with living on a tighter income or just an increased awareness of the waste around me. Tie that to an appreciation for old things and you have the perfect storm for repair over replace.

Giving something a second chance gives you a sense of accomplishment and contentment knowing it won’t end up in the junk heap like so many other wasted things. It is also better for your wallet to repair things (most of the time). Recently repairing my broken leaf blower for 26 bucks or my bathroom faucet for less than that. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by spending a little time on research and parts and repairs. 

The issue in 2018 is the availability of replacement parts and diagrams. With companies manufacturing for total replacement or if something can be fixed not supplying end users with parts it jeopardizes our ability to be self reliant and fix things ourselves. While manufactures can’t be expected to support old products for eternity they should not hinder the after market’s ability to support products long after their end of life designation.

I will continue to explore every opportunity to repair something over replacing it and I hope more people will begin to realize once again that items can far outlive the manufactures warranty and begin to repair things using the resources available both online and in your community.

Why replace a faucet when it can be rebuilt?

This weekend when It started raining in my kitchen. Come to find out the 60+ year old shower valve set had started to leak from the stem seals and running back down into the wall and through hole next to the electrical box in the ceiling. Thankfully I caught it as soon as it started so no damage to the ceiling was done. In the next few minute’s I called some friends and ordered a new valve set off of amazon. One friend and trusted advisor talked me through the disassembly of the solid brass valves. Over the next 24 hour’s with the help of another friend I was able to repair the damaged brass threads and repack the valve with fresh packing. All in it was about a six dollar fix. 

I’m Lucky to have such good friends. The plumbing supply store told me i should replace the hole valve set and google was at a loss for how to repair this particular type of valve. If it weren’t for the knowledge and help from my friends I’d be showering at my parent’s house for a week or more. 

Why replace an entire valve set when the one you have can be repaired? Or anything else for that matter.  Why replace something that can be fixed? 

I was fortunate in this situation what I had could be repaired and repaired cheaply. But It made me think about how we think about the things around us today. I’ve thought about it in passing over the years but not for any length of time or long enough to come to any conclusion.

Over the past few days i’ve had the opportunity to step back and think about this and this doesn’t necessarily always apply. There are a number of reasons and arguments to be made to the contrary and not everything can be fixed or fixed economically. I’ll write more about that in another post. 

A Piecemeal Kitchen

When budget is key, collecting affordable pieces for a project can be time consuming and take up a lot of space.

In my kitchen, after deciding to re-use the old metal cabinets and change the layout very little, I began collecting pieces from salvage places, clearance sales and as a last resort paying full price.

If you’re interested and have the time and space. Places such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore locations can be gold mines for finding discount building materials and house parts. These places can be very hit or miss. Countless time’s I’ve stopped in to come home with nothing but finding a kitchen sink you like, brand new for $17 is worth all the other disappointing trips.

Being that it was my first time tiling, I decided to go with a readily available tile. If i screwed up on my calculating or broke to many tiles, all i would have to do is go back to the home improvement store and get more tiles.

I’ve also had a run of luck with clearance thing’s at home improvement stores. Always a good place to check

The Work Truck.

Whether it is working on a house or helping out a friend. A truck is always a good thing to have around. It doesn’t have to be a particularly nice truck to be useful either. A well used truck will do the same job. Since JEEP still hasn’t made a Wrangler sized pickup, When the opportunity to own a piece of history came up, I couldn’t resist. Thanks to a great friend I picked up this beat up old JEEP J-10 Pickup the right price. After a year of hanging out on my friend’s ranch in TX, and another thousand to get her home My J-10 joined the fleet earlier this month. It needs a bit of work but once I get the truck through PA inspection It will be a great asset in hauling around car & house parts or loads of garden soil and stone. Although I tend to get carried away once I get into a project… Stay Tuned.

Wall Paper, Wall Paper, Wall Paper Everywhere!

If anyone was afraid of wallpaper my house would have given them nightmares.

One of the reasons I bought my house was because it was untouched. That was both a good and bad thing.  As a fan of the 50s and 60s  there was plenty to like about my house.  Original kitchen, Bathrooms, and the all important bar in the basement.  I think the originality gives it some quirks and unique qualities. Unfortunately that also meant that wall paper was everywhere…

I really mean everywhere…

The Walls…

The doors…

The light switch plates….

and the Ceiling!?!

I’ve become a pro at stripping flower print and other 50s wall paper.

The removal trick for me was fabric softener, a pump garden sprayer, and a wide putty knife.

The big surprise was that underneath all of the wall paper in the house, none of the walls had ever been painted.

At this point I’ve removed all the traces of wall paper in the house. My hall door still stands as a reminder of wall paper hell, soon to be replaced by a more interesting salvaged door.

Don’t buy a stove when you want to start a bathroom project.

The one thing I’ve had the most trouble with since I bought my house is prioritizing projects. My mother would say, “You have to live there for a while”. The problem with that idea is that the longer I live in this house, the more projects I seem to find. Just when I thought I had a clear priority a new full bathroom to be built down in the basement, everything shifted with the purchase of a second-hand Viking stove.

Let me start off by saying I’m a deal hunter. I love to find the latest deals. My morning routine usually consists of at least a few minutes scanning Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for anything from vehicles to household stuff. That’s how I ended up with the stove kitchen dreams are made of.


This beautiful behemoth of a stove threw my whole prioritization plan right out the window. Now that I have two stoves crammed just feet apart into a kitchen that needs of a major renovation, the kitchen moves to the top of the list if I want it to or not.

I guess that’s one way to prioritize!



Why a blog?

Well, I don’t know. I own the web url and pay for hosting every year so why not put something on it? We’ll see how this goes…

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