Replacing a Leaky Hose Bib

The hose bib directly outside our laundry room leaked water consistently, and tightening it did not help to stop the leak.  We had to get a new hose bib and a little plumbing to fix it.

  • Find out what size you need to buy.  For us, we needed a 1/2″ hose bib and coupling.
  • Gather the materials: hose bib, coupling, propane torch, solder, copper piping.

The first order of business was to shut off the water supply to the house, which was conveniently only a foot away. Channel locks and a firm tug accomplished this. Once the water was turned off (note: we had to open a faucet to let the water drain somewhere else), I used a pipe cutter to cut the pipe several inches away from the elbow and pulled it through the hole from outside.

The water line runs parallel to the wall, has a 90 degree junction that travels straight up, and a 90 degree elbow that leads it through the wall an outside. for this job, we only had to replace the leaking bib so I cut about 2 inches away from the elbow.

We first soldered the copper pipe (about 1 foot) into the new hose bib. It’s a pretty simple process:

  • use a pipe cleaner on the last couple inches of the pipe that will be soldered (it’s a handy tool that has a couple different sized holes with steel bristles which you insert the pipe and rotate a few times)
  • apply a generous amount of flux on the cleaned end of the pipe (you can get this at any hardware supply store. it’s a goopy substance you buy in a small tin and apply with a brush)
  • insert the pipe into the rear end of the hose bib 🙂
  • have matches (or lighter) at the ready
  • uncoil about 6 inches of soldering tin-lead
  • open the propane valve slightly and hold lit match/lighter up to it until it ignites
  • this next part requires a bit of patience: hold the end of the solder line up to the joint and move the blowtorch flame close enough to start melting it **********move the blowtorch from side to side and don’t hold it in the same spot or you will start scorching the pipe and dissolving the flux*******
  • as it melts, move the end of the coil around the joint until there is a liquid metal bead against the lip of the joint
  • steadily apply heat while moving the torch until the tin is drawn into the joint. when all the tin is drawn inside, you are finished.

I took the newly soldered bib and pipe and inserted it through the hole from outside. The next step was to solder the coupling onto the remaining pipe after the elbow following the same process: clean, apply flux, light torch, melt tin, heat until drawn into joint. Be sure that there isn’t any water left in the pipe or dripping out of it, or you will not be able the heat the metal sufficiently to melt the tin (which is quite frustrating).

After soldering the coupling on and then the hose bib piece into it (make sure the hose bib is right side up BEFORE soldering) we turned the water on and let ‘er rip. Success 🙂 No leaks and it worked perfectly.




My style – French Country

I took a style quiz online and it told me that my style is French Country.  I actually would have to agree.  I also like Old American – the moldings and the columns, kind of antebellum.  What’s your style?



I ordered kitchen cabinets

Home Depot was having a 20% off sale on their in-stock cabinets.  I asked an employee if it was going to go on sale again, and he said they usually always do a sale.  He said 20% is still a good deal though.  I ended up ordering them on the spot because it was the last day of the sale.  A couple weeks later, they were on sale again.  However, when I ordered my cabinets, one of the pieces only had one left in stock, so if I had waited, I couldn’t have made the right configuration.

I chose American Classics Satin White cabinets and all white appliances.


We measured the kitchen before going to Home Depot.  We had approximately 68 inches of wall space for the oven area.  For the other side of the kitchen we had 156-158 inches to work with.  We took a pen and pad of paper with us, looked at the choices of sizes that were in stock for us to choose from, and drew out what would fit:


[18″ cabinet][30″ oven/stove][18″ cabinet]

[24″ Dishwasher] [36″ sink base] [12″ cabinet] [30″ max fridge][12″ cabinet][30″ cabinet double doors][12″ cabinet]


Here are the alphabet codes for the cabinets we ordered to fit these dimensions: U, L, 2x A, G, E, 2xC, 2xN

Everything to the right of the refrigerator is a 12″ deep cabinet size (shallower than the cabinets on the left side of the refrigerator, which are 24″ deep).  Above the 12″ deep cabinets to the right of the refrigerator are going to be some home made shelves to hold plates and cups.  This reduces the need to buy more cabinets, but also has an interesting look.

We have finished installing everything in the kitchen so we will post pictures soon. We still have to put up dry wall and paint, as well as put in the shelves.

How much does it cost to do a kitchen remodel?  It depends on how much remodeling you are doing.  For cabinetry, my total came to $819 for 10 pieces, plus tax = almost $900.  For the refrigerator, washing machine, over the range microwave, gas stove/oven, the total was $1,600.  Butcher block at Ikea will cost half of what lumber liquidators is selling their butcher block for, but since I went with lumber liquidators, it cost me $660 after tax for a 12 foot piece and an 8 foot piece.  Ben installed all the cabinets, so there was no labor charge.  I don’t know how he did it; maybe he will write his own blog entry for that.  It really helps if they are running specials for 0% financing for 18 months, which is what I got.


Ordered Butcher Block

I ordered butcher block from Lumber Liquidators.  I wasn’t sure whether to go with the Ikea counter tops or the Lumber Liquidators.  The ikea countertops are much cheaper.  I would probably order that to make myself a desk, but not for the kitchen.


I also ordered Behlen salad bowl finish from amazon:I am wondering if Waterlox might be a better choice.  Anyone know definitively which one is better to use as a food safe coating?

How to make a custom sign

Start off with a wood block in the craft section of any store like Wal Mart, Hobby Lobby for 97 cents or 99 cents

You’ll also need

  •  some paint brushes (small ones)
  • acrylic paint –  I bought white and turquoise for this project
  • stencils

First paint the base color:

Wait a few minutes until it dries and start stenciling the letters with your second color:

Make sure you press the stencils tightly against the wood or else you will end up not staying in the lines


Variations: You can cut out craft paper with nice designs as a background or buy sticker letters so you aren’t painting in the letters yourself.  Make holes in the plaque to hang on a ribbon.