06
Apr-2010

When you are on the road, you occasionally find yourself in between places or in limbo waiting for the next leg of your trip.  That is where we have found ourselves for the next month or two as we wait for the Mongol Rally start date.  Currently, we are both out on the West Coast in the Seattle / Tacoma area.  Since we are still traveling, and the rally does not start until July 24, we can’t really get a job or search for any serious job during this time period – especially because of the current economic situation.

USA Route

Route map?

We have taken this opportunity to catch up with family and friends and we’ve been traveling around the United States and trying to see as much of the US as we can, although we will still miss a lot because of its enormity.  What we can do is work on some projects at home or help out our friends and folks.  We are currently undertaking a variety of projects from painting the exterior of the house, which is hard in the State of Washington because it is always raining, but it is a great opportunity to fix up things without spending too much money.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and look for things on sale, discount, or discontinued products.  We have been able to repaint several rooms with $5 paint – previously mixed and returned because they didn’t like the color.  So for about $5 – %15 dollars we can repaint a room with what would normally cost $90 for the paint.  If you are redoing a bathroom, look for discounted marble counters, surrounds, flooring, or tiles.  My brother-in-law introduced this to me as he is quite the deal finder.  It helps to have an open mind about your room or what you are trying to change.  It may not be exactly what you want, but it can be a huge improvement to your home, and for as little as a few hundred dollars, you can easily make 4 digit value increases to your home.

Ask your relatives if they have any left over supplies such as brick, tile, or drywall.  You never know what someone Spreading Tile Mortarmay keep around.  We were lucky enough to have a relative give us their remaining marble tiles, which looked awesome and we can cover over 700 square feet with them.  Even though we didn’t think they would fit with the style of the home, once we got them there we found a place to make them work.  As long as you are personally willing to put in the time and research to teach yourself and learn how to do these projects. eHow is a great place to start, but you usually will want more detailed information.  Search a variety of websites and also consider going to your local library to find guides for tiling, flooring, carpeting, decking, etc.  If all else fails, go to a book store and buy Fill in the Blank, for Dummies. Moreover, don’t forget to ask for assistance at your depot stores as they are usually well informed and will be more than willing to help explain to you exactly what you need and how to do it.

We are planning to redo a gutted bathroom and refinish the hardwood floors in the hallway – all things that can be done on the cheap but make huge a remarkable changes to your home.  Make sure to call ahead and reserve the proper equipment for these jobs like an orbital sander and edger or tile equipment.  You may also want to check out www.youtube.com for what you are doing as they may have a step by step video for all of you visual learners.

Refinishing a hardwood floor:  http://www.ehow.com/how_1856_refinish-hardwood-floor.html

Tiling a Bathroom Floor: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,672069,00.html

We are still hoping to do some traveling while out hear, stay tuned for information on the regional National Parks.

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  • Kelsey says:

    I notice that you’re going near DC. If you need a place to stay, let me know. We have couches and and air mattress and friendly kitties, and even have Mongolian clothes you can acquaint yourselves with!

  • Thanks Kelsey! That is really nice of you. We still are not sure how we will get to England yet, but we’ll let you know if we will be through the area. Thanks again and if we don’t meet you in D.C., perhaps we will meet somewhere else soon!

  • Wow! I can’t believe that I just came across this post. This has been a big thing in our household. We didn’t get leftover materials from family, but we did get free labor from family who did all the grunt work and then we just had to have someone actually do the tiling of the bathroom. It’s surprising how much better you can come out getting someone good that’s local to do it much cheaper than a large company.

  • Very true, especially if you are lucky enough to actually convince your family members to help you. You can always make a party announcement and then when everyone shows up have a case of beer and tools laid out?

  • Just thought i would comment and say neat design, did you code it yourself? Looksexcellent.

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