Sunday, November 21, 2010

Garminfone hard plastic case

I recently purchased a Garminfone from T-Mobile.  I made the switch from an iPhone 2G because I dropped the iPhone and cracked the screen.   After that experience I decided that it wasn't going to happen to my Garminfone. Unfortunately, the Garminfone hasn't sold very well so there aren't very many companies making cases for it.  I decided to try a case from Ebay that's sold by Wireless Accessories.  If you search on eBay for "garminfone case fire burn orange" you will find it.

Here are a few pictures.

I couldn't find any reviews on the case so I wasn't sure what to expect.  The case is relatively attractive and it comes in a variety of colors.  The case material is a hard plastic and it comes in either a shiny or rubberized finish.  I went with the rubberized version because I didn't want it slipping out of my hand.  The case comes in two pieces that snap together.  Once you snap it together it's really difficult to get apart again.   The phone fits very snugly in the case.  The openings for the speaker and camera are well placed and the case isn't terribly bulky.

Unfortunately, those are the only nice things that I can say about it.  When I bought it I figured that it probably wouldn't work with the stock car mount.  From the 3rd picture you can see that there's a round hump on the back of phone.  This is apparently designed to be used with a belt clip.  The problem is that it sticks out about an 1/8 of an inch.  Without a case the phone snaps tightly into the car mount, but with the case it's too thick.  On top of that the opening for the mount isn't wide enough (see picture 4).  The mount is about 1/2 of an inch wider than the opening in the case.  I don't even know why they bothered cutting an opening for it.

The first thing that I noticed when I put the phone into the case was that it was really hard to turn the phone on.  The case fits very snugly, and the opening for the power button is large enough to easily access the button.  It's really hard to explain, but the case compresses the phone in manner that makes the button not work properly.  Without the case the power button will move about 1/6 of an inch.  With the case it moves less than 1/32 of an inch so it's really frustrating to use.  I get the distinct impression that the manufacturer never actually tried the case on a real phone.   They must have only tested it against a demo phone.  This flaw pretty much makes the case worthless.

So to summarize:

  • Looks nice
  • Solidly built with a nice feel
  • Slim fitting case
  • Cheap ~$8
  • The case is too thick to use with the stock mount
  • THe opening in the case it too narrow for the car mount
  • The case is too snug so you can't turn on the phone properly.

Friday, July 23, 2010

House listed on MLS

You can now find the property on MLS by searching for number MLS# 3951123.  Here's a direct link to the Edina Reality site: Edina Reality Listing.

Monday, May 31, 2010

House listed on

I listed the house on  We haven't listed the house on MLS yet, but we have been getting steady traffic from people driving past that see for sale sign.  Here's the zillow link:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Part 24 - Deck

The deck is done.  The steps off the corner of the deck turned out great.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Part 23 - For Sale By Owner

We officially put up the for sale sign today.  The project has gone incredibly well, and so far we have gotten rave reviews from the people that have looked at it.  Hopefully we'll be able to match the house up with the right buyer.

There are still a few items that we need to be finished, but we are getting very close.  Carpet, garage slab and deck are the next items on the list.  Here are some updated photos:

The cherry mantel turned out wonderful.  It's a perfect match with the kitchen cabinets, and it ties the two rooms together nicely.  Linda did a great job of matching the stain.

We plan to paint the front door to match the soffit.  The lovely door ramp will soon be replaced by a wrap-around deck :)

We now have kitchen and bathroom fixtures.  We've had running water outside for weeks, but we still need to hook up the water inside.
The cat-5 patch panel is installed in the hallway closet.  The house is very media friendly.  We wired it for ethernet and TV, and ran conduit to the future TV above the fireplace.

All of the closest in the house now have shelves.  The photo above is a shot of the pantry.

The pine doors are varnished and they look incredible.  It gives the house a very warm feeling.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Part 22 - Siding is on

Since the last post there has been a ton of progress on the exterior of the house.  We chose to install a pre-finished fiber cement lap siding from James Hardie (HardiPlank).  For the gables, we went with darker vinyl shakes.

The wrap-around deck, garage apron, lighting, and landscaping are the last items left to complete the exterior.

The slate fireplace is also finished except for the cherry mantle. It turned out really nice.  

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Part 21 - Countertop

For the countertop we decided to go with Formica Laminate (Butterum granite).  The color goes really well with the Cherry cabinets.  The island was designed so that one person could sit at a stool comfortably on the end with the corbels (12" overhang) or  two people could sit on the dining room side if necessary (6" overhang).  We really wanted an island, but we also didn't want to take too much space away from the dining room.  The island configuration was a decent compromise.

For the 48" vanity bathroom we went with a beige granite top.  In the picture below, the vanity top is raised up so that the vanity could be stained without messing up the granite.

The vanity should complement the tile accents that we are planning for the bathroom.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Part 20 - Doors, Lights, and Crown Molding

More progress since the last post.  The most noticeable changes include light fixtures, six panel pine doors and crown molding on the cabinets.  Here are some shots:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Part 19 - Tile is installed

The tile is installed, grouted and sealed.  It turned out great.  We are really happy with the tile color.  It looks really nice with the cabinets.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Part 18 - Tiling begins

With the tile search completed, the guys started prepping the floor. The floor immediately above the floor joist is OSB, which isn't what you want under the cement hardibacker board. To prevent bubbling from moisture, the hardibacker should be installed on top of an exterior grade plywood.  The cement board is installed on top of the plywood with with thinset and screws.  This makes for a very solid floor which is important because we are using 18x18 porcelain tile.  Flexing in the floor could cause the tile to crack.

Here are a few shots of the finished subfloor.  You will notice that the seams haven't been taped yet in these pictures.

Here's a shot of the tile in the laundry/mud room.  The lines look to be nice and straight :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Part 17 - Cabinets

The cabinets arrived on Monday, and the guys didn't waste any time getting them installed.  They are 36" cherry with a cranberry stain and black glaze.  The drawers have self closing hardware which is nice feature.  We opted for cherry to provide a nice contrast with the light pine ceiling.

Here's what the crown molding will look like once it's installed and dusted :)

Here's a shot of the 2'x4' island still in the box.

We haven't decided on the counter top yet. We will likely hold off on a decision until after the tile flooring is installed so that we can choose something that coordinates.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Part 16 - Tile options

When we started this project I had envisioned using hardwood flooring for a big portion of the house.  People that live in the area started telling us that we were crazy to use hardwood.  The soil in the area is very sandy, so sand would be constantly be coming into the house.  Sand + hardwood doesn't make a very good combination.  It took some convincing, but I finally agreed.  We decided to go with tile instead.

The tile stores near the house consist of Home Depot and a couple of smaller tile/carpet shops.  We were looking for 16x16 tile, so that limited the selection even further.  I started out looking for tile in the Twin Cities to try to get an idea for price.  After nearly a million trips to tile stores, I came across an 18x18 discontinued tile at Home Depot that I really liked.  The price was right and the color was nice.  We called the Home Depot closest to the job site, and of course they didn't have any.  The closest store was 70 miles away and they only had 350 sq/ft, but we needed ~500 sq/ft.  We decide to buy what they had and pick up the rest in the cities.

At the store they wrapped up the 19 cases and my dad took them home.  When he unpacked them he discovered that 8 of the 19 cases were damaged.  Every tile in 8 of the cases were cracked.  Apparently a fork lift driver dropped them or something.  He called the store and they agreed to take back all of the tile (at the original store 70 miles away).  We took this as a sign that maybe we needed to look for a different tile.

Hopefully we'll find something soon, because we were hoping to start tiling next week.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Part 15 - Paint

Lots of progress since the last update. Check out the pictures below:

Guest bedroom (above) - Living Room (Below)

The picture below is a view of the kitchen and hallway leading to the back of the house.  The walls are primed and the tongue and groove pine ceiling is installed.

Here are some shots of the finished paint.  The pine ceiling also has 3 coats of poly.  The color is Glidden summer sandcastle.
Painting the closet.  Looks like fun.
View of the kitchen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

TOSCA Kitchen Faucet Giveaway

Interested in a fancy new faucet? If so head over to the One Project Closer blog for your chance to win one. All you need to do is post a comment in the article for a chance to win a TOSCA kitchen faucet valued at $129.24.The blog features a variety of helpful home improvement ideas along with a bunch of useful product comparisons.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Part 14 - Ready to tape

With the drywall installed, the interior is coming together nicely. Everything has been cleaned up and they are ready for the taper to come this week. The timing is perfect since the carpenter\contractor (my dad) is on vacation this week.

Choosing the cabinets has proven to be one of the most difficult decision thus far. After much debate, we finally settled on cherry cabinets with an island. We thought that cherry would bust our budget, but by choosing an affordable door style we were able to keep the cost down significantly. We settled on a cranberry color with a black glaze which should provide a nice contrast to the light pine ceiling. We still need to pick out the countertop and flooring for the kitchen/dining room. We plan to use tile, but we haven't decided on the size/color as of yet.

The photo above is a view of the entry way into the house from the garage. We ended up making this area a bit larger than we had originally planned. Opposite of the door is a large coat closet. The entryway leads into the laundry\mud room.

Here's a view from the end of the hall looking toward the front of the house. The master bedroom and bath are on the right, and the guest bedroom and mud room are on the left.

Here's a view of the living room from the kitchen. You can see that the pine ceiling hasn't been installed yet. The front door in the picture is a temporary construction door. The real door has a glass insert which should provide some additional light. The area for the fireplace has been roughed in. We plan to install a 36"x31" electric fireplace with a stone surround. The area above the fireplace is wired/framed to support a large flat panel TV. We shifted the living room window to the left to give the home owner a place for an small entertainment center next to the fireplace.

The large closet at the end of the hall will house the structured wiring. The house has been pre-wired for ethernet and coax. I will be installing a patch panel once the closet has been painted.

This is a view of the kitchen from the dining room. The window will be above the sink.