Categories
Tools and Reviews

Review of Sun Joe 10 inch Electric Convertible Pole Chain Saw

I purchased the Sun Joe SWJ807E-SJB 10 inch 8.0 Amp Electric Convertible Pole Chain Saw a couple months back. I had a number of trees to trim and many of them are on a rather steep hillside. I trim the trees each year to maintain our view (below).

Pros:

  • Price.
    I paid $52 (including shipping) when I purchased this pole saw. For that price, I felt I couldn’t go wrong
  • Modular / Convertible
    This saw allows you to detach the handle/switch and attach it directly to the saw so that you can use it like a traditional (small) chainsaw. This makes the final cutting of a limb at ground level an easy job.
  • Powerful Enough
    This surprised me the most. If you are patient, you don’t need much.
  • Reach
    This pole saw telescopes to about 9′. This was plenty for most jobs.

Cons:

  • Corded
    Limited by the cord. Easy fix by replacing this unit with a cordless one. A little more money, but knowing how will this unit works, I would step it up to the following

[amazon_link asins=’B07DHZSYMX,B01N2QVZIR,B073ZFC1FQ’ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’wnyhandyman-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’bafbfd0f-1df2-4fdd-9582-8df3af324ba2′]
   Hillside trees to trim

The trees on our hillside grow very quickly and I have used a standard pole saw over the years. Well, those things are a bit of a pain when you are on a hill and reaching out. I figured an options where I didn’t have to manually cut was called for. The manual saws can be great (mine has a lopper blade at the end), but as you get older, shoulder issues can make them unusable. Here is a link to the manual saw if you are interested. The lopper is the best part IMO.

If you notice, the manual saw is about $40. When I received a newsletter that listed the Sun Joe electric saw for $52 shipped, it was hard to resist. I figured that even if it didn’t work all that well, I would only be out $52 and I could justify that.

The saw exceeded my expectations. The saw is modular. In this case, the handle and head unit (blade) can be removed from the saw and then attached to each other (see video demonstration below). This allows for easy clean up when everything is on the ground, or is good enough when a gas saw isn’t handy.

I really don’t have much negative to say about the saw. The negative of it being corded is the primary one and I could get a battery powered saw to get around that. These have really come down in price and you can see one for about $85 below. I will probably purchase that next year when we are trimming in an area that is not too close to an outlet.

I hope that this helped someone. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.

Categories
Before and After Photos How To's

Before and After Cottage – Siding and Colors

As readers know, I love a good before and after project. The following is from a cottage that didn’t look very cottage-like with its beige dutch lap siding that was installed by the prior owner. I knew there were cedar shakes underneath but wasn’t sure of the condition that they were in. Fortunately, they were in very good shape.  I finally decided to take the leap (back into maintenance) and remove the vinyl siding.

Before

This is ‘fine’, just not as cottage-like for my taste.

The prior owner meant well, but the vinyl job buttoned the cottage up and caused a number of water issues.

  • First, he had a reverse J-channel above the sill. You should be able to see it in the first photo. I think he did this to be able to have a full course of siding that began at the top of the deck, but he carried this “water catcher” around the entire cottage. This little sill could have been done for cosmetic reasons, but it allowed water to land and flow behind the vinyl siding. Not only did the water flow behind the vinyl, but it then had the opportunity to sit on top of a board that he used to fir out his starter strip.
  • The siding starter strip was catching water. This starter strip was a piece of clapboard turned upside down. This gave a 5/16″ ledge for water to run back toward the house. This sent the water beyond the shingles and wicked into the sill plate of the interior wall. Of course this wicked into the drywall and the baseboard trim. MOLD!! We pulled the affected trim, drywall and got things dried out. Problem solved. This was then our perfect excuse to tell the wife that the vinyl siding had to go. I had been waiting for a good reason for a few years.

After

Now this is a classic cottage look. Shingles, bold paint color. High contrast. A light fixture would look better than those wires though.

red and white shingle style cottage New York

After pulling the vinyl and the interior wallboard, I realized how much the prior owner reduced the window size. He went from a 30×46 window down to a 28″ x 38″ window. This is seasonal cottage. Light and airflow can be the best part. Not only did he shrink the windows, but he also covered a window completely so that his wife could have a wall shelf inside. See photo below.

He meant well with every project on the cottage, but the consequences left a house that was wicking water for a number of years and had reduced air flow due to window sizing and the buttoning up from the vinyl siding. Old houses, especially in humid climates, need to breathe. They either need to breath the way older structures did, or they needed methods to create air exchange like a new house does.

The buttoning up of this small house along with the fact that it was in a high humidity environment led to mold. There was mold in the outer walls due to the damp sills from the siding job. In addition, the vinyl siding, vinyl windows, and covered soffit and fascia didn’t allow the house to breathe sufficiently. Water and moister is always present. There are no gutters and this allows water to land close to the house and keep the crawl space wet. The windows that were added were not done properly. There was NO weatherproofing. Typically, you would add a window and caulk the flange. After that, you would add weatherstripping tape to the top of the flange before adding the trim. None of that was done. The window was simply screwed to the top of the trim boards and trimmed with J-Channel. Not only did this allow for mold, but this caused wood rot in some areas (see image below).

Article: How I Dealt With Mold In Our Cottage / Cabin / Seasonal House

Categories
Handyman & DIY Tips How To's

How I Dealt With Mold In Our Cottage / Cabin / Seasonal House

Mold!
Mold under a window without proper flashing / weather proofing

MOLD!!
Mold under siding

MOLD!!!
Mold in wall due to high moisture and wicking via the wall sill.

How do I get rid of mold and the mold smell?

Step 1! Everyone will tell you this. Everyone should tell you this. Deal with the moisture coming into the home first!

The following is an extensive list of products to help with mold and musty smelling houses. Ours is a seasonal place on piers above a dirt crawl space. It is by a lake which means the humidity level is always high. Mold LOVES humid environments.

Here is a batch of products that have helped us a great deal. We have used each and every one of them. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below.

[amazon_link asins=’B0795P2674,B000ZOQ9HY,B00Q3FM8WE,B000N4WOWK,B000LNII4Q,B003SXWSXI,B005PV1X3W,B07JNZFRC8′ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’wnyhandyman-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ea337a4b-65a9-4d86-bfd1-00051de02ded’]

Ozone Generator. I bought an Ozone generator after a couple of people suggested that I get one. Read up on these items. The science seems to make sense in how it kills active mold spores. Not only that, it is a relatively inexpensive item. For about $70 it was worth a try. I have absolutely noticed a difference in getting rid of the lingering smell in our cottage.

Odo Ban Cleaner. I use this as an additive to when I am cleaning/wiping things down. It has been around for years.

Damp-Rid (great for small spaces with little to no air flow). We use these under beds.

Under House Fan. If you have a dwelling that has limited airflow in a crawl space order under the home, this will help to always keep the air moving.

Gable Fan. As you can tell, air flow is key. I have this gable fan in the attic that runs when the temperature reaches a certain level. This acts to cool the house and keep fresh air moving in.

Passive Inlet Wall Vent. This helps to allow fresh air into a buttoned up space.

Air Freshener. Not so sure about how much these ‘purify’ the air, but they can sure help to make sure a place can smell nice.

Dehumidifier. Can’t go wrong with a good old Dehumidifier in a space. This one is WiFi enabled so that you can check in on it and control it remotely. I pipe our directly outside so that it can run beyond a single tank. This is perfect for our sunroom that is slab on grade.

I hope that these products are helpful to someone. They have helped me in a variety of ways and to a varying degree. I have to say, once getting rid of our water source, the best product has been the inexpensive Ozone generator.

Categories
Cottage Project

Houses need to breathe

I have a cottage that was built in the 40’s and was very well kept by the prior owner. However, the prior owner took this nice shingle style cottage and buttoned everything up. He put in new windows and vinyl siding. Worse than that, he boxed in the soffits with plywood and then wrapped that in vinyl. In fact, he even caulked things prior to wrapping in vinyl. This is a recipe for ROT.

A lake environment can be very damp and humid. Because of that, air flow is critical. The photos below show what happens when something that should be open is sealed up.

Categories
Exterior Projects

Ana White | Build a Quartz Tiny House – Free Tiny House Plans | Free and Easy DIY Project and Furniture Plans

Free plans to help anyone build simple, stylish furniture at large discounts from retail furniture. All woodworking plans are step by step, and include table plans, bed plans, desk plans and bookshelf plans. Thousands of readers are saving by building their own home furnishings.

Source: Ana White | Build a Quartz Tiny House – Free Tiny House Plans | Free and Easy DIY Project and Furniture Plans

Categories
Buffalo Real Estate Bargains Real Estate

Lake Erie Cottage Bargain

I occasionally write about real estate bargains throughout WNY.  There are some that perplex me a bit when they sit on the market for a while.  The following listing is located in Portland NY within a small community named “Green Hills”.  There are only about 15 or 20 other cottages in Green Hills. This lake front cottage was built in 2007 and is only asking $139,000.

Take a look at the listing yourself.

http://www.ccbrmls.com/public/search/advanced/summary.asp?Listing_ID=1036915

I can personally attest to the amazing sunsets.  We have a place about a mile down the road.

lake erie cottage bargain