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Tommy T.

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Tommy T. last won the day on January 9

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About Tommy T.

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    Davao City
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    Cooking, Baking, Eating, Sailing, Loving, Ham Radio, Scuba Diving, Swimming

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  1. Your builders sound similar to ours. I think there may be hope for the future of quality and consistent construction here? Yesterday I handed the foreman a printout of our latest suggestions and requirements. One item stated that the stairs must be uniform (they will be wood planks on a sloped I beam) and level in all directions. Step #5 on the way to the apartment here on the third floor has a downward slope to it. The same builders constructed this place as are constructing our home. So I mentioned this to the foreman and said that would not be acceptable. He must use a spirit level and not just the water-in-hose leveling that they use for other things. He was fine with that and understood the criticism and suggestion.
  2. Thanks Geoff... I wish you hadn't reminded me of those days...
  3. We paid a visit to the home site again today because we had a number of questions and suggestions... They guys are making quick progress now and the walls are materializing as if out of thin air. Some of the hollow block setting looks better than others, but they seem to be making an effort to not do this the totally Filipino way. We finalized the locations and sizes of some more windows - mainly on the second floor for the master bedroom and extra room. We also revised the drainage system from the roof deck to make it more efficient and less intrusive into our bedroom. L was there with me for the entire time and gave much valuable input into design and function. We had a couple of "argumentative discussions," but were always able to reach positive conclusions. As for any home building project, there must be compromises and each of us did exactly that. We worked out which way doors should open to cause least problems - where will the cables for TV and internet go, how about electrical outlets? I am very pleased that there will be many electrical outlets throughout the home - inside and outside, probably more than we may need. But I believe it is better to have too many than too few. We left the foreman with a number of printouts showing things like wire-nuts for the electrician to use instead of twisted wires with tape and I instructed him about how they should be correctly used (there really is a proper technique). We also want one light switch at every location where there will be lighted switches - so much easier to find the one when it is dark. We also specified which adhesive and grout to use (ABC) when they start tiling soon. We changed the configuration of a deck on the second floor to make it a bit larger so we can sit to drink our morning coffee or evening cocktails with more space to enjoy. And we set the location and size of some shade/rain awnings for maximum effect with minimum intrusion to living spaces. After that, I went shopping and bought all the door locks. I also bought the kitchen sink so that the foreman and cabinet maker could take measurements so that everything will fit correctly and neatly... I am exhausted after all of this today... so many decisions, a few arguments, and so much thought energy to make our home just right! A view out one of our master bedroom windows. The view out another master bedroom window. The master bedroom CR with bedroom to the right and stairs to the left. Of course, no walls yet... Looking up at the downstairs and upstairs CR shower windows. I insisted that we have an opening window in each shower so we can have free air flow and also a bit of a view while showering. There will also be powered vents in the CR's to expel odours and moisture. The kitchen sink! Not with this faucet. It was a real hassle to find one of the proper size and configuration to fit in the rather limited space available on our small counters.
  4. Here is an update on my lock progress... I went to Wilcon again (soon I will need to just move there or camp out) today. At L's urging I looked at the lever handle door locks there and found exactly the style we both liked. They are Yale brand, but say Assa Abloy underneath the Yale name. I tried them in their sample board and they all felt fairly solid and mechanically sound. So I bought all we needed - 4 with keyed lock entry for bedrooms and roof deck, 3 with "privacy" locks for the CR's. With a 10% off sale price, it was about 8k for the lot. That is 2k cheaper than the Hafele brand I looked at yesterday of which we did not like the design as much. L also suggested that I ask about the secure key locks for the front and back doors. These are also Yale Assa Abloy and seem fairly heavy duty. They have keys with the side dimples rather than the usual vertical notched keys. They do not exactly match the others in colour (more golden brass rather than "antique" brass, which is a bit more blue-grey), but close enough. They only had three left in stock and were phasing them out because people did not like that they could not be duplicated by the key copier shops. Exactly! That's what I wanted. So I bought two for about 10k each with the 10% sale discount. L was not with me but checked them out later and was very pleased, too, with the design and quality.
  5. That looks really great Steve! Nicely done. Interesting paint job on the roof - sort of like dry swimming pool lanes?
  6. Our Samsung machines are cold fill, cold wash only, no water heating.
  7. I have been using cold water only in the 10 kg Samsung top load machine I bought two years ago with great results. L has another machine (Samsung 8 kg) that has been running strong for over four years. I don't remember the price but think it was around the 20k mark. The slightly larger machine makes it easy to wash a set of sheets and other things all in one load... If I remember correctly, the SM appliance store where I bought it didn't even carry machines with hot water capability, but there is a knock-out in the back so some models are at least available somewhere that use hot water...
  8. L says my voice is raspy... mmmm... And I am not surprised that there is confusion here between male and female fittings... There seems to already be confusion between males and females?
  9. But that all looks so yummy!!!! I'm okay with pics...
  10. if it is rusty and you want to do a good job that might last longer, clean up the grime with soap or solvent and lots of water. Make sure there are no leftover residues. Brush or scrape off any loose rust. Then paint on "rust converter" - the locals may not know it by any other moniker. I used phosphoric acid - often known as "Phospho" - they may know that name. It is available here at almost any hardware store. Anyway, it converts the rust to iron oxide which then forms a barrier to further rust - at least for a while. After that dries, then paint over it with something akin to Rustoleum or other metal coating paint and it should last a long time until next re-do...
  11. Thanks JGF... I should re-phrase - I have not found any locksmiths here in Davao City. P500 can be well worth it, depending on the cost of the original lockset - and the cost and hassle of breaking into your own dwelling!
  12. Best to ask that of a locksmith. But I believe the same barrel can be used and just the pins inside can be re-arranged? And I guess it depends on the quality of the lock and availability of parts? For a cheap lock here, it's probably not worth it - just buy a new set...I know they are fairly cheap. But you get what you pay for.
  13. Well today I visited Hafele to look at door latch kits for our home. The only brand that they carried in their store here was their Hafele brand. However their online catalog showed more brands, like the Assa. The ones I looked at were solid and seemed well-made to me - possibly as good as the Assa I had before in USA. I reserved three each of the lockable and keyed inside door latches and the CR type security latches - all told the price will be just a tad over P10,000. We will probably get the Yale/Assa outside door locks at Wilcon for about P12,000 each... We both prefer the European-style lever handles over the knob version - so easy to open with an elbow when the arms are loaded with stuff. Edited extra comment: the store here said they can order stock from the main Hafele supply which is in Manila - so you should be in good shape when you arrive here and start looking for hardware. I also visited Ace hardware today and was underwhelmed - they did carry a couple of the high-end Yale/Assa, but mostly they looked to me like rather low-grade, cheap, local products with brand names that are totally unfamiliar... Which, of course are more affordable to most people here and do a passable job - they just don't last as long as some of the others... Yesterday, L and I went to Wilcon and looked at latches there also. They carried much more variety, but a lot of it was cheap local brands or cheap foreign brands that felt sloppy and loose to the touch...no thanks. But they carried a decent collection of the Yale Assa Abaloy brand, which you mentioned before. Not all Yale locks are Assa, just some of them. In particular, they had a really nice "High Security" outside door lock using special keys with side as well as standard pin configurations - all on one key. These were half to one third the price of the electronic card/fingerprint/code lock systems - and they had two locks - the standard one on the latch itself, and a deadbolt. We asked one of the sales staff to inquire about the possibility of ordering two sets that would use the same key, but have not heard back yet. I will follow up about that once I learn the answer.
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