Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Page 22 of 25 FirstFirst ... 12 21 22 23 ... LastLast
Results 526 to 550 of 619

Thread: Home Improvement

  1. #526
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    8,609
    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Yes, and yes. The switches I'm looking at can also be controlled by the Google Home system (or alternatively the Amazon Alexa). I can simply say "hey Google, turn on the outside lights" and it will do so. I can also use my phone and all the switches can be controlled manually too. Right now when I go out of town, I leave most of my outside lights on 24/7. I looked at timer switches but from what I can tell most of those are just clunky and difficult to use. Some of the outlet and switches even have an "away" mode that randomly switches lights on and off throughout your house which is cool.

    I decided that I'll probably do a combination of smart adapters and outlets depending on if you can physically see the outlet. I have a few with Brinks timers in them right now and they look bad. I've spent a fair amount of money on designer switch plates in the few rooms I've painted and hate covering them up.
    Yeah, I've tried time timers and timer switches for when we are out of town overnight but they are definitely difficult to use. I may have to go this route for a few of our lights. I hate leaving on the outdoor lights 24/7.

    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Was looking at getting a WiFi extender for the house. The basement and garage have very low signal strength.

    A friend of mine is an IT guru and he came over to check the signal. We moved the router and the signals got a little better. He said that instead of an extender, get a new router (because yours is old an not worthy anymore).
    Guess what Santa is bringing me now.
    FWIW - we have a very loooooong ranch house and our wireless router is the extreme end of the house and we had a horrible time getting wireless almost anywhere in the house. I thought about moving it to an outlet in the dining room which would be smack dab in the middle of the house and not surrounded by as many walls and doors but it would have been exposed and ugly so I decided to buy a $10 WiFi extender and it works perfectly. I now get a very strong signal everywhere in the house, including out in the garage and the front porch and back patio.
    1 3 5
    ├┼┼╕
    2 4 6 R

  2. #527
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    5,286

    Holiday lights should be on timers

    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    ...

    Last night I noticed that our porch light by the backdoor had gone out so I changed it for the first time since we moved in back in the spring of '09. When I was up on the step ladder unscrewing it I discovered that the light fixture also has a plug on it. I wish I would have seen that was there years ago since it would make a great place for me to plug in my Christmas lights and have them all controlled with 1 switch instead of the 3 or 4 different ones like I have it set up now.
    Mine are, front and back. No way to tell if I am home or not because they come on automatically.

    My neighbors leave theirs on all night, and the two neighbors out back of my BR window have taken to leaving their porch lights on all night. (The one, I thought he'd moved. It's on 24/7. Thinking about sneaking over with a screw-in photocell.)

  3. #528
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Woods
    Posts
    4,469
    So on the 14th I discovered my master bathroom toilet was having issues. It appeared the flapper was leaking a bit and the fill valve wasn't working well. I decided to replace that. At the same time, I wanted to deal with a very slight wobble the toilet has always had. Went to Lowes on the 15th, bought everything I thought I needed and went on my way.

    Two things - 1. the stupid toilet has a 3" flush valve rather than a standard 2". I didn't notice this until after I bought all the fill/flush hardware. It's surprisingly hard to find a 3" kit to replace everything. 2. whoever installed the toilet tank bolts should be ashamed (I think it was me actually ). The tank has always had a little wiggle to it. Turns out whoever installed the bolts (me) used two rubber washers on the bottom between the nut and the tank rather than a rubber/metal combo. That wasn't securing the tank at all causing it to bob about which would sometime move the float.

    Now, on to the wiggle...turns out the flange was broken. It's not a standard flange either, it's some sort of ABS monster that is definitely NOT standard. I bought a pair of spanner flanges but then found out that the floor around the flange wasn't cut well, resulting in pretty hefty gaps so the screws I bought weren't actually tying the spanner flange into anything, so it kept popping up as I tightened the toilet bolts. After much head scratching, I ended up drilling a new hole in the spanner flange, got some longer screws, and got that sucker to stay. The flange also sits well above the floor, around 1/2", which means none of the waxless seals I tried to use worked, so ultimately I went back to wax. I got the whole thing buttoned up before I realized that I forgot the paper towels I jammed in the sewer line, so I had to take it back off, scrape more wax, and use another seal.

    SO, 1 week to the day, I now have a working non-wiggling, non-leaking toilet in my master bath. What an annoying project.

  4. #529
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    5,286
    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    So on the 14th I discovered my master bathroom toilet was having issues. ... flapper was leaking ... fill valve wasn't working well... very slight wobble the toilet has always had. Went to Lowes on the 15th, bought everything I thought I needed and went on my way.
    ....
    Whenever I'm faced with a project that will challenge my ever-developing skill set, I look it up on YouTube. Not long ago I was on the elliptical at the Y (hey, it's winter!) and found a similar TOH video.

  5. #530
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Woods
    Posts
    4,469
    Got my switches. I went with the TP Link HS200. Unfortunately the major spot I wanted the light doesn't have a neutral wire. It's on a switch loop where the white acts as a hot when the switch is on. This is a problem because most smart switches (including the TP Link) need a neutral. I'm going to speak with an electrician about running a neutral into that box. I don't think connected floodlights are the right way to go here because I'd need 6, and finding outdoor rated ones is uncommon. I'm trying to avoid using anything that needs an additional hub beyond the Philips Hue hub.

    Fortunately, the other two spots will work for sure, I've already looked into that. I'll need to redo all three switches in there which sucks. I'll tackle that project this weekend I think. I also bought two TP Smart plug adapters. Those are freaking AWESOME. My bedroom lamp and humidifier turn on simply by voice now. Alternatively I can use my tablet or phone too. I've set the lamp to an on schedule so it'll turn on right when I get home. I figured those were a much cheaper alternative than buying the connected outlets, and I can move them around whenever I want.

    While I was in the electrical box yesterday, I discovered that one of the wires had a cut in it, and was actively arcing in the box every time I turned the switch on or off. I should have realized this because there was a visible spark behind the switch every time I'd hit it but didn't think about it. I cut it off and rewired everything to fix that problem too.

  6. #531
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Woods
    Posts
    4,469
    I think I decided that while I have an electrician quoting me for work, I'll have a contractor come over and check out my rotting soffits for repair costs. I was going to wait until I can afford a new roof, but there's just no way I can sit on it any longer.

  7. #532
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    Posts
    13,500
    So I want this for my basement....

    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_68965W...c&awug=9015851

    I would imagine you too think it is overpriced. Stop taking my wife's side!
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  8. #533
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In a 480 square foot ex baseball nacho stand
    Posts
    10,580
    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    So I want this for my basement....

    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_68965W...c&awug=9015851

    I would imagine you too think it is overpriced. Stop taking my wife's side!
    That's a necessary addition to the basement. That's all that needs to be said.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  9. #534
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Woods
    Posts
    4,469
    Had the contractor come by today to check out the soffits. Seems like an easy job for him. He did reveal a special surprise for me though, my house is painted with interior paint, not exterior . I knew the paint job was shoddy, but I never would have expected it to be THAT bad. The good news is that the exterior that needs to be painted really isn't that significant, and I could probably do it myself.

  10. #535
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Woods
    Posts
    4,469
    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Had the contractor come by today to check out the soffits. Seems like an easy job for him.
    Got my quote back today. $950-$1100. Includes repairing/replacing soffit and fascia board at the front of my carport (~24 sf.), repairing/replacing soffit and fascia board at screen room (~63 sf.), repairing some trim on a carport post that rotten off and I removed, and repairing a damaged piece of fascia board on one side of the house (about 15 feet in the air, board will be around 3" x 8' or so). Roughly $11 to $13 per square foot. Does that cost seem reasonable? I've never had work like this done before so I'm not sure.

    It's basically my entire tax return. I was hoping to have an attic door added as well as some electrical work done, but I may need to push those to the side. I'll probably still have him quote me for both just to see what I can do though.

  11. #536
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    10,915
    Blog entries
    5
    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Got my quote back today. $950-$1100. Includes repairing/replacing soffit and fascia board at the front of my carport (~24 sf.), repairing/replacing soffit and fascia board at screen room (~63 sf.), repairing some trim on a carport post that rotten off and I removed, and repairing a damaged piece of fascia board on one side of the house (about 15 feet in the air, board will be around 3" x 8' or so). Roughly $11 to $13 per square foot. Does that cost seem reasonable? I've never had work like this done before so I'm not sure.

    It's basically my entire tax return. I was hoping to have an attic door added as well as some electrical work done, but I may need to push those to the side. I'll probably still have him quote me for both just to see what I can do though.
    Little by little it gets done. Homeownership is a never ending project. I will be ripping out baseboard trim and crappy laminate floors at my daughter's house this weekend.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  12. #537
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    8,609
    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Got my quote back today. $950-$1100. Includes repairing/replacing soffit and fascia board at the front of my carport (~24 sf.), repairing/replacing soffit and fascia board at screen room (~63 sf.), repairing some trim on a carport post that rotten off and I removed, and repairing a damaged piece of fascia board on one side of the house (about 15 feet in the air, board will be around 3" x 8' or so). Roughly $11 to $13 per square foot. Does that cost seem reasonable? I've never had work like this done before so I'm not sure.

    It's basically my entire tax return. I was hoping to have an attic door added as well as some electrical work done, but I may need to push those to the side. I'll probably still have him quote me for both just to see what I can do though.
    Do you know how many linear feet of soffit and fascia would be getting replaced in total?

    We had that work done last year and our quotes were all much higher than that but our house is a very long ranch with relatively wide eaves around the entire house.
    1 3 5
    ├┼┼╕
    2 4 6 R

  13. #538
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Woods
    Posts
    4,469
    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Do you know how many linear feet of soffit and fascia would be getting replaced in total?

    We had that work done last year and our quotes were all much higher than that but our house is a very long ranch with relatively wide eaves around the entire house.
    Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 55' linear feet (35' of linear soffit and 20' of linear fascia, maybe more). My eaves are a little wide too, I think maybe larger than the standard foot. He's coming back out either tomorrow or Monday to double check his measurements. I think this quote also included adding soffit vents where there should be some but I'll need to double check.

  14. #539
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    8,609
    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 55' linear feet (35' of linear soffit and 20' of linear fascia, maybe more). My eaves are a little wide too, I think maybe larger than the standard foot. He's coming back out either tomorrow or Monday to double check his measurements. I think this quote also included adding soffit vents where there should be some but I'll need to double check.
    Based on that, your cost is coming in around $20 per linear foot. Ours was closer to about $15 per linear foot, BUT we put up closer to a hundred linear feet on the front and back of the house and nearly 50' on each short side and I have to imagine there are some economies of scale that bring the cost per foot down a bit when you are doing longer runs (it seems like that would be a little less labor intensive?). If there is any trim painting being done, insulation being replaced, light fixtures or gutters being removed and put back up, that can all help to raise the price quite a bit as well. I have a feeling that if you were to get 2 or 3 more quotes, this one might be on the higher end, but I don't think it would be all that much higher.
    1 3 5
    ├┼┼╕
    2 4 6 R

  15. #540
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Woods
    Posts
    4,469
    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Based on that, your cost is coming in around $20 per linear foot. Ours was closer to about $15 per linear foot, BUT we put up closer to a hundred linear feet on the front and back of the house and nearly 50' on each short side and I have to imagine there are some economies of scale that bring the cost per foot down a bit when you are doing longer runs (it seems like that would be a little less labor intensive?). If there is any trim painting being done, insulation being replaced, light fixtures or gutters being removed and put back up, that can all help to raise the price quite a bit as well. I have a feeling that if you were to get 2 or 3 more quotes, this one might be on the higher end, but I don't think it would be all that much higher.
    All replacement pieces will be painted before installation. These will be wood soffits too which is probably a little more than vinyl or aluminum. I think honestly with how the building business is going right now, all quotes will be a little higher. He said he can start next week, which might be worth a little extra premium.

  16. #541
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    8,609
    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    All replacement pieces will be painted before installation. These will be wood soffits too which is probably a little more than vinyl or aluminum. I think honestly with how the building business is going right now, all quotes will be a little higher. He said he can start next week, which might be worth a little extra premium.
    Yes the wood v aluminum makes a big price difference. Ours were aluminum and vinyl. I would have loved to have done wood but I didn't want to have to worry about the periodic painting and other maintenance that that would entail over the large area. If they are doing wood on your house, the price sounds pretty good.

    Being able to start immediately (I count "next week" as immediate) is worth a premium in my book too.
    1 3 5
    ├┼┼╕
    2 4 6 R

  17. #542
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Woods
    Posts
    4,469
    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Yes the wood v aluminum makes a big price difference. Ours were aluminum and vinyl. I would have loved to have done wood but I didn't want to have to worry about the periodic painting and other maintenance that that would entail over the large area. If they are doing wood on your house, the price sounds pretty good.

    Being able to start immediately (I count "next week" as immediate) is worth a premium in my book too.
    Well it's not a full replacement, just the repairs. They aren't just installing patches though, it'll be taking out the entire 2' (or 3') x 8' length and putting in an entirely new piece.

  18. #543
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    5,286

    Always get at least 3 quotes

    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    .... I have a feeling that if you were to get 2 or 3 more quotes, this one might be on the higher end, but I don't think it would be all that much higher.
    Always.

    One will be so far out in left field that it will be clear they don't understand the SOW

    The first time I bought a new furnace, I ended up hiring the young man who arrived two minutes early, handed me his resume, bustled downstairs, looked at the cracked heat exchanger, took measurements, came back up and wrote up a quote. Done in five minutes.

    His competition wanted to visit, and ask questions about me, talk about their same-aged daughters out west, badee badee badee. One's pricing was about double Resume!Man.

  19. #544
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,658
    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Got my switches. I went with the TP Link HS200. Unfortunately the major spot I wanted the light doesn't have a neutral wire. It's on a switch loop where the white acts as a hot when the switch is on. This is a problem because most smart switches (including the TP Link) need a neutral. I'm going to speak with an electrician about running a neutral into that box. I don't think connected floodlights are the right way to go here because I'd need 6, and finding outdoor rated ones is uncommon. I'm trying to avoid using anything that needs an additional hub beyond the Philips Hue hub.

    Fortunately, the other two spots will work for sure, I've already looked into that. I'll need to redo all three switches in there which sucks. I'll tackle that project this weekend I think. I also bought two TP Smart plug adapters. Those are freaking AWESOME. My bedroom lamp and humidifier turn on simply by voice now. Alternatively I can use my tablet or phone too. I've set the lamp to an on schedule so it'll turn on right when I get home. I figured those were a much cheaper alternative than buying the connected outlets, and I can move them around whenever I want.

    While I was in the electrical box yesterday, I discovered that one of the wires had a cut in it, and was actively arcing in the box every time I turned the switch on or off. I should have realized this because there was a visible spark behind the switch every time I'd hit it but didn't think about it. I cut it off and rewired everything to fix that problem too.
    Do you have a neutral in any of the other switches or lights off that same circuit? If so I think you can just tier off of one of the neutral wires and run it over to your box in question. Iím not an electrician but I believe this would work fine it just needs to be the same circuit.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  20. #545
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Woods
    Posts
    4,469
    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Do you have a neutral in any of the other switches or lights off that same circuit? If so I think you can just tier off of one of the neutral wires and run it over to your box in question. I’m not an electrician but I believe this would work fine it just needs to be the same circuit.
    I didn't really look, but you can't really do this (at least not without breaking NEC code). 300.3(B) requires that all conductors of the same circuit be contained within the same cable/cord. You also run the risk of overloading the neutral wire and creating a significant fire hazard.

    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Always.

    One will be so far out in left field that it will be clear they don't understand the SOW
    Normally I probably would, but given that he can do the work next week, I'll probably just bite the bullet and do it. I trust this guy and know he does good work, and I've already got a month wrapped up with him. Calling out another will delay even longer and this problem gets worse every day. Any more rot and it'll start eating into the trusses and that will make it even more expensive. Honestly I think I'd save maybe 150-200 with another guy. I looked it all over last night and realized there is a lot more work than I thought. I thought the fascia board on the screen room side was reusable, but none of it will be.

  21. #546
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    10,915
    Blog entries
    5
    Finished removing the baseboard trim and crappy flooring from the master bedroom and office of RT's house. The closet system in the master bedroom also went adios. Next weekend the hallway and living room flooring are coming out. The previous owners never met a nail or screw they didn't like
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  22. #547
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    1,494
    My one complaint about my house is that they didn't include any closets other than the ones in the bedrooms. There are definitely natural spaces where closets could have gone, but they didn't construct them. So I basically have no built in storage for things like linens and cleaning products. I've been spending a lot of time assembling little storage cabinets to put up in some key places. And I need to clean out all my dressers so I can more creatively use those for storing some of these types of items. Fun stuff!

  23. #548
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    10,915
    Blog entries
    5
    Quote Originally posted by gtpeach View post
    My one complaint about my house is that they didn't include any closets other than the ones in the bedrooms. There are definitely natural spaces where closets could have gone, but they didn't construct them. So I basically have no built in storage for things like linens and cleaning products. I've been spending a lot of time assembling little storage cabinets to put up in some key places. And I need to clean out all my dressers so I can more creatively use those for storing some of these types of items. Fun stuff!
    My home was a gut rehab of an 1892 rowhome that is 14' wide. There were no closets back in the day. We put an odd shaped walk-in in the master, a regular sized sliding door closet in bedroom 2, and the basement bedroom has a narrow closet so we converted the under stairs storage space into a walk in closet. There is a weird alcove that has the gas meter that could have been a closet but there was no way to effectively box it in.

    The Container Store's elfa closet/shelving system has been the answer in my house which has made the most use out of awkward spaces. You can measure the space, sketch it out, take it to the store and they will design the closet/shelving system for you. It can be installed or they will cut everything to size and you take it home and install it yourself. It's sort of like an erector set but sucks way less than Ikea assembly. I had them install the first two closets and just watched them while they did it and did the next few spaces myself.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  24. #549
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loma Linda's
    Posts
    1,970
    I have been working for over a year on making a very poorly built sun room into something respectable. I would prefer having an open porch versus a room at all.

  25. #550
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,658
    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    I didn't really look, but you can't really do this (at least not without breaking NEC code). 300.3(B) requires that all conductors of the same circuit be contained within the same cable/cord. You also run the risk of overloading the neutral wire and creating a significant fire hazard.

    .
    I meant tier off one of the wires/cables that has a neutral with a new cable. I donít see how that would be a problem as long as its on the same circuit so you arenít adding any load. It can be surprisingly easy, or I should say surprisingly less difficult than you think to run romex type wire/cable between existing receptacles.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

+ Reply to thread
Page 22 of 25 FirstFirst ... 12 21 22 23 ... LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. $400 Home Improvement Project
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 17
    Last post: 06 Oct 2008, 11:23 AM
  2. Street improvement district
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 26 Mar 2008, 10:25 AM
  3. Replies: 13
    Last post: 17 Jan 2008, 11:53 AM
  4. home improvement question
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 20 May 2005, 11:32 PM
  5. Home Improvement questions...
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 17
    Last post: 22 Jan 2005, 8:58 AM