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Home Improvement

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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9,284
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28
^ It looks great!

On my end, after getting the estimates for new soffits and fascia back in May and putting down a deposit, they are finally out there this week doing the work. While we were out of town yesterday, the crew came to remove the existing gutters but didn't call to let me know so when I pulled into the driveway, I initially thought that maybe somebody came and stole all of our gutters? Then I saw a note stuffed in the door and all the gutters lined up in the grass in the backyard. The crew was back early this morning to start with the actual soffits. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow so they can finish up before the weekend.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,344
Points
19
^ It looks great!

On my end, after getting the estimates for new soffits and fascia back in May and putting down a deposit, they are finally out there this week doing the work. While we were out of town yesterday, the crew came to remove the existing gutters but didn't call to let me know so when I pulled into the driveway, I initially thought that maybe somebody came and stole all of our gutters? Then I saw a note stuffed in the door and all the gutters lined up in the grass in the backyard. The crew was back early this morning to start with the actual soffits. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow so they can finish up before the weekend.
Thanks! What was the cost on that soffit replacement if you don't mine me asking? This has to be my next project. It's getting bad in some spots. I really need the entire roof replaced, but that's out of the picture for now until I pay off my fence and figure out what to do with a new car. I don't really want to go the whole way and replace the gutters right now either, I'd rather do that during the roof replacement, but if I opt to replace the fascia board, might as well do the gutters at the same time. They aren't really moving water very well anymore as it is, I think they were never put on with the right slope to begin with.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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9,284
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28
Thanks! What was the cost on that soffit replacement if you don't mine me asking? This has to be my next project. It's getting bad in some spots. I really need the entire roof replaced, but that's out of the picture for now until I pay off my fence and figure out what to do with a new car. I don't really want to go the whole way and replace the gutters right now either, I'd rather do that during the roof replacement, but if I opt to replace the fascia board, might as well do the gutters at the same time. They aren't really moving water very well anymore as it is, I think they were never put on with the right slope to begin with.
Our cost is close to $6k and it seemed high but we got a couple more estimates and they were in the same ballpark. Our house is a nearly 3,000sqft ranch with very wide eaves all the way around so there is much more linear space to cover than on a comparably sized colonial or a house that doesn't have eaves all the way around and then there is some extra space with more eaves on the roof (it's hard to explain and I don't have a picture that really shows what I mean correctly). The price includes removing the gutters that go all the way around the house, replacing about 75' worth of rotted wood from the existing soffits and fascia in a few spots, installing all new vinyl soffits and aluminum fascia and freeze boards over the wood, replacing all the can lights (8 in the front, 4 in the back), adding 5 more can lights along the side with the garage, new fascia over the wide and long covered porch, and then reinstalling the old gutters and repairing any parts that were damaged in the removal.

About $1k+ of the cost was just for the removal of the gutters and then putting them back up. They could have put up the new fascia with the gutters in place and just slid it in behind them but then they wouldn't go up all the way and wouldn't give as much protection against ice damming (but would still help with squirrels and insects getting in) so we opted to have the gutters taken down completely. Our gutters were relatively new (they were installed 4 or 5 summers ago) so we weren't too worried about them breaking apart when they were taken down because that would have added to the cost and they looked to be in pretty good shape when I checked them out on the ground yesterday afternoon.

If you are worried about the cost, I have to think that doing it all at once (gutters, roofing, fascia, etc.) has got to be considerably less expensive. If your gutters aren't really doing anything useful, you can always pull them down completely and then replace the pieces right above the front and back doors as a temporary fix. If you're just putting up a straight piece without any turns/joints in it, that's probably something you can do on your own pretty easily and relatively cheaply.

As for putting the money towards a new car instead... I have a neighbor who's selling a pretty clean looking 2001 Jeep Cherokee if you want another of those! ;)
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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9,284
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28
Thanks! What was the cost on that soffit replacement if you don't mine me asking? This has to be my next project. It's getting bad in some spots. I really need the entire roof replaced, but that's out of the picture for now until I pay off my fence and figure out what to do with a new car. I don't really want to go the whole way and replace the gutters right now either, I'd rather do that during the roof replacement, but if I opt to replace the fascia board, might as well do the gutters at the same time. They aren't really moving water very well anymore as it is, I think they were never put on with the right slope to begin with.
Our cost is close to $6k and it seemed high but we got a couple more estimates and they were in the same ballpark...
Thanks to a bunch of rainy days, the work on our house took a bit longer than expected but it looks like they are just about done and should be finishing up a few pieces of trim in some corners and putting the gutters back up today. I have to say that the finished product looks about 1000x better than it did beforehand. No more crappy plywood soffits, no more loose can lights, no more pieces of rotted fascia, everything looks "finished" and matches perfectly. Even my wife, who is usually incredibly hesitant about spending money on home improvements (no matter how needed they might be) thinks we made the right decision. Earlier this week the crew quoted us a few hundred dollars more of work to fix and replace a bunch of trim around the garage doors and a side entry door into the house that we hadn't originally considered and my wife approved it without a second thought.

Now if only I can convince her that we should also redo the kitchen finally...
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
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5,344
Points
19
Thanks to a bunch of rainy days, the work on our house took a bit longer than expected but it looks like they are just about done and should be finishing up a few pieces of trim in some corners and putting the gutters back up today. I have to say that the finished product looks about 1000x better than it did beforehand. No more crappy plywood soffits, no more loose can lights, no more pieces of rotted fascia, everything looks "finished" and matches perfectly. Even my wife, who is usually incredibly hesitant about spending money on home improvements (no matter how needed they might be) thinks we made the right decision. Earlier this week the crew quoted us a few hundred dollars more of work to fix and replace a bunch of trim around the garage doors and a side entry door into the house that we hadn't originally considered and my wife approved it without a second thought.

Now if only I can convince her that we should also redo the kitchen finally...
Nice! I wish that was in my budget right now, but it is decidedly not. I think I decided my next project is to refinish the decking on my screen porch. I'm going with a full deck over stain (really more of a paint) in probably a light gray color. It's not much space, and it'll allow me to use it as a test base for the other 2 decks I have. It's not an expensive project either.
 

Habanero

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3,241
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27
Does anyone have any advice on rebuilding a wood privacy fence? Our issue is that the side, which is on a very slight slope, keeps leaning. Would metal fence posts help? We've got 8ft 4x4 posts posts installed 2ft down now, but the lean is constant after the first year.


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WSU MUP Student

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9,284
Points
28
Does anyone have any advice on rebuilding a wood privacy fence? Our issue is that the side, which is on a very slight slope, keeps leaning. Would metal fence posts help? We've got 8ft 4x4 posts posts installed 2ft down now, but the lean is constant after the first year.
It sounds like it's more a problem of the slope and the soil than the material of the fence posts. Wood is relatively heavy so you might need something installed deeper than 2ft or with some sort of more substantial anchoring/footings.
 

AG74683

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5,344
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19
It sounds like it's more a problem of the slope and the soil than the material of the fence posts. Wood is relatively heavy so you might need something installed deeper than 2ft or with some sort of more substantial anchoring/footings.
Agreed. Are the posts set in concrete or just in the bare dirt? 8' 4x4's buried only 2' isn't really the best scenario either. The depth of the hole for a fence post is usually recommended to be 1/3 to 1/2 the height of the post. For an 8 foot post, the bare minimum should be 2 and a half to 3 feet deep.
 

Habanero

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3,241
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27
I can't think of a single reply that won't end in "that's what she said"....

That said, thanks for the help. I'm laughing at getting the yard fixed up. Each post was set it maybe a cup of concrete (thanks builder). The last one we set was set two feet down and in about a half bag of quickcrete. That one leans the least, but I think the others are pulling it over.


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AG74683

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19
I can't think of a single reply that won't end in "that's what she said"....

That said, thanks for the help. I'm laughing at getting the yard fixed up. Each post was set it maybe a cup of concrete (thanks builder). The last one we set was set two feet down and in about a half bag of quickcrete. That one leans the least, but I think the others are pulling it over.
I used two bags for a 30" deep 10" to 12" wide hole to set a 4' x 4' post. I used the quick setting stuff, no pre-mix. You just dump it in the hole and add like 1/3 of a gallon of water per bag. I think I used one 3 gallon bucket for mine. IMO, I'd rent an auger or something from somewhere to make the holes. Digging one 30" deep hole took me at least an hour and a half, and was totally miserable.
 

Big Owl

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2,256
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23
I used two bags for a 30" deep 10" to 12" wide hole to set a 4' x 4' post. I used the quick setting stuff, no pre-mix. You just dump it in the hole and add like 1/3 of a gallon of water per bag. I think I used one 3 gallon bucket for mine. IMO, I'd rent an auger or something from somewhere to make the holes. Digging one 30" deep hole took me at least an hour and a half, and was totally miserable.
I use a combination of post hole diggers and a trench shovel to dig post holes. I use the trench shovel to break up the dirt and the post hole diggers to remove the dirt. I rented an auger when I installed my fence but I had 3 dozen holes to dig.
 

AG74683

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5,344
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19
Over the last few weeks I've had some doors begin to stick. There's too many for it to be humidity problems. I fear foundation issues now. Thinking about hiring a structural engineer to come out and take a look. I'd trust them before having an estimate from a foundation company. I suspect it's drainage issues, and I have an idea as to where it's coming from.

I had a significant leak in the basement. When Hurricane Matthew hit, I was on full vacuum duty with my dad trying to keep the water at bay. I suspect if I wouldn't have been constantly removing water, I would have had at least a 4" of standing water in the basement. I sealed the area where the water was coming in from with Great Stuff. I bet it stopped the water from entering the basement...and instead forced it under the foundation.
 

AG74683

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19
Over the last few weeks I've had some doors begin to stick. There's too many for it to be humidity problems. I fear foundation issues now.
Oddly enough, it MAY have been humidity issues. The doors are sticking far less. I just wouldn't think it would take a month to shrink back down. I did sand the door frame a bit to make some more room, that seems to have helped.

I bought two turnbuckle bars for my screen doors and installed them last night. I've always had a problem installing these, and it's because I'm definitely an idiot. I thought these worked in both directions, IE turning the buckle one way pulled one bar, turning it another way pulled the other bar. I didn't realize until struggling with that stupid thing for two hours that the buckle pulls BOTH bars :not:. Once I realized that, I understood why the stupid thing kept bowing out on me. I also worked on one door for an hour with the bar on the wrong side, so it was pulling the top down rather than the bottom up. Now I have a bunch of holes in the door to repair. Luckily it's plastic so it should be easy to fix (little model putty and some new paint).
 

gtpeach

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Messages
1,900
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14
I spent yesterday afternoon scraping the mopped texture off my bathroom ceiling. It was flaking off and I need to get the house ready to sell, so something had to be done. Normally when I do home improvement projects, I get halfway through, realize I'm in over my head, and then have to call someone else to finish the job for me. This one actually went a lot more smoothly than I expected. Got the ceiling scraped and sanded. Now I just have to clean up and repaint it (along with the rest of the bathroom). Should be able to finish it up this week. Which is good since I wanted to have it done before I called the dude to finish replacing the ventilation fan in the bathroom... that I removed and couldn't figure out how to replace.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,133
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31
Pulled something like 13 bushes from my front yard last weekend. This weekend I moved all the rocks, put down a weed barrier and set back the big rocks that make a fake retaining wall. Next weekend I have to dump some mulch over it to make it look pretty. Let's just say I'm a little sore right now, but I have a lot bigger and better looking yard.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,284
Points
28
Pulled something like 13 bushes from my front yard last weekend. This weekend I moved all the rocks, put down a weed barrier and set back the big rocks that make a fake retaining wall. Next weekend I have to dump some mulch over it to make it look pretty. Let's just say I'm a little sore right now, but I have a lot bigger and better looking yard.
I removed about 10 ugly, overgrown evergreen bushes earlier this year. I was surprised how extensive and thick their root systems were. It was much more work than I was expecting.
 

AG74683

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5,344
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19
I removed about 10 ugly, overgrown evergreen bushes earlier this year. I was surprised how extensive and thick their root systems were. It was much more work than I was expecting.
I did this one time and it was definitely a pain. We used a fairly large Kubota tractor to rip them out, and even then it still took a significant amount of work. I have a fair amount of bushes along my house perimeter and driveway but I keep them trimmed up pretty well.
 

AG74683

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5,344
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19
I hopped on board the smart home craze earlier this month and have a few Google Home/Mini speakers around the house. My next step is a smart lighting system, replacing bulbs, switches, and outlets. I want to move all my outdoor lights to a smart switches so I can control the lights with my voice and set a timer if I need to. My rear lights are on one master switch (3 floodlight fixtures) so that one is easy enough. My front lights for some unknown reason are on two switches right next to each other (controls a wall sconce and a pole light out front).

How would I eliminate one of the switches? I see no reason why there's a separate switch for each light. I want to move them both to a single smart switch. Could I just use a double pole switch for it? What uses are there for that blank switch spot? I don't want to switch the entire box out to a 2 gang, that just seems annoying, and I think it's going to be difficult to find a 3 gang switch plate with a closed panel in the style plates I use.
 

Veloise

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...My front lights for some unknown reason are on two switches right next to each other (controls a wall sconce and a pole light out front). ... I see no reason why there's a separate switch for each light.

How would I eliminate one of the switches? I want to move them both to a single smart switch. Could I just use a double pole switch for it? What uses are there for that blank switch spot? I don't want to switch the entire box out to a 2 gang, that just seems annoying, and I think it's going to be difficult to find a 3 gang switch plate with a closed panel in the style plates I use.
Several reasons to have the two switches. If you changed the light pole bulb for a colored party one...or swapped in a screw-in plug for a string of lights...or ordered a pizza and turned on the pole to make it easier for the driver... or wanted to sit on the porch and read but not have the pole on... hope this makes sense.

I had no basement lighting other than pull-cord bulbs. Added a hanging fluorescent work light over the work bench, then added a single switch on the support column nearest the "entrance" to the work area. Really nice to have localized lighting rather than the "light up everywhere" default.
 

Big Owl

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Messages
2,256
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23
I hopped on board the smart home craze earlier this month and have a few Google Home/Mini speakers around the house. My next step is a smart lighting system, replacing bulbs, switches, and outlets. I want to move all my outdoor lights to a smart switches so I can control the lights with my voice and set a timer if I need to. My rear lights are on one master switch (3 floodlight fixtures) so that one is easy enough. My front lights for some unknown reason are on two switches right next to each other (controls a wall sconce and a pole light out front).

How would I eliminate one of the switches? I see no reason why there's a separate switch for each light. I want to move them both to a single smart switch. Could I just use a double pole switch for it? What uses are there for that blank switch spot? I don't want to switch the entire box out to a 2 gang, that just seems annoying, and I think it's going to be difficult to find a 3 gang switch plate with a closed panel in the style plates I use.
Do like the guy that previously owned my house and just unhook the wire to the one that you don't need and leave it in place. Fortunately for me the home inspector tipped me off about it; however, I didn't mention it to my wife but recently she asked me about it after we have been there for 13 years.

What wireless switches are you going with? I have about 1/2 dozen hue bulbs. They work well but I ultimately think switches are the way to go, especially in fixtures with ceiling fans and more than two bulbs or specialty bulbs.
 

AG74683

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5,344
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19
Do like the guy that previously owned my house and just unhook the wire to the one that you don't need and leave it in place. Fortunately for me the home inspector tipped me off about it; however, I didn't mention it to my wife but recently she asked me about it after we have been there for 13 years.

What wireless switches are you going with? I have about 1/2 dozen hue bulbs. They work well but I ultimately think switches are the way to go, especially in fixtures with ceiling fans and more than two bulbs or specialty bulbs.
Well technically I need both switches because each controls a separate light. I want to make it so one switch controls both lights because I have them both on at the same time anyways.

I haven't looked too much into the switches. There is a huge amount of compatible ones out there though. The Leviton switches also support IFTTT so that might be the ticket. I'm partial to the Lutron Caseta switches too, but they are pricey. I'm planning on the bulbs for only 3 or 4 particular lamps, mostly because I want to be able to change the colors (not sure why, just seems cool). The rest will be going on switches and outlets. I'm not sure if I'll be going with a plug in adapter for the switches or actually going in and replacing them completely. I might just do the adapter so I can move those with me when I leave the house without a ton of work.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
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13,133
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31
It depends on what you're doing. If you want one switch to control two lights you need to rewire the box. Shouldn't be much of a problem just tie the wires together behind the switch so it's all on one circuit. Two-pole switches and stuff like that are for when you want multiple switches controlling one light circuit. The blank slot can be covered or you could place some other device like an outlet or USB outlet, but that would take some creative wiring. I still go with Veloise, keep the two switches so you can turn on just the porch or just the pole.

I'm not sure about smart switches, but if you want multiple circuits controlled by one switch you would need some kind of relay. Do they make smart switches that can control two different items?
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,284
Points
28
I'll concur with DVD and Veloise about keeping the porch light and pole light on separate switches. That's how ours are set up and we often turn on one and not the other. In the summer if I am reading on the front porch at night, I like to turn the porch lights off and leave the pole light on so I don't attract as many bugs to me.

I'm curious about your smart switches. What do they do? Is it just like a regular light switch or plug that is also connected to your WiFi or bluetooth so that you can control it from your phone? Can you still also control it at the switch?

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.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
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5,344
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19
I'm curious about your smart switches. What do they do? Is it just like a regular light switch or plug that is also connected to your WiFi or bluetooth so that you can control it from your phone? Can you still also control it at the switch?
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.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
11,301
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32
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.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,284
Points
28
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.

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.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,480
Points
26
Holiday lights should be on timers

...

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.)
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,344
Points
19
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 :lmao:). 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.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,480
Points
26
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.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,344
Points
19
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.
 

AG74683

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Messages
5,344
Points
19
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.
 

AG74683

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5,344
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19
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 :not:. 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.
 

AG74683

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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.
 

kjel

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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.
 

WSU MUP Student

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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.
 

AG74683

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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.
 

WSU MUP Student

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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.
 

AG74683

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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.
 

WSU MUP Student

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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.
 

AG74683

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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.
 

Veloise

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Always get at least 3 quotes

.... 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.
 

imaplanner

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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. I’m not an electrician but I believe this would work fine it just needs to be the same circuit.
 

AG74683

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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.

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.
 

kjel

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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 :not:
 

gtpeach

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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!
 

kjel

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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.
 

TOFB

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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.
 

imaplanner

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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 don’t see how that would be a problem as long as its on the same circuit so you aren’t 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.
 
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