• We're a fun, friendly, and diverse group of planners, placemakers, students, and other folks who found their people here. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! Use your email address, or register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Home Improvement

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,764
Points
23
Get a new one. 20 years is a long life for a water heater. It's amazing how much more efficient they are today.
x2. Those are cheap as far as home maintenance/repair items go.

I have so much to do around the house but really don't care to do any of it. Next is to tear out walls in the basement and get to bare cinder block to get rid of the mold and damp from the hurricane. Need to repair my storage building too. Those idiots installed a chimney in there for a wood stove and did just the WORST job possible.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,564
Points
30
The guy for the hot water heater came out already and he was removing the pressure valve to check that and the parts just started disintegrating in his hand. Not a good sign. It looks like the entire bottom of the tank has started to rot away. We'll have a new tank in a few hours.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,564
Points
30
What a difference a new hot water heater makes!

Over the past couple of years I had to keep turning up the heat on our old tank because it just didn't get hot enough or would take forever to heat up. When the guy installed our new one, he told my wife that he saw we had our old one turned up all the way and figured it was because it was so old and inefficient but also thought maybe we really liked hot baths/showers (I do (I want my skin to peel off mid shower from the heat), but my wife does not) but he left our new one at the manufacturer's recommended setting because he saw we had young kids and didn't want somebody to inadvertently get burned. I took a shower late last night after coming home from the gym and it was scalding! Before bed, I turned lowered the heat on the tank one click. This morning I went running and took another shower afterwards and it was still waaaaayyyy hotter than I was used to. I'm going to give it another couple of days and get everybody else's opinion but I think I am going to turn it down one more.

Our gas bill has never really been all that high but I'm interested to see if this makes a little dent in it, same thing with our water bill since we will be wasting less water waiting for things to heat up - especially for our dishwasher and washing machine.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,026
Points
33
What a difference a new hot water heater makes!

Over the past couple of years I had to keep turning up the heat on our old tank because it just didn't get hot enough or would take forever to heat up. When the guy installed our new one, he told my wife that he saw we had our old one turned up all the way and figured it was because it was so old and inefficient but also thought maybe we really liked hot baths/showers (I do (I want my skin to peel off mid shower from the heat), but my wife does not) but he left our new one at the manufacturer's recommended setting because he saw we had young kids and didn't want somebody to inadvertently get burned. I took a shower late last night after coming home from the gym and it was scalding! Before bed, I turned lowered the heat on the tank one click. This morning I went running and took another shower afterwards and it was still waaaaayyyy hotter than I was used to. I'm going to give it another couple of days and get everybody else's opinion but I think I am going to turn it down one more.

Our gas bill has never really been all that high but I'm interested to see if this makes a little dent in it, same thing with our water bill since we will be wasting less water waiting for things to heat up - especially for our dishwasher and washing machine.
Sounds like your old one had a good run. Anything older than 10 years is living on borrowed time.

I have a high efficiency gas H/W heater and have it set on 120F, it's plenty hot.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
11,610
Points
35
What a difference a new hot water heater makes!

Over the past couple of years I had to keep turning up the heat on our old tank because it just didn't get hot enough or would take forever to heat up. When the guy installed our new one, he told my wife that he saw we had our old one turned up all the way and figured it was because it was so old and inefficient but also thought maybe we really liked hot baths/showers (I do (I want my skin to peel off mid shower from the heat), but my wife does not) but he left our new one at the manufacturer's recommended setting because he saw we had young kids and didn't want somebody to inadvertently get burned. I took a shower late last night after coming home from the gym and it was scalding! Before bed, I turned lowered the heat on the tank one click. This morning I went running and took another shower afterwards and it was still waaaaayyyy hotter than I was used to. I'm going to give it another couple of days and get everybody else's opinion but I think I am going to turn it down one more.

Our gas bill has never really been all that high but I'm interested to see if this makes a little dent in it, same thing with our water bill since we will be wasting less water waiting for things to heat up - especially for our dishwasher and washing machine.
Did you consider a tankless water heater as a replacement? If so what made you choose against it?
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,564
Points
30
Did you consider a tankless water heater as a replacement? If so what made you choose against it?
We did consider it but all the stuff I have looked at showed that the extra initial cost isn't really worth it when you take into consideration the lower cost of the conventional tank and how efficient they are these days (my brief calculation showed that it would probably take a decade+ to recoup the cost). But beyond that, was the location of where we would have to place the tankless system: Our house is a very very long ranch on a slab with our hot water heater in the garage at one end of the house which is close to the laundry room and kitchen but far from the bathrooms which are all the way at the other end. It looks like tankless systems work best when they are centrally located and without doing some renovations we don't have a spot with enough clearance to safely install it in a more centrally located area. Factoring in that added renovation cost really cut out on the appeal of a tankless system.

We are still in the process of planning our kitchen and dining room renovation and when that is complete the bathrooms will be the next project. When we get to that point (probably the end of 2019 or early 2020), I was already planning on building in space for a tankless system either in the attic above the bathrooms or behind a certain closet. We may still build in that space consideration but just leave it empty and have that as an option 10+ years down the line.


We did consider adding a recirculating pump to our conventional system to help make sure that the bathrooms have hot water faster but the installer who was out recommended that we hold off on that and go without it for a while and then decide if we still want one after living with a new tank for a bit.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,764
Points
23
I've never had to have a tree removed from a property before. Hurricane Florence dropped a big 50+ tall pine tree across the back yard. It's roughly 3 feet wide, way too big for me to handle myself. I called one of the local tree companies and they gave a quote of 1k to remove it (200 to get it off my fence, 800 to remove and dispose). Does that seem like too much? I dunno. There aren't many other companies to call around here. Insurance covered $1,933.98, which includes getting rid of the tree and repairing my damaged fence.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
11,610
Points
35
I've never had to have a tree removed from a property before. Hurricane Florence dropped a big 50+ tall pine tree across the back yard. It's roughly 3 feet wide, way too big for me to handle myself. I called one of the local tree companies and they gave a quote of 1k to remove it (200 to get it off my fence, 800 to remove and dispose). Does that seem like too much? I dunno. There aren't many other companies to call around here. Insurance covered $1,933.98, which includes getting rid of the tree and repairing my damaged fence.
That's about right. I've got a tree close to the house that's going to be $1k, but it's not as big and it's still standing.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,026
Points
33
I've never had to have a tree removed from a property before. Hurricane Florence dropped a big 50+ tall pine tree across the back yard. It's roughly 3 feet wide, way too big for me to handle myself. I called one of the local tree companies and they gave a quote of 1k to remove it (200 to get it off my fence, 800 to remove and dispose). Does that seem like too much? I dunno. There aren't many other companies to call around here. Insurance covered $1,933.98, which includes getting rid of the tree and repairing my damaged fence.
For that big a tree and lack of competition it's reasonable.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,764
Points
23
Sounds good then! I went ahead and called him and just told them to get rid of it. I'm tired of seeing it and it's taking up like a quarter of my yard.

It took out two nice trees (an apple tree and a dogwood). I might not replace them. I've always envisioned a pond there, so I think I'm gonna go for that!
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,564
Points
30
I agree with others that the quote sounds good, especially if they include grinding of the stump. Even if they don't grind the stump (or if it's not needed because maybe the storm ripped it out by the roots) that's not a bad price. I think we paid close to that when we lost a similar sized spruce in a windstorm a few years ago.

If the tree knocked down large branches from other trees on its way down but those trees are still standing, I'd make sure that the company evens up the trees that lost those limbs and include that in their original quote.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,764
Points
23
I agree with others that the quote sounds good, especially if they include grinding of the stump. Even if they don't grind the stump (or if it's not needed because maybe the storm ripped it out by the roots) that's not a bad price. I think we paid close to that when we lost a similar sized spruce in a windstorm a few years ago.

If the tree knocked down large branches from other trees on its way down but those trees are still standing, I'd make sure that the company evens up the trees that lost those limbs and include that in their original quote.
It ripped the entire stump up. It's just a hole now. The quote included taking down the other two trees. Both are beyond repair. The apple tree is completely ripped up, and the dogwood is split in half and will look like crap even with the canopy trimmed.
 

Big Owl

Cyburbian
Messages
2,356
Points
25
I am going to replace the back door to my house this weekend. I am going back with a proper exterior door instead of an interior door that the previous property owner installed. I am using a half lite slab door. I would go with a pre-hung door in a heart beat but the framing is the door jam which I discovered earlier this week. The existing door is 32" not 36" or I would go down a door size since the front door is 36". I just love the challenges that a nearly 100 yr old house presents.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,026
Points
33
I am going to replace the back door to my house this weekend. I am going back with a proper exterior door instead of an interior door that the previous property owner installed. I am using a half lite slab door. I would go with a pre-hung door in a heart beat but the framing is the door jam which I discovered earlier this week. The existing door is 32" not 36" or I would go down a door size since the front door is 36". I just love the challenges that a nearly 100 yr old house presents.
My back door is a non-standard size as well. The storm door cost $$$ because of this.

My daughter's house needs a new front door and went to measure it....like yours the framing is the door jamb :-@ And the house is only 50 years old. They also removed the exterior door between the dining room and the garage when the converted the garage to a weird finished space-they left the door jamb and the threshold though.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,764
Points
23
I really need to replace my basement door with an actual exterior door. It's an interior door and has a bunch of cracks and splits from being exposed to the outside. The door frame is a big heavy duty metal thing and it's encased in brick. I can't change it, so it is what it is. I'm not ready to tackle that annoyance yet.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
26,743
Points
55
Has anyone here ever actually used dynamite to blow a tree stump?
 

Big Owl

Cyburbian
Messages
2,356
Points
25
Has anyone here ever actually used dynamite to blow a tree stump?
Kinda.... A farmer that I did some work for had some dynamite that he felt like he wanted to get rid and me & his son wanted to see something blow up. So he decided to blast a stump that we were going to pull it out with a bulldozer and chain. He placed a 1/4 stick of dynamite under neath the stump, tamped it into place, and ran 10' of fuse. We went about 1000' away and watched him light the fuse and run 500 or so feet and jump behind his dozer. It seemed like it took forever for the fuse to ignite the dynamite. It was a big explosion with lots of dust and debris. When everything settle down the stump was still there in the same spot. It was disappointing but impressive at the same time. It did make it easier to get the chain around the stump to pull it out.
 

Big Owl

Cyburbian
Messages
2,356
Points
25
I am going to replace the back door to my house this weekend. I am going back with a proper exterior door instead of an interior door that the previous property owner installed. I am using a half lite slab door. I would go with a pre-hung door in a heart beat but the framing is the door jam which I discovered earlier this week. The existing door is 32" not 36" or I would go down a door size since the front door is 36". I just love the challenges that a nearly 100 yr old house presents.
It took the better part of Saturday to complete the installation. The majority of the time was spent checking and rechecking the measurements. Out of square, plumb, and level; I choose plumb and level. I could not change the door frame without doing significant work. The interesting discovery was the fact that the top and one side of the door frame was red oak; the other side was pine. It was painted so I couldn't tell before now. The door is stained and needs a couple of coats of polyurethane to finish the job. This is being delayed until my furnace is fixed as it went out last night.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,764
Points
23
The tree is gone. They left the split in half dogwood. It might be salvageable but I think I'm going to cut it down anyways. It's leaning towards the house, and it honestly looks like crap.

Problem now is that the yard is pretty compacted where the tree company trucks were. I dunno how to fix that. I think I'll need to get a tiller somewhere I guess.
 

Big Owl

Cyburbian
Messages
2,356
Points
25
The tree is gone. They left the split in half dogwood. It might be salvageable but I think I'm going to cut it down anyways. It's leaning towards the house, and it honestly looks like crap.

Problem now is that the yard is pretty compacted where the tree company trucks were. I dunno how to fix that. I think I'll need to get a tiller somewhere I guess.
If it is a big area, I would use a tiller. You might need to add some compost or soil to get it back to where it needs to be. If it is a small rut, I would just use a mattock or a shovel and loosen the soil, again you might need to add some dirt to the area.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,764
Points
23
If it is a big area, I would use a tiller. You might need to add some compost or soil to get it back to where it needs to be. If it is a small rut, I would just use a mattock or a shovel and loosen the soil, again you might need to add some dirt to the area.
It's big, probably somewhere around 2,000 square feet of compacted soil and yard damage.
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,289
Points
29
New Outlet

I need to take an indoor outlet and make it an outdoor outlet on the opposite side of the wall. Will I get dinged for not having the (every 6 feet) wall outlets on the inside of the house? Next step is to buy a cheap spa for the backyard:D
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,598
Points
24
Putting a new floor down in the kitchen, starting in the foyer.





If you're wondering why a window opens inside, the foyer connecting the family room (former garage) with the kitchen used to be an open back porch. The window is one of two windows mounted side by side; the other opens outside. You may think it's odd, but I think the house has character.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,026
Points
33
Looks similar to the Pergo we installed at the beach house. We didn't use the gold underlayment though because the planks already had it attached.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,598
Points
24
This is the WetProtect version. Continuous vapor barrier is required.

Dropped a bunch of money at IKEA for kitchen cabinets. My son assembled them mostly; need to get them mounted and stuff.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,026
Points
33
This is the WetProtect version. Continuous vapor barrier is required.

Dropped a bunch of money at IKEA for kitchen cabinets. My son assembled them mostly; need to get them mounted and stuff.
Ah yes, we decided we didn't need it for the areas we did in the house. Have fun with all the caulking. I was checking out the kitchen cabs at IKEA last week when I was buying a shelf. I'm interested to know how you will end of liking them.
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
Messages
4,778
Points
28
I think this is actually my first post in this thread...

Had very nice weather over the weekend - finally was able to get out and replace the light fixtures by the front door and the pedestrian door to the garage (also replaced the switch and switch cover for that light)...I'd purchased those about two months ago and had them sitting around in the basement waiting on a dry weekend day. Installed dusk-to-dawn LED light bulbs in new fixtures as well. I think it took a grand total of two hours to get everything done, and I managed not to burn the house down from an electrical fire. Winning!
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,598
Points
24
Have fun with all the caulking.
You have to use 100% silicone caulk which is definitely different than the acrylic caulk I usually use. First of all, not water soluble. The way to clean it is by just wiping with paper towels over and over again until it's gone. Having said that though, it seems a bit more forgiving because of that. You just slop it on there and wipe away the excess. And because most of the caulking was under trim pieces it didn't have to look perfect.

Installed dusk-to-dawn LED light bulbs in new fixtures as well.
They have dusk-to-dawn LED bulbs????? o_O I need to look into that.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,026
Points
33
You have to use 100% silicone caulk which is definitely different than the acrylic caulk I usually use. First of all, not water soluble. The way to clean it is by just wiping with paper towels over and over again until it's gone. Having said that though, it seems a bit more forgiving because of that. You just slop it on there and wipe away the excess. And because most of the caulking was under trim pieces it didn't have to look perfect.



They have dusk-to-dawn LED bulbs????? o_O I need to look into that.
The light fixture at the front of my house is an LED connected to a photocell. It turns on at dusk and turns off at dawn. I think I paid about $50 for it at Costco 3 years ago. It did start to flicker wildly but Google Handyman advised that it was a problem with the LED driver. I bought a replacement driver for $6 and replaced it in 5 minutes and that did the trick.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,598
Points
24
I've seen fixtures with dusk-to-dawn built in (I have one on my garage), but they have actual bulbs that have it? That's what's new to me.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,764
Points
23
I've seen fixtures with dusk-to-dawn built in (I have one on my garage), but they have actual bulbs that have it? That's what's new to me.
Yeah that is kinda cool. I have either smart bulbs or smart switches on most of my outdoor lights. I can't install the switch on the one I really need to though. It controls 6 exterior floodlights, but it's on a switch loop so I have no neutral. The smart switches have been fantastic and work flawlessly. The bulb is a different animal. It works sometimes, whenever it wants to. I haven't figured out why it randomly flakes out. It didn't used to, it's a new development. The smart stuff is neat, but it's still in its infancy I think so some things work better than others.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,598
Points
24
Yeah, we had our house rewired when we moved in, but still there are certain switches that are in lousy spots (didn't realize how bad until we started living in the house). I probably need to look into these smart bulbs/fixtures. Is the idea that you can control them with your smart phone or something?
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,564
Points
30
I've seen fixtures with dusk-to-dawn built in (I have one on my garage), but they have actual bulbs that have it? That's what's new to me.

I bought a dusk-to-dawn LED bulb from Amazon for the lamppost in the front yard. It works perfectly as long as nobody flips the switch in the house and inadvertently turns it off!

Prior to this bulb, I feel like I was constantly changing the bulb in the lamppost as it would inevitably blow whenever the weather turned really cold (below 10º F) regardless of whether it was LED or incandescent or whatever. This one has been out there well over a year and through multiple long extreme cold spells without any issues. I'd like to try dusk-to-dawn LED bulbs for the rest of the lighting in the front of the house but they are recessed-can lights so I don't know how well they will work in those spots. Maybe next time one of them dies out I'll give it a shot in one spot as a test case.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
5,764
Points
23
I probably need to look into these smart bulbs/fixtures. Is the idea that you can control them with your smart phone or something?
Yeah, and with Google Home or Amazon Alexa via voice commands for some. They are also pretty easy to program if you want certain lights to come on at specific times. I recommend the switches over the bulbs. They just seem to be more reliable. They usually require a neutral wire though.

I bought a dusk-to-dawn LED bulb from Amazon for the lamppost in the front yard. It works perfectly as long as nobody flips the switch in the house and inadvertently turns it off!
I removed the switch entirely from the fixture my smart bulb is on specifically for this reason. I got a blank switch and just tied the wires together with a wire nut. No more switch. The only issue I've had is when the bulb decides not to work, I have no way to power it off.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,026
Points
33
I'm not ready to have some device listening intently to all I say... at least not yet.
Our Alexa randomly started playing 2 Live Crew's Get the F*** Out of My House last night. She's being retired today.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,264
Points
43
A large portion of the handle of a hosebib broke off (hurricane related?). I can't get the screw out to replace it. I thought about breaking the rest off with a hammer, but decided that would not be a good idea. Any suggestions?

Edit: I tried WD-40.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,598
Points
24
A large portion of the handle of a hosebib broke off (hurricane related?). I can't get the screw out to replace it. I thought about breaking the rest off with a hammer, but decided that would not be a good idea. Any suggestions?

Edit: I tried WD-40.
Bite the bullet and call a plumber. $100 but no worries.
 

Big Owl

Cyburbian
Messages
2,356
Points
25
A large portion of the handle of a hosebib broke off (hurricane related?). I can't get the screw out to replace it. I thought about breaking the rest off with a hammer, but decided that would not be a good idea. Any suggestions?

Edit: I tried WD-40.
Bite the bullet and call a plumber. $100 but no worries.
A screw extractor would work. You can also use a dremil tool and either cut the head to acept a screw driver or just cut the rest of the handle off around the screw & then use pliers to remove the screw. I'd be concerned about it leaking if it was hit hard enough to break the handle. I personally would consider replacing it. I know you are looking at selling, so if you think you'll have a home inspection; I'd wait and see what else needs to be fixed plumbing wise and have it all done at once.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
5,816
Points
30
The kitchen looks nice! Where did you find the chairs? I didn’t see those on ikea web page.
 
Top Bottom