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Home Improvements

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,551
Points
27
Before (the bare trunk is a smelly overgrown weed with deep roots)



During (how deep? about 2')



After (this is a pale lilac, along with some new paving stones...we're not done!)

 
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Linda_D

Cyburbian
Messages
1,725
Points
19
I have accomplished a "major" DIY project (for me anyways): I changed out the springs on one of my overhead garage doors. :b: When I came home from my camp on Saturday, I discovered that one of the springs had broken.:not: So, Sunday, I trotted off to Home Depot and returned with a set of new springs. It took me about an hour to do the first one (including securing the door in the "up" position), but the second one took only about 15 minutes, including installing the safety wires. Unfortunately, the spring was too heavy, so the door wouldn't stay shut, so I had to take the spring mechanisms apart, return them to HD, pick a new pair and try again. Voila! Success!!! Not only did I get the springs back on, I got the safety wires threaded and secured properly (all approved by my local construction-guru friend Dave who showed up after I was all done!), and the garage door opener successfully reconnected! Now, I'm thinking about adding safety wires to the other garage door since it doesn't have any.

My plunge into garage door repair was totally motivated by money: the pair of springs cost about $25 out of pocket while the last time I had the garage door company come out to look at one of the doors, it cost me $100+ -- and they didn't use any parts. They just oiled the doors and reprogrammed the remotes.

I now declare myself a "garage door spring" guru ... "guru-ette"??? ;)
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
38
I have accomplished a "major" DIY project (for me anyways): I changed out the springs on one of my overhead garage doors.
I'm impressed. I would have just called the garage door guy.

I think I've accomplished a lot when I get the kid to drill holes in a couple new plastic plant pots... :r:;)
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
24,658
Points
50
Every time I visit Mom down at the Jersey Shore on vacation she always has a list of projects to be done.
I wonder what Mom will want done this summer ?

Thank goodness Mom hired somebody to replace the windows (16) last year.

I have posted in the past what I have done on vacation to maintain her house.
 
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Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,551
Points
27
Windows R Us...?

Looking to replace most of my drafty single-pane cattywampus windows.

My handyman steered me towards one of the places advertising in the weekly mailers. He said he can't do a window for $189 (includes hardware). So I got a quote, and for the double-pane heat-sealed left handed veeblefetzer windows, it's quite a bit more. The windows look pretty plasticky; oak finish would be extra.

Called another place. They wrote it up for...um...about half of what I paid for the house. That can't be right. But if I act NOW, they'll let me have the "best" windows for the "midgrade" price. Etc, etc, many voicemails and sales pitches. Their product looks even more plasticky.

This week I'll be visited by a Name Brand window mfgr. I'd stopped in their showroom only to find out that they don't make a garden window (under consideration for my bathroom). But wait -- it's sold at one of the big box places.

Any comments to share? TIA.
 

jmello

Cyburbian
Messages
2,583
Points
21
I just ordered a solar-powered attic vent. I have been dreading wiring a fan for the attic and then I found this at Costco. It is priced really well and should pay for itself over one summer. I will be installing it this weekend or next.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
8,983
Points
30
We will be purchasing a new high efficiency furnace in the next few weeks.

The current one is OLD and after freezing in the house for the past two winters (with $400+) heating bills we figure we should invest in a new one before the current one goes kaput.

We'll be taking advantage of the $1500 tax credit, a NYSEG $600 rebate, and a $150 rebate from Carrier.

It will be our biggest investment in the house to date. 8-!



BF is adverse to the phrase "Honey Do List". Any suggestions for a name for the list of projects we need to undertake for the house?
 

Gedunker

Moderating
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Messages
11,054
Points
34
Looking to replace most of my drafty single-pane cattywampus windows.

My handyman steered me towards one of the places advertising in the weekly mailers. He said he can't do a window for $189 (includes hardware). So I got a quote, and for the double-pane heat-sealed left handed veeblefetzer windows, it's quite a bit more. The windows look pretty plasticky; oak finish would be extra.

Any comments to share? TIA.
Avoid vinyl replacements!! You'd be better served, and better serve your home, by fixing the cattywampus wood windows and upgrading the glass to a single-pane low-E glass. Then, invest in good storm windows (either exterior or interior) as well as thermal window treatments. You'll save a bundle and won't have to spend it all again in 10-15 years the way you will when the vinyl crapola wears out.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,551
Points
27
Handyman's assistant (needed for high ladder work) says he has "never heard anything good" about this outfit.

Avoid vinyl replacements!! You'd be better served, and better serve your home, by fixing the cattywampus wood windows and upgrading the glass to a single-pane low-E glass. Then, invest in good storm windows (either exterior or interior) as well as thermal window treatments. You'll save a bundle and won't have to spend it all again in 10-15 years the way you will when the vinyl crapola wears out.
The vinyl crapola is waranteed for a gazillion years. Some of my windows are downright unsafe; they are casements of a grade lower than the type with a counterweight inside. In other words, opening & closing them is a huge challenge.
:checks fingernail -- yep, the smashed section finally grew out:
 
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kjel

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12,062
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33
The vinyl crapola is waranteed for a gazillion years. Some of my windows are downright unsafe; they are casements of a grade lower than the type with a counterweight inside. In other words, opening & closing them is a huge challenge.
:checks fingernail -- yep, the smashed section finally grew out:

I hear you. The uni apartment that I live in had windows of the same condition. You had to call maintenance whenever you wanted one opened or closed. Although there were storm windows they didn't do much but rattle in the wind. Thankfully they were replaced this past year.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
8,983
Points
30
We have a full concrete unfinished basement. It would be nice to someday finish off the space for use & future resale. What would be required to finish my basement? How much would it cost to do a basic finish? Is this something we (and by we I mean me and my soon-to-be-retired father) could do by ourselves?
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
34
We have a full concrete unfinished basement. It would be nice to someday finish off the space for use & future resale. What would be required to finish my basement? How much would it cost to do a basic finish? Is this something we (and by we I mean me and my soon-to-be-retired father) could do by ourselves?
It really depends on what needs to be done and your skill level - it's not hard to throw up some interior partition walls, but if you need/want to re-wire (add light fixtures, plugs, etc.) or want to put a bathroom down there it can get more complicated.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
8,983
Points
30
We would probably need/want to rewire for lights and outlets. We currently have a toilet down there so it would be nice to partition that off, add a sink, and call it a half bath.

Would it be weird to have a finished half basement? We do use a large portion of it for storage and washer/dryer.
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,423
Points
26
Whose chopper is this?
It's Zed's.
Who's Zed?
Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.

Greatest. Movie. Ever.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
26,869
Points
57
Whose chopper is this?
It's Zed's.
Who's Zed?
Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.

Greatest. Movie. Ever.
[ot]It's on my top 3 list. I believe it is the most quotable movie too.

"Did you see the sign in my front yard?"[/ot]
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,267
Points
43
Some of you might not agree this is an improvement, but it's better than the cat-barf impregnated predecessor. This one is in front of the sink; another is in front of the stove.





It's raining here on the panhandle, so it's a slow day.....
 

Linda_D

Cyburbian
Messages
1,725
Points
19
I have this ugly white ball (definitely 1970ish) on the top of a rotting metal pole as an outdoor light in my front yard. Who (ie, what kind of professional) would be likely to have the expertise to fix/replace the metal pole and replace the ugly white ball with something more appropriate?

I could live with the ugly white ball but the rotting pole needs to have something done.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,605
Points
31
I have this ugly white ball (definitely 1970ish) on the top of a rotting metal pole as an outdoor light in my front yard. Who (ie, what kind of professional) would be likely to have the expertise to fix/replace the metal pole and replace the ugly white ball with something more appropriate?

I could live with the ugly white ball but the rotting pole needs to have something done.
Anybody with a shovel should be able to do it. Seriously. I am not the handiest of people and am usually one of the folks who will call a professional for most any job that looks like it will take me more than an hour but replacing our front light post when we moved in was something that I decided to try and tackle myself. I did a bit of research online, found a youtube video, and tackled it. I think it took me an afternoon to do. My main concern was that I was afraid I would somehow cut the electrical line with the shovel and not be able to figure out where but that was an unfounded fear.

However, if I were to want to change it this time of year, I'd probably call an electrician or general handyman just because I get frustrated too easily doing that type of work when it is cold out.
 

Linda_D

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Messages
1,725
Points
19
Anybody with a shovel should be able to do it. Seriously. I am not the handiest of people and am usually one of the folks who will call a professional for most any job that looks like it will take me more than an hour but replacing our front light post when we moved in was something that I decided to try and tackle myself. I did a bit of research online, found a youtube video, and tackled it. I think it took me an afternoon to do. My main concern was that I was afraid I would somehow cut the electrical line with the shovel and not be able to figure out where but that was an unfounded fear.

However, if I were to want to change it this time of year, I'd probably call an electrician or general handyman just because I get frustrated too easily doing that type of work when it is cold out.
Thanks. I wasn't planning on having it fixed now -- the pole isn't going to topple over any time soon -- but it's something I want to get taken care of this coming year.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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18,267
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43
The siding repairs were completed yesterday. Next up: the pool screen enclosure replacement and the window repairs.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
5,580
Points
28
Most of the work I want done on the new house is cosmetic. New light fixtures, new carpeting/flooring, handles on cabinets, etc. Outside needs some attention, too, with weed control, stone patio repair, and some pruning shears.

My weekend is packed with other stuff, so it'll be a couple weeks before I get to the outside. I want to get some stuff done before it's so hot I melt.
 

Richmond Jake

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43
Fewer white tiles! Tile guy is coming tomorrow to replace the tile in the half-bath!!
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,605
Points
31
Saturday morning I went to the Home Depot to buy some grass seed so I could overseed my lawn this spring. I wanted the dense shade mix for the back and the full sun mix for the front. ll they had were various types of part-sun/part-shade mixes. They also don't sell the full sun or dense shade mixes on their website. I went across town to the real garden store and they didn't have any there either. Oh well. Amazon for the win.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,666
Points
25
My front yard is mostly St. Augustine with whatever else mixed in. My backyard had a lot more St. Augustine than it does now, but it didn't stand up to my dogs. Other stuff grew in this spring and it looks okay. I just hope whatever it is stands up to the Texas heat. The house came with a sprinkler system, which helps.
 

AG74683

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Messages
5,870
Points
24
High quality exterior house paint is unbelievably expensive. I'll probably need a minimum of 10 gallons to paint my house, and a 5 gallon bucket is close to 300 dollars.
 

kjel

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High quality exterior house paint is unbelievably expensive. I'll probably need a minimum of 10 gallons to paint my house, and a 5 gallon bucket is close to 300 dollars.
Yes, but you won't have to repaint for a long while.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
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5,870
Points
24
Yes, but you won't have to repaint for a long while.
That's actually the reason I need to paint it now. I guess in the preparation to sell the house, the previous owners used really crappy paint (interior paint according to my contractor). It's starting to show really random light spots on the paint all over the house.

The siding is in okay shape, although I have some areas that seem to be bowing a bit. I think it's all '80's masonite though. Anyone ever painted their own home before? It's mostly a single story with a short split level portion at one end. The highest I'll be up in the air painting is 15 feet max.
 
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Richmond Jake

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The contractor arrived this morning. The goal is to finish the half-bath repairs today. Last I looked, that goal will not be reached. Still, another little step. :)
 

Richmond Jake

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The contractor arrived this morning. The goal is to finish the half-bath repairs today. Last I looked, that goal will not be reached. Still, another little step. :)
The dude drove up from Miami this morning!! Probably a 10 hour drive. He didn't finish. He'll be back tomorrow morning to finish the job.
 

AG74683

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24
The dude drove up from Miami this morning!! Probably a 10 hour drive. He didn't finish. He'll be back tomorrow morning to finish the job.
I've always found it crazy that contractors travel that far for jobs. It seems like the travel cost would destroy any profit in the job.
 

Richmond Jake

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I've always found it crazy that contractors travel that far for jobs. It seems like the travel cost would destroy any profit in the job.
He was sent by the insurance company. I'm sure they're covering his expenses.

On a brighter note, he and his partner finished the rebuild of the half-bathroom this morning!!! We are very pleased with the great work.

The pool is no longer green. A gallon of muriatic acid and 10-gallons of cholrine worked wonders.
 
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AG74683

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5,870
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24
He was sent by the insurance company. I'm sure they're covering his expenses.

On a brighter note, he and his partner finished the rebuild of the half-bathroom this morning!!! We are very pleased with the great work.
Oh, yeah that makes sense then. My insurance adjuster that got sent out to review my damage after Hurricane Florence (or Michael, I can't remember which one) was from Texas.
 

Richmond Jake

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Two more blink security cameras installed on the house this morning. That brings it to a total of six. :worried: :wrench:
 

AG74683

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5,870
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24
Two more blink security cameras installed on the house this morning. That brings it to a total of six. :worried: :wrench:
How do you like them so far? I want to put some cameras up on the house, but currently have no access to the attic to run hardwired cameras.
 

Richmond Jake

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How do you like them so far? I want to put some cameras up on the house, but currently have no access to the attic to run hardwired cameras.
So far, we like them. Ours communicate with our modem that sends vidoes to ZG's iphone.
 

Doohickie

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Messages
1,666
Points
25
:eek: Holy Crap!
There was a lot of misdirection about who would pay, and how much. At first the water department guys said the city would pay for it. And in fact, the city sent over a water remediation company to dry out the attic over my family room; I never saw a bill. But the department that covers these kinds of losses disagreed. It's a state law here in Texas that municipalities have zero liability for water main breaks. After a lot of emails back and forth, my homeowner's insurance covered a chunk of it, and the city covered the deductible and paid toward repair of the cars (they suffered what looked like hail damage from the rocks thrown in the air by the water).

They didn't total the roof. The front slope (not visible in the video, just off to the right of the frame) suffered no damage. But if I'm doing that much of the roof, I'm doing it all. So I'll live with the dents in my little white Fiat in order to get the whole roof done.
 

WSU MUP Student

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9,605
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31
There was a lot of misdirection about who would pay, and how much. At first the water department guys said the city would pay for it. And in fact, the city sent over a water remediation company to dry out the attic over my family room; I never saw a bill. But the department that covers these kinds of losses disagreed. It's a state law here in Texas that municipalities have zero liability for water main breaks. After a lot of emails back and forth, my homeowner's insurance covered a chunk of it, and the city covered the deductible and paid toward repair of the cars (they suffered what looked like hail damage from the rocks thrown in the air by the water).

They didn't total the roof. The front slope (not visible in the video, just off to the right of the frame) suffered no damage. But if I'm doing that much of the roof, I'm doing it all. So I'll live with the dents in my little white Fiat in order to get the whole roof done.
Was there an original post about this? So many questions! How long ago did this happen? Were you (or anybody) home when it happened? Was yours the only house damaged? What is the water pressure when a main like that breaks? Why did the main break (if the city knows)? So crazy to see.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,666
Points
25
  • Was there an original post about this? I thought there was but I'm not sure.
  • So many questions! How long ago did this happen? September last year.
  • Were you (or anybody) home when it happened? Yes. It happened on a Saturday morning at 7 am. My wife went to put the dogs out into back yard and thought we had a humdinger of a storm. Picture the worst hard-driven rain you ever saw, and that's what it looked like in our back yard. We actually got about 4 inches of water in the yard and it almost spilled into our family room; they got it turned off just in time.
  • Was yours the only house damaged? To my knowledge, yes we were the lucky ones.
  • What is the water pressure when a main like that breaks? Probably normal residential water pressure, about 40-45 psi. What I did hear is that it was a 12" main.
  • Why did the main break (if the city knows)? Old pipes. The neighborhood was built in the 1950s. The mains were laid during that time. They're old. The reason state law says that main breaks are not the liability of the city is that the state law declared them "acts of God" due to shifting earth due to wet/dry cycles.
  • So crazy to see. Even more so in person.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Messages
17,549
Points
55
The restaining is coming along nicely. The painters still have to do the sides and rear, the garage door, and some trim up front, but it's looking a lot more presentable.

24648

Comparing the new and old colors.

24649

Last weekend, I repainted the upstairs hallway bathroom. It used to be orange -- walls, ceiling, and trim. (The previous owners were snowbirds, and they had a 1990s Florida orange/salmon/pink theme throughout the house. We still have a lot of it to cover.) Now, it's taupe with a white ceiling and trim. I also replaced the towel bars and door hinges -- all brushed nickel. Next weekend, I'm touching up parts where the orange is still poking through, despite a double coat. (I can't blame it on cheap paint -- I used Sherwin-Williams.)
 
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