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What home repairs are you working on?

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27 Sep 2023 16:52 #340651 by ChristopherMD
Now you just have to thank that storage unit for the joy its brought you, and then you can let it all go. :)

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27 Sep 2023 20:48 #340652 by ubarose

ChristopherMD wrote: Now you just have to thank that storage unit for the joy its brought you, and then you can let it all go. :)


The space is actually a nice place to sort through stuff without trashing the house. It is a 3rd floor bedroom in an old mansion across the street from us. It is actually bigger than our own master bedroom. Possibly bigger than our living room. If it weren’t for the fact that I can only access it at limited times and days, I’d set up a studio there.

The Spawn has been sorting through the clothes and selling or donating them.

What I have to do is find the time go through 10 large boxes of family photos and documents spanning over 100 years.
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05 Oct 2023 21:49 - 05 Oct 2023 21:51 #340699 by ubarose
I got my side stoop fixed today. A truck hit it awhile back and forked up the post and railing. Next week they start on fixing the rot on the front porch. They had to power wash the front porch as part of the prep work, so I also got them to power wash the fence while they were at it. While they were here, they also fixed an interior door that had gotten out of square.

I also hired a landscaper (my contractor’s son) for the first time to get my out of control back yard and rhododendrons a bit more under control. He’s coming tomorrow.

Next week I’m going to start the process of getting bids to repave the driveway and walkway.

What I’m really looking forward to is getting a new deck in the back, not that won’t happen until spring.

With a 100+ year old house, there is always something.
Last edit: 05 Oct 2023 21:51 by ubarose.
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06 Oct 2023 10:39 #340702 by Cranberries
We are having french doors installed in a mud room that is attached to our carport, and was previously used for storage. I have probably brought it up here ten times. I had to enlarge the opening for the french doors, then decided I didn't have the confidence to build the door frame, despite Pete's encouragement. So the contractor my wife's friend recommended (We are a woman-run organization with special insights and care!) subcontracted some nice Hispanic men to build the door frame. She brought in a guy to translate. They were not women, however, so I was worried that the presence of male genitalia would both hurt her branding and perhaps impact the quality of construction. They installed the door frame using wood I had purchased and build a header (the horizontal crosspiece at the top of the frame) out of 2 x 4s rather than the 2 x 12s that I had sitting there. It was also kind of janky, so we had them come back and fix it, and they bought 2 x 6s and now it looks fine.

This cost us ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. It took two people about three hours total. Once the door is installed, however, we will have an additional 400 square feet of upstairs space, or the same size as a $3k/month Manhattan apartment, but with all of the culture and excitement of Orem, Utah as an added bonus.

My neighbor who has a construction management degree originally suggested we build a false wall to hide the vertical metal poles attached to a load bearing beam, but the New Contractor (she was so energetic, it felt like more than just caffeine) told us the metal poles were all the rage, so I'm taking the wood back to Lowe's today.

I'll add pictures later, because I am confident you all care.
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06 Oct 2023 10:39 #340703 by Rliyen

jason10mm wrote: Anyone got an opinion on insulated garage doors? Being Texan, the garage hovers in the low 90's ALL THE TIME in the summer, which is just miserable. I'm debating garage vents and an exhaust fan, adding insulation to the doors and vents, or going whole hog and getting legit insulated doors installed. My doors don't seal well though, so I'm not sure what the culprit for a hot garage really is, radiant heat though the door, stale air in the garage, or hot air leakage through gaps. Probably do the easy thing and add some door vents and try to figure out where to add an exhaust fan so at least I can suck in cool 77 degree night air.

I love Texas on the summer :P


Same in Louisiana. Walking into the garage in summer is like walking on the sun. I'm planning on making the garage man cavable again, this time doing it right. I'm more than likely going to install ductless air conditioning, and insulate the garage doors. The attic needs to be insulated, but that can't be done until soffit and fascia is replaced in the back out the house and holes in the upper particleboard siding is fixed.

For now, I am doing little things, I've replaced the 1980's chandelier that was there when the house was built with a more modern looking one. This weekend, I'm replacing the faucet in the main bathroom that DOESN'T scream 1984. Once my wife gets a part time job, the renovation of the house can begin. First off, siding. Our house is mostly brick, with that shit particleboard siding. Can't wait to get rid of that shit. Then, new insulation for the attic. Then, replacement of the carpet with something NOT carpet.
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06 Oct 2023 14:15 #340704 by Kmann
A couple of months back I spent a Saturday with a garage door self-insulation pack. This is a giant box with sheets of polystyrene and corflute (the plastic-like stuff predominantly used for real estate signs) inside that you cut to fit the panels of your garage door.
Very easy to install and over our winter the difference was 100% noticeable. It wasn't life-changing but it was definitely worth doing. Much better than the bare thin steel of the garage door.
An added bonus is that it looks much better as well.
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07 Oct 2023 20:26 #340711 by jason10mm
Yeah, the foam sheet thing was what I was thinking, light enough it wouldn't need a new door motor or anything. Plus some door vents and an exhaust system to get in cooler night air. Of course now I finally get sub 70 degree temps so it's a moot point for the next 6 months.
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08 Oct 2023 23:55 #340719 by Kmann
Forgot to mention that you need to call a technician out to readjust the springs as the insulation adds a fair bit of extra weight, which can blow out the motor if the springs aren't recalibrated. You don't want to mess with those hefty springs yourself. We had our motor serviced at the same time.

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29 Nov 2023 15:00 #341142 by Jackwraith
This isn't an improvement, yet, but it's a story about an upcoming one and associated vendors. Today's tale entitled: Always Get a Second Opinion.

On Friday, our garage door broke a spring. Now, this happens, especially with older doors and ours is probably somewhere in its 50s. It's an old, wooden, sectional door that probably weighs about 500 pounds and I, of course, have been the one lifting it on its tracks so we can get the cars in and out of the garage since this happened. I was thinking of replacing the springs myself, since it's not that complicated to do, but it also involves tools that we'd have to acquire and my girlfriend, who is constantly on watch for the worst case scenario, insisted that people get seriously injured trying to do that and so it was better to call in a pro. I went looking for the best-reviewed (Google, etc) company in the area and set up an appointment for a guy to come by yesterday.

He walks in and the first thing he does is a long, low whistle and says that he hasn't seen a door this old in years. The main thing he points out is that springs for modern doors are attached at the center and ours are attached at the corners of the door. He says that no one probably makes those springs anymore and they certainly don't carry them, so the best solution is to simply replace the door and put in a whole new (modern) package. It's complicated further by our house having been built by the previous owners, so that the garage opening isn't standard. Our is 6', 9" while standard is 7', so they'd have to find a custom door, too. The most reasonable replacement quote he gives us is $2600 and it will be three or four weeks before they can get the door in, since it's non-standard. We have another attached garage that the former owner used to use as a workshop which has a smaller door, but one in the same style as the main door (wooden, windows) which my girlfriend would want to replace, as well, so that the doors don't look different. I point out that no one can see the doors from the street, since they're perpendicular to it and 150 yards away (we have a long-ass driveway) but I'm overruled for aesthetic reasons. That will probably add another $600 to the total in order to replace the still perfectly functional smaller door. We take his card and I go inside to look for at least one other opinion.

I call a local guy (Rob's Garage Door Repair; this reminds me of Steve Martin's old line: "If you own a bank, you have to call it something like Security First Trust and Federal Reserve, because no one's gonna put their money in Fred's Bank. Hi! I'm Fred! I own a bank.") whose office is 5 minutes from us. The owner calls me after I leave info on their website and says his guy will be out tomorrow (today.) His guy shows up today, looks at the situation, takes a few measurements, and says: "We can get these springs manufactured. It'll take about a week. Then we can install them. Total job will be $595." I took two seconds to say: "Fine. Do it." To me, this is the difference between a large company that doesn't want to bother with niche cases and a local operation that simply wants the business and will make the extra effort to make it happen. One quarter the time (meaning three fewer weeks of me lifting the damn thing however many times a day) and one fifth the cost? Sign me up, yo. For a job that the first guy implied wasn't worth our time or money... which means it wasn't worth THEIR time or money, especially when they could sell us a whole new door (or two) that we don't really need.
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01 Dec 2023 11:54 #341182 by jason10mm
Had a similar experience with windows.

First guy quoted us 40k for replacement metal framed windows and implied a lot of our windows were expensive custom sizes. Second guy (who rolled up in a Tesla, first clue) quoted us 100K(!!!!!!!) for anderson windows. Two others were in the 30s for vinyl frame, a quarter of that because the wife wants black which apparently is brutally expensive to add (and my comments that "well, you have to make vinyl white in the first place, why not just make some black instead, what's with the upcharge?' were met with a huff of derision).

So anyway, we are getting windows and they only cost me a Honda, not a Porsche :P

Definitely shop around, contractor pricing is 300% what they think they can get from you.
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01 Dec 2023 12:15 #341183 by Kmann
Had the same experience with a house painter. First guy walked around the house and then asked what my budget was - the first warning sign. He was the first painter to quote so I really had no idea how much the job would cost. He rang back later with $12k + paint.
Second guy came out to quote a few days later, walked around the house, did some rough notebook calculations on the spot and said $3k + paint. I practically gave him the money there and then.
Matching Jack's experience, the first guy was from a painting company, the second guy was a solo operator.

* Our house is 2/3s brick, it was only the wood sections that needed repainting.
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01 Dec 2023 12:31 #341186 by Cranberries

Kmann wrote: Had the same experience with a house painter. First guy walked around the house and then asked what my budget was - the first warning sign. He was the first painter to quote so I really had no idea how much the job would cost. He rang back later with $12k + paint.
Second guy came out to quote a few days later, walked around the house, did some rough notebook calculations on the spot and said $3k + paint. I practically gave him the money there and then.
Matching Jack's experience, the first guy was from a painting company, the second guy was a solo operator.

* Our house is 2/3s brick, it was only the wood sections that needed repainting.


If I wasn't incredibly lazy I would paint a few houses this summer and buy myself a used Landcruiser.
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20 Dec 2023 14:45 #341359 by Rliyen
Whelp, more outlets to replace...

Last night, I was lying in bed with the wife and she asked, "Can you give me my headphones?" She had them hooked up to the charger. I did as I was asked.

She then said with a note of confusion, "Low battery? Can you see if the charger's plugged in?" Again, I do as I was asked.

I pull the nightstand back, to get a better view. I figured that the charger got dislodged or something. When I did that, I was certainly not expecting what I found.

The quick charger was FUSED to the outlet, like melted the outlet cover and everything. One of the prongs was still stuck inside the socket. Being the dumbass I am, I pulled out the other prong. Thankfully, the outlet was dead dead and no immediate negative outcome befell me.

BUT STILL, WTF?

This morning, when bringing the cat to the vet, my subconscious did the crawl and came up with a possible explanation.

On Sunday, prior to Nate coming over, I was carpet cleaning the living room (the master bedroom is right next door). Suddenly, the cleaner stopped working. Breaker trips are uncommon, so I didn't think anything of it and reset the breaker. The breaker trip must have french fried the charger.

Yay.

So now I have three outlet changes to do. The outlets have not been changed since the house has been built, so time for some repair and preventive maintenance.
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20 Dec 2023 19:13 #341362 by Robert Facepalmer
Those chargers can be problematic on their own. A couple years ago I had two separate friends that had chargers plugged into wall sockets but not actively charging cause fires. One had an iPad charger burn the socket and a chunk of the wall, not sure what the other one had but it burnt the bedroom, part of the kitchen, and a good chunk of the roof over both. Both of them happening in such a short amount of time freaked me out enough that I don't leave chargers plugged in unless they are doing work.
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21 Dec 2023 11:49 #341365 by Rliyen

Robert Facepalmer wrote: Those chargers can be problematic on their own. A couple years ago I had two separate friends that had chargers plugged into wall sockets but not actively charging cause fires. One had an iPad charger burn the socket and a chunk of the wall, not sure what the other one had but it burnt the bedroom, part of the kitchen, and a good chunk of the roof over both. Both of them happening in such a short amount of time freaked me out enough that I don't leave chargers plugged in unless they are doing work.


Sounds like a plan. Granted, the outlets are 40 years old, but after this I'll be mimicking you.

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