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 Post subject: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 7:10 pm 
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Contrary to the misleading title, this isn't a thread solely dedicated to the adventures of Tim Taylor and Al Borland (although, feel free to discuss as well). But wanted to start a thread for homeowners, do-it-yourselfers, builders, renovators, etc etc etc.

First question...
Wife and I are considering installing central a/c. We've gotten a few quotes that are reasonable. We already have ducts for forced furnace heat, so no worries there. My main question, and this might take someone living in a similar climate to answer (maybe?)... but we have options of installing straight a/c or installing a heat pump. Anyone have experience with both and have suggestions on either/or? I know the benefits of the heat pump, but just wondering if it's worth the extra cost of installation. Does it work as well as regular a/c + heat?


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:02 am 
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I had a heat pump in the town house I used to live in and it heated really well and since we didn't have access to natural gas, it was the only affordable option. But it did have one major drawback, it made the air incredibly dry. I woke up a few times gasping for air my throat was so dry before we got a humidifier. We had to get a powered humidifier to remedy the problem, which cost about $250 and took me around 4 hours to install, since the cheaper drum humidifiers were not effective enough to reach the floor where the bedrooms were.

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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:45 am 
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broken iris wrote:
I had a heat pump in the town house I used to live in and it heated really well and since we didn't have access to natural gas, it was the only affordable option. But it did have one major drawback, it made the air incredibly dry. I woke up a few times gasping for air my throat was so dry before we got a humidifier. We had to get a powered humidifier to remedy the problem, which cost about $250 and took me around 4 hours to install, since the cheaper drum humidifiers were not effective enough to reach the floor where the bedrooms were.


hmm interesting. what area of the country do you live? we have our fair share of humidity in our climate, and our bathroom fan is horse shit so i wouldn't mind it too much if it drew some of the moisture out of our air


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:53 am 
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My wife just purchased new flooring for our entire house. We only just finished replacing the fence and air conditioner.

Goodbye, moneys. Goodbye, scotches. Hello, Early Times and pennies.

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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:12 pm 
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We moved into our place about a year ago. Past owners were super cheap in a lot of maintenance of the house, so we're stumbling across sub-mediocre jobs they did. One of them being a really cheap wire shelf they installed in the laundry closet. They screwed the brackets into the drywall with no anchors and not on studs. One night about a month ago, at about 2am, it just fell out of the wall making a huge crash. Scared the shit out of us, and liquid laundry detergent went everywhere. Now in the process of completely redoing the back wall (it was shit to begin with). Anyone ever skim-coated an entire wall? Gonna be undertaking that soon, didn't know if there were any tips/tricks


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:20 pm 
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Pretty much the last year of my life. We put up some aluminum soffit on the underside of our deck roof this past weekend. That was kind of fun.

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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:46 pm 
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bodysnatcher wrote:
broken iris wrote:
I had a heat pump in the town house I used to live in and it heated really well and since we didn't have access to natural gas, it was the only affordable option. But it did have one major drawback, it made the air incredibly dry. I woke up a few times gasping for air my throat was so dry before we got a humidifier. We had to get a powered humidifier to remedy the problem, which cost about $250 and took me around 4 hours to install, since the cheaper drum humidifiers were not effective enough to reach the floor where the bedrooms were.


hmm interesting. what area of the country do you live? we have our fair share of humidity in our climate, and our bathroom fan is horse shit so i wouldn't mind it too much if it drew some of the moisture out of our air


I live a couple miles northwest of DC, so our climate is different, but it was a major change in the humidity when the thing was heating for several hours continuously. I would guess around 20% lower than it would be naturally. I am not trying to dissuade you from getting one, just in my experience you need a decent humidifier alongside.

bodysnatcher wrote:
Anyone ever skim-coated an entire wall? Gonna be undertaking that soon, didn't know if there were any tips/tricks


Good luck. 'Finishing' large areas of drywall is the one thing I will happily pay for. It's an art and I am no artist.

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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 9:41 pm 
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broken iris wrote:
bodysnatcher wrote:
Anyone ever skim-coated an entire wall? Gonna be undertaking that soon, didn't know if there were any tips/tricks


Good luck. 'Finishing' large areas of drywall is the one thing I will happily pay for. It's an art and I am no artist.


I was afraid of that. I've read similar remarks elsewhere. Luckily it's a small wall (about 8x8') and it's the back wall of the laundry closet, so if it's a little off, it won't be a dealbreaker. I will be hanging shelves on it though


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:31 pm 
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We're redoing our kitchen and basement and putting on a new roof this summer. Home ownership is fun!


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Chris_H_2 wrote:
We're redoing our kitchen and basement and putting on a new roof this summer. Home ownership is fun!


Sounds expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:37 pm 
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In the past week we've had the following go wrong;

Kids' ceiling fan light stopped working (it's not the bulbs)
one of the bathroom fans stopped working
doorbell stopped working
kitchen sink having hot water issues
one of our front living room windows cracked

I know this is all relatively minor, but stuff adds up as far as the money. Other than the window, this is all stuff I will fix myself, but goodbye weekend!

Home ownership is fun!

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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:48 pm 
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E.H. Ruddock wrote:
In the past week we've had the following go wrong;

Kids' ceiling fan light stopped working (it's not the bulbs)
one of the bathroom fans stopped working
doorbell stopped working
kitchen sink having hot water issues
one of our front living room windows cracked

I know this is all relatively minor, but stuff adds up as far as the money. Other than the window, this is all stuff I will fix myself, but goodbye weekend!

Home ownership is fun!


Pretty much.

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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:49 pm 
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I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to working in on our yard, specifically for growing grass. Its an endless cycle of blood, sweat, but mostly tears.

After Hurricane Sandy knocked down or dangerously tilted several trees in our yard, we had a tree service remove them all last November. A costly project and quite messy too. But, necessary. The machines they used all over the yard destroyed much of our lawn. So, for the past couple of weeks I've had yards of topsoil dumped in my driveway. I've toiled in attempting to level out some of the lopsided areas, and did a mass spreading of grass seed and protective straw.

Then, it rained - hard, for much of the 5 of the last 7 days. I haven't seen any indication that the seeds are germinating yet. Its possible much of the seed got washed out. And, too add insult to injury, it looks like the topsoil contained a lot more rocks than it should have - and decent sized ones too. Not good for growing grass.

I'll wait another week before I decide if I have to redo this process, and or complain to my topsoil guy.


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:53 pm 
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EJ wrote:
I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to working in on our yard, specifically for growing grass. Its an endless cycle of blood, sweat, but mostly tears.

After Hurricane Sandy knocked down or dangerously tilted several trees in our yard, we had a tree service remove them all last November. A costly project and quite messy too. But, necessary. The machines they used all over the yard destroyed much of our lawn. So, for the past couple of weeks I've had yards of topsoil dumped in my driveway. I've toiled in attempting to level out some of the lopsided areas, and did a mass spreading of grass seed and protective straw.

Then, it rained - hard, for much of the 5 of the last 7 days. I haven't seen any indication that the seeds are germinating yet. Its possible much of the seed got washed out. And, too add insult to injury, it looks like the topsoil contained a lot more rocks than it should have - and decent sized ones too. Not good for growing grass.

I'll wait another week before I decide if I have to redo this process, and or complain to my topsoil guy.


I know in the midwest it is better to plant grass in the fall. Our yard is an absolute mess. It is clear to me the previous owners put 0 effort into it.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:07 pm 
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The wife and I started renting about 2 years ago and our landlord is outstanding. She has the A/C serviced once a year, cleans the carpet twice a year and just replaced all the ceiling fans. The only thing I have to deal with is the back lawn. She has never increased our rent.

I'm not sure I'll ever go back to home ownership.


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:17 pm 
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Monkey_Driven wrote:
Chris_H_2 wrote:
We're redoing our kitchen and basement and putting on a new roof this summer. Home ownership is fun!


Sounds expensive.


Very


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:21 pm 
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EJ wrote:
I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to working in on our yard, specifically for growing grass. Its an endless cycle of blood, sweat, but mostly tears.

After Hurricane Sandy knocked down or dangerously tilted several trees in our yard, we had a tree service remove them all last November. A costly project and quite messy too. But, necessary. The machines they used all over the yard destroyed much of our lawn. So, for the past couple of weeks I've had yards of topsoil dumped in my driveway. I've toiled in attempting to level out some of the lopsided areas, and did a mass spreading of grass seed and protective straw.

Then, it rained - hard, for much of the 5 of the last 7 days. I haven't seen any indication that the seeds are germinating yet. Its possible much of the seed got washed out. And, too add insult to injury, it looks like the topsoil contained a lot more rocks than it should have - and decent sized ones too. Not good for growing grass.

I'll wait another week before I decide if I have to redo this process, and or complain to my topsoil guy.


Time is money. And for all the time you probably spent on that, after figuring out the value of that time (not to mention the amount for the soil and seed) you'd probably find it cheaper to hire someone to do the work (and lay sod).


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Chris_H_2 wrote:
Time is money. And for all the time you probably spent on that, after figuring out the value of that time (not to mention the amount for the soil and seed) you'd probably find it cheaper to hire someone to do the work (and lay sod).


Very true. But, like I said I'm a glutton for punishment.


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:53 pm 
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E.H. Ruddock wrote:
In the past week we've had the following go wrong;

Kids' ceiling fan light stopped working (it's not the bulbs)
one of the bathroom fans stopped working
doorbell stopped working
kitchen sink having hot water issues
one of our front living room windows cracked

I know this is all relatively minor, but stuff adds up as far as the money. Other than the window, this is all stuff I will fix myself, but goodbye weekend!

Home ownership is fun!

Rodents chewing electrical wires?


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 Post subject: Re: The Home Improvement Thread
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:04 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
E.H. Ruddock wrote:
In the past week we've had the following go wrong;

Kids' ceiling fan light stopped working (it's not the bulbs)
one of the bathroom fans stopped working
doorbell stopped working
kitchen sink having hot water issues
one of our front living room windows cracked

I know this is all relatively minor, but stuff adds up as far as the money. Other than the window, this is all stuff I will fix myself, but goodbye weekend!

Home ownership is fun!

Rodents chewing electrical wires?

I don't think so. The fan in the bathroom still runs but sounds like the motor is going out so it just needs replaced. The fan on the ceiling fan works, just not the light part of it, so who knows. Also, I hate doorbells anyway so I may not even try to fix that.

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