Author Topic: Home Improvement Thread  (Read 18985 times)

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Online MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #25: May 07, 2015, 12:34:25 PM »
Okay, panic attack averted. We're moving the washer and dryer from the kitchen to the coat closet. Water is going down a slightly smaller than code pipe to the sewer. Eh, if I can sign a waiver, freak it.

A couple of things to keep in mind - when you sign the disclosure you need to make sure there aren't any old pictures of the place prior to you buying it.  If there are (Redfin keeps pictures going back years) and something goes wrong they can come after you for failing to disclose you did the work.  That's actually something you might want to pull a permit for since most places require some form of inspection for that kind of plumbing work.  If you've got a place like AtBC where people are paying 10-20% over asking, waiving inspections, and paying all closing you can get away with that, if it's a condo you're rolling the dice on something that's likely to come up snake eyes.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #26: May 07, 2015, 01:26:30 PM »
A couple of things to keep in mind - when you sign the disclosure you need to make sure there aren't any old pictures of the place prior to you buying it.  If there are (Redfin keeps pictures going back years) and something goes wrong they can come after you for failing to disclose you did the work.  That's actually something you might want to pull a permit for since most places require some form of inspection for that kind of plumbing work.  If you've got a place like AtBC where people are paying 10-20% over asking, waiving inspections, and paying all closing you can get away with that, if it's a condo you're rolling the dice on something that's likely to come up snake eyes.

I'd be more worried if I was in the 750k and up range. Even if you find something and have what you think is proof, lawyers cost money- probably more than someone in the market for a sub 500k condo has

Online MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #27: May 07, 2015, 02:52:09 PM »
I'd be more worried if I was in the 750k and up range. Even if you find something and have what you think is proof, lawyers cost money- probably more than someone in the market for a sub 500k condo has

If you're in the $750K price point you're probably not worried about $10,000 to correct a DIY plumbing project gone wrong but at that price you're probably not dealing with DIY messes but replacing contractor grade crap or lipstick flips gone wrong.  At less than $300K in the starter condo/townhouse that $10K becomes a much bigger problem.  My point isn't so much that someone would come after you legally as much as you'd be stuck with a unit no one wants to buy. 

Offline varoadking

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #28: May 07, 2015, 03:02:58 PM »
Okay, panic attack averted. We're moving the washer and dryer from the kitchen to the coat closet. Water is going down a slightly smaller than code pipe to the sewer. Eh, if I can sign a waiver, freak it.

This is likely the one pipe I would never compromise with.  The sudsing effect and simultaneous use by other units could make for an interesting event on the first floor unt...

We have actually oversized them in the multi-family projects I used to do and still have had issues...

Anyway...just keep an eye on it over the short haul.  If you get thru the first several months, you are likely good to go...

Like AtBC, I buy and sell as-is, where-is, subject only to survey and clear title.  If the buyer has an issue...on to the next...

Online MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #29: May 08, 2015, 10:09:38 AM »
This is likely the one pipe I would never compromise with.  The sudsing effect and simultaneous use by other units could make for an interesting event on the first floor unt...

If that pipe isn't venting properly (probably the case since it's the floor drain in a basement apartment) putting heavy sudsy water down it is a recipe for a back up and sewer gas issue.  The other issue, that I failed to bring up earlier, is that if you do need to call in the pros and they see some DIY disaster they're either going to say "see you later" or tell you get your checkbook ready.  We had that happen we went to modernize some of our outlets on the first floor and wound up just doing a complete rewire because the cost to do that ($5K) beat doing it piece by piece on a time and materials contract.  We've got deep pockets and long arms and knew when we bought the place that might happen so we just had them redo the whole house. 

Here's a great example of what happens you do things half assed without permits and not up to minimum code:

Lipstick Flips Gone Wrong Volume 22: DC Gentrifiers Edition

Online MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #30: May 08, 2015, 10:18:13 AM »
If you're in the market for new outdoor lights for your garage Costco has some pretty sweet LED lights for $19 you should check out.  Here is one of our new ones with my port wine stained hand holding the old crappy Home Cheapo light it replaced:


Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #31: May 08, 2015, 12:32:59 PM »
This is likely the one pipe I would never compromise with.  The sudsing effect and simultaneous use by other units could make for an interesting event on the first floor unt...

We have actually oversized them in the multi-family projects I used to do and still have had issues...

Anyway...just keep an eye on it over the short haul.  If you get thru the first several months, you are likely good to go...

Like AtBC, I buy and sell as-is, where-is, subject only to survey and clear title.  If the buyer has an issue...on to the next...
It's not connected to any other units. It's a vent pipe that goes to the sewer. No one else uses it. There's only one other unit above me and they have a separate laundry room. It should be handle the flow from a small washing machine.

If worse comes to worse, I'll just jackhammer up the concrete about a foot and a half down, cut the pipe out and put in a much wider one. But given how much water I pushed through it the other day to test it, I don't see it being a problem. Not to code, but some how I don't think buyers will mind when they look at an open kitchen.

Online tomterp

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #32: May 08, 2015, 01:24:24 PM »
If you're in the market for new outdoor lights for your garage Costco has some pretty sweet LED lights for $19 you should check out.  Here is one of our new ones with my port wine stained hand holding the old crappy Home Cheapo light it replaced:



I've gone all LED outside now, it's a bit early to tell but I think that the bulbs are likely to last MUCH longer, all while using less energy, than the incandescent bulbs that have no durability outside at all.

In fact I've replaced the last two inside recessed bulbs in the kitchen with dimmable LED's with good results so far.  Except for using up existing stock I think I'm about to start using the suddenly good variety of LED bulbs available as my replacements for all bulbs, inside or not.

Online GburgNatsFan

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #33: May 08, 2015, 04:13:40 PM »
The only thing I don't like about our LEDs (almost all of our lights are LEDs now) is the radio interference they cause.  But that could just be a poorly designed (read, cheap) lamp.

I've gone all LED outside now, it's a bit early to tell but I think that the bulbs are likely to last MUCH longer, all while using less energy, than the incandescent bulbs that have no durability outside at all.

In fact I've replaced the last two inside recessed bulbs in the kitchen with dimmable LED's with good results so far.  Except for using up existing stock I think I'm about to start using the suddenly good variety of LED bulbs available as my replacements for all bulbs, inside or not.

Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #34: May 17, 2015, 09:49:01 PM »
So this is the place as we got it. Moving our crap in:



There was some toilet repair that had to happen, but I can't find the pics. Essentially I had to replace the flange and then pour new concrete. Someone had chiseled it out from around the downpipe and then left the pipe unssecured. That plus the former tennants being quite large is probably what led to it being broke and water leaking out. So after that, the carpet in the living room pretty much had to go.


Had to cut out some drywall, as sit had mold. Double layer of 5/8" everywhere man. Sucks.

Also put some paint on the walls:



Hmmmm ... then I found this. Wasn't sure how to fix it.


Definitely going to need this:


And this fixes everything:


Kidding. Used Quikcrete.

Get a new floor in:




And of course, have to test out the new floors:


We got a new couch. Even Reddy doesn't like watching the Browns:


So this is the current kitchen:



Yea, the washer and dryer gotta go. Where could I move them ... hmmmmm


The coat closet by the front door? That is an excellent idea!!!



So the plan was this: Make the coat closet narrower by about 12 inches (36 inches to 24 inches). That area on the other side of the framing is actually the closet for the second bed room. The funny thing is that the closet actually goes beyond the front door AND that room has another closet on the other side. So, I have spare closet space. So we'll block off 48 inches and bump in to the room about 5 inches to make space for a stackable washer and dryer.


All cleared out, and putting the framing in. Concrete nail gun actually uses a gunpowder charge :lol:


Cutting in to the vent pipe that goes to the sewer.  Tested it with a hose and it'll take the water. Just have to work the piping around to the new laundry closet.

Framing it up nice:




Framing done, electrical routed, but not hooked  up


Dat plumbing:






Demo done
Closet re-sized
Laundry closet added
Bedroom closet framed in
Plumbing done
Drainage added

Only thing I have to do is add in the dryer vent and then drywall. Oh and drop like 1k on a new washer and dryer.

Online Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #35: May 17, 2015, 10:45:43 PM »
Andale! Doing gas or electric stackables? I suggest the former, though the electric in your place is probably about 10,000 years newer than mine. 

Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #36: May 17, 2015, 11:30:34 PM »
Electric. Gas is not available. That orange cable is the 240 line.

BTW, if anyone has any ideas for cheaply remodeling a kitchen, I'm all ears.

Online MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #37: May 18, 2015, 08:50:30 AM »
Pictures and stuff
Good work but did you take down any load bearing walls?  If so, and it was done without a permit, that could seriously comeback to bit you in the ass.  It could be because I'm incredibly paranoid but spending $500 for an engineer to give you a plan and $200 to the city/county for a permit and inspection beats having to spend twice that if you have to go back and get it inspected prior to closing on a sale.  Looking at the pictures you posted the supports you built it look pretty solid but without knowing the load that wall might have been carrying and what's above and below you there's no way of knowing if that's properly build to transfer an active load. 

BTW, if anyone has any ideas for cheaply remodeling a kitchen, I'm all ears.
No joke - Ikea.  This is just me, but I'd go with Ikea for a kitchen that size and get their highest quality butcher block counter tops and give them a dark stain.  That kitchen doesn't look that big so you could probably do granite or some other stone on a budget but if you're budget is less than $5K go with butcher block.  By the way, if you don't have a problem being in front of the camera you could always give Renovation Realities (http://www.diynetwork.com/shows/renovation-realities) a shot.  I believe they give you $3,000 towards your renovation in exchange for you letting them film you freaking up. 

Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #38: May 18, 2015, 08:53:49 AM »
No load bearing walls. In fact, there are no load bearing walls. There's about a foot and a half space between the ceiling and the floor above me. It's supported by some sort of metal tresses. In fact, the original builders fixed metal and wood beams to the tresses so they could affix drywall as the ceiling. I'll dig up a picture later, but everything you saw was framing. And frankly, some of that wood was dry rotted, so I'm glad I got to replace it.

So the idea of the kitchen is that where the washer and dryer is, is where I'm going to move the sing. I plan on making that all counter top. That wall can come down, thus giving me a very open layout.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #39: May 18, 2015, 08:54:00 AM »
We have Ikea cabinets and an Ikea dishwasher (the extra yea they tack onto appliance warranties got us a second one when the first failed). Ikea will sell you non Ikea counters, and (at least the Woodbridge one) told us who they source from- we ended up just driving to the vendor and picking out our own granite slab (which apparently is no longer in style)

Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #40: May 18, 2015, 08:54:55 AM »
We have Ikea cabinets and an Ikea dishwasher (the extra yea they tack onto appliance warranties got us a second one when the first failed). Ikea will sell you non Ikea counters, and (at least the Woodbridge one) told us who they source from- we ended up just driving to the vendor and picking out our own granite slab (which apparently is no longer in style)
If I could do cabinets and counter tops for under 3k, I'd be ecstatic. That's probably a pipe dream, but I may as well dream big.

Online MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #41: May 18, 2015, 09:00:31 AM »
No load bearing walls. In fact, there are no load bearing walls. There's about a foot and a half space between the ceiling and the floor above me. It's supported by some sort of metal tresses.

Sounds like it's a metal i-beam spanning the length of the unit, similar to what you find in lofts and warehouses.  That's really good news for you now but you'll need to dig up the structure plans when you go to sell just in case the buyers get a Mike "I don't even like minimum code" Holmes inspector instead of Rubber Stamp Ron. 

So the idea of the kitchen is that where the washer and dryer is, is where I'm going to move the sing. I plan on making that all counter top. That wall can come down, thus giving me a very open layout.
Is there any thing in that wall?  Unless they were really forward thinking I wouldn't be shocked if the unit above you had plumbing running through that wall. 

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #42: May 18, 2015, 09:00:38 AM »
If I could do cabinets and counter tops for under 3k, I'd be ecstatic. That's probably a pipe dream, but I may as well dream big.

Ikea has a planner http://kitchenplanner.ikea.com/US/UI/Pages/VPUI.htm their appliances are all rebadged (our dishwasher is a whirlpool). You can always use the cheapest counter you can find and fasten it with screws not glue then just take it out when you're ready to upgrade

Online MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #43: May 18, 2015, 09:01:46 AM »
If I could do cabinets and counter tops for under 3k, I'd be ecstatic. That's probably a pipe dream, but I may as well dream big.

You can do that if you go with butcher block instead of out of style granite. 

Online tomterp

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #44: May 18, 2015, 09:07:29 AM »
Are your new floors laminate? 

Been a lot of news lately about first Lumber Liquidators, and now Lowe's, having sold lots of Chinese made product mislabled as meeting emissions guidelines for formaldehyde but actually not even coming close.  Formaldehyde emissions can make your place uninhabitable in the extreme.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lumber-liquidator-customers-still-testing-laminate-floors-formaldehyde/

Online MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #45: May 18, 2015, 09:12:42 AM »
Been a lot of news lately about first Lumber Liquidators, and now Lowe's, having sold lots of Chinese made product mislabled as meeting emissions guidelines for formaldehyde but actually not even coming close.  Formaldehyde emissions can make your place uninhabitable in the extreme.
It wouldn't shock me if 90% of the cheap laminate flooring sold over the past couple of years turns out to be riddled with crap and has to be replaced.  Remember when asbestos was a major component of flooring and ceiling tiles? 

Online Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #46: May 18, 2015, 09:22:22 AM »
We just tore out the remaining laminate in our basement rental unit and replaced it with 16" slate. It had been mix of slate and laminate, but the Ikea laminate was getting really tatty after 8 or so years.
And their butcher clock counters are nice. The one in the basement has a permanent urethane finish on it now, looks really nice. And in the unlikely event that it someday stops looking nice, it was cheap, so who cares  :lol: 


Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #47: May 18, 2015, 09:22:49 AM »
And Chinese drywall was a great idea too, perhaps if you're a company buying something relatively cheap per pound and bulky as hell, you should wonder how exacly china was the low cost supplier

Online Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #48: May 18, 2015, 09:27:06 AM »
It wouldn't be the only ersatz commodity someone dumped on the world market in recent years

Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #49: May 18, 2015, 09:27:45 AM »

Sounds like it's a metal i-beam spanning the length of the unit, similar to what you find in lofts and warehouses.  That's really good news for you now but you'll need to dig up the structure plans when you go to sell just in case the buyers get a Mike "I don't even like minimum code" Holmes inspector instead of Rubber Stamp Ron. 
Is there any thing in that wall?  Unless they were really forward thinking I wouldn't be shocked if the unit above you had plumbing running through that wall. 
Electrical and plumbing for the washer and dryer. I've seen it done in another unit.

Are your new floors laminate? 

Been a lot of news lately about first Lumber Liquidators, and now Lowe's, having sold lots of Chinese made product mislabled as meeting emissions guidelines for formaldehyde but actually not even coming close.  Formaldehyde emissions can make your place uninhabitable in the extreme.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lumber-liquidator-customers-still-testing-laminate-floors-formaldehyde/

Probably.