Author Topic: Home Improvement Thread  (Read 14636 times)

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Offline Mathguy

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #50: May 19, 2015, 07:45:03 AM »
Sorry MDS, but granite isn't out of style

http://www.realtor.com/news/the-most-and-least-likely-features-youll-find-in-a-new-home-today/

Features most likely to be found in new homes

1. Walk-in closet
 2. Laundry room
 3. Low-emissivity windows
 4. Great room
 5. Energy Star appliances
 6. Energy Star windows
 7. Ceiling 1st floor 9’
8. 2-car garage
 9. Programmable thermostat
 10. Granite countertop

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

Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #51: May 19, 2015, 07:46:21 AM »
Sorry MDS, but granite isn't out of style

http://www.realtor.com/news/the-most-and-least-likely-features-youll-find-in-a-new-home-today/

Features most likely to be found in new homes

1. Walk-in closet
 2. Laundry room
 3. Low-emissivity windows
 4. Great room
 5. Energy Star appliances
 6. Energy Star windows
 7. Ceiling 1st floor 9’
8. 2-car garage
 9. Programmable thermostat
 10. Granite countertop


1. Nope
2. Nope
3. I think
4. Nope
5. Nope
6. I think
7. Nope
8. Lulz
9. Yes, but I have no idea how
10. Nope


Anyone ever done concrete counter tops?

Offline Mathguy

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #52: May 19, 2015, 07:48:52 AM »
I've seen those in a couple of places - they can look really nice


Anyone ever done concrete counter tops?


Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #53: May 19, 2015, 07:57:28 AM »
I've seen those in a couple of places - they can look really nice

They seem cheap. Labor intensive, particularly the sanding and polishing part, but cheap is good. I have time, particularly if my wife isn't going to get a job this summer ...

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #54: May 19, 2015, 09:04:02 AM »
Sorry MDS, but granite isn't out of style

http://www.realtor.com/news/the-most-and-least-likely-features-youll-find-in-a-new-home-today/

Features most likely to be found in new homes

1. Walk-in closet
 2. Laundry room
 3. Low-emissivity windows
 4. Great room
 5. Energy Star appliances
 6. Energy Star windows
 7. Ceiling 1st floor 9’
8. 2-car garage
 9. Programmable thermostat
 10. Granite countertop
:lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

Smoking dick on the freeway, driving low level luxury cars, and buying lipstick flips and new construction aren't either but cheap granite just to have granite is a good way to show you have no class.  Besides, most "new construction" is total garbage destine for the landfill in 10 years. 

Offline Mathguy

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #55: May 19, 2015, 09:15:47 AM »
But do you have any evidence to back that up ?  Most new houses are built with much better windows now than in the past.  Builders are now using 2x6 studs instead of 2x4, so the house has more insulation.  The exteriors are being made with hardy plank (much stronger than wood) or a heavy duty vinyl.

But I do realize you have an axe to grind after having trouble finding real estate in the DC area.  But that has more to do with the influx of people moving to the DC area for jobs, transportation, etc.  Demand has been greater than supply over the past 2 decades.

Besides, most "new construction" is total garbage destine for the landfill in 10 years. 

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #56: May 19, 2015, 09:17:04 AM »
They seem cheap. Labor intensive, particularly the sanding and polishing part, but cheap is good. I have time, particularly if my wife isn't going to get a job this summer ...

The biggest issue you'll run into doing concrete counter tops is that they have a tendancy to crack if you don't use the right mix and do them in place.  Failing to put in rebar (this should be a no brainer but it happens) will also lead to failure.  Honestly, with the amount you'll spend on concrete and the not insignificant risk of it cracking (total replace) and failing you'd be better off getting high quality butcher block.  The nice thing about butcher block is that, in addition to being cheap (~$300 for a kitchen your size), when you go to sell it and you want to upgrade it's a quick rip out and won't damage your cabinets.  Good luck doing that with concrete. 

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #57: May 19, 2015, 09:21:01 AM »
But do you have any evidence to back that up ?  Most new houses are built with much better windows now than in the past.  Builders are now using 2x6 studs instead of 2x4, so the house has more insulation.  The exteriors are being made with hardy plank (much stronger than wood) or a heavy duty vinyl.

But I do realize you have an axe to grind after having trouble finding real estate in the DC area.  But that has more to do with the influx of people moving to the DC area for jobs, transportation, etc.  Demand has been greater than supply over the past 2 decades.

No you dipcrap, pay attention.  I'm talking "new construction" as a whole regardless of location.  I don't care if it's freaking Tuscaloosa, Alabama or Denver, Colorado or Riverside, California most "new construction" is crap that will need to be either completely junked or have costly repairs because of crap quality builds and materials.  I'm not talking about custom construction that the DINK, white, overpaid, baby boomer set like you buy, I'm talking about the DR Hortons, Lennar, Ryan Homes, and Centex trash litering the American countryside. 

If you have vinyl siding you should have been a blowjob.

Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #58: May 19, 2015, 10:00:28 AM »
The biggest issue you'll run into doing concrete counter tops is that they have a tendancy to crack if you don't use the right mix and do them in place.  Failing to put in rebar (this should be a no brainer but it happens) will also lead to failure.  Honestly, with the amount you'll spend on concrete and the not insignificant risk of it cracking (total replace) and failing you'd be better off getting high quality butcher block.  The nice thing about butcher block is that, in addition to being cheap (~$300 for a kitchen your size), when you go to sell it and you want to upgrade it's a quick rip out and won't damage your cabinets.  Good luck doing that with concrete. 

Is there colored butcher block?

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #59: May 19, 2015, 10:14:20 AM »
Is there colored butcher block?

Stain is your friend.  When we redo our kitchen we're going to do white Ikea cabinets with a really dark, walnut stain on butcher block.  If you do enough coats you can get it almost black and then you put on the sealer so it's easy to clean.  There are tons of stains out there too so if you don't like black or the wood tone you can do red, blue, green...etc.

Just makes sure you go with actual butcher block and not the veneer style (it's maybe a 25% difference in price between the two) so you can cut it and give a good stain.  You can stain the veneer version but you can only do that three times before you have to replace it.

Offline dracnal

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #60: May 19, 2015, 10:22:11 AM »
Out of curiosity, where did folks pick up their home improvement skills?  DIY trial and error? Learning from a parent/job? Books/Internet?

My grandfather way back got the Time/Life books on carpentry, plumbing, etc. and quite literally built his house from the ground up.  Drafted a plan, dug a big hole, poured a foundation and worked it up from there.  How do folks learn trade skills like that these days? 

I can do very minor things like replace a switch or install a ceiling fan, but about half the stuff Slate posted I have no clue how to do.

Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #61: May 19, 2015, 10:26:35 AM »
Stain is your friend.  When we redo our kitchen we're going to do white Ikea cabinets with a really dark, walnut stain on butcher block.  If you do enough coats you can get it almost black and then you put on the sealer so it's easy to clean.  There are tons of stains out there too so if you don't like black or the wood tone you can do red, blue, green...etc.

Just makes sure you go with actual butcher block and not the veneer style (it's maybe a 25% difference in price between the two) so you can cut it and give a good stain.  You can stain the veneer version but you can only do that three times before you have to replace it.

Wait ... you can get it unstained? But once you stain it, do you have to use some kind of sealant?

So hypothetically, I could match the butcher block with the cabinets?

Out of curiosity, where did folks pick up their home improvement skills?  DIY trial and error? Learning from a parent/job? Books/Internet?

My grandfather way back got the Time/Life books on carpentry, plumbing, etc. and quite literally built his house from the ground up.  Drafted a plan, dug a big hole, poured a foundation and worked it up from there.  How do folks learn trade skills like that these days? 

I can do very minor things like replace a switch or install a ceiling fan, but about half the stuff Slate posted I have no clue how to do.

My brother in law
The internet
freak it up a bunch of times and then get it right.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #62: May 19, 2015, 10:29:48 AM »
Out of curiosity, where did folks pick up their home improvement skills?  DIY trial and error? Learning from a parent/job? Books/Internet?

I don't mess with plumbing (plumbing code rules are insane where I live) but everything else you can figure out by trial and error and by watching DIY/Improvement shows.  Mike Holmes (Canadian contractor) has a ton of shows you can find on YouTube and On-Demand that will show you what not to do and what it will cost to fix half-assed contracting and/or DIY jobs gone wrong.  Nicole Curtis does a series on DIY/HGTV (Rehab Addict) that will give you some really good ideas and methods to do things on a budget yourself that you might not have considered.  Renovation Realities is also a good source for watching people freak up and, in rare cases, do things right so you don't have to experiment yourself. 

Trial and error.  Check your local codes when you do anything involving structure, plumbing, or electrical.  Get good quality tools (especially drills).  Use eye protection at all times.  Buy good materials.  Do it right the first time with the right materials.  Doing things with cheap crap is a good way to do it twice.  Don't hide junction boxes.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #63: May 19, 2015, 10:29:54 AM »
YouTube- step by step for almost anything, father in law,and watching tradesmen. If you want tv, this old house, they do things right and explain what they're doing

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #64: May 19, 2015, 10:33:57 AM »
Wait ... you can get it unstained? But once you stain it, do you have to use some kind of sealant?

If you need to make fixes to the wood (some numbnuts cuts on the butcher block instead of a cutting block, for example) you can sand it down and restain it.  Once you stain it the first time you want to seal it so it's got a nice smooth protective coat to it, similar to clear coat on your car.

So hypothetically, I could match the butcher block with the cabinets?

Not sure why you'd want to do that, but sure.  Home Cheapo and Lowes sell tons of stains.  Ikea has some really nice blue, green, orange, and red stains but they're pricey if you're doing countertops.

Offline dracnal

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #65: May 19, 2015, 10:36:13 AM »
Huh. Good suggestions.  I don't watch TV much so didn't even think about that, but I'm sure there's a channel dedicated to that stuff. Part of the issue is I'm still renting rather than owning.  But some day I'm sure I'll end up owning a place and I'll need to figure out how to fix things when my wife's innate lack of forethought bites me in the ass repeatedly.  She loves to tackle little projects that somehow always end up costing four times as much as expected and involve trip after trip to a big box store for new parts.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #66: May 19, 2015, 10:42:14 AM »
YouTube- step by step for almost anything, father in law,and watching tradesmen. If you want tv, this old house, they do things right and explain what they're doing

The first half of "This Old House" can be really interesting (the row house from last season) or crushingly boring (the Lexington house was awful, I'm sure they'll enjoy burning a steak and making Kraft dinner on their $100K chef's kitchen).  The second half is where those guys really shine though.  Once you get past the brutal Maine accent Roger's segments will really help you transform your yard from a blank canvas to an oasis in no time.  Richard (the plumper) has helped me fix tons of issues with simple fixes and Tom Silva (general contractor, lots of woodwork) has fixed so many issues in old house I feel like I should send him a check once a year.  Just a great crew.  Norm Abrams (master carpenter) isn't on the show much but when he is he does carpentry work that will make you cry.  Kevin (the host) is pretty cool and the electrician (dude that looks like the former front man of Remy Zero) has been instrumental in getting me to continue the rewiring of our house.

Offline dracnal

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #67: May 19, 2015, 10:45:08 AM »
I'm not really wanting to rewire the place, but I have been toying around with running CAT6 throughout the place. I'm tired of the kids destroying bandwidth streaming over WiFi. Would much rather have the PC streaming done via wired.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #68: May 19, 2015, 10:50:32 AM »
Huh. Good suggestions.  I don't watch TV much so didn't even think about that, but I'm sure there's a channel dedicated to that stuff. Part of the issue is I'm still renting rather than owning.  But some day I'm sure I'll end up owning a place and I'll need to figure out how to fix things when my wife's innate lack of forethought bites me in the ass repeatedly.  She loves to tackle little projects that somehow always end up costing four times as much as expected and involve trip after trip to a big box store for new parts.

Owning a place is a really good life changer.  Our house is really old (100+ years) but, minus a few structural fixes, hadn't suffered any egregious makeovers or fads.  Old houses are advanced home ownership but, unlike "new construction" crap that's been churned out the past 25 years, if the structure is solid and intact you can do a ton to it and have it last forever. 

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #69: May 19, 2015, 10:52:41 AM »
I'm not really wanting to rewire the place, but I have been toying around with running CAT6 throughout the place. I'm tired of the kids destroying bandwidth streaming over WiFi. Would much rather have the PC streaming done via wired.

Do it.  I ran a CAT6 cable from our router on the main floor down to my basement office and, minus fishing it through the wall, haven't been happier with the results.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #70: May 19, 2015, 10:55:35 AM »
Do it.  I ran a CAT6 cable from our router on the main floor down to my basement office and, minus fishing it through the wall, haven't been happier with the results.

When I did that, I found out that we have horizontal supports between every stud

Online imref

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #71: May 19, 2015, 11:27:42 AM »
I'm not really wanting to rewire the place, but I have been toying around with running CAT6 throughout the place. I'm tired of the kids destroying bandwidth streaming over WiFi. Would much rather have the PC streaming done via wired.

I'd advise against it - 802.11ac devices support up to 1.6 Gbps per user, so that will provide plenty of available bandwidth for each device with the constraint being your upload/download speed to your ISP.   The next generation of 802.11ac will support over 6 Gbps per user, but that won't be out until the fall, and there won't be any devices that support it for a while.

Offline dracnal

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #72: May 19, 2015, 01:16:16 PM »
That'd require an 802.11ac capable WiFi box.  What we're really looking at is N in the 2.4Ghz band because the WAP doesn't have a 5Ghz antenna.  Given that at most times there are about 16 devices running live on it, half of which have WiFi from 2011 or older (ie no 802.11ac), its more important to me to peel off things like desktops that really could do just fine with a cable instead of a USB WiFi adapter. Same with the Playstation, XBox and Roku.

**edit: It'll also tell me if the problem isn't bandwidth but rather an insufficient NAT table cache.  If it's the latter, I need to rework the network with a corp grade firewall again.  On the upside, I've got a WatchGuard Firebox lying around if it comes to that.

Online Slateman

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #73: May 22, 2015, 12:22:42 PM »
Pro tip, when building the dryer vent tube, the goal is to NOT almost slice your finger off

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #74: May 22, 2015, 12:34:17 PM »
Pro tip, when building the dryer vent tube, the goal is to NOT almost slice your finger off
That's why I always get a licensed contractor.  Don't want some unlicensed dude cutting his finger off and then filing a suit against me!