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Home Remodeling and Repair

fezofezo Posts: 9,384
You asked for it - here it is!

I have nothing to report myself other than the painful water tank story. We have a well and it feed into two tanks to keep the water clean tasting (the purity of it is fine right out of the ground - taste is the only issue. The other tank has a diaphram in it to keep the pressure constant. Both failed last month to the tune of a grand. To make matters worse they will connect us to city water - in two years or so! I couldn't do a makeshift repair as a result. Oh, well.....
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Comments

  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "To make matters worse they will connect us to city water - in two years or so!"

    Any idea what the water/sewer hookup fee is going to be?
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,384
    Not a clue..... I know I won't like it.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259
    We're hoping to get city water in my subdivision in a year or two. The estimates are running ~$6k to get the water lines into the street and another ~$6k to get the water to the house. I spend so much on filters and salt (ugh) I'm looking forward to a monthly bill from a real utility.

    It seems like a couple of wells fail every year here too, and the going rate for replacing the two that failed over this last winter is running around $30,000.

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,384
    $30K? What are they digging through? Kryptonite?

    Yikes!!

    Hoping I avoid paying to get the house hooked up to city water before we move in a few years. We will see. Gonna be a tight race.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    The contractor is coming over this weekend to show us the plans for the addition we're planning. I'm hoping the sticker shock doesn't convince me to just forget it. Even though the contractor is constructing the shell only, I'm sure the cost will be far more than anticipated. Lucky for us that we are handy and my father-in-law is a retired finishing carpenter! :D

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,384
    Unfortunately for us no one is really handy around here and the few handy types in the family are too far away. As a result when we did the addition it cost a small fortune.

    The good news is I couldn't be happier with the contractor. He did a great job - much more so than the guy who built the house 14 years ago.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,911
    "Measure twice, cut once"

    "It's good to have a plan"

    image

    :P

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  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    This is the first time we've ever hired a contractor. We are supreme do-it-yourselfers. Plumbing, electrical, roofing, siding, we've done it all. However this time, we decided to hire someone to do the major construction. Guess we're getting old. :surprise:

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,911
    I need to get that garage built while I'm still capable of saving that money :shades:

    I'm planning on contracting out the foundation to ge me to ground level since that would save me a LOT of time.

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  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Measure twice, cut once"

    As opposed to measure once, cut twice.

    My dad and I have as one of our standard running jokes: 'dang it, I cut it twice and it's STILL too short......'
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,911
    Reminds me of another of my favorites...

    There's really no neat way to put wood back ON

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,384
    "As opposed to measure once, cut twice."

    Yeah - that's what I do!

    Then I go to the barber and say I like it pretty much but could you make it longer?
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    We started digging in March of 2005. We finally moved in December 2006 - without carpet, floors, unfinished kitchen, etc. Some days I think we are getting closer and other days - nope!
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I've been battling this crappy Janitrol furnace for the last 8 years. Pilot light going out in the middle of the night during freezing weather, having to come home from work because the pilot light won't stay lit.

    The heat exchanger cracked for the second time in 5 years about a month ago. The first time it was replaced under warranty, but only for the parts. Labor cost was $660 with a new gas valve. The furnace company that originally came out to look at the furnace gave me a price of $3,400 for a Lennox 2 stage furnace.

    I called the company that originally put in the furnace and new heat exchanger, they stated it wasn't under warranty but they could send someone out to give me an estimate. I already knew the warranty probably was out, so I set up an apt. for another estimate. Well, the more I thought about it($$$) the more I became concerned about the heat exchanger not lasting like it should. So, I called the furnace company back and spoke to the owner. I told him I've gone through 2 heat exchangers in the past 5 years and asked if maybe they hadn't been installed properly. He said the Janitrol(made by Goodman) had a lot of problems with their heat exchangers. So much so that instead of putting in new heat exchangers(poorly engineered) Goodman was replacing the entire furnace... for free. The only thing I had to pay for was labor, which was $880... a savings of over $2,000 for the jipster. ;)

    It's a new Goodman 2 stage furnace,though this company doesn't have the best record in reliability, the owner stated they had bought out Amana and were making better quality products to improve their image. We plan on living at present location another 3-5 years, so hopefully it won't give us any problems. So far it's been great. It's much quieter, and the airflow is at least 40% more coming out of the air vents. And being a 2 stage furnace it maintains a more even tempeture throughout the house. And the best thing about this furnace... no pilot light. It lights with a heating element. :)
  • okko1okko1 Posts: 327
    well i was in the construction business for 15 years and try to do as much as i can we have decided to hire this siding job done. most of my expertise is in drywall. will lay some vinyl flooring or carpet but this siding job is steel and is suppose to look like logs we will see!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259
    You probably have a building salvage material place in your area if it's of any size. Lots of them are non-profits run by Habitat for Humanity (mine's a local drug rehab non-profit). You can find some great deals there.

    I picked up a 6' patio door with one swing open door to replace my old slider for $175. Got it installed over a weekend (one of these years maybe I'll trim it out too!). It was an easy fit and the outside paint job matches my existing house color, I didn't have to do anything to it. Home Depot quoted me $3,500 for a similar door installed. :surprise:

    The AC compressor on my heat pump is about to go Jipster. Hopefully I can get another year out of the system - ballpark estimates are running $4 to $5k.

    I had a cracked heat exchanger in another house - that's a dangerous situation and 2 heat exchangers in 5 years is ridiculous. You may want to think about a complaint to your local consumer protection agency since that kind of stuff kills people.

    Forced air systems drive me nuts anyway, and I keep winding up in houses with them. Noisy and dusty - bah!

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  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    The national hardware stores really seem to charge out the wazoo for their labor fees. Then they contract the work out to independents and still receive a lions share of the profit.

    I had Lowes put in a new water heater for me a few years back. The contractor was fussing about how they don't get paid jack for their time. He tried to put in a damaged water heater, which I refused, which made him even more upset to have to go back to another Lowes to exchange it. Oh well.

    We were going to price an electrical heating system instead of a forced air furnace. Though the costs in upgrading our circuit breaker box and other expenses did not justify the cost... as we are planning to move in about 3-5 years. :)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259
    A friend of mine used to maintain apartments and is handy with a torch. Unfortunately he only visits about once a year. He put a new water heater in for me last December.

    I scored a newish Jenn-Air today for $80 - all I really wanted was a spare burner cassette for mine and they usually run $40 or $50 plus freight. This stove was so clean (and the clock worked, unlike mine), that I just swapped it out entirely.

    Now to replace the rattling Dutch door in the kitchen - nice concept but each door half sags differently. :P

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  • okko1okko1 Posts: 327
    well the siding guys started today and it looks like logs we will see how it looks when they finish the trim
  • okko1okko1 Posts: 327
    guys i started this deal to quiet ha ha mama about the siding but the more the vatos due the better i like it defenitely something worth consideration especially if it makes mama happy
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259
    Turns out my salvage place has some kind of affiliation or rent share deal with Habitat.

    Got the Dutch door replaced last week. No rattles and more light. No so easy trying to hang a door in an existing jamb though (luckily I'm pretty good with Fix-all :P ).

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  • webbewebbe Posts: 15
    Jipster,

    I was reading your furnace story and was wondering if you
    would mind telling me how you went about getting them to replace the furnace for free. I have a very similar problem
    and have been told my heat exchanger is cracked. Pilot light
    problems getting worse over the last few years (went out a lot last winter) and was told the other day by a contractor that part is partially under warranty (prorated). Have had many problems in the past with this furnace and is 14 years old. Just wondering did Goodman offer that information
    since they did not mention that when I called about the prorated amount.

    Webbe
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I was reading your furnace story and was wondering if you would mind telling me how you went about getting them to replace the furnace for free

    Well, I called my Heating and Cooling Co, and asked to speak with the manager. The owner came on and I told him the heat exchangers have been failing (cracking) prematurely. He came out and looked at it. Stated my air filter (thicker/non fiberglass) was impeding airflow to the extent the air in heat exchanger was getting too hot. Contributing to these cracks was the poor quality of heat exchanger by Goodman. The owner contacted Goodman and they agree to replace for free under their program. He did state that this program may be offered for a limited time by Goodman, but that he would check for me.

    The owner did say something about it being replaced on a prorated basis, but due to something I can't recall, the entire amount was covered. I just had to pay for labor.

    Goodman is the manufacturer, which sells to heating and cooling companies or contractors. It was nice of my heating and cooling company to mention this to me, as they very well could have been less than honest and sold me a $3,000 furnace... and I never would have known the difference. So, I would ask the company you deal with to check to see if Goodman is still offering this program. I'd probably call a couple other companies as well and ask them this question.

    If you get just the heat exchanger replaced, I would go with the thinnest fiberglass filter you can find for the winter months. The thick paper filters or the heavy filters are good for removing pollen and dust, but they impede airflow. By the air not moving as quickly thru the heat exchanger, it could heat to the extent it can cause premature cracking in a poor quality exchanger.

    Your pilot light going out may be related to the cracks in the exchanger. That's what my furnace did. Went out once one year, a couple times the next. I believe it's part of the safty system for them to do this. Buy yourself a good carbon monoxide detector as well. hope this helped. :)
  • okko1okko1 Posts: 327
    it is the first time using allure floor coverings and it was as easy as they said it would be. i got it at home depot. may not be for everybody but it is a very low maintance floor system. :)
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,911
    We have electric baseboard heat and I recently installed programmable thermostats. Pretty cool. Seems like they're going to pay for themselves pretty quickly. Not only is the heat not on when we're not there (or turned way down when we're asleep) but they'll "touch up" the heat by sending partial power to the heaters. On the display it will show 1 to 4 wavy bars. I'm sure it's not reducing the voltage to the heater, but probably doing it the way a microwave oven does defrost, sending the power only a percentage of the time.

    With tax, about $50 each. next power bill is due soon so I'll be able to compare with last year's usage for the same month.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259

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  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Hmmm... a leather floor. Trying to imagine the upkeep. Lexol/Leather Master/Griot's Leather Care in the economy drum???
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    Gee I hope you don't have to take your bedroom to the dealer every time the "check carpet" light goes on! :P

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,259
    edited May 2010
    We have a tri-level with 2 man doors on the main LR/kitchen/dining floor and 2 French/patio doors, one set up, one set down.

    I'm refinishing some canoe gunwales in the garage, and the other half of it is full of junk from some massive Spring cleaning we've been doing. So we've been parking the cars on the "wrong" side of our house the last few weeks.

    My wife and I went to the grocery store this morning and came back, and walked around back with our hands full of bags to the kitchen door only to find that it was locked.

    We had forgotten that, for the first time in the 8 years since we've lived here, we have locks on all the doors now. :blush: I finished putting in a pair of deadbolts yesterday and naturally locked them and admired my work. Didn't occur to me that I might need to start carrying house keys.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    This is a good thing. Teaches you how easy/difficult it is to break into hour house. I found I could jimmy one window and jiggle it and it worked the lock loose---so fixed them all with better latches from inside. These are older wooden up and down windows.

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