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The Home Ownership Thread - Page 145

post #2161 of 5842
Does anyone have experience with gabions? I'm thinking about putting in a low freestanding wall and I want to avoid mortar.
post #2162 of 5842
Basement wall bowing inward. Just had a structural engineer come by. Looking at a rebuild of 1921-era 12" block construction along a 25' wall and 4' of adjacent wall around the corner, possible footer work, 9 carbon fiber strips up another wall to prevent further cracking, and a new sump pump so we don't have to worry about ours being on its last legs.

$20k preliminary estimate... presuming there's no footer damage to worry about.

post #2163 of 5842
My neighbor just had to do that to his house. But he bought it as a foreclosure and knew it going in. He still said he was shocked by the price.
Edited by texas_jack - 4/12/14 at 2:08pm
post #2164 of 5842

Reading the description my mental estimate was $25K, but I live in San Francisco.

post #2165 of 5842
Dude at least you'll have a carbon fiber house. So legit.
post #2166 of 5842
power raked my lawn = now i get to regular rake the bejesus out of it. What a mess. Looks like it was really good for the lawn though - i can actually see dirt down there now.

Getting excited because after closing on our first house at the end of September, our emergency savings account is just about back where it needs to be. Pretty soon we will get to dump tons of money into feathering the nest, so to speak. Still a lot of not so fun things to do though - we really need to replace our oil furnace with something cheaper to run. Problem is that the utility company will need to extend the gas main to our house in order to get gas service. I was quoted 6K just to get gas to the house frown.gif Also considering heat pumps. Anybody have some knowledge to drop on me?

Climate wise we are very moderate here in Seattle. Winter lows are usually in the high 30's with maybe a week long sub freezing cold snap per winter and 15 or so sub freezing nights.

Summer highs are usually in the mid-high 70's, so nobody really has air conditioning.
post #2167 of 5842
Are there programs through your utility to make that happen cheap/free?

Wrong coast, but I follow a blog where some guys got gas run to their house for free by Central Hudson Gas in NY by signing up to convert from oil heat to gas. Had to pay a $500 deposit (refundable on completion) for what was something like a $5000 job running a new gas line.

They were replacing oil builder with a high efficiency gas boiler...but I doubt it would be too different if you had a forced air setup. Their underground oil tanks had already been removed by the home's seller, so they didn't have to pay for abatement though...which is probably $$$ but you don't really have to do it right away (just plan on doing it before selling the house)
post #2168 of 5842
Near as I can tell the local utility only gives energy rebates to it's current customers, for example, if I had electric heat I would qualify for a lot of different rebates on new appliances, windows, heating etc.

But because I heat with oil they don't apply to me. Seems counter intuitive, so maybe I'll clarify with them.

The quote I got was from the utility itself and assuming that I converted to a gas furnace and range. The cost is so high because there is no gas main on my particular block. Again, seems like it would behoove the utility to extend the main through the block, considering that my neighborhood is in a period of considerable renewal and a lot of the new (younger) owners would probably love to convert to gas furnaces/ranges/water heaters while we are updating our homes. I am the closest person on the block to the gas main so 6k is the low end. I heard a guy up the block got quoted 18k. Seems like if you try to foot an individual homeowner with the bill for updating/extending infrastructure that it will just never happen.
post #2169 of 5842
Hmm...surprised that they wouldn't offer anything for converting you into a new customer (literally forever...once there is gas on your block, who in their right mind would cook or heat with electric)
post #2170 of 5842
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLantern View Post

Climate wise we are very moderate here in Seattle. Winter lows are usually in the high 30's with maybe a week long sub freezing cold snap per winter and 15 or so sub freezing nights.

Why not just heat with electricity then? It'd take a long darn time for it to be $6000 more expensive than gas.
post #2171 of 5842
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post

Why not just heat with electricity then? It'd take a long darn time for it to be $6000 more expensive than gas.

Here heating oil is about 3x the cost per BTU as gas and electric is about 2x the cost

We will spend between 2500 and 3000 this year on heating oil. Gas would still save us about 1000 per year over electric, plus we could convert to gas water heater which would be nice and gas range (would be REALLY nice). That being said, I haven't ruled anything out yet, as I have no idea of the total costs.
post #2172 of 5842
Maybe invest in some insulation first then.

It sounds like your winters are more mild than ours in the deep South (50+ freezing nights per year edit: that might be an exaggeration, but it's at least 40) and I don't know anybody who spends that kind of money on heat.
post #2173 of 5842
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post

moving slightly from the usual topics of this thread - anyone have experience with children's playsets? we're thinking of buying one of the gorilla playsets from costco.

I recently put one together.  I purchased the large one they had on display in their brick & mortars.  Be prepared to clear a few days of any scheduling to complete construction.

 

- Also, are you planning on excavating the area below or what surface will it be resting on.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLantern View Post

Our lot was "new" when we bought our house in September - it was sub-plotted from a larger lot owned by a church. Because the lot was new the bank had to make an estimate about what our property tax would be for our impound loan. It turns out that their estimate was not a very good one, as our property tax this year will be about half of what they figured. Kind of annoyed that we have over payed, but glad that we will get the money back and have a lower payment going forward!

I'd be careful with your first years return, as I've instructed our over-estimate to be deposited into our escrow account incase of a shortage the following year.

post #2174 of 5842
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post

Maybe invest in some insulation first then.

It sounds like your winters are more mild than ours in the deep South (50+ freezing nights per year edit: that might be an exaggeration, but it's at least 40) and I don't know anybody who spends that kind of money on heat.

What kind of insulation do you suggest? The house was built in 1960. The attic is already insulated, and we're putting in some new windows next week.


http://www.seattle.gov/light/conserve/resident/homeheating/cv5_fcc.asp

^
Shows that the average house with an older oil furnace in Seattle should spend about 1850 per year on heat, at $3.75/gallon - heating oil is now north of $4/gallon. In addition, our house at about 2800 sf, is nearly twice as large as the average Seattle home (1460sf).
post #2175 of 5842
Insulated isn't the whole story. What type and how deep? Is it installed properly? Are there lots of air leaks in the ceiling?

Get one of those little infrared temperature guns (about $20) and go around zapping your walls, ceiling, floor, etc., with it to see where the greatest differences in surface temperature are.
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