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The Home Ownership Thread

Douglas

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ITT we discuss the alleged joys of home ownership. The hassles, the repairs, the headaches, the costs, the sudden, urgent, and unexpected expenditures. Positive commentary such as successfully completed improvements, points of pride, etc. also welcome but may fall on deaf or otherwise frustrated ears.

I'll start. Locksmiths: WTF, locksmiths? $2 grand to re-key my house and add some deadbolts? :fu:
 

Douglas

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mainly because I want the locks to work.
 

MrG

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I wish I could offer a positive story, but, thus far, homeownership has been more hassle than joy for me.

ITT we discuss the alleged joys of home ownership. The hassles, the repairs, the headaches, the costs, the sudden, urgent, and unexpected expenditures. Positive commentary such as successfully completed improvements, points of pride, etc. also welcome but may fall on deaf or otherwise frustrated ears.
I'll start. Locksmiths: WTF, locksmiths? $2 grand to re-key my house and add some deadbolts? :fu:

TWO GRAND!? There has to be something more to this than new locks.

I did my entire house with matching keys when I bought it, and it cost half an afternoon and the price of the locks.

Fly me up to do it, Douglas. I'd love to visit the area, and I'll do it for a plane ticket and a room.
 

Douglas

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well, yeah, i mean, it's a historic home and there are old keyways that we're trying to match and we're adding deadbolts on to doors that won't take typical deadbolts for various reasons and there are some different finishes we're trying to match etc etc. It's not an everyday project.

Still, this house... it's a beautiful old place and we're very happy but I feel like I'm dying a death of 1000 $1,000 cuts.
 

MrG

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OK, that makes more sense. It's a little bit more than heading down to Home Depot for a new set of locks.

Yeah, we went through the same thing with our house. There were a number of problems, but the big hassle was trees. The first round was two, one of which was leaning, one of which was diseased. Then my neighbor had some taken out, and their guy offered us a steal, so we had a bunch more that were iffy in terms of health taken out. Then another one up and died.

In the last year, I've spent more on trees than I did on my first car, by a considerable margin. :fu:
 
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Douglas

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^ A strong post fully in the vein of this thread. Sorry to hear it. Trees suck balls. Since we've bought our home, a tree has fallen on the neighbor's garage and I picked up his deductible because I'm a nice fellow, a tree in our yard knocked out power to the entire neighborhood, and now I am in a dispute with the neighbor behind me about some trees he took down that may or may not have been on my property.
 

Ataturk

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Replaced a glue-down wood floor not too long ago. Did all the work myself. The worst part was removing the old floor, which was held down with some kind of...I don't know what it was, but it had dried solid as rock. I ended up spending $60 on adhesive remover, which turned it into a slimy mess. Scrape, slime, mop, rinse, repeat. Spent more time on that than I did laying the actual floor.
 

BrianVarick

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I am rehabbing a home right now, and as all home project go, it is taking much longer than expected:) I haven't run into any real problems besides the two walls that were completely eaten by termites. I am not even sure how the roof was staying up.
 

GreenNYC

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Just finished a 20k rebuilding of two chimneys, which were both previously rebuilt 13 years ago during an extensive remodel. I hate projects that are expensive but add nothing of value to my daily life And I hate dealing with roofers....because I'm not going up there to verify anything and even if I did I'm clueless.
 

eg1

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Let's see ...

Chimney in kitchen has a rusting metal insert installed when home was built (late 70s) so fireplace there is useless -- cost to fix vs. cost to install gas fireplace instead were about the same when we were quoted about 15 years ago. Solution? We occasionally light candles in it ...

Roof done about 15 years ago, so I ask the contractor about the shed in the yard -- he says it is fine. Well it isn't fine any more and getting a crew in just to do a shed is overkill. Not sure what I am going to do about that one, but will have to do something this Spring

Trees -- I have already killed eight (in fairness, one blew over before I could kill it). I have planted two small ones (a conical fir and an ornamental pear) which didn't cost me very much. Cheap tree removal crew (first and last time I used them) slightly damaged the eavestrough at one corner of the house -- haven't fixed it yet, but I will need to this Spring along with the shed roof. Cedars ringing the back yard (about 16 feet tall or so) are expensive to maintain (annual fertilizing and trimming -- they are too tall for me to trim myself). To save the cherry trees along my driveway I had the sod removed and planted periwinkle -- the roots were coming above grade and making mowing an adventure. Crappy tree out front is owned by the town and it is dying -- I hope they take it down before it comes down on my cars ... :fu:

Raccoons -- wife made me pay the expensive "humane" removal price; follow-up costs included caging up every possible house orifice that isn't a door or window -- you might be surprised to find out how many of those there are in the average suburban home

Pool -- kid-safety fence installed and subsequently discarded (they are old enough not to wander into the pool any more); liner replacement; drop-in stair replacement; filter and pump replacement; brominator replacement (twice); winter cover replacement; diving board replacement; leaky return line trenching/repair. Oh yeah, pools are a bitch ...

Motorized awning affixed to back of house over pool patio -- canvas replaced once and housing constantly needs re-bracketing

Toilets. What is it with toilets, anyway? We have four and I have outright replaced 3 of them (but not before replacing the innards of all of them several times) -- I am sure replacement number 4 is not far off ...

Windows -- all dining room and kitchen (but one crummy slider over the sink) replaced, the latter including two large trapezoidal custom jobs

Flood -- this was the big one. Under-sink-mounted water filtration system sprang a leak while we were out for dinner -- ruined kitchen, dining room, living room, powder room and first floor hallway floors along with the entire finished basement. Fortunately I had a plumber do the installation of the faulty water filter, so my insurance covered the $40,000+ gig
 

Douglas

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Windows -- all dining room and kitchen (but one crummy slider over the sink) replaced, the latter including two large trapezoidal custom jobs
Flood -- this was the big one. Under-sink-mounted water filtration system sprang a leak while we were out for dinner -- ruined kitchen, dining room, living room, powder room and first floor hallway floors along with the entire finished basement. Fortunately I had a plumber do the installation of the faulty water filter, so my insurance covered the $40,000+ gig

ugh. brutal. that much damage that fast?

I'll never forget the time our sump pump in our old house failed. we came home from a weekend away; fortunately our basement was unfinished; more or less just a mechanical room. Really, it was my wife's house; she bought it before we were involved, so it was my PITA but her investment - she opened the door to the basement to get something from down there and she screamed a blood-curdling scream that I've never heard before or since. No joke, this sound was so ghastly I thought there must have been a body in the basement. I looked down and just seeing water was something of a relief.

Had to go buy some waders and make my way down there; there was a dead mouse floating in the water, and this nasty brown dirty water was leaking in over the boots.
 

eg1

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ugh. brutal. that much damage that fast?
I'll never forget the time our sump pump in our old house failed. we came home from a weekend away; fortunately our basement was unfinished; more or less just a mechanical room. Really, it was my wife's house; she bought it before we were involved, so it was my PITA but her investment - she opened the door to the basement to get something from down there and she screamed a blood-curdling scream that I've never heard before or since. No joke, this sound was so ghastly I thought there must have been a body in the basement. I looked down and just seeing water was something of a relief.
Had to go buy some waders and make my way down there; there was a dead mouse floating in the water, and this nasty brown dirty water was leaking in over the boots.

Ewww -- at least our flood was clean water.

I was surprised too -- guess city water pressure is high enough to pump a lot of water in a short time (we might have been gone 2.5 hours, but I could not say when the pressure fitting popped). When I came in the front door I could see water running along the kitchen floor (kitchen is at the back of the house); once in the kitchen I could see it pouring out of the cupboards under the sink like a waterfall. I sloshed down the stairs to the basement furnace room where the water shut-off was located and turned it off. The drywall-popcorn ceiling of the basement had already collapsed in several places and was distended like a balloon in others -- it was "raining" in the basement. The only room unaffected on the main floor was the garage-reno family room.

The good news was that the previous owners of the house had installed some retardedly expensive hardwood flooring in the kitchen and hallways, so the replacement value on the insurance claim gave us the money to go door-to-door-to-door (front, back patio, side) with a nice Italian tile all through the kitchen, powder room and all hallways. I could never figure out why anybody would put hardwood flooring in a room with a door to a pool? We went with engineered hardwood in the dining room and living room. We also replaced the basement wall-to-wall carpet with laminate. The whole process was a damned nuisance (we spent a week in a hotel while the tile was installed) but everything is actually better now than it was before.

The insurance adjuster said he sees a lot of these sorts of floods from those fancy fridges with the water dispensers -- if you have one of those, I recommend you have a plumber check the integrity of the fittings.
 

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