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The Home Ownership Thread

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Douglas, Jan 31, 2012.

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  1. brokencycle

    brokencycle Stylish Dinosaur Moderator

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    We finally decided on siding for the house. We're going with LP Smartside, which is a composite material that comes with a similar warranty to Hardie. Our house is a story and a half, so we're going to do lap siding on the first floor, and board and batten for the front gable. We're going with a grey color for the lap siding, and white trim around the doors and windows. I'm curious to get your opinions in doing the board and batten in all grey vs doing it in two colors (grey and white).
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014


  2. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I just want to grumble here about the 200k quote for my backyard.
     


  3. Medwed

    Medwed Distinguished Member

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    Are you a 1%-center?
     


  4. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Doesn't matter. 200k is a ludicrous number for what I want and would be over spending on the house.
     


  5. Ataturk

    Ataturk Stylish Dinosaur

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    I've been thinking about and talking about upgrading the wiring to my second (detached) garage for a while, and I finally started on it. Will be replacing a single 20 amp 115v circuit with a full-size subpanel with a 90 amp feed using aluminum wire. I was going to do 100 amps with copper but the aluminum is direct burial, which is way easier to do when you have to snake it through a maze of existing sidewalks, shrubs, the main feed to the house, etc.

    It turns out 24" is way harder to trench than 18" (for conduit). The path I picked only goes under one existing sidewalk. This is probably the tenth time I've dug under a sidewalk and the first time I tried to do it from 24" down. Not a lot of room to work and the dirt is really hard. I took me forever to dig starter holes on either side about 8 inches in, meaning I'd need to go about 28" or so to connect the two sides.

    You can do this with a piece of rebar and a hammer--you drive it in and then ream out the hole you make, rinse and repeat. Or you can try to do it with a piece of conduit that has a spray nozzle on the end. You use the water from a hose to soften up the dirt in front and slowly work your way through. Doesn't really work on clay which is impervious.

    Somewhere along the line I got the idea to try doing it with a pressure washer. I have a little Simpson that's sort of a pro-sumer model, meaning it's better made but not much more powerful than than the typical home depot $300 gas pressure washer. At first it didn't seem to be doing anything, but when I pulled it back a little to break the dirt immediately in front of the nozzile, I realized it had washed out a foot in front of the nozzle. Made it through in literally less than a minute. Best part is it didn't even start to fill up the trench with water.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014


  6. imatlas

    imatlas Distinguished Member

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    I'm plucking a number out of my ass, but I think I'd be reluctant to spend more than about 10% of the total value of the home on the land- and hard-scaping. You mentioned a pool and a large patio, did it include the outdoor kitchen or is that already paid for?
     


  7. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    So here's one for the attorneys here: reviewing the contract for my 200k backyard job. If damage occurs during the project they want me to pay to have the damage fixed, material re-purchased, etc. Would not builder's insurance, specifically insurance for pool installers (yes, there is such a market as I just Google-fu'ed it) pay for such things? Heck, wouldn't just plan out builder's risk cover stolen material left on sight, damage to any structures, etc?

    Here's another clause: this is an "estimate only" and I would be charged more if say, the estimate was short on the square footage for pavers. WTF? GMP contracts don't happen in residential work of this nature? No fucking way I'm paying more than the estimate if they mis-calculated material costs.

    I'm really starting to wonder how this company developed such a good reputation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014


  8. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    If that was directed at me the project includes a pool, spa, two different fire pits, ramada with outdoor kitchen, front courtyard with water feature, clearing and landscaping about 2/3 acre of natural flora, and a couple of other smaller items. Still, it's a lot of money.
     


  9. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Most higher end construction is not based on hard estimates. If they are, they are likely to kill you the second you make your first change order. Our landscaping, and especially hardscaping, here on the coast must have cost a fortune. I am glad I didn't have to pay for it. We are putting in a water catchment system next week. Fun, fun, fun.
     


  10. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Distinguished Member

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    Realistic pricing may actually contribute to, rather than detract from, reputation.

    There are return on equity, profit margin, etc bogeys that these companies have to meet, and are determined by the competitive landscape of the industry. You can achieve your returns/profit margins by pricing for the average job, and eat overruns or over-profit from ones that turn out as planned. Or you can bill overeages to the customer and reduce the as-planned margin. That you are choosing someone with a good reputation, likely for high-end work, is your call. There's a reason you want to work with them and not Joe Schmoe Dirt Movers.

    Now enough of you white-people-problems whine-brags.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014


  11. Ataturk

    Ataturk Stylish Dinosaur

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    I'm wearing my ditch-digger's hat at the moment so my advice would be to get a lawyer licensed in your state and familiar with that area of the law to look at the actual contract. This ain't electricity we're talking about here, call in the experts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014


  12. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I just finished a multi million dollar capital project at work. None of this shit so I'm just confused I guess. My change orders amounted to 1.3% over original GMP. I don't get this.

    :fu:


    I do not think their overall pricing is reasonable. Some of their line items, like the pavers, are very reasonable. Then they tossed in crap like 7.5k for a fucking standard sized front gate to our courtyard. Also their contract is not going to make anyone with half a brain want to use them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014


  13. Medwed

    Medwed Distinguished Member

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    I've searched for Alu wiring , becasue I was surprised you picked Alu and here is one thing to keep in mind. "In some states of the United States, home hazard insurance do not cover homes with any aluminum wiring, and some insurance companies that claim to cover it charge a higher premium than for homes with copper wiring"
     


  14. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Stylish Dinosaur

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    This seems to put all of the risk on the side of the buyer, which is great for the contractor, but I would not want to agree to it. I don't know if it's high or low.
     


  15. Ataturk

    Ataturk Stylish Dinosaur

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    There's aluminum wiring and then there's aluminum wiring. These are heavy gauge feeder cables that terminate inside electrical panels on both ends, not the small-gauge branch wiring that powers outlets and lights. It's the latter that's outdated and dangerous.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014


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