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The Home Ownership Thread

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

  1. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Princeton, NJ
    Same here, my paint job creeps along at a snails pace, but finally I have the majority of the upstairs and stairwell painted. Add to that having painted my basement some time ago and basement stairwell and I'm done to one floor.

    14' tall stairwell ceiling height makes it interesting to patch up the nail pops in the ceiling. I replaced them with screws since I am not in a hurry to patch while on an extension ladder again anytime soon.

    You'd think the person or people who designed this place would have given some thought to the fact that slap-dash drywall work and overhead lighting are working at odds. I'm on my second 5 gal bucket of drywall compound for the upstairs alone.

    My wife doesn't know it yet, but I have designs in replacing all of the ugly pressed material 'Georgian style' junky doors with a round of door making in Alaskan yellow cedar. There are seven normal doors, then two sliding doors and then a pair or folding doors and one set of French doors, so....I could be door making for a long while.

    I think I'll build frames and moldings as well.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. jbarwick

    jbarwick Senior member

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    Most of my home projects have now moved outside. The basic upkeep items are almost finished to where we can move into the upgrade phase of landscaping plants and adding some decorative lighting. We finally have a theme in mind which we both agree on which was the hardest part.
     
  3. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    We have heat.

    [​IMG]
     
    10 people like this.
  4. RedLantern

    RedLantern Senior member

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    The Brooklyn of Seattle
    

    Nice. Don't see very many boilers out my way.
     
  5. RedLantern

    RedLantern Senior member

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  6. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    Where the palm tree meets the pine
    30 years as a steamfitter Ive seen enough for all of us . Seriously nice looking job. I hope its the work of a member San Franciscos Local 38
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. NorCal

    NorCal Senior member

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    Butch, is that retrofit under existing floors?
     
  8. Mr. Moo

    Mr. Moo Senior member

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    Dang that's purdy, Butch.
     
  9. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It's in-floor radiant. For the upper floor, between the joists with fins and embedded in concrete on the lower floor (which is the new construction). We installed a similar system with radiators at our previous house. We only got one winter out of it before moving here.

    Not sure about the union status of the contractor. He was the regular sub of the GC we used and was part of the deal. I confess that it didn't even occur to me to ask. I should have.

    Of course, now it's warm enough outside that the boiler is really only heating up the water in the domestic tank...
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. RedLantern

    RedLantern Senior member

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    I got my first bid back from one of the GC's I've met with for our kitchen remodel - I'm annoyed (but not surprised) that he appears to have fluffed up his bid to exactly the maximum for our project. It's not like I really have a problem asking for him to cut some of the fat out of the budget (for example $1500 labor to install 150sf of vinyl tile flooring - its a days labor at most). But its annoying to have to go line by line and find stuff like that.

    Question for those more seasoned than me - How do you go about letting a contractor know that your budget is sufficient to get the job done (that you are not wasting his time), without giving them a number to anchor their bid to?
     
  11. msg

    msg Senior member

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    @RedLantern Ask for what the costs are. Labor should be fixed hourly cost, markup for managing subs should be fixed, markup for material should be fixed.

    Costs should be predictable.

    There are GCs who will do that. You're in Seattle right? Look around. I've talked to some who will give you the excel spreadsheet with everything and the receipts.

    You should be able to find someone who will be transparent on costs and do great work.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  12. jgold47

    jgold47 Senior member

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    The Mitten
    


    There is something very artistic about a good plumbing installation. all the pipes and colors. You should see what a good union commercial installation looks like. I'm amazed they can keep it all straight.


    Why would you have to do that? You called them. Their supposed to tell you how much it costs, not the other way around. That's like telling a car dealer you want to keep it under 400/month and they come back at 399 on a car that should only cost 350/m. Now your jammed up, you cant exactly go back to him and tell him he needs to be 20% lower, because your full of shit. and if he agrees to the reduction, he'll make it back up with change orders that mysteriously crop up. Punt this guy and move on to the next, your in a lose lose with him.

    Next time let them make the first offer. negotiating 101.
     
  13. RedLantern

    RedLantern Senior member

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    It's just super good times for contractors around these parts and you have difficulty getting people to pay any attention to you if you don't give them signals that you're not just tire kicking. I had several companies tell me that their projects start at 50k, which is fine, they can run their business any way they want to, but it's overkill for my project.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  14. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    I would not mention my budget to anyone, they should arrive at a number based on the job. They'll figure out your price based on what you want, i.e. You're not putting top appliances into a budget job.

    They're bull shitting you a bit because they want you to feel like you are getting the job done at their discretion and not negotiating. I would ask them to price the job out based on what you want, if you want to signal anything that says not kicking the tires then be specific, that's a better signal than waiving around a budget.

    Asking about budget is incredibly off putting for many people, I find it personally very annoying, it's something much more in tune with commercial work.
     
  15. RedLantern

    RedLantern Senior member

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    Thanks, good tip about being specific. I can tell/ show them what countertops/sink/flooring I have decided on plus layout etc.
     
  16. jbarwick

    jbarwick Senior member

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    I am afraid of what contractors will do when we start our bathroom/bedroom remodel in a couple of years. I have already had experiences where just because we live in a certain neighborhood, we are getting charged more.

    I planted grass seed this week and have gotten lucky with rain instead of having to water morning and night. I seeded quite a bit more than last time in hopes it will help with some of the erosion we are having in certain areas of the yard.
     
  17. jcman311

    jcman311 Senior member

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    Big Whisky
    I always have terrible luck with grass seed. I'm at peace with the fact that grass will always grow where I dont want it to, and not grow where I want it to.
     
  18. brokencycle

    brokencycle Senior member

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    The Old North State
    I bought a "lawn blanket" as stupid as it sounds, and it really worked. I plant seed in the early spring or mid-fall, cover it with this thing, and water regularly and it really works. We have redone about 75% of our lawn with success.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    Success with grass seed depends very much on what kind of seed it is (and where you're at).

    As an amusing anecdote I once I bought some bermuda seed from a local store. Bermuda's a grass you normally should be able to seed easily, and I had good results with it -- until the winter, when it all died because the variety they'd sold me couldn't survive the winters there.
     
  20. jbarwick

    jbarwick Senior member

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    I put down tall fescue but previously had Kentucky 31 which worked out well but they did not carry any at the store. I am not in an area with manicured lawns so mixing varieties was fine with me. There is an area I am digging up in a few weeks so I may experiment with seed and some sort of ground covering to help keep the moisture in.

    Last year I tried some Weed and Feed on the yard and it grew so fast it could have been cut twice a week. Speaking of which I need some new blades for the lawnmower and to get it in shape for the summer.
     

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