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The Home Ownership Thread

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

  1. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    Jesus, Thomas. I know this all was a tremendous pain in the ass, but I have to say I'm impressed as fuckall you got two walls worth of siding done in a weekend. I wouldn't even touch that shit with a 100 foot pole.

    My major "handy" accomplishment for the weekend was hanging a clothes hanger bar in the basement, and all that took was two pieces of wood and a drill. And even that took me an hour or so. And I didn't clean up.
     
  2. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Houses should come with an owner's manual. Mine didn't.

    I created one for the guy who bought my last one - about a 5" thick binder with every actual manual for every appliance in the house, schematics on the wiring and plumbing, how to maintain a steam boiler, what to do in a plumbing emergency, etc. Even plans for the garden and a watering guide. I then had him and his wife over and took him through the whole thing and showed him what I planned to add next. Even left him the tools necessary to run the place. He sold it within a year.

    I sometimes found it more expensive to buy the tools needed and spend the time researching the project than just hiring the right guy in the first place. Pick your battles well.

    lefty
     
  3. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Very wise advice
     
  4. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    Sounds like you had fun, Thomas. Why do you need a nailgun to install siding? Obviously it makes it easier, but I don't see how it's necessary. I also find it really questionable that they told you you needed a special nail gun to do it. All you really need are hot-dipped, galvanized nails.

    For tools you should never buy a used tool if you're not familiar with new ones--I guess that's obvious now. If you can, order online ahead of time (Amazon is actually good for tools, in my experience) or just go to harbor freight (but google the specific tool you plan to get ahead of time to see what people online say about it and find coupons if they exist). Home Depot / Lowes are great for household loss leaders but an awful place to buy tools.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    Like a lot of repetitive tasks, it's not bad once you get all the odd details squared away. The actual task of sawing and nailing wasn't bad by any stretch - it was the periphery that made it agonizing.


    Truth.


    Well, of course hindsight is 20/20 re: used tools, but a lot of people don't really wear them out, particularly when we're talking well-rated current-model tools (Hitachi NV 65Ah). Parts are available (although not as readily as I'd have liked), the o-ring rebuild kit is on Amazon and can be had overnight, so unless someone really bashes a tool, it can be made serviceable. The owner's manual, parts diagram, and service manual are all on the interwebz. A lot of the hassle, though, can be traced back to our snap decision to get started on Saturday. Originally we were going to refit the boat, but we decided the siding took priority - and we had 3 days free. (HA!)

    As for why the nail gun - that was what we heard over and over again from different sources (including non-retail) - only a few specialty guns would handle the fiber/cement boards. I don't really know why (although a thin nail shank might play a role here, just thinking out loud) and I didn't take a board home to test that theory - although I could bang away at a scrap piece and report back. But one more consideration is this: I could only count on me and the Mrs for this job. She's no good with a hammer, and I knew I'd be hoisting the boards into place and holding them steady. Do I really want to hold the boards for another few minutes each while she taps away, or misses the nail and possibly breaks the board? Not really. Bonus, though: the compressor will handle two tools - although I might have to carry two different makes of nail.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  6. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    Did you get a set of instructions with the planks? I googled them up here: http://www.jameshardie.com/homeowner/products_siding_hardieplankLapSiding.py

    Says you can hammer them in if you want. Gives the fasteners and nailing requirements. Might be a good read if you haven't seen it yet. Makers of stuff like flooring, shingles, siding, etc., all seem to publish stuff like that. Always look for them.

    Anyway I wouldn't sweat the siding nailer. Obviously they exist for a reason. Maybe your house will be the one with the siding still attached after the next hurricane.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  7. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Sometimes it works against me. Wanted to change a shower valve stem but couldn't budge it. Called a plumber and he looked at it, took a pipe wrench and smashed it as hard as he could. The valve had calcified so he broke the caked mineral and pulled it out. $90.

    lefty
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    Thanks for posting that link. You are correct that they can be hand-attached but they also say

    Funny enough I took a piece of siding scrap out of the trash and tried it with my go-to hammer. Not as bad as I'd originally thought, with a crisp stroke I got an 8d nail through, no problem (though a nail from the gun folded). That said, still not sure I can talk the Mrs. into holding the boards up while I fumble around the tool pouches for nails. In this case, peace and harmony* costs about $160.



    * HA! can I really call it "peace and harmony" after this past weekend? Doubtful.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  9. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    I'll gladly pay the $90, and more if necessary.

    Thomas, your masochism is epic! :slayer:
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    yes, well, you were already well aware of this when we played I lost all those games of chess a while back.
     
  11. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    It doesn't work, by the way. I mean, it's obviously toxic to the bahiagrass, but it doesn't kill it--just stunts the growth a little.

    I need something more powerful. Google says I should try sethoxydim, which kills it a little better but is poisonous to just about every grass. In fact it's sold as grass killer--but it doesn't kill centipede. Fortunately my yard is mostly centipede.

    I really don't like centipede by the way. It's the weakest growing grass there is. Supposedly it's good for drought and shade but the roots are so shallow in clay soil that it's a really poor performer in both, especially under a tree that takes all the water. It also has a yellowish cast to it unless you constantly give it iron.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  12. gnatty8

    gnatty8 Senior member

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    I bought our house from the builder who built it for himself in 2006 and extended the home warranty when it came up for renewal. I figured if the guy knew he was living there, he'd be sure things were done right. I've used the home warranty a couple of times in 4 years, but I probably would have been better off banking the $700 annual premiums, but declining a home warranty when I moved to Houston and having both the air and furnace crap out in the first year has cured me of frugality when it comes to home warranties, or even rational economic assessment of the costs and benefits of them! I just hate anything to do with home maintenance, and our HOA requires all owners to fund a yard service who cuts grass, spreads mulch twice a year, and maintains landscaping. I will probably rent next since homeownership is never a good option for someone like me so likes to change cities every 4 or 5 years out of boredom.
     
  13. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    I did not realize you were such a vagabond, Gnatty. Yeah, renting does sound like the way to go for you. Although, if you change in the next year or so, you should be able to get a screaming deal in your new city.
     
  14. gnatty8

    gnatty8 Senior member

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    I am on my 4th state since 1998, some for less time than others. I just bore very easily, and one's surroundings are fairly easy to change.

    Now getting back to the original premise of this thread, I have an unruly tree (trimming of trees is not covered by the HOA's yard service) in the front yard in desperate need of a trim, meaning I'll pay someone a 500 dollar bill for the trouble I am sure.. :fu:
     
  15. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    You didn't lose them all -- I recall the particularly painful blundering away of a bishop ... :censored:

    Taxed my limited handyman skills this weekend by installing a rainbarrel -- wife's bloody eco-freak idea, not mine, dammit! :cloud:

    Anyway, had to futz around with the assembly first, which wasn't helped by instructions that had no diagrams. At first I thought we were hooped when I couldn't find one of the nozzle-whatsits. Turns out it had wriggled itself into the coiled interior of the overflow hose in transit. Once I found it, I was able to put the thing together. Then off to Home Depot to get a flexible downspout extender. Finally, much swearing and grunting with the tin-snips to cut off the bottom half of the downspout, shove the flexible extender onto it, and prop the barrel up against the side of the house.

    Now enjoying my second glass of Argie Malbec ... [​IMG]
     
  16. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    You're so worried about the environment that you bought a gigantic plastic tub that was probably shipped here from China?

    Oh, well, at least you get that big eyesore to sit next to your house... to save about 5 minutes worth of water out of the tap.

    I guess I could go for something like that if it was under a deck. But if you care that much about free water, get a well or a pond or something.

    Edit: that's kind of a nasty comment. Oh, well. I just hate rain barrels.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    So a few years ago we gutted a bathroom and I dropped some coin on a heavy-duty Sawzall. Hadn't used it again until yesterday when my folks came over and my dad was looking for things to help with. I think retirement has him climbing the walls, looking for things to do, but we moseyed over to this one inside corner where I was struggling to get these board-ends out. The corner has siding on one side and brick on the other and they sided first - which means that the brick wall covers the first ledger board. I couldn't get to the nails at all with any sort of prybar and the boards would wiggle but otherwise not budge at all. Finally we got the Sawzall and started cutting between siding and ledgerboard, which cut the nails off flush. Not sure why it took so long to think of that, but it worked like a charm.

    We also replaced a few outdoor lights and sensors, which was nice to get done.


    eugh, good luck with that.


    yeah, my dad did that too, has a inside corner to his roof where he gets a lot of drainage so a good rain provides a few hundred gallons...which goes into his pool.


    We have two that are reclaimed chemical barrels...but haven't put them into service.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  18. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    Fair enough -- did you miss the part where I said it wasn't my idea? :)


    To be honest, I don't know how much water it will get because I haven't looked to see what portion of the roof the downspout I attached it to serves -- it may not be all that much, since it is at a back corner (maybe 1/6 of the total roof area or less?). She plans to use the water for flower pots and such. I hope never to have to have anything to do with it, but something tells me that winterizing it will be added to my list of tasks ... :angry:
     
  19. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    How about you put a siphon hose through your bathroom window and reuse your bath water? Make sure you use biodegradable soap though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  20. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    I blew a grand on two Japanese maple trees this weekend.

    Now I have to go pick them up and get them in the ground.

    We also splurged on a pair of gorgeous glazed ceramic urn planters for our front entrance. They're really stunning and I'm in love with them but it's only recently (e.g. post-purchase) I've considered that I'll have to bring them indoors during wintertime for fear they'll crack.

    :mad:
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012

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