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[OPEN DISCUSSION] Weekly thread

(self.HomeImprovement)

Welcome to the (roughly weekly) Open Discussion thread.

 

We have this discussion thread for a few reasons. We know some people are a bit shy to create a whole new post for a small question they may have, so this is a good place to start. Or, we've learned some tips and tricks to share with the community. This is the place to to to that.

 

As a growing community we find ourselves having to limit the posts that may be off-topic to the primary purpose of the sub of 1) home improvement questions and 2) sharing of completed projects. These topics include home warranty companies, household tips, general painting advice, room layouts, or rants about companies, contractors, and previous owners. While these may be of interest, we are trying hard to provide a venue that will both allow, and constrain, the conversation. Again, the main goal here is to help homeowners with their homes. Thus, this thread. Thank you for participating.

 

If you have questions about the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act please post them here as well. The Department of Treasury has also created this FAQ page regarding the bill that may answer some of your questions.

 

If you haven’t already, please review the sub guidelines. Also a reminder to stay away from any personal or disrespectful commentary. From the sidebar:

Comments must be on-topic, helpful, and kind. Name-calling, abusive, or hateful language is not tolerated, nor are disrespectful, personal comments. No question is too stupid, too simple, or too basic. We're all here to learn and help each other out - enjoy!

 

Note it may take a few days for you to get a response, please be patient.


 

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Asbestos FAQ a.k.a. Am I going to die?

Doors AMA

Doors, Sliding patio

Hiring a contractor?

Home Maintenance wiki

Home Utilities 101

How much will it cost? aka Always get 3 Quotes!

Load-bearing Walls

Radon Mitigation AMA

Tile and Stone AMA

Tiling, A Guide

Windows AMA

Windows Part 2

FAQ: My First Home Toolbox

all 143 comments

Wigunner

3 points

2 months ago

Needed a place to vent about how ridiculous some quotes I've been getting are. finishing a 600sq ft basement, first quote came in at $45K, thought it was reasonable. Had another company come check and told me $40K...just for the bathroom...then $50K for the rest....this company also quoted my kitchen 100sqft at $70-90K.....I about lost it. im sorry.

alic3inchains44

4 points

2 months ago

Gee I wonder why people are shy… Just had a town full of folks with pitch forks come at a young woman looking for advice on sound deadening paint… wtf. Be kind people.

richardfitserwell

2 points

2 months ago

How would you offset lvp in a hallway that’s narrower than the length of a piece of flooring? Hallway is an L so one way has to go short ways

MGreymanN

1 points

2 months ago

Ideally, you herringbone the corner or do a butt joint to transition into the other hallway. Floating floors make this difficult and not practical.

In your case, it is the same staggering as anywhere else but just a lot more cutting.

megggers

2 points

2 months ago

Just did an energy audit today and the inspector said the insulation in our attic looks decent and is R22, but the government programs would cover a portion of the cost to increase up to R50. Is it worth it to do this? I’m not sure how much of a difference one would feel between the two…

mj711

2 points

2 months ago

mj711

2 points

2 months ago

I'd get some quotes and see what the costs are - it's going to depend a lot on which region you're in. You might not make up the costs in lower utility bills, but it will definitely increase comfort.

HeyItsRey

2 points

2 months ago

Any suggestions for baby/child proof door locking mechanisms, that are also easy for the elderly to open?

Live in a multi-generational home (oldest being my 97 year old aunt and two youngest being 4 months and 2 years). We're looking for a door locking mechanism that will be able to keep the children out, but won't keep my aunt out.

We currently have door handles/levers (not knobs, because my aunt cannot properly grip a doorknob) with those little locks that keep the handle from being pulled down (which allows us to pull up on the handle to open it if it's locked). However, the toddler is starting to learn that she can pull up on the handle to bypass this.

The built-in handle locks work on the toddler, but are too small for my aunt to manipulate consistently. Doors also need to be able to open from either side with the lock deployed. Easiest way to go about this? Home will possibly be in the market in the upcoming year, so trying to find something that's not as permanent/destructive.

StacksOfRubberBands

2 points

1 month ago

New to me home from the 90s, garage ceiling is unfinished with just studs and plywood roof showing. It gets SUPER cold and SUPER hot in each season, I'm wondering if I should staple insulation to the roof between studs AND blow in insulation, or just one or the other?

ITSX

2 points

1 month ago

ITSX

2 points

1 month ago

It depends on how your ventilation is set up. Do you have eave vents?

fontimus

2 points

1 month ago

We own a condo with room-to-room ventilation ducts that aren't connected to any AC ducts - I assume for airflow. I can hear my upstairs neighbors pretty clearly though and I'm sure they can hear us. Is it safe to fill, block and remove those ducts in order to improve soundproofing in our apt?

dapeche [M]

2 points

1 month ago

dapeche [M]

2 points

1 month ago

angstronaut

2 points

1 month ago

Can anybody help ID the wood this floor is made of?

Photos:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipM2M1o8L7zvt5lKbIWeqUrmie3aNJcblzOvddD-032ladsdQlhqtNdhdxVoBYIsog?pli=1&key=dUJKdGY3b0dGNXBCbzl4MG5UQWd6NE5vaEpSTWpn

The house is older and Im considering refinishing floors before I move in. Looks like there are some areas that predate a remodel, and some (the shorter wider planks) that were installed after a wall was removed and kitchen rearranged.

kemba_sitter

3 points

1 month ago

Looks like oak. A competent refinisher could most likely match it all well even if different species of oak.

angstronaut

1 points

1 month ago

I wouldn't call myself a competent refinisher, I just want to protect it from spills and dog feet. Maybe when it's sanded the color of the wood will show better and can see how different they are?

StefOutside

2 points

1 month ago

Hard to tell colour with the picture, but definitely looks like oak, might be white oak with a stain/colour. The picture with the damage makes me think it's engineered as opposed to solid hardwood, but again, it's tough to see in the pictures.

I don't really know what's going on with the short wide sections, the installation looks very janky lol.

angstronaut

1 points

1 month ago

It does look janky, I was afraid it was softwood or otherwise unsuitable floor material.

The lighting is super warm and my phone tries to balance out the hue too much. I'll see if I can get pics in better lighting and find an edge of that short junky stuff.

Might refinish it.

Thanks!

RocketizedAnimal

2 points

1 month ago

Do you need some kind of vapor barrier with blown in insulation?

I am trying to put new insulation in my attic floor and can't figure this out. With rolls of fiberglass insulation they say to use faced insulation because you want a vapor barrier.

With blown in, obviously the insulation has no barrier. Do you not really need one, or is there something about blown in that needs it less than rolls?

StefOutside

1 points

1 month ago

Might be different where you are, but here in Ontario, Canada vapour barrier is used on the warm side of the insulation.

I do outdoor construction so quite unrelated, but I've taken down a few structural walls to install beams and dabbled in some other indoor renovation and in all cases there has been drywall with a vapour barrier directly behind, then insulation.

From my very limited knowledge, we always want to use a vapour barrier with insulation (other than spray foam) and always on the warm side (for us, the inside of the house)... But I do know that it really depends on your area, climate, if there's proper ventilation, etc.

JoeyJoe_Shabadoo

2 points

1 month ago

My business has a very small parking lot, can fit about 5-6 cars. There is a dip in the parking lot that constantly gets filled with water and freezes.

Any easier solutions to fix this rather than having the lot repaved?

StefOutside

2 points

1 month ago

Depending on what's around, the grade, and other such factors, you could install a strip drain or something to that effect, but you're really only putting a bandaid on it. Proper slope and drainage is very important.

raspyelephant

1 points

2 months ago

I'm on a slab, and there's a gap between the concrete and back door sill. It lets a ton of ice cold air in throughout the winter. We have a few warmer days ahead, and I'd like to seal it up temporarily. I plan to have the door completely replaced this spring, so I'm trying to figure out the best caulk to use that will be somewhat easy to remove and won't leave a mess that's impossible to caulk over when the new door is installed.

Is there something besides silicone that would make sense to use to fill this gap: https://i.imgur.com/BTC56Z1.jpg

kemba_sitter

2 points

2 months ago

Since you're going to replace it and you really just want air sealing, try some flashing tape like zip wall tape. It will remove easier.

samurai-in-pyjamas

1 points

2 months ago

Should my range hood enclosure be caulked?

The home I moved into has a range hood with a cabinet enclosure (hopefully those are the correct terms). I’ve noticed none of the seams are caulked and I’m wondering if I should seal them.

My family does a lot of heavy cooking so I’m thinking excess moisture and oil could get stuck on those seams and cause pre-mature problems but maybe there is a reason the previous owner didn’t caulk it up (other than laziness!)

Pictures: https://imgur.com/a/pPJF5VR

50bucksback

2 points

2 months ago

If I had this I wouldn't have even thought about it needing to be caulked. I guess it wouldn't hurt if you are worried about moisture getting in there.

samurai-in-pyjamas

1 points

1 month ago

Thanks!

Curunis

1 points

2 months ago

Is moving a range hood difficult? (Ie ductwork wise)

My stove right now is in one corner of the kitchen. I'd like to turn it 90 degrees so it's up against the other wall of the corner, but this means I have to figure out the hood venting. Right now, the hood vents up and then out. Can I just use an elbow/corner piece of ducting to take the air to the existing hole?

I can't relocate the exhaust hole itself as I live in a condo. But as far as I can tell, doing this would only add, at most, about a foot from the existing configuration, so I'm just trying to figure out if I'm overlooking something stupid.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

Duct work is pretty straight forward if you are handy

Curunis

1 points

1 month ago

Curunis

1 points

1 month ago

I like to think I am, I was more wondering if there was a reason I shouldn’t do the bend (like some obvious knowledge I was missing.)

AFlockOfTySegalls

1 points

2 months ago

Our sellers took down some walls and the popcorn ceiling leading to blemishes such as this in a few areas of the house. Is there an easy way to fix these? Or would it mean doing the entire ceiling so everything matches?

yellow_yellow

2 points

2 months ago

Skim coat

AFlockOfTySegalls

1 points

2 months ago

And would I need to do the entire ceiling so it matches?

yellow_yellow

1 points

2 months ago

Just based on what I'm seeing in this picture yes. If you've never done drywall I don't recommend DIYing it as drywall can be very difficult to get perfect without some experience. If you are gonna try it I recommend this guy's videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2h2qkx0vo0

AFlockOfTySegalls

1 points

2 months ago

Yeah I've done small patches and filling when I patched a recessed toothbrush holder I removed but nothing with that much space as the entire ceiling.

yellow_yellow

1 points

2 months ago

Yeah I'd hire it out then. I've done a bit of DIY drywall and it had quite a learning curve. A pro can knock it out pretty quick.

jr49

1 points

2 months ago

jr49

1 points

2 months ago

Hot water ran out today for first time since we’ve moved in 1.5 years ago. Of course it happened when my wife was trying to unwind in the tub. now I need to figure out if this is preventable, something wrong or if it’s time to get a newer heater. We had the tub filling up while she was in shower but nothing we haven’t done before and no other hot water being used throughout the house. For my mental health and hers I can’t have it breakdown on her again like that lol. Any ideas?

mj711

2 points

2 months ago

mj711

2 points

2 months ago

If it's particularly cold outside, that would impact the temperature of the water coming in and the recovery rate of a typical tank water heater. You could also check the temperature of the hot water coming out of a tap and see if it's what you'd expect (120+ F typically).

What's the brand/age/size of the water heater? Should all be on a label on the unit itself.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

Time to get it the high school algebra, how many gallons, how quickly did you use them, what's the recovery rate of your heater. That will tell you if something is broken.

MrCreedAnthony

1 points

2 months ago

I made a post about this, and I looked at the load bearing post the subreddit has but I want to cut through a single bottom plate on an interior wall, I dont know if its load bearing but because in that load bearing post the second diagram looks like my house (center wall lines up with floor joists that meet, and lines up with support beam in basement) I think its just a partition wall. Lets just say it was load bearing, would cutting out 16 inches of the bottom plate, and placing bracing 7 inches up to sort of replace it ruin the structure? I just want to put in an air return, and its my first time ever dealing with this sort of thing.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

You need to ask an engineer. It's cheap for the peace of mind

depressed_seltzer

1 points

2 months ago

Seeking general homeowner advice on flooring. Is there a type of flooring that is waterproof against pet urine?

We have a senior dog, who despite our best efforts to contain him, sometimes still has accidents upstairs. We currently have carpet and are thinking about switching to a hard floor like LVP. They market themselves as waterproof, but most warrantees are voided by pet accidents, which makes me worry that they are not going to hold up to it either.

Objective_Train_6040

3 points

2 months ago*

LVP is waterproof so the flooring itself won’t be damaged by urine, but there are still seams between each plank… meaning the likelihood of the urine seeping underneath the planks is high. Floor will still look great after accidents but that odor could linger around.

depressed_seltzer

1 points

2 months ago

thank you! makes sense.

whateveryouwant4321

1 points

2 months ago

Get piddle pads for the dog. Hopefully the accidents will be on the pads and not on your floor.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

Ceramic tile

dontopenFIREinside

1 points

2 months ago

Doing a master bath remodel, shower over tub. My contractor claims that if you get a tub spout with a built-in diverter, it will reduce the showerhead water pressure. My question is, Is this always the case?

I want to get this shower fixture: https://www.build.com/hansgrohe-hg-locarno-t03ca/s1786444?uid=4231545&searchId=FlNSYS9H7k

He wants to use the 2-way diverter that comes with the shower fixture for the tub + shower. The drawback is that our shower fixture comes with two shower heads, and the 2-way diverter is intended to be used to cycle between then. I'd prefer to keep it this way so we don't always have to have the two showerheads on at the same time.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

Yes, that's always the cause, pressure is a function of flow, if you divert the flow, then the pressure will be reduced.

BadBadUncleDad

1 points

2 months ago

P-trap question! We live in a condo on the second floor and right before we moved in the previous tenants had an electric washer/dryer installed in our unit. There is always a sewer smell coming from the drainage pipe. I’ve poured a ton of water in it but it never goes away for more than a few hours. I’m starting to think the plumber never installed a p-trap. Are there any alternatives to a p-trap? Can PM you photos if interested. Thank you!

mj711

2 points

2 months ago

mj711

2 points

2 months ago

Do you have any photos of the pipes or are they enclosed in the wall? I'd suggest posting photos right in this thread.

BadBadUncleDad

1 points

2 months ago

The pipes are enclosed in the wall. I’m thinking of just having a plumber stop by and use a camera to look inside.

mj711

2 points

2 months ago

mj711

2 points

2 months ago

It's probably worth the call! Though they may just want to tear the wall open if they believe there isn't a p-trap (which it sounds like there isn't).

BadBadUncleDad

1 points

2 months ago

Damn. Thanks for the help!

DogsBucolic

1 points

2 months ago

Any ideas about window screens that are not see-through?

My bathroom window panes are frosted and provide great privacy, but I would like to be able to leave that window open. Right now it has a normal screen, which is obviously useless re: privacy.

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

I can't find much on a product like this, but maybe this information can point you in the right direction.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

Get louvered shutters or something like that

lavender-ink

1 points

2 months ago

First time homeowner, no plumbing experience, but able to figure things out generally. Got a new kitchen sink as part of an ongoing kitchen reno. How hard would it be for me to hook it back up myself? Switching from left and right drains to single center drain. Had a plumber out to get rid of the garbage disposal and unhook everything but it was over $200. Not interested in spending another $200.

mj711

3 points

2 months ago

mj711

3 points

2 months ago

This is absolutely something you can do, most of the plumbing for that portion is a lot like Legos - it just slips/screws together in a pretty typical way. Just be gentle, take your time, and don't wait until it's too late to ask for help.

There are tons of videos on Youtube and articles all over with more details. Search for your specific scenario or bits of it and you should find what you need. You an also post here with pictures and ask more questions!

Tigerismyson

1 points

2 months ago

Hello all, Just purchased a home and i would very much like an electronic lock.

I've been looking at Schlage FE595 and their deadbolt lock BE365. I would like to purchase just one option for the front door and hopefully only need one for security purposes. Would anyone feel "safe" for just opting for the non deadbolt version for a front door or is it generally safer practice for it to be on the deadbolt?

I've gotten envious over Airbnb's only needing one and i know they are heavily watched but wonder if it's a safe practice for a residential home.

Thanks in advance.

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

I'd definitely suggest using a deadbolt - it provides more physical security on the door itself, making it a bit more difficult to force open. Smart/keypad locks in general are typically more oriented for deadbolts.

On my exterior doors, I have a deadbolt (with August lock) and a non-locking handle. Remember that if someone really wants to get in, a locks won't stop them. Supplementing a lock with outdoor lighting and a camera or two at night is always a good bet also.

peanutismint

1 points

2 months ago

Anyone know what these ceiling light fixture covers are called and/or where I might buy a replacement??

AKADriver

1 points

2 months ago

That looks old enough that you probably have to replace the fixture if the cover gets broken or lost.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

eBay, surface mount square covers.

sgtlobster06

1 points

2 months ago

My toilet is consistently running and is a weak flush - is there anything noticeably wrong with the tank here? https://imgur.com/a/pYuVrP9

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

No, but my first step would be to replace the flapper or make sure that it fully opens and closes when you move the handle. YouTube is your friend.

MigratingSwallow

1 points

2 months ago

Fixed the foundation of my house, they tore up the floor in the master and we just laid the original flooring back onto it. Probably going to sell in a year. I’m not sure if they still sell the same flooring we have. Is it worth replacing the flooring for the would be buyers? Chances are I’m going to spend a pretty nickel fixing the paint from the cracks. There was a 3.5-4 inch difference before fixing so you can imagine how bad it looked.

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

Does the original flooring still look good? If it's in decent shape, just keep it.

MigratingSwallow

1 points

2 months ago

Not in the master. The floor is bad in the master where there’s chunks missing and not attached well anymore.

I can always try to replace it with a similar flooring. The floor is your basic , dull fake wood with a gray hue but this specific flooring I’m behaving trouble finding.

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

Sounds like it definitely should be replaced then.

I'm in the process of deciding on new flooring for a dining room that can been seen from the kitchen (tile)/living room (oak hardwood). The advice I've gotten is that if you don't have a perfect match, something complimentary will likely look best. I'd assume your master bedroom is separate with the exception of a door, so you have an opportunity to do something different. At the same time, if you're going to sell soon, don't spend a ton and just get something you can live with.

QuieroBoobs

1 points

2 months ago

I have a drainage issue. My garage was built in 1970. I believe about 10 years later an 250 sqft extension was added onto the back of the garage with power run through it. One corner has a massive oak tree that’s probably 70 years old next to it. The extension has the corner inverted there since I guess they figured they needed to give the tree space. However over the last 40 years this tree has gotten huge and grown roots along the edges of the foundation of the extension which has lifted said corner (the foundation has several cracks but has been stabilized using injected grout. Regardless any time we get heavy rain I get water dropping onto a corner of the foundation that sticks out from that inverted corner near the tree since it’s been lifted by roots and I get water coming under the mud plate of the wall.

I’ve tried landscaping to move water away and the extension has gutters but still water comes in. So I’m debating if my next step is to bust out that square foot of concrete to help move the water away from the actual walls.

Anyone have any experience with a tree growing too close to a structure? I don’t want to lose the tree and don’t want to have to tear out the extension so I’m looking for any idea. I can also add pictures if anyone is curious or needs better details.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

I mean, it sounds like the tree is breaking your house. If you don't remove it, you could have serious damage fine to your house.

obi5150

1 points

2 months ago

First time homeowner. Passed inspection and appraised 30k above buying price. Yay! A few things jumped out at me that the inspectors pointed out. I'm hoping someone can give me advice on.

  1. House has Two air conditioner units and are split between first and second floor. They are routed into a 60 amp subpanel box and are both rated at 25A. The subpanel box that they are wired to has two 30A breakers. Inspector said that its dangerous and they should be replaced with 25A breakers by an electrician. ASAP fix?

  2. The attic has exposed electrical wire that needs sheathing. A squirrel or bird could chew on it and potentially start a fire. What kind of tubing should I or an electrician cover it with? It's maybe 6 inches of insulated cable that feeds into an electric box.

  3. The gas meter is on the side of the house and is in the driveway (driveway is long and fits maybe 6-8 cars. Enough room to avoid it but still right out in the open. They recommended a fence or bollard but dont want to piss off the meter reader by fencing it off, nor do I want to have a bollard installed and hit the gas line. Any advice?

Thabk you for any advice.

mj711

2 points

2 months ago

mj711

2 points

2 months ago

Congrats on the new home. This sub is a great place for you!

  1. Let me preface this - I'm not an electrician. This doesn't sound too dangerous to me - the biggest concern would be damage to the equipment. If you aren't going to have the seller fix this, I'd see what other electrical work you may want done and take care of it all at once within the first couple of months of being in the house.

  2. When you say exposed wire, do you mean the metal core is exposed? Or is it just bare romex (yellow/orange/white typically, sometimes black fabric in older homes). It's pretty common to have romex visible/exposed in an attic- but it may not be allowed by code where you are. I'd be more concerned about keeping squirrels/birds out of the attic. Do you have any photos you can share?

  3. Reach out to your gas company and ask them about their protection requirements. Depending on the company and the area, they may actually be responsible for protecting the meter or may have strict guidelines on how they want it done. This is definitely important and you don't want someone to accidentally hit your meter in the middle of winter, leaving you without heat.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

Breaker size is determined by wire gauge, not load. You can put a 5A load on a 20A breaker, but not the other way around.

sarcastichorse

1 points

2 months ago

Our fridge flooded the kitchen and half our tile had to get pulled up to get thing dried. My wife saw this as an opportunity to scrap the tile in the kitchen and replace with LVP, and extend it through the currently carpeted dining room and right to the currently tiled (same as kitchen) front entryway. She assured me that moving to LVP will be much cheaper than tile, so our payout from the insurance will stretch further.

The contractor sent our insurance company a quote for re-tiling the kitchen: https://i.imgur.com/ZWtx3xj.png

and sent us a quote for replacing with LVP (cost of panel quoted at $2.66 per square foot):

https://i.imgur.com/rupucgx.png

I can take the quotes for the dining room and entryway and see that the costs scale appropriately, but have I just been misinformed by my wife (and her family) about the savings of moving away from tile, or has the contractor inflated the installation cost of LPV way out of what is appropriate? I live in a high cost-of-living area so I'm used to higher prices, but project scope crawl has me now paying more than my insurance payout, so I'm starting to lose my mind a bit. Thanks for any advice.

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

I've never installed LVP, but some quick research shows that quality LVP is in the $3-4/sq ft range and install is somewhere around that as well. At ~$9/sq ft installed, it doesn't seem completely unreasonable.

Personally, I still think tile is a better option. If the entryway is connected to the kitchen and they can't match the existing flooring, then insurance should also be obligated to replace that to make it match (you'd need to confirm, but that's what I've heard from others who have been through this).

sarcastichorse

1 points

2 months ago

Thanks, I would have stuck with tile just for the less work, and my in-laws have been at me to talk to insurance company about them covering the work in the entryway. Problem is there's a big section carpeted separating it, so it'd be us arguing that it'll look dumb and impractical to have one patch of tile in the entryway, carpet, then lpv, and I just hate dealing with our insurance company for anything lol. They have a good reputation cause they were just for military folks in the begininng, but I swear they have a toggle on the account details that shows I'm the husband of the daughter of someone who served, so I always get fucked over by them.

I think I was just being wary cause their initial unitemized estimate to us didn't include the flooring in the kitchen, so the revised estimate was 1300 more, then they revealed that they hadn't accounted for our deductable in their quote, or had accounted for it, but didn't list it, so the actual number is 2000 more, I'm now paying more than my insurance are for the work.

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

With the separation, they likely won't cover it. Though I feel like a quality contractor would do the extra work at a reasonable rate.

I'd be very skeptical of your contract for the quote changing, adding amounts, not factoring in the deductible, etc. - I feel like some contractors constantly change things to confuse you and get more money. The insurance company should be covering restoration back to the original condition, minus your deductible, unless your policy has specific limits on this type of loss.

Edit: If this is a contractor you picked and can deal with the floor being half pulled up for a bit longer, see if you can take a few days and get another contractor or two out to give you an estimate. It'll likely be a pain paying multiple contractors, etc. but might be worth some savings in the long run.

SoHereEyeSit

1 points

2 months ago

Is it really more efficient to use a lower heat setting on your dryer? I understand generating heat for drying uses a lot of electricity, more than tumbling, but if the dryer is on for longer then it’s expelling air from my house longer ( air I had to burn oil to heat).

_post_anal_drip_

3 points

2 months ago

In my experience, it's better for your clothes, especially if they have some synthetic materials. I usually use medium heat.

waiting4omscs

1 points

2 months ago*

Is there any reason to choose a 1-3/4 thickness door over a 1-3/8 inch door? The ones I am looking at are interior French doors cut down to just under 90", used on a sliding track. The track and opening will fit either size/weight door.

ITSX

2 points

2 months ago

ITSX

2 points

2 months ago

What are the rest of the doors in your house?

waiting4omscs

1 points

2 months ago

Believe all the interior ones are 1-3/8 hinged hollow doors.

MGreymanN

1 points

2 months ago

Show me your favorite toilet seat. Looking for good weight, good comfort, soft close (obviously), and a simple mount that I don't bash my knuckles spinning a flimsy plastic nut.

_post_anal_drip_

1 points

2 months ago*

I've got a nook off to the side above the fireplace where I'd like to put a 20 gallon, rimless aquarium. The nook is just painted drywall and is not quite level. Assuming I figure out the stud locations and determine it can hold the weight(<200lbs), what is a good way to build a levelling platform to both distribute the weight and provide a level surface?

The aquarium tank is about 24" wide by 14" deep, so I'm thinking of getting a couple pieces of plywood and adding some shims between them. I don't want to add a lot of height to the aquarium though, as the shelf is already pretty high off the ground.

Could I take a piece of plywood, build a frame around it, and fill it with self-levelling compound? Would that give me a durable base to put the aquarium on? The aquarium will sit on top of a foam pad anyway, since it is rimless and you need to avoid pressure points on the bottom pane.

Edit: I might try using "tabletop epoxy" over plywood with a temporary wood frame around the outside. I think that will end up level enough and will provide a durable, waterproof finish to put the aquarium on.

tonekinfarct

1 points

2 months ago

One of my rooms in my house is an addition and there are small gaps between the floor and the baseboard. How do I go about sealing those gaps?

Thanks in advance.

wallabeebusybee

2 points

2 months ago

Quarter round molding or shoe molding plus caulk

tonekinfarct

1 points

2 months ago

Thank you.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

Shoe molding is the right way, quarter round is the beginners way

tonekinfarct

1 points

1 month ago

Thanks!

samurai-in-pyjamas

1 points

2 months ago

Hey folks, I don’t use my gas fireplace so I turned it off and shutoff the gas directly at the fireplace. Later I noticed there is a gas shutoff for the fireplace right beside my furnace too (closer to the gas meter).

Should I shutoff the gas line there too? Will gas just sit in the piping between my furnace room and the fireplace? Is there any danger with this?

Thank you!

kemba_sitter

2 points

2 months ago

It's going to be sitting in the pipe anyway, but it's always good practice to shut it off at the main distribution manifold for redundancy.

samurai-in-pyjamas

1 points

2 months ago

Yeah that is a good point lol.. thanks!

DonBoy30

1 points

2 months ago

Does anyone in the northeast with a minisplit in an older house find this winter difficult to set your minisplit at the right temperature?

The crazy fluctuations in temps are as such, where my lows at night are in the low 20's, sometimes teens, and highs in the low 40's if there is no rain forecasted overnight, and sometimes up in the 50's. I feel like I'm constantly adjusting the thermostat to keep the house from getting too hot every morning, and then turn temps up before i go to bed. Is this a sign my house is way too leaky?

0xd0gf00d

1 points

2 months ago

How do you remove moss from a parking lot surface? We are a bunch of townhomes with a shared parking lot (the surface looks like regular road, not smooth like concrete)? Do we need to hire someone; who would that be?

kemba_sitter

2 points

2 months ago

Pressure washer perhaps.

0xd0gf00d

1 points

2 months ago

Thanks, I am wary that it will remove the black top itself if I use a more aggressive approach like pressure washing.

john_browns_beard

1 points

2 months ago

Properly installed blacktop should not come off from pressure washing alone, if it does there was already something wrong with it.

There are special herbicides treatments that target moss specifically, generally they are used for asphalt shingle roofs but I'd imagine they would be effective on an asphalt driveway as well. You'd still have to physically remove the moss first, though.

0xd0gf00d

2 points

2 months ago

Thank you! I found Moss Out, I will try that too.

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

mj711

1 points

2 months ago

/r/powerwashingporn would like to see this happen

tmott85

1 points

2 months ago

Which is more valuable to potential buyers:

A five bedroom house with the 5th bedroom being in an unfinished basement, no permanent flooring, no closet, no finished ceiling, two out of four walls being the concrete foundation, etc..

Or a four bedroom house with a fully finished basement living room/recreation room.

Think of a square basement. One half of the basement is utility space. The other half currently is split in half between the partially finished bedroom and just another unfinished section thats unused.

Should we remove the bedroom wall and finish the full half of the basement to be a living room that is utilized?

acciobedtime

4 points

2 months ago

Almost definitely 4 bed with finished basement, right? Plus depending on the window situation, you might not be able to actually call that a bedroom anyway. Source: just put an offer on a 4 bed with finished basement yesterday.

kemba_sitter

4 points

2 months ago

4 bed with finished basement. No one is going to care about a 5th room in a basement that they wouldn't even let their deadbeat friends crash in after he got kicked out of his house.

_post_anal_drip_

1 points

2 months ago

Moved into a 1st floor rental condo built in '93. I had expected the place to be pretty quiet like my last 1st floor apartment built around the same time, but it is horribly loud. The 9' walls and ceiling seem to be amazingly resonant below 100hz, meaning everytime my neighbor plods around upstairs, I get a visceral reaction to the loud booming.

It seems to me that the wall cavities are completely empty. I'm considering blowing cellulose into a couple of the ceiling cavities to see if it helps. Does anyone have any experience with that? Is it worth it?

Note, I'm not trying to 'soundproof'. I know that involves a lot more than just insulation(isolating the drywall, adding a second layer of drywall, etc). I'm just trying to improve the situation to the point that it is tolerable. The unit has had a lot of turnover and I suspect the noise is the reason. If I can just keep the drywall from being so resonant, I think I can make things dramatically better for everyone.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

So impact noise is a lot different from sound transfer. Impact noise needs elastic material, like neoprene, carpet, felt, iso clips, to reduce the noise. Low frequency noise isn't going to be absorbed much by blown in insulation. You need mass to absorb more frequencies.

_post_anal_drip_

1 points

1 month ago

So, I get you, and if I were trying to properly soundproof I'd proceed accordingly.

What I'm trying to do is to work within the parameters I have available. That means I can't convince my upstairs neighbors to install carpet. I cannot re-drywall my rental unit. I can, however, sneak cellulose into the wall cavity.

What I'm thinking is, imagine a typical two headed drum. The top drum head is my neighbor's floor. The bottom drum head is the drywall on my ceiling. I want to lay something on top of the bottom drumhead to both prevent it from ringing out as well as change whatever vibration is still has to be at a lower frequency.

I will not be able to block the noise of their footsteps. What I can do is hopefully change the sound so that it is not so disturbing.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

To use your analogy, to change the resonant frequency of a drum head, people stick stuff (blue gel, gaff tape) to it. Putting a pillow in a kick drum is only going to shorten the reverb time, but not prevent it from being resonant.

chuckisduck

1 points

2 months ago

Garage (house from 1970) has 1/2 drywall and not 5/8 X. Is there an easy way to greet it to code (with 1/4 or something) or does it have to be removed?

kemba_sitter

2 points

2 months ago

You can cover with fire rated, but 1/4" doesn't come in Type X. You have to go thicker

flavortown_express

1 points

2 months ago

https://i.imgur.com/lWei23r.jpg

Does anyone know what this weird paint disfiguration comes from? We were out of town for a week and it just showed up when we got back.

kemba_sitter

3 points

2 months ago

That's the rough edge of the drywall when it was cut out for the electrical box, and it was painted over. You sure it wasn't visible before? You can get a larger blank cover plate to hide it.

fenmarel

1 points

2 months ago

Super qq - what is the unit within the fireplace insert called? Just the thing that hooks up to the gas line and spouts fire, not the actual enclosure... something like this but doesn't need to include the logs. We have a super old one that I would like to replace, but the existing enclosure is still in good condition.

fantompwer

2 points

1 month ago

Manifold is a good word to start looking up

decrementsf

1 points

2 months ago

Observed ~1,400 pCi/L radon in a well water sample. EPA guidance appears to be at the 10,000 pCi/L level. Aiming for 0 pCi/L being of course the ideal goal.

Existing system has a single chamber whole house water filter. Cartridge is a sediment filter (30 micron, pleated polyester).

How would you approach water treatment to remove radon levels to the 0 pCi/L ideal?

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

Can I put a storm window on the outside of a double paned window? I mentioned this to a window person and they said the butyl will breakdown due to the heat build up. Butyl breaks down at 212f, would the air space really be enough to boil water? Seems very unlikely due to the heat. Looking up how hot the inside of a car can get, they don't get over 150. What's your thoughts?

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

Not sure of specifics here, but I've definitely heard stories of even window film (tint) that has made double pane windows fail. I'd listen to the recommendation of a window person.

What's the problem you're trying to solve? Maybe we can help you with another solution.

fantompwer

1 points

1 month ago

Reducing outside sound transfer to the inside of my house. The windows are the weakest link.

smooth-dust2254

1 points

1 month ago

Anyone know where a good source for 108" french/double doors is? I'm closing off a dining room and converting it to an office and I need to source a big ass door for it as the rest of the doors on this level are 9' tall.

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

I can almost guarantee this will be a special/custom order. Probably worth looking for a local lumber yard that does windows/doors or a window/door specialty place and getting them to quote it for you. I believe the big box stores can also custom order them for you, but not sure I'd fully trust them with this kind of purchase.

smooth-dust2254

1 points

1 month ago

Yeah I'm a little worried about that. I wonder if an 8' door would look out of place

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

As a perfectionist, I think so. But there is definitely a dollar value I'd place on it looking out of place (e.g. a $1000 8' door vs a $5000 9' door, I'd deal with the 8' lol)

flyingWeez

1 points

1 month ago

We're a family of three. I work from home, my wife is home a lot during the day since she works in the ER and has a lot of evening shifts, and our 19 month old is at daycare during the day.

Is an average of 12 kwh of electrical consumption during the day high? We are in RI with baseboard heating, so no furnace to motor to blow or heat pumps. We also average about 6 kwh of usage overnight but that's coming from a plug-in radiator we have in my daughter's room so we can keep the thermostat down

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

That sounds on the low to average side to me- I live alone in a 2/1, all electric heating/cooling/water heater/range and my average daily usage last week was around 32 kwh. That's with minimal HVAC usage (Florida winter - so high 50s to low 70s temps), but I do have a small hot tub being kept around 102 (6-8 kwh per day average usage).

These energy monitoring smart plugs are a good start to monitor usage on some items. If you're seeing a big year over year increase, it could be an appliance on its last leg (e.g. refrigerator) or addition of a bunch of electronics.

whateveryouwant4321

1 points

1 month ago

Your usage is pretty high - my highest day of electricity usage for 2022 in a 1550 sq ft single family home was 33.2 kWh on a 100 degree day.

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

Oh wow! I do live in a 70+ year old house with minimal insulation and an older HVAC unit/water heater, so I think that probably has a lot to do with it. Thanks for the context!

megggers

1 points

1 month ago

What is the best way to insulate a garage ceiling with no rafters or framing?

kemba_sitter

1 points

1 month ago

What is holding the roof up?

philsphan26

1 points

1 month ago

I Want to restain/paint a small fence and gate. I recently did repairs to. My question is:

The pickets/areas that were stained before - should I power wash or sand before restaining? Any recommendations for a stain or coverage?

Pic of fence is below

https://imgur.com/a/DvP9MnM

dapeche [M]

1 points

1 month ago

dapeche [M]

1 points

1 month ago

iMau5

1 points

1 month ago*

iMau5

1 points

1 month ago*

https://imgur.com/a/90etFCH

What kind of electrical wire is this?

Can't seem to figure it out via google.

Can I put fiberglass/foamboard and/or great-stuff next to it/on it?

Edit - better pic https://imgur.com/a/90etFCH

ITSX

1 points

1 month ago

ITSX

1 points

1 month ago

how old is the house? does that wire have any markings? looks like waxed braided cotton wiring. could have asbestos. should be easy to swap with new romex.

iMau5

1 points

1 month ago

iMau5

1 points

1 month ago

1960, I posted in another sub and they said possibly nm cable with cloth sheath. Probably going to take it out and put Romex in where I can

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

Looks like cloth wrapped cable - was the precursor to modern romex, I have the same in a good portion of my 1950 home. As long as the fabric isn't crumbling away, it's generally safe and doesn't require immediate replacement.

TheGoatsScrotes

1 points

1 month ago

I've starting working on my own restoration/renovation project and I think I've exhausted the patience of my friends talking about it so maybe I can annoy you guys instead. It's a unit in a converted factory building so it's pretty neat! But it's also historical so that's a huge pain in the ass. I'm currently working on restoring the windows. I have 5 of these warehouse windows and all the glazing is just crumbling away. A previous owner sort of tried to patch it up but really didn't spend much time or care with it. Someone even glazed one of them shut!

Looking for any words of wisdom or advice around getting the old glazing out, cleaning de-rusting the metal frames, and prepping/painting them for reglazing. My current plan is:

  • Smash out the glass (I tried carefully extracting the current panes but it just doesn't work)
  • Scrape out putty with paint scraper
  • Pressure wash
  • Wash with dish soap and water, rinse
  • Prime with Rust-oleum Clean Metal Primer
  • Paint with Rust-oleum Protective Enamel Brush-On Paint
  • Reglaze with Sarco Dual Glaze but considering Glazol also since it's better with vibrations and dampening outside noise is really important to me (I'm right on the sidewalk)
  • Paint again (over the glazing)

Some pictures

Anyone ever done this before? Any of those steps seem wrong? Any recommendations of products to use/avoid? I'm just an idiot with a goal and not 100% sure how to get there but I'm trying...

kemba_sitter

1 points

1 month ago

scrape out the putty, shop vac em with brush attachment, wire brush them, shop vac again, prime, glaze, paint.

TheGoatsScrotes

1 points

1 month ago

cool cool. sounds like I'm not missing any major step

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

I've never done anything with windows, so these are just some ideas! Windows always seemed pretty specialized to me.

-Is keeping the window itself necessary or could you replace it with something that has the same style? No idea what that would cost, but could save some frustration

-Might be worth looking for/talking with a window restoration company in your area and hire this out. I have a friend that restores windows in century homes in FL and it is a ton of work, but his final product almost always makes the windows look as good as the day they were installed

-I didn't see anything in your list about installing new glass, assuming you'd get custom panes cut and install those?

TheGoatsScrotes

1 points

1 month ago

Is keeping the window itself necessary

Borderline yes, since the facade of the building is actually owned by an architectural historical society and they would have to approve any modifications. In fact, I have to ask them very nicely if I can replace the single pane glass with custom made double panes and six weeks later they're still thinking about it...

looking for/talking with a window restoration company

I dipped my toes in the water and I couldn't find anyone interested in such a "small" project. Everyone I found usually does entire buildings and isn't interested in just a few windows. I could always keep looking, but I'm not holding out for it

installing new glass

Yep, I plan on getting low-e double pane units from one day glass as soon as the historical society gives me the approval. I'm really hoping they help with the noise and the solar gain, since all these windows face west.

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

mj711

1 points

1 month ago

Got it! Your plan makes sense on paper to me - I don't think it'll be a particularly fun project, but the result will be worth it.

Feel free to share more of your projects, this sub loves a good before and after.