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Thread: So I woke up on Saturday and bought a house.

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Posts: 211-220 of 221
2020-05-10 08:14:30
The cheap bathroom vanity pulled away from the wall (because our bathroom floor is slightly sloped and does not make a 90-degree angle with the wall).
I got to fixing it by adding a bunch of structural support and tying it to the wall with a much stronger setup. I then added shims to the bottom to take up the gap.
You can stand on the thing now and it is rock solid.

Not pictured are the large "L" brackets I used to tie the sides to the back/wall.

2020-05-10 08:27:25
There is something about this wall in our galley kitchen that causes the paint to peel and bubble away from the wall.
This is might be the first time of three that I've had to repaint it. Each time it gets a bit better. Hopefully one day we will tear down this house and the problem will be solved.

2020-05-10 08:57:04
Now that the roof leak has been fixed (see earlier update) the damage done to the office ceiling due to the leak can be repaired.
No "after" pics but you get the idea.
(I didn't just paint. I filled the crack with construction adhesive.)

A lot of this recent house work was important to do in preparation for an assessor coming to the house to determine the value. This is so we can try to drop primary mortgage insurance early. Only maybe 8 months early, but that's the best we could do. Saving that $80 a month will be great.

2020-05-26 10:45:33
This is me restoring the entryway plinths for my house.
This represents ~16 months worth of work, most of it gluing popsicle sticks to one of the plinths to bring it back to life.
I do not recommend this approach.

Pics (more in album):

2020-05-30 09:10:52
One of the first things we did when we got the house was to convert to a gas range in the kitchen. We had the most incompetent plumbers come cap off the gas logs in the fireplace, and run a new line to the kitchen. They did not take into account how shallow the recess was on the back of the stove, and ran the pipe up through the floor WAY too far from the baseboard. This caused us to have to live with the stove sticking out from the counters. We kicked them out of our house after they forcefully tried to ram the stove into place.

Well, ever since then I'd noticed a scent marker smell over by our natural gas meter. I didn't think anything of it, and just assumed it was normal for them to leak a little? I don't know, I was a bit busy back then and could not think it through properly.

Well, now that I'm spending a bit more time over in that area messing with other things, I got to thinking about it again and how it started only after the plumbers came. I figured it probably should not have a small leak, so I took some soapy water and started spraying. I found the leak very quickly. I turned off the gas and removed the connection to find a bit of a bad job. I cleaned up the tapered flanges of copper shavings and put it back together but it still leaked. I grabbed some yellow Teflon tape designed for gas lines and used it to fill in the tiny scratches in the surfaces and that did the trick.

Last edited by BenFenner on 2020-05-30 at 09-12-47.
2020-07-22 12:05:31
Branch down!

(Free firewood.)

2020-07-22 12:33:25
After 3 years of complaining, the city finally replaced our (their) leaking water valve.

Dreams do come true! Anything is possible!

We will miss the roach motel!

With fresh water always available, the box in the yard had turned into more of a roach city. I think they'd just entered the space age before we cut their civilization short.

2020-07-27 08:44:59
We had a new neighbor move in next door around early-2018. He has two hunting dogs that one of our cats (Miles) likes to try to make friends with, so Miles heads into their yard and gets eaten. We take him to the vet to get put back together again, and then eventually let him out where the cycle repeats. I think this happened 3-5 times before we figured out what was happening and decided we couldn't afford the vet bills anymore. We also have no idea if Miles would survive another encounter. We considered re-homing our buddy, but that didn't sit well. So we turned him into an indoor-only cat.

Except Miles didn't know that's what we did, so he is super pissed. He just does not like to be inside much. He has been a total pain in the ass these past months. So I put the retaining wall project on hold (more about that later) while I built him an enclosure in the back yard he could use to at least sit in the sun and feel the breeze. We are hoping this will help calm him down a bit, and then eventually add more on to the "catio" ("capitat"?) when we have the time. So this is phase 1, and phase 2 will be a bridge from phase 1 over to the garage. Phase 3 (if it ever happens) might be a tunnel through the garage rafters to a large area behind the garage. We'll see.

This work took 4 months to accomplish, which is relatively quick for me. There was a rush on the job so Miles could enjoy it ASAP and so I could get back to the retaining wall I've been working on for almost a year already.

Here are a few images, but you should really go check out the full album as it has so many more.

Last edited by BenFenner on 2020-07-27 at 08-55-12.
2020-07-29 13:00:09
Some family is here (for the holidays), and lately that means something is going to break for no good reason at all.
This time it was the drier. I narrowed it down to a blown thermal fuse, and we were back in business in no time.
I feel so lucky that I'm able to fix most of these things without having to call in for repairs.

2020-08-06 13:36:40

Our 1.5-ton A/C unit from 1995 finally bit the dust. This happened in the spring of 2019 so at least we had a little bit of time to think about our options before we died of heatstroke in the house.
We did the right thing and got 3 quotes. Each for a new A/C unit, or new A/C and furnace. We had settled on a mid-grade Heil unit, while keeping our 100,000 BTU (oversized) furnace.

Then our elderly neighbor came over after seeing the HVAC vans and told us to call his son who does HVAC for the local VA hospital. We called him out of obligation, but he ended up having better prices, with better install details (new pad, new service cut-off panel). He also was willing to work on sourcing his first Trane unit. He came back with the best quote by a good bit, all things considered. So we went with him and it has worked out really well.

I think 13 SEER is minimum code around here now, and our installer bumped us up to a 13.5 SEER unit at the last minute for no up-charge since that was what was available. Tax rebates begin at 14 SEER if I remember correctly. We stayed with the 1.5-ton spec since it seemed to be right for our house.

Our house is cool again, and things are more efficient now with a fresh, free-flowing evaporator core that I'm able to set the temp in the house a little higher while staying comfortable. Our electric bill has gone down maybe ~30% which is very, very nice. We paid just under $4,000 for the whole thing, and had quotes in the $2,800 - $5,500 range.

For my own records, here is who we used:
Jeremy W. Simmons | Owner | Walker's Heating and Air
1511 Wildwood Pointe
Leesville, SC 29070
(803) 687-4938

Last edited by BenFenner on 2020-08-06 at 13-40-11.
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