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Thread: Home Improvement

  1. #1
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Home Improvement

    Well, we have threads for smart homes and weekend projects, but somehow not for home improvement. So here goes nothing!

    My 1153-sqft condo was built in 1973, and I'm pretty sure the windows and patio door were all the original (single pane, aluminum frame) shit, old as hell. Last year (2016) I replaced all of it with new, modern shit: Anlin's "Bay View" line, slightly better than their "Catalina" but slightly less good than their "Monte Verde" if I recall correctly... but still cost me $5000 for the whole kit and kaboodle.

    This past weekend (2017) my water heater finally gave up the ghost. It was manufactured in 1999, so it's well past time to replace it. I noticed the dripping and the puddle juuuust before the bottom probably dropped out, and so avoided any more serious water damage. The inlet pipe was was leaky back in 2012 and I had to replace all the drywall in the patio closet, and happily I didn't have to repeat that horrifying black-mold experience:

    mask.jpg hammer.jpg

    Well anyway, when I tried to shut the water off the other night, the faucet handle more or less disintegrated. So I'm getting a new 40-gallon Rheem (and new valves, drip pan, expansion tank) installed today, and it's costing me $1700 or so. You can probably see where this is going.

    Now I'm looking at the furnace and air conditioner (condenser outside) and examining serial numbers and shit, and it looks like they were built/installed in 1998. They still work fine, but they're coming up on 20 years old. If I'm lucky, I've got another 5 years there, but then it's at least $5000 for a new 2-ton setup.

    Plus all the kitchen appliances are shit and should be replaced ($5000 or so).

    Plus the bathrooms suck and should be gutted (I'm guessing upwards of $3000 per bathroom).

    By the time I'm done, I'll have spent 20 grand over the course of 2-3 years. But then maybe I can stop?

  2. #2
    Senior Member sheil's Avatar
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    Good luck only spending $3000 on a new bathroom

  3. #3
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Well, "upwards of." Figured I'd start small with the shower enclosures, then add items on until I can't stomach the cost. Ain't gonna be no full remodel, yo.

    And they're very small bathrooms.

  4. #4
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    Me any time i try to fix one simple thing in our house:

  5. #5
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    I have to fix this crap in our master bathroom someday soon. there is some water damage coming from somewhere (yay!) that i still have to track down. how difficult is it to re-drywall something? i have no experience at all, so I don't know what i'm going to be getting myself into. I also have this scary thought that this wall might actually be an old plaster wall, which I expect will cause even more complication.


    any suggestions? i'd like to just rip the wall open to investigate and not be committed to fixing it the same day, but i don't know if that will cause more issues.

  6. #6
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Sure doesn't look like drywall to me... it's like somebody built a corner using mesh tape and joint compound... but I'm not exactly an expert.

    Non-expert status aside, I've done drywall before, and I think I'd feel confident enough to tackle it again if it was in a low-traffic and low-visibility area. If it was the middle of the living room and lots of people would see it, I'd hire a professional. I can patch a hole, but I'm not good enough to get it looking nice.

  7. #7
    Tiny Dancer Drewbie's Avatar
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    I can fix a wall all day and can tape and mud it serviceably, but if I'm doing a big area, I'll pay for taping and mudding every time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member sheil's Avatar
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    That looks like just a poor patch job previously. It does look like it might be old school plaster underneath it, which may or may not have lathe behind it. You won't know until you rip it open! Patching drywall and plaster isn't super difficult. Making it look like you didn't do anything to it is the hard part. Depending on the type of finish you want to plaster/joint compound to have can change the difficulty too. A skip trowel finish is simple. Nice smooth surface will take you a little more time.

    Ripping the wall open and just fixing the drywall shouldn't take too long. One piece of advice though is to make sure your drywall patch is just about even with the surface of the finished wall. You might need to put something behind it to space it out depending on how thick the plaster and its backing is. The less compound you have to put back on the easier and faster it will be.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the advice. Do you think there's any harm in opening it up soon even though i likely won't work on it for a month or so? It's a small-ish spot in the corner of our master bathroom - nobody sees it but the wife and i. I many want to rip it open just to see what i'm dealing with, but I don't want to be committed to fixing immediately

  10. #10
    Senior Member sheil's Avatar
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    Opening it up won't do any harm at all. In fact if there is a small leak opening it up will just get it dried out that much sooner. As long as you can figure out where the leak is.

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