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Thread: Home Improvement

  1. #21
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Just buy a skateboard and grind around the pool's edge like Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3

  2. #22
    Tiny Dancer Drewbie's Avatar
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    My house is terribly inefficient. It has 2x4 walls and very old batt insulation that doesn't do a very good job. I've had opportunity to open up a few of my walls over the time I've been there and changed out the insulation as I've been able, but there's still a great deal of square footage that I know is just garbage. I've looked into the drill a hole and fill it with cellulose methods, but there's quite a few drawbacks. I have a strong temptation to gut some walls and redo insulate and sheetrock them, but first I'm getting an energy audit done. They're doing a blower test and thermal imaging and all that jazz. Here's hoping the extent of things I should do is limited and there are rebates to help with costs.

  3. #23
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    Excellent idea! I keep meaning to do that. Please let us know how it goes!

    My house was built in 1940 some of the walls don't have insulation.

  4. #24
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    The list of things I want to do to my condo in the next couple years (?) is getting long:

    • Replace carpet with hard "wood" (laminate or LVT) flooring
    • Remodel two small bathrooms
    • Replace all electrical outlets and light/fan fixtures (or at least get them inspected)
    • Replace the whole HVAC system (and probably ducts)
    • Replace every single door in the whole place, both internal and external
    • Repaint? Maybe?

    It's overwhelming me, not sure what to tackle first. If I were going to sell the place, I'd probably order them like this, and maybe only do the first item:

    1. HVAC
    2. Electrical
    3. Everything else

    It would suck to sink money into anything "optional" and list the place, then get told to drop money off the price because the buyers don't like the new floors. New HVAC, on the other hand, would probably be a must. That said, I don't think I'm going to sell... so in that case, the order is more about what I want to do first, what drives me the most nuts:

    1. Floors
    2. Bathrooms
    3. Everything else

    If I'm gonna be living here, I can just use the current HVAC system until it craps out. Totally optional for now. But I hate the carpet, and I hate the bathrooms. That said, starting with the floors seems foolish if I'm going to have a bunch of contractors tromping in and out with bathroom parts shortly thereafter; and then it would suck to have an electrician come in and rip the sockets out of a newly-remodeled bathroom. Is there any validity to an "inside-out" approach, for efficiency's sake? If so, that order probably looks something like this:

    1. Electrical
    2. Bathrooms
    3. Paint (?)
    4. Doors
    5. Floors
    6. HVAC

  5. #25
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    Maybe talk to a general contractor about taking on the whole job. They will know best which place to start.

  6. #26
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Given that most electricians won't even repair the drywall they cut open, I feel like one contractor who can handle everything is likely to be twice as expensive.

  7. #27
    Senior Member sheil's Avatar
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    Replace carpet with hard "wood" (laminate or LVT) flooring - This is a relative easy upgrade for any house. Usually a good return on investment. You have a lot of options for what to put in. Depending on the contractor you may have to have a second one come in to reinstall all of your baseboards because of floor height change.

    Remodel two small bathrooms - This could be just about anything. Totally depends on what you are looking to have done. Are you looking to just put new stuff in without changing the layouts, or are you thinking of moving stuff around? Lots of stuff would need to be looked at for these. Obviously these would far and away be the most expensive changes.

    Replace all electrical outlets and light/fan fixtures (or at least get them inspected) - Are you talking in your entire condo? Are you considering moving any of the electrical devices (outlets and switches) or just upgrading them as far as look and or color? This wouldn't be a small cost item either especially if you are talking your entire place. Lots of variability depending on the new light fixtures that you would pick.

    Replace the whole HVAC system (and probably ducts) - How old is your condo? The A furnace usually has a lifespan of about 20-25 years and a AC unit 15-20. Replacing them if they are getting near that isn't a bad idea especially if you are looking to sell. The return on investment is pretty minimal on those upgrades at least as far as adding to the price you could ask. There is some piece of mind for the new owners, but that would mostly be it. There really isn't any reason that you would need to replace your duct work, unless there is some obvious degradation that you can see. Also not knowing how all the duct work is run in your condo this could also be a giant cost if they would need to open up walls and such. Getting a good duct cleaning should be all that you would need.

    Replace every single door in the whole place, both internal and external - This is a great update for a house. Though roi might not be all that great. Wide price range again depending on what you are looking to install. (Style, finish) keep in mind you would likely need all new trim around the door too.

    Repaint? Maybe? - Easy


    As far as the bathrooms are concerned, as Nynny said I would suggest using a contractor. That was they would take care of the whole deal and all of the subs and you would need to worry about it. As I mentioned before too, unless you would want to move outlets or switches of lights the upgrade of the electrical stuff really isn't that big of a problem.
    If you do think you might move stuff around you might want to considering doing the bathrooms first depending on what types of floors you are going to have where. If you are planning on running the same floor throughout your place it would be best to have everything where it needs to before laying the floor down. That said, if you really want to do the floors first go ahead and do it. Any contractor that you would want in your house will do a very good job of protecting all the floors in you house.

  8. #28
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheil View Post
    Floors - This is a relative easy upgrade for any house. Usually a good return on investment. You have a lot of options for what to put in. Depending on the contractor you may have to have a second one come in to reinstall all of your baseboards because of floor height change.
    Holy crap, flooring contractors don't even do baseboards! So specialized!

    Quote Originally Posted by sheil View Post
    Bathrooms - This could be just about anything. Totally depends on what you are looking to have done. Are you looking to just put new stuff in without changing the layouts, or are you thinking of moving stuff around? Lots of stuff would need to be looked at for these. Obviously these would far and away be the most expensive changes.
    Yeah, I'm aware this'll be the most expensive bit, and I'm not looking forward to it. I don't have any burning desire to change the layout, I just want to refresh everything. The sink and vanity have always sucked, the tub's starting to show a lot of wear, I hate the shower door, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheil View Post
    Electrical - Are you talking in your entire condo? Are you considering moving any of the electrical devices (outlets and switches) or just upgrading them as far as look and or color? This wouldn't be a small cost item either especially if you are talking your entire place. Lots of variability depending on the new light fixtures that you would pick.
    This might not be needed at all, to be honest. I think I've got GFCI sockets in the kitchen, and probably also in the bathroom. That means they've been looked at in the past 40 years, at least.

    But I'd still like new ceiling fans. In theory, replacing the ceiling fans is something I could do on my own, but holy shit does that sound like a pain in the ass. I've got four of them in different rooms, and they're all super dated and starting to make a little noise in some cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheil View Post
    HVAC - How old is your condo? The A furnace usually has a lifespan of about 20-25 years and a AC unit 15-20. Replacing them if they are getting near that isn't a bad idea especially if you are looking to sell. The return on investment is pretty minimal on those upgrades at least as far as adding to the price you could ask. There is some piece of mind for the new owners, but that would mostly be it. There really isn't any reason that you would need to replace your duct work, unless there is some obvious degradation that you can see. Also not knowing how all the duct work is run in your condo this could also be a giant cost if they would need to open up walls and such. Getting a good duct cleaning should be all that you would need.
    The condo is from 1973, and all the HVAC stuff is from 1998. So... kinda riding the line here. Again, if I were selling, I might replace it all. Since I'm not, may just wait for something to fail.

    I see conflicting reports about getting ductwork replaced, but if you think a cleaning is enough, then so do I.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheil View Post
    Doors - This is a great update for a house. Though roi might not be all that great. Wide price range again depending on what you are looking to install. (Style, finish) keep in mind you would likely need all new trim around the door too.
    I honestly think all the doors are from 1973.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheil View Post
    If you do think you might move stuff around you might want to considering doing the bathrooms first depending on what types of floors you are going to have where. If you are planning on running the same floor throughout your place it would be best to have everything where it needs to before laying the floor down.
    Interesting thought, do the bathrooms and kitchen with the same flooring as everything else. Maybe the days of all-over carpet and tile bathrooms are behind us?

    Quote Originally Posted by sheil View Post
    That said, if you really want to do the floors first go ahead and do it. Any contractor that you would want in your house will do a very good job of protecting all the floors in you house.
    Here's hoping! Thanks for the detailed advice.

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