This Old #%&@*$ House

Chairman_Mao wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:

Most common way to remove anchors that don't just screw out is to remove the collar on the outside and then push the remaining part in so it falls and just leave it in there. Can you drill them out or cut the collar off with a knife / razor?

I think I didn't explain my situation well. I've already installed the numbers and only afterwards realized they're not level. I'm not sure how to remove the numbers without damaging the siding.

Ah I see. Are they floating out a bit, like it shows on Amazon? If they are and you do decide to remove them, see if you can slide a piece of plywood or metal in between the number and the siding and use the plywood as what you lever against with a hammer or prybar to pull the screws out (assuming you can't screw them out). That way you don't dent the siding with the tool, and the wood can provide pressure around the hole so the siding doesn't pucker out. If you want to get fancy could even cut a notch in the wood so it can slide up around the screw to provide close pressure from three sides.

LeapingGnome wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:

Most common way to remove anchors that don't just screw out is to remove the collar on the outside and then push the remaining part in so it falls and just leave it in there. Can you drill them out or cut the collar off with a knife / razor?

I think I didn't explain my situation well. I've already installed the numbers and only afterwards realized they're not level. I'm not sure how to remove the numbers without damaging the siding.

Ah I see. Are they floating out a bit, like it shows on Amazon? If they are and you do decide to remove them, see if you can slide a piece of plywood or metal in between the number and the siding and use the plywood as what you lever against with a hammer or prybar to pull the screws out (assuming you can't screw them out). That way you don't dent the siding with the tool, and the wood can provide pressure around the hole so the siding doesn't pucker out. If you want to get fancy could even cut a notch in the wood so it can slide up around the screw to provide close pressure from three sides.

Hmm they are not floating but the 9 actually didn't go on flush with the wall, I think because the screw holes don't quite match up so the upper half is off the siding a few mm. I filled the gap with caulk, but presumably there's enough space there to do what you suggest.

However my laziness today is kicking OCD's butt much harder than last night, so I may take my time with this.

We have Fisher Paykel appliances that came with the house. This seems to be a garbage 'luxury' brand. The washing machine is ineffective, the oven is hard to light and has a ridiculous temperature dial that goes 250, 325, 480 in the span of like 2 cm. The fridge is... ok.

We're looking at replacing them. For dishwashers, we used to have a Bosch thats super quiet and very effective, we pretty much just want to get another of those

What about for electric stove/oven/range? we'd like to spend under $1500. Is there generally a brand you find super trustworthy, or a specific model to recommend?

This seems pretty silly but they still sell ovens without self cleaning. Make sure you get one that has it.

The only time Ive ever used that feature I set off the smoke alarm and never looked at it as anything but a 'test your smoke alarm' feature. Was that just a bad experience that soured me?

polypusher wrote:

The only time Ive ever used that feature I set off the smoke alarm and never looked at it as anything but a 'test your smoke alarm' feature. Was that just a bad experience that soured me?

I've tried it a few times and had the same experience. The smoke and fumes weren't worth it. It didn't really get everything.

I’ve been wary of the self-cleaning setting ever since I read somewhere that ovens can damage their own electronics that way.

Have you already taken a look at induction vs electric?

I used the self-cleaning option on my wife's nice expensive double oven/range once to get rid of a bad job of seasoning on some pans.

I pushed the button and immediately heard a loud POP followed by an error code and beeping/buzzing.

Something in the door locking mechanism broke. In the middle of COVID, they couldn't get a replacement part. The oven would buzz/beep constantly if you plugged it in and flash the error code so we couldn't use it as an oven, but could use the gas range if we lit it manually.

After 11 months, the extended warranty company finally gave us the money for it and we bought the same one, but single oven.

And, I am NOT allowed to press the self-cleaning button on the new one. Ever.

I second taking a look at induction now that I've watched videos about efficiency, etc. I love a gas range, but will probably go induction if we ever buy another in our lifetimes.

-BEP

LeapingGnome wrote:

Have you already taken a look at induction vs electric?

I looked at +$1500 compared to electric and stopped looking

My wife really wants an induction, and our gas oven/range is probably due to be replaced, so we might wind up going that route.

misplacedbravado wrote:

I’ve been wary of the self-cleaning setting ever since I read somewhere that ovens can damage their own electronics that way.

The guy we had come repair ours said the same thing. The heat from the self-clean does "bad things" over time to the electronics, and the oven lasts way less than it should.

bepnewt wrote:

I used the self-cleaning option on my wife's nice expensive double oven/range once to get rid of a bad job of seasoning on some pans.

I pushed the button and immediately heard a loud POP followed by an error code and beeping/buzzing.

Something in the door locking mechanism broke

Our oven does let you pour some water on the bottom of it and run it to steam clean it. I guess that is the idea.

-BEP

I've never heard so many self cleaning oven horror stories. My SO swears by it and we have never had an issue.

karmajay wrote:

I've never heard so many self cleaning oven horror stories. My SO swears by it and we have never had an issue.

My buddy has the same oven as we, except he doesn't have the convection or the ability to use steam to clean. He used his self-cleaning function a couple weeks ago with no problem. He was a little scared to because he knew what happened to us with our LG oven/range and self-clean.

In the case of our previous oven breaking on the self-clean, it was just technology (and safety) that screwed us. It tried to lock the door so it couldn't be opened during a self-clean cycle, which is a nice safety feature, and a part of that broke. And because of technology, the oven knew something was wrong, so it kept yelling at us so we couldn't use it. Sucked. If it hadn't been for supply-chain issues during COVID, it wouldn't have been a big deal. We would have had our oven back in a week or so.

I wouldn't hesitate to use the self-clean on our replacement oven... except that I've been told what part of the yard I'll be sleeping in if I do.

-BEP

I am trying to get a basic patio built behind my house outside my walk out basement. It isn't anything fancy. Just 16x20 (320 sf) and made of stamped concrete pavers. I did the calculations using this online estimator tool and they figured it should be somewhere between $4k and $8k. Why is everyone quoting me $12-14k?

This seems extortionary.

Seems like there were supply issues and all that from 2020 and contractors are in high demand right now and can charge whatever they want.

We've thought about remodeling instead of moving but I don't know, it's going to cost a lot either way.

What he said. I've spent 8 months trying to get a surveyor out to my place to stake the property lines. I MAY have someone coming in a couple of weeks but I am skeptical until I actually see them out there.

The extremely elevated prices are indeed correct in today's market.

Sources: part of my business is new home construction, I know a couple contractors outside my area and we discuss these conditions, and I invest with some house flippers that need funds to pay for the increase since last year.

Is it all materials prices, labor, or both? Would now be a good time to do it myself?

I am pondering over the chance to dig a pond in my garden (no pon intended).

When I look at all the youtube videos, I get the jizz of depth, width, plastics and plants and all. But the fast-forward video's of guys digging out a pond gives me no clue. Say I want a 5 meter by 4 meter pond about 1.5 meter deep (elevation wise, deepest point).

My crappy out-of-my head math would say I need to dig and move around 30 m3 (kubik) of dirt.
1 m3 is around 12,5 filled up wheelbarrows. So with rough dirt I think aroudn 400 wheelbarrows does the job.

Non-fit and easily bored as I am, I reckon 20 wheelbarrows a day would be my max in the weekends. Maybe 5 during the days I have to work. which constitues around 50 wheelbarrows a week, 8 weeks work - but then it can rain and I can be tired... say 12 weeks. 3 months work.

Then again, I have no idea how long this would take a pro with a bobcat: Last time I had a plumbing company digging out my 2.8 meter deep sewer over 5 meters - they were ready in one afternoon.

Should I hire a pro, or get some exercise myself.

The stone shere in Sweden can be very BIG, then I would have a pond with an isle

Rent your own bobcat.

Paleocon wrote:

Is it all materials prices, labor, or both? Would now be a good time to do it myself?

I put in a 10'x12' patio last year myself. I used paver bricks and brock paver panels so I did not have to dig a foot down and haul literally tons of gravel and sand. I think in the end it cost me about $1,500 and three weekends. Two of those were digging and leveling.

You are talking about one three times as big, and would be a good amount of work unless you had a bunch of friends come over to help. You'll also have to figure out how to get at least two pallets of pavers and half a ton of gravel and sand to your house. Depending on the pavers you pick and what tools you already have, I would estimate $5k to do it yourself and it would be a good amount of work to properly slope and level. If you do want to go that way, I did a lot of research when I did ours and can post some tips if you want.

LeapingGnome wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Is it all materials prices, labor, or both? Would now be a good time to do it myself?

I put in a 10'x12' patio last year myself. I used paver bricks and brock paver panels so I did not have to dig a foot down and haul literally tons of gravel and sand. I think in the end it cost me about $1,500 and three weekends. Two of those were digging and leveling.

You are talking about one three times as big, and would be a good amount of work unless you had a bunch of friends come over to help. You'll also have to figure out how to get at least two pallets of pavers and half a ton of gravel and sand to your house. Depending on the pavers you pick and what tools you already have, I would estimate $5k to do it yourself and it would be a good amount of work to properly slope and level. If you do want to go that way, I did a lot of research when I did ours and can post some tips if you want.

The thing I am most worried about is that there is already an existing elevated deck over it, so the digging will have to be done entirely by hand. And there is no way around either pouring concrete or at least putting down 10" of scree over the sub-base. That's a lot of work to do by hand.

Paleocon wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Is it all materials prices, labor, or both? Would now be a good time to do it myself?

I put in a 10'x12' patio last year myself. I used paver bricks and brock paver panels so I did not have to dig a foot down and haul literally tons of gravel and sand. I think in the end it cost me about $1,500 and three weekends. Two of those were digging and leveling.

You are talking about one three times as big, and would be a good amount of work unless you had a bunch of friends come over to help. You'll also have to figure out how to get at least two pallets of pavers and half a ton of gravel and sand to your house. Depending on the pavers you pick and what tools you already have, I would estimate $5k to do it yourself and it would be a good amount of work to properly slope and level. If you do want to go that way, I did a lot of research when I did ours and can post some tips if you want.

The thing I am most worried about is that there is already an existing elevated deck over it, so the digging will have to be done entirely by hand. And there is no way around either pouring concrete or at least putting down 10" of scree over the sub-base. That's a lot of work to do by hand.

The elevated deck would also explain the high estimates you're getting.

WizKid wrote:

Rent your own bobcat.

Yep, I rented a bobcat and took a lot of overgrown shrubbery and small trees out of my yard. Also caved in an old abandoned cesspool tank. Took me a few minutes and i was soo careful around my neighbors fences.

It wouldn't have to be done by hand if you find a contractor with the right equipment - they make skid steers that are like, only slightly larger than a commercial lawnmower, and it could get under that elevated deck with no problem. I don't think that will reduce your costs, though.

Hmmm.

Okay. I got a bunch more quotes and have some math to do.

The two that are highest in the running are:

The low bid who came in at $10,444.

The mid bid who came in at $13,588 but is offering 24 months same as cash.

Both look like the same materials and scope of work.

Should I take the lower bid or count on inflation and the future cost of money?

Peoj Snamreh wrote:

jizz of depth

The word you are looking for is gist, I think. Jizz is something else entirely.

Also, having done some substantial digging in rocky ground by hand in the past, I would also suggest renting some equipment for a job that big. My wrists have never been the same after hitting that many rocks with the pick and shovel.