T Nation

Home Improvement Projects

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Better check them copper pipes…[/quote]

A 100 y/o house could have anything in it. My house (built in 1945) had a mix of copper that was transitioned to galvanized steel pipe. It even had some bronze pipe in it.

I’d never tackle a fixer-upper again, unless I won Power Ball. I’ve put $250K into mine in the last 25 years. All new plumbing, windows, doors, siding, deck, back yard done over from A-Z, pool, alarm system, brick pavers everywhere. And the dormer that I had someone rough out and I finished it. My wife’s bro is an electrician, a huge help. Still a $40K venture there alone.

Rob

I need gutters

First quote was $880 (playing on people’s fears of heights?)

The gutters themselves are cheap as fuck (aluminum, nothing fancy)

The edge of my roof is 15 ft high (I wouldn’t fucks with a ladder this high)

What do you think about renting a Scizzor lift ($150/day) to put the gutters up myself?

Is it haunted?

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
I need gutters

First quote was $880 (playing on people’s fears of heights?)

The gutters themselves are cheap as fuck (aluminum, nothing fancy)

The edge of my roof is 15 ft high (I wouldn’t fucks with a ladder this high)

What do you think about renting a Scizzor lift ($150/day) to put the gutters up myself?[/quote]

Scissor lifts are great on flat smooth concrete floors.

Unless your house is surrounded by smooth flat concrete floors, it will not work.

Some things are worth paying for to get done. I used to do residential tree cutting and removal, and have numerous stories of people who didn’t hire a professional first and ended up paying for it the hard way.

For gutters, the guys will throw up the ladders and possibly staging, bang it out and be done in a few hours tops, nice and neat. No messy hospital visits or leaky badly pitched gutters.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
I need gutters

First quote was $880 (playing on people’s fears of heights?)

The gutters themselves are cheap as fuck (aluminum, nothing fancy)

The edge of my roof is 15 ft high (I wouldn’t fucks with a ladder this high)

What do you think about renting a Scizzor lift ($150/day) to put the gutters up myself?[/quote]

Scissor lifts are great on flat smooth concrete floors.

Unless your house is surrounded by smooth flat concrete floors, it will not work.

Some things are worth paying for to get done. I used to do residential tree cutting and removal, and have numerous stories of people who didn’t hire a professional first and ended up paying for it the hard way.

For gutters, the guys will throw up the ladders and possibly staging, bang it out and be done in a few hours tops, nice and neat. No messy hospital visits or leaky badly pitched gutters.
[/quote]

Is there anyway to make a scizzor lift work
On flat grass?

I need about 110ft total. $500 is about the high end of reasonable, I was thinking. I feel like a Scizzor lift would be rather safe.

I’ve requested more quotes and told another company that I was quoted $880, ill just keep playing the quotes against different companies to see how low I can get it…for fucks sake, I searched avg prices on google and the quote I got was put of range on the high end.

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
I need gutters

First quote was $880 (playing on people’s fears of heights?)

The gutters themselves are cheap as fuck (aluminum, nothing fancy)

The edge of my roof is 15 ft high (I wouldn’t fucks with a ladder this high)

What do you think about renting a Scizzor lift ($150/day) to put the gutters up myself?[/quote]

Scissor lifts are great on flat smooth concrete floors.

Unless your house is surrounded by smooth flat concrete floors, it will not work.

Some things are worth paying for to get done. I used to do residential tree cutting and removal, and have numerous stories of people who didn’t hire a professional first and ended up paying for it the hard way.

For gutters, the guys will throw up the ladders and possibly staging, bang it out and be done in a few hours tops, nice and neat. No messy hospital visits or leaky badly pitched gutters.
[/quote]

Is there anyway to make a scizzor lift work
On flat grass?

I need about 110ft total. $500 is about the high end of reasonable, I was thinking. I feel like a Scizzor lift would be rather safe.

I’ve requested more quotes and told another company that I was quoted $880, ill just keep playing the quotes against different companies to see how low I can get it…for fucks sake, I searched avg prices on google and the quote I got was put of range on the high end.
[/quote]

If you don’t feel safe fifteen feet up a ladder a scissor lift won’t feel safe on any but the flattest surfaces. You have to consider that any angle at all will be magnified. You can probably rent scaffolding pretty cheaply though.

Gutters and gutter covers seem to be something people get gouged on because of the height thing. If you do use a ladder use a spreader to give it a wider contact at the top.

Also, gutter covers are a good idea unless you plan on going up to clean them out at least once a year. My friend just did his own with an aluminum mesh product he bought from costco for around $300. He just got a quote for the same stuff installed and it was $4000.

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
Is it haunted?[/quote]

The basement is haunted…with 4" monster centipedes

I laugh when I hear the idea of “haunted” or ghosts since I don’t believe in the afterlife or god.

It’s a pretty welcoming home, doesn’t have a haunted feel to it I’d say.

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
I need gutters

First quote was $880 (playing on people’s fears of heights?)

The gutters themselves are cheap as fuck (aluminum, nothing fancy)

The edge of my roof is 15 ft high (I wouldn’t fucks with a ladder this high)

What do you think about renting a Scizzor lift ($150/day) to put the gutters up myself?[/quote]

Scissor lifts are great on flat smooth concrete floors.

Unless your house is surrounded by smooth flat concrete floors, it will not work.

Some things are worth paying for to get done. I used to do residential tree cutting and removal, and have numerous stories of people who didn’t hire a professional first and ended up paying for it the hard way.

For gutters, the guys will throw up the ladders and possibly staging, bang it out and be done in a few hours tops, nice and neat. No messy hospital visits or leaky badly pitched gutters.
[/quote]

Is there anyway to make a scizzor lift work
On flat grass?

I need about 110ft total. $500 is about the high end of reasonable, I was thinking. I feel like a Scizzor lift would be rather safe.

I’ve requested more quotes and told another company that I was quoted $880, ill just keep playing the quotes against different companies to see how low I can get it…for fucks sake, I searched avg prices on google and the quote I got was put of range on the high end.
[/quote]

If you don’t feel safe fifteen feet up a ladder a scissor lift won’t feel safe on any but the flattest surfaces. You have to consider that any angle at all will be magnified. You can probably rent scaffolding pretty cheaply though.

Gutters and gutter covers seem to be something people get gouged on because of the height thing. If you do use a ladder use a spreader to give it a wider contact at the top.

Also, gutter covers are a good idea unless you plan on going up to clean them out at least once a year. My friend just did his own with an aluminum mesh product he bought from costco for around $300. He just got a quote for the same stuff installed and it was $4000.
[/quote]

Yes, I understand the bumps in the ground would sway the lift.

And scaffolding was another thought. For $880 I feel options open up.

I just hate the idea of dropping that much money for installation of <$100 in materials.

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
Yes, I understand the bumps in the ground would sway the lift.

And scaffolding was another thought. For $880 I feel options open up.

I just hate the idea of dropping that much money for installation of <$100 in materials.[/quote]

Personally, I would let someone else do this one.

Most everything in a house can be done pretty cheap if you know how to do it. Materials are really very cheap relative to quoted costs. Appliances, cabinetry, flooring and lighting get expensive, but you’re still going to end up paying a whole lot more to have someone else do it.

However, there’s a few things that seem to be higher risk if you don’t do it right.

Roofing and guttering, I’d have someone do. Wiring the electrical at the service box, I’d have someone do.

Most everything else I’m pretty comfortable with though.

Oh, as far as the fiber-wrapped wires… are they just in the walls, or are they in conduit?

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
Is it haunted?[/quote]

The basement is haunted…with 4" monster centipedes

I laugh when I hear the idea of “haunted” or ghosts since I don’t believe in the afterlife or god.

It’s a pretty welcoming home, doesn’t have a haunted feel to it I’d say.[/quote]
lol I’ll still follow

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
I need gutters

First quote was $880 (playing on people’s fears of heights?)

The gutters themselves are cheap as fuck (aluminum, nothing fancy)

The edge of my roof is 15 ft high (I wouldn’t fucks with a ladder this high)

What do you think about renting a Scizzor lift ($150/day) to put the gutters up myself?[/quote]

Scissor lifts are great on flat smooth concrete floors.

Unless your house is surrounded by smooth flat concrete floors, it will not work.

Some things are worth paying for to get done. I used to do residential tree cutting and removal, and have numerous stories of people who didn’t hire a professional first and ended up paying for it the hard way.

For gutters, the guys will throw up the ladders and possibly staging, bang it out and be done in a few hours tops, nice and neat. No messy hospital visits or leaky badly pitched gutters.
[/quote]

Is there anyway to make a scizzor lift work
On flat grass?

I need about 110ft total. $500 is about the high end of reasonable, I was thinking. I feel like a Scizzor lift would be rather safe.

I’ve requested more quotes and told another company that I was quoted $880, ill just keep playing the quotes against different companies to see how low I can get it…for fucks sake, I searched avg prices on google and the quote I got was put of range on the high end.
[/quote]

If you don’t feel safe fifteen feet up a ladder a scissor lift won’t feel safe on any but the flattest surfaces. You have to consider that any angle at all will be magnified. You can probably rent scaffolding pretty cheaply though.

Gutters and gutter covers seem to be something people get gouged on because of the height thing. If you do use a ladder use a spreader to give it a wider contact at the top.

Also, gutter covers are a good idea unless you plan on going up to clean them out at least once a year. My friend just did his own with an aluminum mesh product he bought from costco for around $300. He just got a quote for the same stuff installed and it was $4000.
[/quote]

Yes, I understand the bumps in the ground would sway the lift.

And scaffolding was another thought. For $880 I feel options open up.

I just hate the idea of dropping that much money for installation of <$100 in materials.[/quote]
You would be safer on a ladder if you elect to do it yourself. Plus purchasing (or even better, borrowing) a 15 foot ladder would be cheaper than renting a scissor lift for the day.

I bought a house in October that was built in 1895. It’s in downtown Hamilton. I went that route because I was able to sell my home in the west end and be mortgage free.

I see it as an investment. It’s a less desirable area of the city but trends have more and more people moving from Toronto to pick up cheaper housing in this area. It’s becoming an up and coming area.

It’s 2 1/2 story 5 bedroom brick house. The wiring has been all updated. There was a lot of knob and tube. The previous owner was supposed to upgrade it all but on moving in (condition of sale). He hadn’t so after I brought a lot of pressure to bear, he ponied up the cash I wanted to get it done.

It’s a solid house with a fairly new boiler heating system and up to date plumbing. Since October the work I’ve done is:

-insulate the boiler pipes in the basement with reflectix (the house bleeds gas like a bitch) Some of the pipes were still wrapped in horse hair and burlap which works as a much better insulator than anything modern I can find so I left them alone.

-seal around the basement and exterior doors (heat rentention)

-reglaze the clawfoot tub (absolutely worth the money since no fibreglass tub can compare to cast)

-tear up the shitty commercial carpets in the livingroom and dining room and painted the beat up oak floors cream colour. This sounds odd but it actually works with the age of the house and brightens the room up a lot.

-Because there is radiant heat, there’s no central air. Rather than putting in portable air conditioners, I had a roof window (4 1/2’ x 2 1/2") installed on the third floor and the top of the stairs to create a chimney effect and vent the hot air out the top of the house. It works well and is beautiful. I got this all for a great deal because I work in roofing.

  • Replace the steps on the deck. They were a hazard

  • Install a new exterior door to the basement. The old one was actually new but was butchered and not sealed properly.

Immediate upcoming projects are:
-move the fence to create a rear driveway. The entire area is back alleys with rear parking.
-There is a giant shed that is in need of repair. I have the plywood to fill the rotten holes. I’ll likely put up siding and reshingle it.

Future projects are:
-new bathroom vanity etc.
-new kitchen cupboard doors. The counters are all butcher block. They’re both functional and appealing but the doors are all kack eyed and too wide to open properly.
-Remove scabby carpet in entire house and replace with new. I like carpet in the bedrooms.
-Remove the boards on the deck and replace. Build stairs down to rear basement door.

We get some water in the basement when it rains heavily but nothing that concerns me. The foundation is old and stone. I don’t plan to finish the basement but I will likely have a concrete trench put on one side of the house to create water flow away from the foundation.

The best thing is that the basement is over 7’ high and fits my home gym. I have my rack and platform set up. It’s not great for overhead work but does okay. With the stone foundation, it really looks like a dungeon.

I figure I’ll sell in 10 years and get a small house for retirement.


This is our house. The picture is googlemaps so it’s actually before we bought it.


This is our gym/basement

This is my painted floor. However, I think I’ll put another coat on and seal it with clear coat. My dog tracks dirt everywhere and it’s tougher to get off porch paint than to get it off varnish.

I’ll second another poster on getting professionals to do the wiring, plumbing and roofing particularly with respect to home insurance. In Canada, you are pretty much screwed for home insurance if you have knob and tube wiring and galvanized plumbing.

There’s smart money and dumb money. It’s great to save but not if it’ll cost you in the end. I went with a pricey electrical contractor but I know they get their ESA permits and if there’s an issue, I can find them and they’ll be back.

[quote]bpick86 wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
I need gutters

First quote was $880 (playing on people’s fears of heights?)

The gutters themselves are cheap as fuck (aluminum, nothing fancy)

The edge of my roof is 15 ft high (I wouldn’t fucks with a ladder this high)

What do you think about renting a Scizzor lift ($150/day) to put the gutters up myself?[/quote]

Scissor lifts are great on flat smooth concrete floors.

Unless your house is surrounded by smooth flat concrete floors, it will not work.

Some things are worth paying for to get done. I used to do residential tree cutting and removal, and have numerous stories of people who didn’t hire a professional first and ended up paying for it the hard way.

For gutters, the guys will throw up the ladders and possibly staging, bang it out and be done in a few hours tops, nice and neat. No messy hospital visits or leaky badly pitched gutters.
[/quote]

Is there anyway to make a scizzor lift work
On flat grass?

I need about 110ft total. $500 is about the high end of reasonable, I was thinking. I feel like a Scizzor lift would be rather safe.

I’ve requested more quotes and told another company that I was quoted $880, ill just keep playing the quotes against different companies to see how low I can get it…for fucks sake, I searched avg prices on google and the quote I got was put of range on the high end.
[/quote]

If you don’t feel safe fifteen feet up a ladder a scissor lift won’t feel safe on any but the flattest surfaces. You have to consider that any angle at all will be magnified. You can probably rent scaffolding pretty cheaply though.

Gutters and gutter covers seem to be something people get gouged on because of the height thing. If you do use a ladder use a spreader to give it a wider contact at the top.

Also, gutter covers are a good idea unless you plan on going up to clean them out at least once a year. My friend just did his own with an aluminum mesh product he bought from costco for around $300. He just got a quote for the same stuff installed and it was $4000.
[/quote]

Yes, I understand the bumps in the ground would sway the lift.

And scaffolding was another thought. For $880 I feel options open up.

I just hate the idea of dropping that much money for installation of <$100 in materials.[/quote]
You would be safer on a ladder if you elect to do it yourself. Plus purchasing (or even better, borrowing) a 15 foot ladder would be cheaper than renting a scissor lift for the day. [/quote]

Most contractors aren’t playing on anyone’s fears. They have overhead. They should have WSIB (or US equivalent) which costs quite a bit. They should also have liability insurance etc. In addition to that is the fact that they aren’t non-profit organizations. They buy materials and mark them up. They pay their installers, their over-head and wage expenses and mark them up.

If you can do it, have at it but don’t expect a contractor to do it for what you’d pay for material.

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
I need gutters

[/quote]

I have a house similar in age to you, and had the same problem.

I, however, have some fancy woodwork around the edges of my roof I didn’t want to cover with gutters.

So what I did was dig up around my foundation about 4-6" where the rain rolled off, and put down rubber runner. The side of the rubber runner that is near the foundation slopes up to meet the foundation, and then I put the dirt back on top of the rubber runner on the side that runs away from the house. So when the rain falls, it absorbs into the grass on top of the runner, and has no where to drain except away from my house…

Planted bushes in front of the runner and haven’t looked back. Pretty sure it cost me like $50, and if I did the whole house (which I didn’t have to due to only one side leaking) it would be like $200 tops.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
I need gutters

[/quote]

I have a house similar in age to you, and had the same problem.

I, however, have some fancy woodwork around the edges of my roof I didn’t want to cover with gutters.

So what I did was dig up around my foundation about 4-6" where the rain rolled off, and put down rubber runner. The side of the rubber runner that is near the foundation slopes up to meet the foundation, and then I put the dirt back on top of the rubber runner on the side that runs away from the house. So when the rain falls, it absorbs into the grass on top of the runner, and has no where to drain except away from my house…

Planted bushes in front of the runner and haven’t looked back. Pretty sure it cost me like $50, and if I did the whole house (which I didn’t have to due to only one side leaking) it would be like $200 tops. [/quote]

My neighbor suggested the ground gutter idea…I like it, it’s absolutely a possibility. I just need to get a few more quotes to help steer my decision.

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
I need gutters

First quote was $880 (playing on people’s fears of heights?)

The gutters themselves are cheap as fuck (aluminum, nothing fancy)

The edge of my roof is 15 ft high (I wouldn’t fucks with a ladder this high)

What do you think about renting a Scizzor lift ($150/day) to put the gutters up myself?[/quote]

Scissor lifts are great on flat smooth concrete floors.

Unless your house is surrounded by smooth flat concrete floors, it will not work.

Some things are worth paying for to get done. I used to do residential tree cutting and removal, and have numerous stories of people who didn’t hire a professional first and ended up paying for it the hard way.

For gutters, the guys will throw up the ladders and possibly staging, bang it out and be done in a few hours tops, nice and neat. No messy hospital visits or leaky badly pitched gutters.
[/quote]

Is there anyway to make a scizzor lift work
On flat grass?

I need about 110ft total. $500 is about the high end of reasonable, I was thinking. I feel like a Scizzor lift would be rather safe.

I’ve requested more quotes and told another company that I was quoted $880, ill just keep playing the quotes against different companies to see how low I can get it…for fucks sake, I searched avg prices on google and the quote I got was put of range on the high end.
[/quote]

The deal with gutters is that they only come in 10’ sections for the DIY crowd. Meaning you’ll have seams here and there. And they have to be pitched right. You also have to consider what they’re nailed to, is the wood in good shape?

Find out what the price per linear foot is in your area, some companies will tell you up front. Leaders and crap like that are add-ons. Shop it around and take the lowest price.

Rob

[quote]ouroboro_s wrote:

[quote]bpick86 wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
I need gutters

First quote was $880 (playing on people’s fears of heights?)

The gutters themselves are cheap as fuck (aluminum, nothing fancy)

The edge of my roof is 15 ft high (I wouldn’t fucks with a ladder this high)

What do you think about renting a Scizzor lift ($150/day) to put the gutters up myself?[/quote]

Scissor lifts are great on flat smooth concrete floors.

Unless your house is surrounded by smooth flat concrete floors, it will not work.

Some things are worth paying for to get done. I used to do residential tree cutting and removal, and have numerous stories of people who didn’t hire a professional first and ended up paying for it the hard way.

For gutters, the guys will throw up the ladders and possibly staging, bang it out and be done in a few hours tops, nice and neat. No messy hospital visits or leaky badly pitched gutters.
[/quote]

Is there anyway to make a scizzor lift work
On flat grass?

I need about 110ft total. $500 is about the high end of reasonable, I was thinking. I feel like a Scizzor lift would be rather safe.

I’ve requested more quotes and told another company that I was quoted $880, ill just keep playing the quotes against different companies to see how low I can get it…for fucks sake, I searched avg prices on google and the quote I got was put of range on the high end.
[/quote]

If you don’t feel safe fifteen feet up a ladder a scissor lift won’t feel safe on any but the flattest surfaces. You have to consider that any angle at all will be magnified. You can probably rent scaffolding pretty cheaply though.

Gutters and gutter covers seem to be something people get gouged on because of the height thing. If you do use a ladder use a spreader to give it a wider contact at the top.

Also, gutter covers are a good idea unless you plan on going up to clean them out at least once a year. My friend just did his own with an aluminum mesh product he bought from costco for around $300. He just got a quote for the same stuff installed and it was $4000.
[/quote]

Yes, I understand the bumps in the ground would sway the lift.

And scaffolding was another thought. For $880 I feel options open up.

I just hate the idea of dropping that much money for installation of <$100 in materials.[/quote]
You would be safer on a ladder if you elect to do it yourself. Plus purchasing (or even better, borrowing) a 15 foot ladder would be cheaper than renting a scissor lift for the day. [/quote]

Most contractors aren’t playing on anyone’s fears. They have overhead. They should have WSIB (or US equivalent) which costs quite a bit. They should also have liability insurance etc. In addition to that is the fact that they aren’t non-profit organizations. They buy materials and mark them up. They pay their installers, their over-head and wage expenses and mark them up.

If you can do it, have at it but don’t expect a contractor to do it for what you’d pay for material.
[/quote]

If I can get a quote for under $500 ill probably pull the trigger. $880 for 110 ft is pretty ridiculous . I understand the concept of markup, but the only reason I could see them charging that high is cause they know most people don’t like heights and are willing to pay to have it done

I do have the old wiring PHYSICALLY in place but it is obselete and has no juice running through it

And thanks for your post, that’s what I’m talkinbout!! You’ve down quite a few things in a rather shirt amount of time. I have to have my furnace cleaned (radiant. Heat as well) but I see no reason to insulate the pipes ( heat would only be lost into the house, and then rise)

And could you elaborate on the tub? Mine is claw foot and I noticed it has some cracks ( nothing too serious I don’t think)