Homeownership - Maintenance, Building, Updating, Renos, etc.

Discussion in 'The Hens' Nest' started by Fitz, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. Fitz

    Fitz Leslie Knope Monster

    I thought I'd make something separate than the home buying thread, especially since I know @Doom&Sparkles is out of the "buying" and into the renovation stage, and there are a lot of chickens who have done some serious work on their homes.

    I have a question, both as a first-time owner and as someone with very little knowledge of what it takes to maintain a building.

    Last year we had a serious ice dam on a gutter (the gutter was encased in a gigantic layer of ice). It eventually broke off, damaged our neighbor's building and one of the cars of the people who live in our building. We had the gutters checked out late in the fall, and the contractor diagnosed the issue, replaced/cleaned our gutters, and we thought we were fine. Turns out, we weren't. The work was done in December. Later that month, we had a rainstorm, and similar to before replacement, we had water pouring off the roof into the backyard, because the gutters overflowed. With the snow a few days ago, and the bitter cold we've had, the base of the gutter that broke off last year was already frozen in a layer of ice (I salted the crap out of it yesterday morning and was able to break the ice away last night).

    My question, after this long-winded explanation, is this. If the contractor supposedly did work that was going to fix these issues, what can we do as a condo association? The guy who lives downstairs, who got the contractor to do the work in the first place, was in touch again, and the guy wants the same amount of money we paid last time to install another gutter, which he says will take care of the issue. Shouldn't he have done this already? Can we be a squeaky wheel and say, "Look dude, you told us that your diagnosis would fix the issue and it didn't." Like I said, I've never dealt with this before, so I want to hear from others more familiar with owning property who may have some advice.
     
  2. Glen Coco

    Glen Coco Chicken

    What a pain! Especially since we're potentially getting a nasty storm this weekend!

    I'd check your roof insulation. If it's poorly insulated, you're losing heat through your attic space and it's causing ice dams to form. Most ice dams are formed by inadequate insulation, rather than the gutters themselves. Although, with the relatively snowless winter we've had, maybe that isn't your problem at all. Maybe it's time to get a second opinion. Yuck! I'm sorry!

    We have poor insulation in our attic, so we just stay on top of the ice dams and knock them down when they start to form. It's not ideal.
     
  3. TaterTot

    TaterTot Rulebitch Staff Member

    This is totally where my fireplace remote anecdote belongs.

    @Fitz Yes, be as squeaky a wheel as you can or want to be. You shouldn't be on the hook if the guy stands behind his work, and I think you have a better chance of seeing results since you're an association (even if you're a small one). Go ahead and throw your weight around (like threatening to take to your complaint to the state's AG or the BBB or small claims court). The worst he can do is say no, then you find someone else. BFD.

    That said, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar so definitely ask nicely first, but do whatcha gotta do.
     
  4. TaterTot

    TaterTot Rulebitch Staff Member

    AFM, it's always something. We negotiated for our washer and dryer when we bought our house last year because they're really expensive models and we didn't want to have to buy new ones right after we moved in and had two mortgage payments, and the washer is a piece of shit. As little as two towels in an average load will throw the whole thing "off balance" so that the cycle stops when the clothes are sopping wet, and then I have to run another rinse and spin (at least another 30 minutes, when the cycles are already well over an hour). Also, the rubber around the front-loading door gets super moldy if I don't leave the door open to dry after a load and/or spray bleach-water on the rubber. Just such a pain in the ass, and there's really nothing we can do about it because it's not worth replacing until it really goes kaput . . . but I can still bitch about it. Because I probably do 7-10 loads of laundry in a given week, and it's always in my face.
     
  5. Fitz

    Fitz Leslie Knope Monster

    Well, the really sucky thing is that we are holding on accepting the estimate and starting the work because our former neighbor whose building was damaged last year is taking the association to small claims court. We're pretty positive the judge will rule in our favor, but we don't want to spend a bunch of money if we're going to have to pay a bunch of money (the court date is in early February).

    I'm not dealing with the contractor directly, our downstairs neighbor has been. The issue is he now says he needs to install an extra gutter, which he didn't think or say he needed to with the past work. I'll be the squeaky wheel with the association first, and tell Mr. Downstairs to be as nice as possible, and for now ask for an explanation as to why this work wasn't done in December, or part of that work order. I imagine that it would have been much less total had the new gutter been installed with the replacements than it is having him and his men come again.
     
  6. CoolWife

    CoolWife Chicken

    Squeak all day, Fitz. And get a second opinion if he couldn't fix it the first time.

    As for next time - my ex used to fill old hose (pantyhose) up with driveway salt and put it in his gutters where they would freeze. It was super trashy but it did work.
     
    Social Piranha likes this.
  7. TaterTot

    TaterTot Rulebitch Staff Member

    That sounds like a good plan of attack!
     
  8. Roo

    Roo Chicken

    That is exactly what I would do.
     
  9. Doom&Sparkles

    Doom&Sparkles Chicken

    Fitz I have unfortunately nothing in the advice world to offer you! I've never even HEARD of an ice dam on a gutter. Good luck getting it all straightened out. I would definitely bring it up to the first contractor on why that work wasn't done the first go-round. Or get a second opinion. It really sucks that his initial fix didn't end up working and he has the gall to say he can fix it this time around too.

    I find this thread super timely, lol. We just started refinishing the hardwoods on the 2nd floor today. My god, the dust. J got us suited up in hazmat suits and super-protective masks and goggles. Also he keeps going to Home Depot and coming home with lighting fixtures that he knows I like. Last night it was a new chandelier and tonight its a vanity fixture for the upstairs bathroom. I love this man.
     
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  10. Doom&Sparkles

    Doom&Sparkles Chicken

    Its been busy at the House of Doom. We're basically done refinishing the upstairs hardwood floors, the final coat of poly went on over the weekend. We re-opened up the original interior doorway to the upstairs, so now we can access the second floor from the inside! The sunroom got some work too...removed the flooring, half of the knotty pine walls, the drop tile ceiling, the custom cabinets and the closet. We move in for reals this week, and my next project is painting the sunroom, putting in the flooring, and then removing the yellow tiles from the kitchen walls. Its a bit overwhelming at times but we're making progress.
     
    Erie likes this.
  11. Fitz

    Fitz Leslie Knope Monster

    That's awesome, Doom! Can't wait to see the finished product. You've been working so hard on this!
     
  12. whatchyagonnado

    whatchyagonnado Chicken

    So we have painted, stained the cabinets, installed new counters, bought new fixtures/sink/handles, new light fixture, ect and added beadboard to the island.

    Today, we finally finished the kitchen by buying new appliances!
     
  13. Manhands

    Manhands definitely an asshole

    OMG......a place where I can cry about my money pit and the money I'm spending. We're getting ready to have our enclosed porch renovated. I'd much rather spend the money on a road trip. Waah.
     
  14. Doom&Sparkles

    Doom&Sparkles Chicken

  15. Meatz

    Meatz Roma Basic

    I spent my weekend fixing my flower beds, power washing my decks and refinishing my wooden park benches. I pruned my juniper shrubs for the first time and had a massive allergic reaction. Thankfully, I have no reaction to gin.
     
  16. antisocialite

    antisocialite Chicken

    We are hoping to move soon which means putting the house on the market. If you were looking to buy, where would your preferences be? The main things that we think would be helpful are painting the 3rd full bath we never use (its gross tan with spackling patches) or replacing the crap laminate countertops in the kitchen. Perhaps both. Personally I'd probably prefer countertops be done because paint is easy/cheap to change, but on the other hand I would like to pick my own countertops. The master bath was remodeled 1 1/2 years ago (full gut/replace) and all the toilets are new Kohlers. Carpet needs replacing but we'd rather give a credit, because the cat would just destroy any new carpet we put in. We aren't replacing kitchen appliances (unless they break in the interim).
     
  17. Doom&Sparkles

    Doom&Sparkles Chicken

    I'd do both. New paint and new countertops would go a long way.
     
  18. antisocialite

    antisocialite Chicken

    I think we'll definitely paint. Would you prefer a credit situation for countertops? I just wonder if my taste would match a buyers, and yeah, neutrals can work, but even with neutrals, I know I have a preference toward grays/blacks where others prefer whites/tans. So I don't know what I'd choose! The cabinets are white, light gray walls with a brick red accent wall. light hardwood floors. So maybe a gray-toned counter would work well.
     
  19. Doom&Sparkles

    Doom&Sparkles Chicken

    You could do a credit for the countertop too. I'm like you, I want to pick my own countertops rather than what the prior decided they just looooooved. ;-)
     
  20. fantasynerd

    fantasynerd Extra Extra

    Depends on the price range, sometimes just having something already done is really nice. But we weren't in an area with a lot of credits.

    I will say, we'd looked at a lot of flipped houses, including ours, and I hated updated things done poorly. For countertops, I got really sick of the ugly !granite! which I'm positive is the cheapest possible granite, so don't do that.
     
  21. Doom&Sparkles

    Doom&Sparkles Chicken

    Or wood laminate/engineered wood floors poorly laid, so that they are bubbling and popping up in odd places. That drives me nuts.
     
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  22. whatchyagonnado

    whatchyagonnado Chicken

  23. Canaligator

    Canaligator Barbie Police

    Love it!!!
     
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  24. BigFatGoalie

    BigFatGoalie Chicken

    Love yellow kitchens!
     
    whatchyagonnado likes this.
  25. Zoomzoom

    Zoomzoom Old Curmudgeon

    Getting a new furnace installed tomorrow despite only moving in 8 months ago to an 8 year old house. I'm not amused by the previous owners' crappy maintenance and the fact that the builders used a few year old furnace when they built this place so the thing is out of warranty. On the plus side we're also getting the natural gas line extended so we can get a new BBQ and possibly a fire table.

    ETA - @antisocialite Unless the paint is really bad, I wouldn't bother with either and just give a credit for the counters. A lot of people repaint when they move in anyways. Our house was red, bright coral, hot pink, teal, green, and their "neutral" was pale yellow when we bought it. It was truly tough to overlook, but we did so I'm sure one bathroom won't be a big deal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016

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