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Old 07-04-2018, 04:30 PM
 
73 posts, read 36,831 times
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Hi, we live in an area with no water trouble, and our bill, including trash, is $50 a month for our water use. Our electricity bill avgs at about $150, and our gas is $35. I'm reading that water is much more expensive, there since you guys have water shortage. Would you guys, preferably those with kids (lots of laundry), mind sharing an avg of your monthly utilities/water/gas/garbage? We're trying to budget our move. Are there any other secret bills that we may be missing, besides phone/internet, of course. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,640 posts, read 3,053,074 times
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Obviously, there's a lot of variables in an answer - age of house, insulation and window factors, furnace and AC efficiency, landscaping needs and of course family patterns.

AFAIK gas and electricity are about average for temperate US cities. Water does tend to be very expensive here, especially as you get into higher tiers of usage. A family of six could get up there every month. Check the local water company site for tiers and costs and estimate it against your historical usage - it's not likely to change much unless you make changes in your habits and lifestyle.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:06 PM
 
73 posts, read 36,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
Obviously, there's a lot of variables in an answer - age of house, insulation and window factors, furnace and AC efficiency, landscaping needs and of course family patterns.

AFAIK gas and electricity are about average for temperate US cities. Water does tend to be very expensive here, especially as you get into higher tiers of usage. A family of six could get up there every month. Check the local water company site for tiers and costs and estimate it against your historical usage - it's not likely to change much unless you make changes in your habits and lifestyle.
True on all you said. I don't know why I didn't think of looking up the avg myself. Sheesh! I'm so shocked by the water prices. One of my acquaintances pays $150 to $200 a month. It's totally understandable, though. As for heating and cooling, we have a lot of research to do. Someone told me that forced air heat is not necessarily the best thing. She swears by wood burning furnace. Thanks for your reply.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:27 PM
 
Location: The analog world
17,086 posts, read 9,873,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n0tsomuch View Post
True on all you said. I don't know why I didn't think of looking up the avg myself. Sheesh! I'm so shocked by the water prices. One of my acquaintances pays $150 to $200 a month. It's totally understandable, though. As for heating and cooling, we have a lot of research to do. Someone told me that forced air heat is not necessarily the best thing. She swears by wood burning furnace. Thanks for your reply.
A wood-burning furnace? In the Denver metro? You're not likely to find that in the city or suburbs. We pretty much all have forced air heat. You will, however, want to ensure that whichever house you rent or purchase has a functioning whole house humidifier. Yes, a humidifier, not a dehumidifier.

My house gets its water from Denver Water. We have low-water appliances and a fairly small yard. In the winter, our water bill hovers around $35/month. In the summer, it's typically about $125.

As for HVAC costs, my a/c runs on solar-generated electricity, so my electric bill is minimal, consisting only of connection fees. My natural gas bill hit its high point in January, and it was $120. My house contains ~1800 sq. ft. of finished space.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:08 AM
 
73 posts, read 36,831 times
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Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
A wood-burning furnace? In the Denver metro? You're not likely to find that in the city or suburbs. We pretty much all have forced air heat. You will, however, want to ensure that whichever house you rent or purchase has a functioning whole house humidifier. Yes, a humidifier, not a dehumidifier.

My house gets its water from Denver Water. We have low-water appliances and a fairly small yard. In the winter, our water bill hovers around $35/month. In the summer, it's typically about $125.

As for HVAC costs, my a/c runs on solar-generated electricity, so my electric bill is minimal, consisting only of connection fees. My natural gas bill hit its high point in January, and it was $120. My house contains ~1800 sq. ft. of finished space.
Ha! Never, in my wildest dreams, would I imagine buying a humidifier! haha! In New Orleans, we wake up to our papers and the inside floor damp, sometimes. Though, this was in an older house.

We'll be renting, at first, so this is stuff we'll figure out along the way. We've never had to conserve water before, but we do make some efforts. Our family uses less than 50 gallons per day, and I think we could even do more. It's a good practice, anyway. My kids do the dishes, so right there, we know that they wait 'til the very last minute to unload and load the dishwasher. The dishwasher ends up looking like the Beverly Hillbillies truck filled to the brim. With so many people, we do laundry every other day. I bet we could spread that out even more. We also reuse towels a few times, maybe gross, not sure. And, we train our kids at young ages to shower, rather than bathe.

Stupid question, why does the water bill go up so much in the summer? Do people water their lawns? Our bill in NOLA stays the same all year round. Oh Lord, except that one time we bought a small pool for the front yard. Yikes! I didn't even think about it! That was a fun month, though! hahaha! I'm sure there's a common sense answer, but this is so new to me that I have no clue. I know our electricity bill takes a spike during the summer, because of the constant use of AC. I'd expect that. Thanks for your reply. So much to learn about our soon to be home!
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:43 AM
 
Location: The analog world
17,086 posts, read 9,873,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n0tsomuch View Post
Ha! Never, in my wildest dreams, would I imagine buying a humidifier! haha! In New Orleans, we wake up to our papers and the inside floor damp, sometimes. Though, this was in an older house.

We'll be renting, at first, so this is stuff we'll figure out along the way. We've never had to conserve water before, but we do make some efforts. Our family uses less than 50 gallons per day, and I think we could even do more. It's a good practice, anyway. My kids do the dishes, so right there, we know that they wait 'til the very last minute to unload and load the dishwasher. The dishwasher ends up looking like the Beverly Hillbillies truck filled to the brim. With so many people, we do laundry every other day. I bet we could spread that out even more. We also reuse towels a few times, maybe gross, not sure. And, we train our kids at young ages to shower, rather than bathe.

Stupid question, why does the water bill go up so much in the summer? Do people water their lawns? Our bill in NOLA stays the same all year round. Oh Lord, except that one time we bought a small pool for the front yard. Yikes! I didn't even think about it! That was a fun month, though! hahaha! I'm sure there's a common sense answer, but this is so new to me that I have no clue. I know our electricity bill takes a spike during the summer, because of the constant use of AC. I'd expect that. Thanks for your reply. So much to learn about our soon to be home!
Yes, lawns and planting beds must be irrigated during the summer if you want them to survive, and we also water occasionally in the winter to ensure healthy trees and shrubs if there hasn't been sufficient snow. Many homes have built-in sprinkler systems that you can mostly set and forget, although landscape watering restrictions are a thing here, so you have to keep an eye on that. Sprinkler systems must be drained or blown out in the fall before the cold weather sets in. One thing to note is that this part of the metro region is served by more than just Denver Water, and the other companies have different pricing structures. As I recall, water in Douglas County is stunningly expensive.

The dryness here is likely to come as a bit of a shock to you, and there will be an adjustment period as you become accustomed to it. If we don't run our humidifier, the levels in the house can easily drop into the single digits, which is uncomfortable for your skin, eyes, and nasal passages. You'll find that you use a lot of lip balm and may even need moisturizing eye drops for the first time in your life, especially if your work requires staring at a screen for a good part of the day. A glass of water will be an ever-present companion.

You may or may not need to use a/c consistently through the summer. As I've gotten older, I run it more often because I tend to overheat, but because the temps drop when the sun goes down, you might find it appealing to leave your windows open at night throughout the summer and just close everything up and run the a/c during the day. That does have a downside, though, in that it means more dust and pollen in your house. Our house has both a/c and a whole house fan. We often use the whole house fan at night once the day's heat has subsided.

Last edited by randomparent; 07-05-2018 at 08:02 AM..
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:23 AM
 
985 posts, read 525,533 times
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Lawns are a big expensive pain in the ass here... Look for a place that is at least partially xeroscaped.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:27 AM
 
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Gas and electric for about a 3000 sq ft home averages about $100/month, but ranges from about $50 - $150 depending on the month.
Water for 2 people in the same house averages about $40/month and that includes sewer.

We do not have a lawn, but we have a humidifier. I wouldn't have a home with hardwood floors without it. Not in Colorado.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:02 AM
 
Location: In The Thin Air
12,282 posts, read 8,094,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
Gas and electric for about a 3000 sq ft home averages about $100/month, but ranges from about $50 - $150 depending on the month.
Water for 2 people in the same house averages about $40/month and that includes sewer.

We do not have a lawn, but we have a humidifier. I wouldn't have a home with hardwood floors without it. Not in Colorado.
I wish my gas and electric averaged $100 a month. With our finished basement we have just over 3,400 finished square feet. We have all the vents closed in the basement unless we are down there. We probably average $160 a month. The lowest bill I had was in May for just under $120. We have had a bill as high as $260 during a heat wave. Vaulted ceilings can really change the heating and cooling aspect of the house as well.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:08 AM
 
Location: In The Thin Air
12,282 posts, read 8,094,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by history nerd View Post
Lawns are a big expensive pain in the ass here... Look for a place that is at least partially xeroscaped.
I agree. Since buying our house in 2016 we have slowly eliminated half of the grass in the backyard for more plants and flowers that are built to survive this climate. We also put put in a garden with drips lines. We capped 4 sprinkler heads in the back that are no longer needed. We still have a decent lawn in the front. I would love to xeroscape it but I would need HOA approval first.
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