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Old 03-05-2018, 08:22 AM
 
Location: New Britain, CT
892 posts, read 404,850 times
Reputation: 1418

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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
Oh, one last thing - the weird short first step in the stairs is probably due to addition of flooring on the first floor on top of what was already there.

You fix this by figuring out how much needs to be added at the bottom, dividing it by the number of steps, and then adding progressively less to each step as you go up. Then you got hold of a bunch of plywood of different thicknesses and build up each step a different amount till they are all the same height. Then you put down carpet over the whole thing. Tedious but cheap to fix. Gotta be able to do arithmetic.
The short step is at the TOP landing
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:32 AM
 
9,289 posts, read 4,348,042 times
Reputation: 25925
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG2 View Post
The short step is at the TOP landing
OK, so that one you have to figure out why it's short. Was it a construction error, or has someone added a bunch of material to each step?

Worst case, you strip off all the "stuff", measure carefully, figure out how much each step needs to come down, and then one by one you pull each step, cut some off the sawtooth stringer, reinstall that step, repeat. Tedious but not very expensive. Probably want to buy a sawzall unless you can borrow one from someone for a couple weeks.

Depending on how the stairs come out at the top, you might want to raise that last step and all the ones below it so you end up with one fewer steps than before, each step being taller.

Anyway, it's the sort of thing you spend several weeks looking at, and one week fixing, and then you are done.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
8,407 posts, read 5,089,434 times
Reputation: 22221
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG2 View Post
Will be interesting the first time he goes to work at 2pm with under 2 inches on the ground, then gets home at 1am or later with 8 inches on the ground and he can't get into the driveway with the Hyundai. Good luck to him shoveling this....and Diana, this is why he will need a backpack blower....can't run 300ft of cord. Maybe he wants this look. I wouldn't. Tick heaven too.....
Oh good heavens. I live up a half-mile gravel road on acreage. No one plows it... When it snows, we deal with it.

We understand... you'd rather live in a duplex in town. I know how to find a place for YOU now. But you're not the one looking!
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:50 AM
 
Location: New Britain, CT
892 posts, read 404,850 times
Reputation: 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
When my parents got married my father had just come out of the Navy on a partial disability after a nervous breakdown and numerous rounds of electroshock therapy. My mother was 19 years old and had no high school diploma because she quit school to embark on a jailbreak marriage at 17 to get out of her father's house.

After they spent about 6 years living in a variety of boarding houses, etc., while my mother got her GED and my father bounced from job to job, they bought a small lot in an undesirable town fairly far from the city center. My father and my uncle then proceeded to build a house. I don't mean they hired a contractor with a crew to build it. I mean they BUILT the house. They hired a concrete guy for the foundation, framed, roofed and sided the thing themselves, did most of the plumbing and electrical with advice from friends in the trades. I know they hired a floor guy to lay the floors and tile the bathroom. Taping, bedding, texturing, and painting was a family affair including my mother (who helped with that when she got home after working a full day as a typist and/or attending college classes). That is the house where I was born.

My mother finished a master's degree going to night school much of the time and driving 30-45 minutes each way to work or school in whatever piece of crap car they could afford to keep running. Parts by Sears and Roebuck, mechanic labor by my father, of course.

You know what? When you don't have things handed to you, and you are young and broke, and you want to get ahead, this is the kind of thing you do.

When I was 4 years old, my parents finally could afford a house closer to their work; a 900 sq.ft. 2 bedroom 1 bath house in a bad neighborhood. The house was already 30 years old and showing every minute of it. As far as I know, there was not a single hired repair person in that house until after I graduated high school, except for the guy who put down new flooring in the kitchen. Oh by the way, my parents were divorced in that period, my mother was single for a while (relying on my grandfather and her best friend's boyfriend to take care of the heavier house repairs during that period) until she remarried.

I think a young guy who has trained as a pipefitter can surely borrow a stick welder and weld in a new support column; or build a railing around the rear "deck/porch" or whatever it is; or figure out how to fix a well pump; or scour around and find the best deal for a honey truck for the septic system. They will probably make some mistakes. The whole marriage/job/house/baby may come crashing down.

Or, alternately, they may put in tons of work and end up with a house and land that is suited to what they want, and that they can truly say they've made their own.

Part of being a young adult is having to work like a dog sometimes in the hope (not the guarantee) of later getting what you want. Sounds to me like they are willing to take that chance.

Just as one example: you mention "it costs 600-800 to put through-the-roof vents in". Your step son is physically healthy and of at least average intelligence. He can go to the hardware store, buy some roof top vents, ductwork, aluminum tape, flashing, and roofing cement, plus a ladder, climb on the roof and do the work. If he screws something up and it leaks, he'll have to climb back on the roof and fix the screw-up. So what? If I can do this, a 56 year old guy with two bad shoulders and two bad knees, a 20 something stud can certainly do it. And it will cost a heck of a lot less, and he will learn something about putting in a roof penetration.

Quite honestly I don't see anything in your list that I wouldn't have torn into by myself when I was 22. And if the driveway and snow get to be too much, they'll get rid of the compact car and get a 15 year old 4 wheel drive full size pickup with a plow blade.
The vents, the septic, the well, the mold, etc. those are things that the SELLER needs to remedy before the sale can proceed. After the fact doesn't cut it, especially the mold and well. Friday morning (inspection was Thursday afternoon), stepson, if wife told me correctly, gave the sellers 5 days to fix things. The seller couldn't even get quotes in 5 days, let alone fix anything. The kids will be tapped out if this gets to closing. I don't doubt the kid could fix stuff (his father can't though), but I don't see where he's going to get the money to buy materials, tools, yard equipment, paint, etc.

They'll either figure it out or go broke trying.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:51 AM
 
9,289 posts, read 4,348,042 times
Reputation: 25925
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG2 View Post
Well, one analysis I haven't thought about is if they do all of the renovations then decide to flip, would they make money, or lose money?

If the bank tells them that they can afford a $220,000 mortgage on a 2400 square foot house, and neither has lived in a house bigger than 1300 square feet, why not get a 1300-1500 house for a $140,000 mortgage and live comfortably, instead of no money for furniture, no money for an inexpensive family vacation, no going to Applebees once a month for a family dinner? having a big house with empty rooms because they can't afford furniture and no money to paint the exterior does not sound like a good plan.

Oh, somebody mentioned house warming.... we are thinking the gas grill, or a lawnmower (but I have an abandoned mower in my dad's basement that a $30 carb kit will fix would be what we would provide.
If you want to be helpful, a lawn mower OR some useful tools the kid doesn't already have, would be a better choice than a gas grill which no one really needs. Does the stepson have a circular saw? Variable speed reversible drill? Good sharp hand saw? A quality claw hammer? Trouble light? Extension cords? A couple of medium quality wood chisels will go a lot further than you might think.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:01 AM
 
9,289 posts, read 4,348,042 times
Reputation: 25925
As far as a backpack leaf blower: You know they have these things nowadays, they're called "rakes".

Houses were built in New England with long driveways and lots of trees from the early 1600s until now. The backpack leaf blower was only invented in the 1970s. Think about it.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
8,407 posts, read 5,089,434 times
Reputation: 22221
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG2 View Post
The vents, the septic, the well, the mold, etc. those are things that the SELLER needs to remedy before the sale can proceed. After the fact doesn't cut it, especially the mold and well. Friday morning (inspection was Thursday afternoon), stepson, if wife told me correctly, gave the sellers 5 days to fix things. The seller couldn't even get quotes in 5 days, let alone fix anything. The kids will be tapped out if this gets to closing. I don't doubt the kid could fix stuff (his father can't though), but I don't see where he's going to get the money to buy materials, tools, yard equipment, paint, etc.

They'll either figure it out or go broke trying.
I don't know your contracts, but our contracts say the seller has X number of days to either agree to do the repairs requested, reject them, or offer some compromise. They don't have to have the repairs FINISHED, only to agree to do them or not. They probably have more time... up until closing, to actually get the work done.

5 days to get it done just isn't practical.

Last edited by Diana Holbrook; 03-05-2018 at 10:13 AM..
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:14 AM
 
399 posts, read 395,495 times
Reputation: 811
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG2 View Post
Will be interesting the first time he goes to work at 2pm with under 2 inches on the ground, then gets home at 1am or later with 8 inches on the ground and he can't get into the driveway with the Hyundai. Good luck to him shoveling this....and Diana, this is why he will need a backpack blower....can't run 300ft of cord. Maybe he wants this look. I wouldn't. Tick heaven too.....

I dunno. After reading the entire thread, the only conclusion I've come to is you are enjoying pointing out all the downfalls of this place way too much. You are taking an odd amount of glee in pointing out all the stuff that YOU couldn't live with, and are prone to exaggeration of costs and dramatic what-ifs. Maybe that's why "mama bear" (as you refer to her) gets defensive when you start pointing things out to her. That's something to consider.


Half the things that are insurmountable issues to you are the realities of living in the country. Dark at night, leaves on the driveway, neighbors that aren't next door, power going out on occasion. You don't need to blow your leaves, and I snowblow a driveway longer that that with a $200 blower. With a gravel driveway, you just raise the skid shoes to an inch and call it a day. Driveway snowed in when he gets home? Park at the end and walk to the house.

I'm impressed they have that much of a down payment saved up at that age. They are definitely doing something right.
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Southeast TN
628 posts, read 418,921 times
Reputation: 1983
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWG1572 View Post
I dunno. After reading the entire thread, the only conclusion I've come to is you are enjoying pointing out all the downfalls of this place way too much. You are taking an odd amount of glee in pointing out all the stuff that YOU couldn't live with, and are prone to exaggeration of costs and dramatic what-ifs. Maybe that's why "mama bear" (as you refer to her) gets defensive when you start pointing things out to her. That's something to consider.


Half the things that are insurmountable issues to you are the realities of living in the country. Dark at night, leaves on the driveway, neighbors that aren't next door, power going out on occasion. You don't need to blow your leaves, and I snowblow a driveway longer that that with a $200 blower. With a gravel driveway, you just raise the skid shoes to an inch and call it a day. Driveway snowed in when he gets home? Park at the end and walk to the house.

I'm impressed they have that much of a down payment saved up at that age. They are definitely doing something right.
Yes, and it's not his first thread of this either. It's pretty clear why this poor couple wants to move out to the country/woods.
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:14 AM
 
1,051 posts, read 639,785 times
Reputation: 2783
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG2 View Post
Will be interesting the first time he goes to work at 2pm with under 2 inches on the ground, then gets home at 1am or later with 8 inches on the ground and he can't get into the driveway with the Hyundai. Good luck to him shoveling this....and Diana, this is why he will need a backpack blower....can't run 300ft of cord. Maybe he wants this look. I wouldn't. Tick heaven too.....
That’s it? And he can’t shovel that because....?

Here I was thinking it must be a quarter mile long to justify the sturm und drang on your part. The slope would worry me more, but if they use chains or just park it at the bottom when it is icy they’ll be fine.
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