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Old 03-04-2018, 10:14 PM
 
5,131 posts, read 3,683,120 times
Reputation: 7203

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
Unpaved driveway and wooden landscape timbers are a deal breaker? Really? Fascinating.

Very few of the places I visit in the country have paved driveways.

Perspective is everything!
I lived with a gravel driveway for eight years. Speaking from experience, unpaved driveways can be tough on snowblowers. Wooden timbers in contact with the ground will always become a problem, sooner more often than later. I've dealt with that too. The bottom line is both represent the cheap way out and since I no longer have to be cheap these days, I avoid those conditions.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
8,418 posts, read 5,106,217 times
Reputation: 22237
So now we are adding to the list of things required in a first home .... no wooden steps because they won't last forever, and no gravel driveways because they're too hard on our snowblower.

Got it!
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:06 AM
 
Location: New Britain, CT
892 posts, read 405,543 times
Reputation: 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagemomma View Post
OP, are you going to end up subsidizing this fiasco? Because that is what it looks like to me. Those young people don't need a house that size, or a responsibility that daunting. I don't blame you for wanting them to be more cautious.
No, and I agree
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:31 AM
 
1,051 posts, read 640,608 times
Reputation: 2783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
So now we are adding to the list of things required in a first home .... no wooden steps because they won't last forever, and no gravel driveways because they're too hard on our snowblower.

Got it!
I know right? I lived in the frozen north for years with no snow blower and a big driveway: my husband just *gasp* shoveled it. And my kids helped. It’s not the end of the world and very common for able bodied younger people, especially if the driveway is wide is isn’t really a good shape to snow blow
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:41 AM
 
Location: New Britain, CT
892 posts, read 405,543 times
Reputation: 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtkinsonDan View Post
My current home was a foreclosure purchase and honestly I would run away from the house posted in the OP. The unpaved driveway and the wooden walkway/front steps make me suspicious that shortcuts were taken when this house was built. It just looks like a house that will present many problems over the years.
In that area, most driveways are gravel. The $1,000 size snowblower will probably be undersized for that huge driveway, and the gravel will wreck it no matter how high he sets the skids. He'll think he can shovel it anyway. That part of the state received maybe 4 "plowable" storms this winter and we aren't done yet.

Not a fan of the timber steps either, but I was ignoring that feature. Too narrow and no railings. I think 95% of the time they will be entering through the garage and basement anyway. And the steps are near replacement time. Good thing the retaining wall by the garage is poured concrete.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Georgia
4,574 posts, read 4,578,018 times
Reputation: 15858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
Unpaved driveway and wooden landscape timbers are a deal breaker? Really? Fascinating.

Very few of the places I visit in the country have paved driveways.

Perspective is everything!

Agree. It may be completely typical of the neighborhood, especially with that acreage.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:04 AM
 
9,328 posts, read 4,383,768 times
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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 OK, I wasn't literally born in the house, I was born in the hospital, but you know what I mean).

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. (Oh by the way, by that time my father had already had several heart attacks and was increasingly unable to work due to constant angina.) 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.

Last edited by turf3; 03-05-2018 at 08:36 AM..
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:11 AM
 
9,328 posts, read 4,383,768 times
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I went back and looked at the pictures.

1) Are you seriously concerned about the front steps being made of landscape timbers? There ARE front steps. Lots of houses (including, probably, this one when it was new) have no steps at all, just a sloping walk of gravel. When the timbers rot - NEWS FLASH - you get some new ones and replace them one by one. Only the ones in contact with the ground are going to rot, anyway.

2) Are you seriously concerned that the back door has three wooden steps with no railings? I thought you must have been talking about some long rickety flight of stairs with 15 feet of height. And you really think it will cost more than $1000 to address this non-issue? $75 of pressure treated 2 x 4s, lag bolts, and an afternoon. If no one has a circular saw, either the kid borrows one from a buddy at work, or does it with a hand saw, or buys an el cheapo for $50. Or buys a good one for $25 at a pawn shop (where I got an awful lot of my tools).

3) I agree the driveway is going to be a pain a few times a year. I can't tell how old the house is, but do you think that people who lived in that part of the country in 1940 had gas powered snowblowers? I don't think so. When he gets tired of shoveling, he will start saving money to buy something to deal with it; like an old truck with a plow blade.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:19 AM
 
9,328 posts, read 4,383,768 times
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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.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:21 AM
 
Location: New Britain, CT
892 posts, read 405,543 times
Reputation: 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmooky View Post
I know right? I lived in the frozen north for years with no snow blower and a big driveway: my husband just *gasp* shoveled it. And my kids helped. It’s not the end of the world and very common for able bodied younger people, especially if the driveway is wide is isn’t really a good shape to snow blow
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.....

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