The Monkey's house build thread

Discussion in 'Build Ups & Projects' started by g36 monkey, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Alright, so as many of you know, I closed on my first house on June 19. [MENTION=19833]g36 monkeys wifey[/MENTION] also paid her car off on the same day, and will be coming to grace me with her presence!!

    Anyhow, found this house on the other side of town, about 30 mins from where I have lived all my life. The area is pretty nice, and it had a garage and they were not asking an outrageous price.

    Major pros:
    Brand new roof
    New carpet
    New paint inside and out
    New garage door/opener

    Cons:
    A/C - has to stay on almost all the time to keep the house remotely cool, it runs and runs and the temperature steadily rises. A/C techs estimated it to be a 6 SEER unit. By comparison, in my area you cannot buy anything less than a 14 SEER. On average, every SEER you increase will save approximately $25-$30 per month in energy; with that math this could save $200 monthly. Several A/C guys gave me that number.
    Water heater is old
    Water softener system is old and needs to be bypassed/removed or replaced
    Trees need to go
    Concrete porch needs to be removed and replaced
    Front lawn is toast

    There is an HOA in this neighborhood; however they are very lax from what I can tall. You will notice a lack of grass in the area.

    My realtor and I were out looking at houses, the first place I made an offer on went with a higher offer, so we were out looking around again. This ad happened to pop out while we were already out anyhow. We went over there and I made an offer that night with a few contingencies and they accepted. So, all the fun paperwork stuff in between and here we are.

    Anyhow, I will post up the pics from the ad, and then go into some of what we have done so far:



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    Alright, so as you may notice, the previous owners LOVE almond colored power stuff. I hate it. Decided that would be something I would do right away. I found out, this house has a lot of outlets and switches. We went with white throughout the house and stainless with black insert (switch/receptacle) in the kitchen.

    I am getting really good at these though and learning quite a bit. I have made a few mistakes along the way (3-pole switch, switched outlets) but it’s not too bad. Some of the stuff in the kitchen was more difficult mostly from the PO doing a pretty poor job on the tile work on the counters and then the metal plates are not nearly as forgiving as plastic. Anyhow:

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    As far I can tell, the fridge and stove are new, as well as the vent over the stove. The dishwasher here is recalled by GE, they are offering $150 to get a new GE, so we found a really nice stainless one on sale until the middle of July. I will probably be jumping on it because the recall is for a fire hazard. No thanks.

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    Sorry some of these are so blurry!

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    Alright, this was mine and my father’s first good day to work on the house. He was pressure washing while I mowed. I know it looks like mostly dirt but the weeds got tall while waiting for the closing and such. He pressure washed the whole driveway, front walk area, garage and the sidewalks.

    I made that giant pile. The person who lives behind me has some vines that were taking over the fence and growing over my shed. I took care of that and got rid of most of the already downed palm leaves. There is still a lot to be done in the yard.

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    Since we can see the mail box here, let’s talk about it. Of course it is an old crusty metal box. There are a few bottle rockets inside it where kids lit them off at some point. Hopefully I do not have that issue with the new box you will see later!

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    As you can see in the garage, they did not want to do the pipes correctly for the water heater, so they put it up on pavers. It was worse than this but I was able to remove the other 4 pavers. This will be corrected soon.
     
  2. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    The busted up pad I mentioned earlier is here. I need to get rid of some of the oaks to prevent them from causing this again.

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    After mowing, there’s my little shed. I want to add a secondary one to use more for regular storage and use that shed for lawn stuff.

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    All of this needs to go!

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    Side of the house; note the damage to the siding. I want to fix that ASAP.

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    The garage all cleared out for paint. I used the Rustoleum Rock Hard (I think) garage floor stuff. It says 20x stronger than epoxy. We’ll see.

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    This is the yard cat, he wants to help.

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    Right after painting…the product comes with 2 bags of the solution, so you get two goes at it. Basically, when I did the first bag I was trying to get all of the detail stuff knocked out, all of the sides/etc. Then my roller handle snapped so I had to do the rest on my hands/knees.

    I ended up running out of time (about 45 min work time) with a large amount of product still left in the bag. This meant I was a little thin on the second bag, unfortunately again. I also spilled some of the first bag by the water heater, so that’s where all that sloppiness happened.

    The edges came out nice and slick and glossy, the center part is just not thick enough to do the gloss. I may go back later, hit the middle with a sander and pop a second coat on it. It’s still better protected than bare concrete as is though.

    Next few pics are of the lock boxes. I gave the selling realtor more than a week to come remove his boxes, which I thought was ample time. My realtor told me to just go ahead and take care of them because he was not making the effort to come get them. So:

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    Alright so the following are some more shots of the inside. I have also taken some close-ups of the current outlets. Most of them look similar to what I post, so I think you will understand why I need to change all of them.

    Anyhow:

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    Too lazy to screw the switches to the box…Just put the plate on, that’ll be nice.

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    Almond with blue receptacles; I swear Ray Charles bought their first batch of receptacles.

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    The back room is an addition, so with that comes some of its own issues. I will say they did an excellent job on it but it probably needs some additional insulation and such. While doing the outlets in this room, I found all of these little dead baby wasps when I pulled the plate off. Neat. Hopefully it’s sealed better now!

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    Here is how the outlets in the kitchen turned out. I will get more pics once it’s all back together.

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    Kristin and I modded this mirror years ago. We stuffed a metal plate behind it so it can take magnets, we also made it to write on with markers. Really happy to finally have it hanging back up again! She helped me a great deal getting it up and mostly centered. Some of the measurements would have been in the 32nds, not worth getting that sharp for a mirror!

    Anyhow, that’s it so far.

    Right now Westbrook is set to come out next Wednesday, July 5 to do the air conditioner. It is currently a 2 ton unit for about 1400 square feet, they will be going with a 2.5 ton 14 SEER unit like I mentioned earlier. At the same time they will be doing a hybrid heat pump water heater. They cost more up front but cost significantly less to run. They take the ambient air and use it to heat the water, and the best part is they expel cold air! So it air conditions the garage!

    I will likely blow in some insulation in the attic because it has slim to none, but it might have to wait a bit.

    I sleep during the day so a healthy air conditioner is very important.

    I ordered everything to run low voltage Cat6 through the walls so I have wired connections for every room in the house. I will also be running speaker wire for surround through the walls to have a nice clean speaker installation.

    I am excited to knock that project out!

    Anyhow, thanks for looking. There is more to come!
     
  3. OLD H2S

    OLD H2S Active Member SN95 Supporter

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    I might ring you up for advice about Florida home amenities and situations.
     
  4. evilcw311

    evilcw311 Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a good starter home monkey. Anything low Voltage that you want to do make sure to check in with me before you buy and I can possibly help out with pricing/info. Audio, video, alarm, network, cameras...........any of that. I'm pretty sure there's an adi in Orlando that I can put stuff on will call for ya and get you wholesale pricing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. DKblue98GT

    DKblue98GT Active Member

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    Congrats on the new home!
     
  6. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Anything you need to know feel free to get with me! With my work it helps get a little knowledge about a little bit of everything :)

    I wish I would have thought of that. I bought a ton of stuff on Monoprice (actually, I made an incorrect order 2 times on the cat 6 cable so I will have 1000 feet to return lol!)

    If I need anything else I will get with you.

    Thank you!
     
  7. Burninriverdiver

    Burninriverdiver Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the new home, It's pretty cool to put money into improving something and actually add significant value to it! That garage should be pretty nice to have as well
     
  8. ElrodKTPQ_89

    ElrodKTPQ_89 Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the house dude, looks like you're a few steps farther along than me. Looks like you've got everything going your way too though, and good call on changing up that color.

    On a side note...that yard cat does not look like he wants to help lol.
     
  9. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Yea, I think had the seller done everything we have so far they would have been able to command a higher price for sure. Little things add up.

    Haha, well you are building a monster, not just a house :) So that will take a while!

    And Idk, usually strays don't hang around, this one just sat there watching me for quite a while haha!
     
  10. PinkieT

    PinkieT Active Member

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    Lots of work, but looks like well worth it! I ran across a picture of our house when I moved in 12 years ago and now, can't believe it is the same house. You will enjoy looking at something and saying " I did that!"
     
  11. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    That is one big reason I wanted to get a thread up and running so I can document it :)
     
  12. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Alright, so I have done quite a bit in the past couple weeks but of course there is still plenty left to do.

    So before getting moved I wanted to get some things set up. I brought my dryer home and tried to wire it up, but it looks like they just used any old 220 plug, and not a dryer plug, so I had to get that swapped out.

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    This is the old one that was there.

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    Here is the dryer I got. $470 as it sits because of the big scratch on the face. It would normally have been $1,300 with the pedestal!

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    Had to swap out the old mail box, kids had blown up bottle rockets in it. Hopefully this one stays nicer longer.

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    Got a much stronger lock installed on the shed, the old one was a weak, easily pickable, padlock.

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    I was at another Lowe’s and decided to check their scratch and dent section. I happened to find a match to the dryer with a tiny dent by the power cord. It was marked down to $700 with no pedestal. Fortunately, they had a big sale going on and that washer without the dent for the same price. I ended up getting it for $670 with the pedestal! Again normally a $1300 unit, so I have a little over $1100 into the normally $2600 washer and dryer set with a tiny dent and scratch. I can deal.

    Biggest step….MOVING IN:

    Huge thanks to my buddy Jim for letting me use and abuse his trailer. We managed to bring all of my stuff over with no issues. His Excursion’s trailer wiring was down so he had to use the motorhome lol!

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    Prior to moving in I had the A/C and water heater done, they were both old and on their last legs. The old system was estimated to be a 6 SEER rating 2 ton unit, so upgrading to this 14 SEER 2.5 ton should see considerable savings along with much better cooling. The water heater is a hybrid, so it has a normal heating element but it also has a heat pump. So it takes the hot air from the garage and uses it to heat the water and expels cold air. Reverse A/C and it cools the garage! Normal water heaters are estimated at about $500-$600 yearly cost, these are about $150-$250 but their up-front cost is significantly more.

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    This thing is nearly dead silent when operating.

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    They apparently had a 2x4 holding up the old fan in here. This box was entirely rebuilt and reinsulated and sealed. The drywall needs to be redone from where it was wet in the past, it has molded. That is a big priority.

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    The installer loved Apex connections!

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    Treated myself to a nice DeWalt blower and Husqvarna weed whacker!

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    I bought a Weber grill based on several opinions in the store about their superior quality over cheaper brands. The boss lady should enjoy whipping up eats on here!

    When trying to set up some shelving, the tracks needed to be cut. I only really knew my immediate next door neighbors thus far, and I asked if I could use a hack-saw. Neither one had one, however they walked me to a fella down the street. He has a 2014 Coyote that matches mine but in silver, so he has to be a pretty good guy. Answers the door, and it’s an OWG (old white guy), no shirt on and a Mustang hat. Yep, we’re friends now. Then he had this monster in his garage. Yes, again, friends.

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    This guy has already been an awesome neighbor. It’s going to be great working on stuff with him I can tell!

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    I got an Arlo camera system for a good deal. I know Evil wants me to hardwire, and I probably will do an additional hardwired system in the future, but for ease of setup and installation a wireless system is hard to beat.

    The following is some landscaping so far.

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    Some stupidly placed palm trees.

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    One ugly overgrown bush.

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    Another oddly placed poorly trimmed bush.

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    See above for caption lol.

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    These hedges were in rough shape.

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    This is some sort of crazy vine sort of bush that is covered in razor sharp thorns. No.

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    So, this hedge trimmer was given to me many years ago and it sat happily on a shelf totally untouched at my parents’ house. I put a new primer bulb on it; put gas in it and a new spark plug, it fired right up. Thank goodness. It is running a little rough but that is nothing a little adjusting can’t take care of.
     
  13. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    My dad let me borrow an old Echo chain saw (between 1977-1982) but it was not cutting because the chain was so dull. I could not find a place to sharpen the chain, and could not find a replacement chain (rare ¼” chain) so I bought an axe. You can tell it works:

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    However I ended up finding a blade for the chain saw, so I made a couple of nice clean cuts on the palms for now.

    The first thing I wanted to do was remove that crazy thorn bush, so the work began:

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    When I got tired of that for the day, I decided to clean up the hedges:

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    The following day the neighbors told me they wanted to help me get some trees taken care of, so we started on the one that was reaching my immediate neighbors house. Big tall oaks are not the easiest things in the world. Anyhow, after some creativity we got it cut back fairly well:

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    Still need a few more good hours to get it totally taken care of.

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    Got that vine thing out by the roots!

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    Nice clean side yard now J

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    Not bad for a few hours work. This is more than 7 feet tall.

    Anyhow, that’s it for now.
     
  14. SVTStingRay

    SVTStingRay New Member

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    i dont like this car thread........JK.....love the neighbors garage tho
     
  15. evilcw311

    evilcw311 Well-Known Member

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    There's a car in this thread?!??


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    His is definitely sick. Once I get settled we will get there haha


    Yea, yours. Coming here to run low voltage!
     
  17. evilcw311

    evilcw311 Well-Known Member

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    That would make for a fun trip if only I had the time!!!


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  18. TTSaleen

    TTSaleen Active Member

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    Sweet!
    Congrats!
     
  19. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Thanks buddy!

    It's coming along. I did quite a bit more with the two huge palms out front. I will get around to posting them.
     
  20. g36 monkey

    g36 monkey Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Decided to do a quick update, though not all inclusive, I will snap some pics to add more later:


    First, the cat tower, because, well, animals:


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    Next, you may remember the palm trees from the front yard. I went ahead and cleared off all the crap on the sides of them. I think it made them look much better, and in time they will dry out a bit and look like the rest of the tree.


    Before:


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    I had to cut a great deal of it off with a chain saw, and was able to use a shovel to scrape some of it off. The saw dust made me look like that lol.


    I mentioned earlier my dishwasher was recalled for being a fire hazard, and GE was offering $150 towards a new GE model. I took advantage of this. Part of getting that renewal was ensuring the old dishwasher was never reused, so, I did that:


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    A few good hits with an axe did the trick.


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    The new one looks right at home. It was a bit of a bear to install, it kept getting stuck because of the tile, and my lack of skill. But, it's in and works great! It's apparently the top model in the middle class from last year, as it was described to me. Has a lot of bells and whistles, but ultimately, it washes dishes and matches my other appliances.


    Both bathrooms had these ugly toilet paper holders that were pulling out of the wall. I replaced them with metal units that are now well secured into the wall with some serious drywall anchors. Pics of the news ones to follow:


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    I finally got some of my important shelving hung up:


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    Finally using the hooks on that one as they were intended!


    ANNNNNND FINALLLLLYYYYY:


    The biggest part of this update is the whole home network. Right now is just a teaser pic:


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    I ran CAT6 into all three bedrooms, outlets in the front room, two in the back room, and one in the master. I also ran two ports to the living room. I am now considering maybe hooking one into the garage since I do have a blank space on the wall plate still.


    I had to compromise a bit because of where I wanted the cables to terminate, so I ended up having to run them through a pipe tied to the side of the house. I can tell running cable was an issue because the cable company (or whoever ran the coax through the house) punched out of the walls and ran down the side of the house in several places. I am not a fan of the look but now that I have done it, I can see why it is necessary sometimes.


    In all it took me about 8 and 9 hours in the attic with some help from a neighbor inside. I was dying by the end of the day but now I have hard hookups for internet in all the important places.


    I am still contemplating how to run a camera system but that can come in time.


    I currently have a coax from my wall running to the router to feed it and a cat 6 cable from the router to a netgear 8 port cat 6 Ethernet switch. That switch then feeds to my 8 port wall plate and that runs to all of the rooms. I will get more pics once I clean it up a bit. The cables are all 5 ft long and they really only need to be about 6 inches, so it looks a bit like the flying spaghetti monster, and I hate messy cables:


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    Thanks for reading guys!