Homeownership Thread

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Post #101 by MP » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:00 pm

Or better yet:

http://www.synlawn.ca
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Post #102 by AD » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:12 pm

CharlieGirl wrote:Why not plant grass where it grows well, and put in a perennial garden with shade loving plants (hosta, for example) that require little/no maintenance?


Yeah I though of that but I have a lot of little plots with hostas and other shade trees. The vast majority of my backyard is under this enormous Catalpa Elegant (its a 15 meter high tree with enromous spade-shaped leaves).

So I want to keep whatever grass I have.

MP wrote:Pretty much, growing grass where the sun don't shine is pretty tough going. If you insist on grass, they make shade mixes for such applications, or sodding might work in such a small area. Although, make sure your sod is fresh, as you're gonna give it quite the shock...


I'd love to sod fresh but apparently the grass they use in sod is usually averse to shade. I might sod and add seeds of a shade-loving grass over a 2-3 week period.


I've been looking at the synthetic, but I'm worried about what happens when crap and whatnot falls on it. Grass is good cuz it absorbs all the tree debris and whatnot. What happens to the synthetic grass? Do I have to clean it? Rake it?
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Post #103 by MP » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:15 pm

AD wrote:Yeah I though of that but I have a lot of little plots with hostas and other shade trees. The vast majority of my backyard is under this enormous Catalpa Elegant (its a 15 meter high tree with enromous spade-shaped leaves).

So I want to keep whatever grass I have.



I'd love to sod fresh but apparently the grass they use in sod is usually averse to shade. I might sod and add seeds of a shade-loving grass over a 2-3 week period.


I've been looking at the synthetic, but I'm worried about what happens when crap and whatnot falls on it. Grass is good cuz it absorbs all the tree debris and whatnot. What happens to the synthetic grass? Do I have to clean it? Rake it?


No idea, I'm guessing shop vac?
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Post #104 by AD » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:19 pm

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Post #105 by MP » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:24 pm

AD wrote:I just read this: http://fr.slideshare.net/greenplanetgrass/how-to-maintain-your-synthetic-lawn

You have to fucking clean it!


Yep, spray it down with a hose and periodically brush it so it doesn't mat.

Not terrible considering mowing, fertilizing, watering, aerating, regular grass takes.
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Post #106 by Craig » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:26 pm

I'm a big fan of clover. It doesn't need as much sun, it stays green with less water and it's a nitrogen fixer to boot. Oh, it also doesn't need mowing as often.

I know people who use moss of some sort in shady areas too, but I don't know much about it.
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Post #107 by AD » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:32 pm

Craig wrote:I'm a big fan of clover. It doesn't need as much sun, it stays green with less water and it's a nitrogen fixer to boot. Oh, it also doesn't need mowing as often.

I know people who use moss of some sort in shady areas too, but I don't know much about it.


Yeah i've had that mentionned before.

Does clover create a thick enough grass (you know, the kind you can walk barefoot on?)
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Post #108 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:36 pm

Any insulation nerds in here?

Yay or Nay on a spray foam/cellulose combo for the attic?

Oil (no natural gas line in my area) costs were a kick in the nuts this year and the top up of blown in fiberglass I put last April wasn't enough. Too lazy to go the wood route.
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Post #109 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:38 pm

AD wrote:Yeah i've had that mentionned before.

Does clover create a thick enough grass (you know, the kind you can walk barefoot on?)


Bees would be an issue. I have a decent sized patch of clovers in the back that's full of bees throughout the summer. At the very least wear flip flops.
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Post #110 by MP » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:43 pm

TO wrote:Any insulation nerds in here?

Yay or Nay on a spray foam/cellulose combo for the attic?

Oil (no natural gas line in my area) costs were a kick in the nuts this year and the top up of blown in fiberglass I put last April wasn't enough. Too lazy to go the wood route.


Spray foam/cellulose combo? So you rip out what you have spray foam the eaves, and around any penetration and walls, then fill the rest with blown in cellulose? Sounds good in theory, little labour intensive to have two products. Windows doors, and wall penetrations in exterior wall should be looked at as well.

The other factor is making sure your ventilation is maintained.
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Post #111 by Craig » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:44 pm

AD wrote:Yeah i've had that mentionned before.

Does clover create a thick enough grass (you know, the kind you can walk barefoot on?)


Yes, it's thick enough.

I've heard the bees thing before. It wasn't an issue for me, but my yard is tiny. I've heard that mowing to prevent them from flowering can do the trick to eliminate the bees issue.

Clover and grass can co-exist, which I think is what the lawn nerds prefer. It looks more homogeneous if it's a mix.
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Post #112 by MP » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:47 pm

Craig wrote:Yes, it's thick enough.

I've heard the bees thing before. It wasn't an issue for me, but my yard is tiny. I've heard that mowing to prevent them from flowering can do the trick to eliminate the bees issue.

Clover and grass can co-exist, which I think is what the lawn nerds prefer. It looks more homogeneous if it's a mix.


Hippy naturalist lawn nerds...maybe. :bert:
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Post #113 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:47 pm

Craig wrote:Yes, it's thick enough.

I've heard the bees thing before. It wasn't an issue for me, but my yard is tiny. I've heard that mowing to prevent them from flowering can do the trick to eliminate the bees issue.

Clover and grass can co-exist, which I think is what the lawn nerds prefer. It looks more homogeneous if it's a mix.


Good to know. I might lower the blade a bit on that area.
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Post #114 by clawfirst » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:48 pm

TO wrote:Any insulation nerds in here?

Yay or Nay on a spray foam/cellulose combo for the attic?

Oil (no natural gas line in my area) costs were a kick in the nuts this year and the top up of blown in fiberglass I put last April wasn't enough. Too lazy to go the wood route.


You already blew in loose fill last year and it wasn't enough? Your heat loss is probably more from windows and doors then. This was also the coldest fucking winter ever.

Go wood burning now before it goes crazy and you can't find one. The city folk are gonna be all over that this summer after the week long outages we had.
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Post #115 by MP » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:48 pm

Why do you guys hate the bees?!
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Post #116 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:01 pm

MP wrote:Spray foam/cellulose combo? So you rip out what you have spray foam the eaves, and around any penetration and walls, then fill the rest with blown in cellulose? Sounds good in theory, little labour intensive to have two products. Windows doors, and wall penetrations in exterior wall should be looked at as well.

The other factor is making sure your ventilation is maintained.


The two inch foam layer would become the air tight vapour barrier. The cellulose would bring the overall total to R50. The vents were done with those moore vents on each one and up top its a combo of ridge + pvc turbine vents.

I've taken a different approach with the walls:

Spray foam around each channel (where wood stud meets the outer plywood plus around electrical boxes) and around windows
Acoustical sealant where wood meets wood (top and bottom sill)
Roxul insulation + Vapour barrier (taped tight)

Felt it was a bit of overkill the first time around but the difference in the rooms is undeniable, even to the touch.
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Post #117 by Craig » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:04 pm

MP wrote:Why do you guys hate the bees?!


I actually like the bees. Bees are awesome.
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Post #118 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:06 pm

clawfirst wrote:You already blew in loose fill last year and it wasn't enough? Your heat loss is probably more from windows and doors then. This was also the coldest fucking winter ever.

Go wood burning now before it goes crazy and you can't find one. The city folk are gonna be all over that this summer after the week long outages we had.


Some of my eavestroughs were ripped off clean. :busky:

I have a metal roof so it's expected but that plus the ice damning (although less then when I saw this place last year) still shouldn't happen. I look over at my non insulated detached garage, no ice damning, eavestroughs are still perfect.

MP wrote:Why do you guys hate the bees?!


Not fun when they gang up on you. Fixing my deck last year and I accidental disturbed a nest underneath. Stung six times in a row.
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Post #119 by Craig » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:13 pm

Honey Bees are usually only stingers near the nest. I wouldn't be bothered by a nest personally, but if I had kids around I'd probably just get rid of the nest and let them have the clover. Heck, they're probably good for my garden anyway, I welcome the bees.

I think the downside to clover vs grass is it doesn't hold up as well to high traffic.
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Post #120 by MP » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:16 pm

Your garage isn't heated though.

Also a word of caution on your goal to seal your house, make sure your furnace and other combustible appliances have a source of air or are sealed units. Also you should monitor your quality of air, as a sealed house doesn't exchange the air you live it.
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Post #121 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:17 pm

clawfirst wrote:Go wood burning now before it goes crazy and you can't find one. The city folk are gonna be all over that this summer after the week long outages we had.


City folk are screwed regardless if that ever happens again. Even if most make the switch it's unlikely they'll have any space to store all of the wood. I guess pellet stoves or propane fireplaces are an option.

I do have a fireplace but little interest in keeping that going. I see the amount of effort my neighbour puts into it..fuck no.

I will take down trees to clear sections of my property (2/3 still covered by trees) but I'll burn them within the following weeks. BBQ, party, etc. Honestly can't burn that shit fast enough.
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Post #122 by clawfirst » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:21 pm

Interesting TO. if I ever build a custom with a spec'd steel roof I will suggest a raised plate wall/roof and baloon the ceilings.
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Post #123 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:21 pm

MP wrote:Your garage isn't heated though.

Also a word of caution on your goal to seal your house, make sure your furnace and other combustible appliances have a source of air or are sealed units. Also you should monitor your quality of air, as a sealed house doesn't exchange the air you live it.


The furnace has two pipes going in and out so fresh air is getting in. In the spring/summer my windows are open the entire time unless its raining. That said I wouldn't mind getting one of those home energy audits done to see how my work holds up.
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Post #124 by clawfirst » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:22 pm

When its -20 for weeks without power....lots of stuff will burn just fine.
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Post #125 by clawfirst » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:23 pm

And I agree with MP . All those R 2000 homes in the 90's rotted from the inside out.
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Post #126 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:26 pm

clawfirst wrote:Interesting TO. if I ever build a custom with a spec'd steel roof I will suggest a raised plate wall/roof and baloon the ceilings.


What starts to happen is the water around the entire eavestrough freezes with the block of ice on the roof, then the next time a hot snap happens the entire block shoots off the roof. I'm getting those metal stoppers put in (should have already been there) which should prevent those massive chunks from sliding off. I'm replacing the broken ones with metal + leaf guards so I would be shocked if they are ripped off again next year).
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Post #127 by clawfirst » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:30 pm

yes that is damming... A raised plate system is essentially just higher walls on the top floor and a dropped ceiling. allowing more separation from the heated and cold zones and no leakage of heat via top plate conduction.

too late now. but I will learn from this for the next guy.
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Post #128 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:32 pm

clawfirst wrote:And I agree with MP . All those R 2000 homes in the 90's rotted from the inside out.


I will never achieve that level of sealing even if I tried. I would be impressed with my work if I could come close.

Its exactly what he mentioned no air exchange on the furnace (or an HRV) keeping that stale air year round.
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Post #129 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:34 pm

clawfirst wrote:yes that is damming... A raised plate system is essentially just higher walls on the top floor and a dropped ceiling. allowing more separation from the heated and cold zones and no leakage of heat via top plate conduction.

too late now. but I will learn from this for the next guy.


That would be nice though.

I'm a bungalow here so the room up top is at most 4-5ft. Some people around here have more with a higher slope.
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Post #130 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:37 pm

clawfirst wrote:When its -20 for weeks without power....lots of stuff will burn just fine.


I'll gladly hand over anything they can get their hands on. Softwood but that shit will still burn for days.
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Post #131 by clawfirst » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:44 pm

TO wrote:That would be nice though.

I'm a bungalow here so the room up top is at most 4-5ft. Some people around here have more with a higher slope.


I'm not sure we are on the same page here. raised plates have nothing to do with the pitch of you rafters. just a couple feet of wall above the ceiling line. most damming occurs via the conduction of top plate of wall(in heated space) to the rafter bird mouth and surrounding vented spaces(cold).

just to be clear.
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Post #132 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:50 pm

clawfirst wrote:I'm not sure we are on the same page here. raised plates have nothing to do with the pitch of you rafters. just a couple feet of wall above the ceiling line. most damming occurs via the conduction of top plate of wall(in heated space) to the rafter bird mouth and surrounding vented spaces(cold).

just to be clear.


A thicker ceiling? Basically the same as a double wall (two 2x4) some people are using in older homes to reach the r24 levels.
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Post #133 by clawfirst » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:56 pm

essentially, yes. just getting a few inches below plate would do wonders for damming. way more than dumping so much insulation up there it is no longer vented.
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Post #134 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:05 pm

clawfirst wrote:essentially, yes. just getting a few inches below plate would do wonders for damming. way more than dumping so much insulation up there it is no longer vented.


Agree. That's the issue I would run into if I had all blown-in. Anyways I have another insulation company coming for a quote tomorrow morning we'll see how that goes.

In the trades claw?
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Post #135 by clawfirst » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:28 pm

Yes... :suicide:
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Post #136 by AD » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:29 pm

TO wrote:Bees would be an issue. I have a decent sized patch of clovers in the back that's full of bees throughout the summer. At the very least wear flip flops.


Hmm.. Yeah.

If i mow often and pre-flowering does that help?
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Post #137 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:39 pm

clawfirst wrote:Yes... :suicide:


Must admit I'm enjoying the bit I do around here but I guess it's different when money is on the line and dealing with people/contractors.

Any specific trade or a general contractor?

AD wrote:Hmm.. Yeah.

If i mow often and pre-flowering does that help?


Will try mowing at a lower setting this summer. Not even close to calling myself a green thumb, My lawn is still out of control. That's what years of renter neglect will do to a place.
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Post #138 by clawfirst » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:13 pm

TO wrote:Must admit I'm enjoying the bit I do around here but I guess it's different when money is on the line and dealing with people/contractors.

Any specific trade or a general contractor?


general. background framing. whore. pay me and fuck me
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Post #139 by Craig » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:39 pm

Hang on, I get to fuck you too?
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Post #140 by TO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:57 pm

clawfirst wrote:general. background framing. whore. pay me and fuck me


Nice incentive to stay ahead of the competition.
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Post #141 by TO » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:00 am

selyar, PE wrote: now I need to figure out how to get hot water to my bathroom sink faster. That's going to be a challenge

-ofs


Have the same issue in the same area. In my situation I believe it's a combination of being the furthest point from the source and far too many elbows that connect to other sources along the way. I have a buddy who's a plumber coming by later on this week and will ask him. I'll post his response if your set up is similar.
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Post #142 by MP » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:09 am

TO wrote:Have the same issue in the same area. In my situation I believe it's a combination of being the furthest point from the source and far too many elbows that connect to other sources along the way. I have a buddy who's a plumber coming by later on this week and will ask him. I'll post his response if your set up is similar.


It'll be a factor of pipe volume between you sink and the water heater. If you got a main run that's say a 3/4" pipe that feeds the whole house and your sink is a short off shoot from that, you gotta drain the cold water out of the larger pipe prior to you getting hot water.

So length and size do matter.
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Post #143 by MP » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:14 am

What you want is an on-demand circulator or you want to run you small diameter pipe directly from the heater.
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Post #144 by TO » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:56 am

onefatsurfer wrote:My setup is similar. The other issue is that it's only 2 of us in the house so the water is used infrequently. There's no way that large mass of water will stay warm. I'm thinking I might need an instant on electric system under the sink.. It takes literally about a minute for the water to warm up, with the sink in full blast


I'm complaining at 30 sec. A minute is a lifetime.

MP wrote:What you want is an on-demand circulator or you want to run you small diameter pipe directly from the heater.


Definitely thinking that idea MP.

Maybe adding pipe insulators across the entire line after hes done might help.

Image

I have a ton of these laying around so I can't see the harm in it.
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Post #145 by Craig » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:12 am

onefatsurfer wrote:My setup is similar. The other issue is that it's only 2 of us in the house so the water is used infrequently. There's no way that large mass of water will stay warm. I'm thinking I might need an instant on electric system under the sink.. It takes literally about a minute for the water to warm up, with the sink in full blast


I'm considering switching to tankless systems when my hot water tank dies in 4 or 5 years. Apparently they're pretty common in Europe. You can either get a big one that basically replicates a hot water tank or you can get multiple smaller ones at all the points you actually want hot water. I have no idea what the economics of them are, other than they're more efficient at heating water. Purchase price and installation and the like I have no idea.
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Post #146 by TO » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:38 am

Tankless are not worth the cost especially for people who have natural gas water heaters. Much higher cost + Inferior performance = definite no.
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Post #147 by MP » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:54 am

TO wrote:Tankless are not worth the cost especially for people who have natural gas water heaters. Much higher cost + Inferior performance = definite no.


They do tend to last twice as long as a tank, and take up less space as they are wall mounted.

I think if you're looking to replace an old tank unit and can do the plumbing yourself, it comes out a wash.
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Post #148 by TO » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:57 am

For the arborists in here, I need to verify the species:

Willow?

Image

Dogwood shrub?

Image
Image

Termite damage or some crazy ass woodpeckers?

Image
Image
Image

EDIT: Apparently it was a woodpecker:

Image

Accomplished all of that in less then two weeks.
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Post #149 by TO » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:59 am

MP wrote:They do tend to last twice as long as a tank, and take up less space as they are wall mounted.

I think if you're looking to replace an old tank unit and can do the plumbing yourself, it comes out a wash.


Only way I could justify those is if you're replacing an electric unit. Even then electric water heaters are dirt cheap.

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