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Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

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Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby John W. on Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:25 am

I'm sure there are others out there that bought the farm and are strapped into mortgages or whatever. My wife and I bought a fixer upper here in Kentucky a couple years back (I have family in Cincinnati and my wife has family in Indianapolis - so we sort of threw a dart in the middle on a map and chose the Louisville area for the big move). After renting apartments in Chicago for almost 20 years, I know virtually nothing about being handy. Anyway, I'm trying to learn how to do stuff on my own and it would be hilarious if I wasn't the one making 10 trips to the hardware store, spending entire days trying to figure out how to do one little thing. So, I thought this might be a good place to talk about fixing things around the house.

So, here's the latest for me. Leaky roof. Just around the chimney. We hired a guy to patch it up, he put tar up there to seal it up (which I had already tried, I gotta stop being such a wuss and just deal with getting up on that goddamn roof more often myself - but I fuckin hate it up there). He also plugged up an area in the corner of a dormer right next to the chimney where he thought the leak was coming through, but to no avail. Night before last the rain was dripping right through again. Any ideas? Do I have to replace all the flashing around the chimney? Dude charged us $200, said he would guarantee the work he did and to let him know if it was still leaking. I called him night before last and haven't heard back yet.

Sorry this is so wordy, just had morning coffee and am buzzing a bit.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby Ty Webb on Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:00 am

This is a timely thread. I'm pretty much in the same boat. Lifelong renter and virtually no handyman skills, and we're working on buying an 85-year old house right now.

But I've had enough home inspections and visits to know that you probablyshould replace/repair the flashing around the chimney. I've had two different inspectors tell me that's a major point of ingress for water/moisture if the flashing's not tight.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby Johnny 13 on Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:24 am

Do you have direct access to the underside of the roof? Water can travel in weird ways, and the source is not always right where you see the leak. You may need new flashing, but slapping a lot of tar up there does a lot of good even if you do need replacement. If it is not helping, maybe you need to look around more.

Reader's Digest has a big home repair book that I have been using as my bible for the last 20 years. Check out The New Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual. It is well illustrated, and covers most everything you might encounter.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby John W. on Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:42 am

Thanks guys - good luck with the old house there Ty. Johnny13: I do have that book and will check it out this afternoon (our realtor gave it to us as a house-warming gift). I do have access underneath the roof, it's definitely dripping down right next to the chimney and running down the rafters.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby elisha wiesner on Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:56 am

John W. wrote:So, here's the latest for me. Leaky roof. Just around the chimney. We hired a guy to patch it up, he put tar up there to seal it up (which I had already tried, I gotta stop being such a wuss and just deal with getting up on that goddamn roof more often myself - but I fuckin hate it up there). He also plugged up an area in the corner of a dormer right next to the chimney where he thought the leak was coming through, but to no avail. Night before last the rain was dripping right through again. Any ideas? Do I have to replace all the flashing around the chimney? Dude charged us $200, said he would guarantee the work he did and to let him know if it was still leaking. I called him night before last and haven't heard back yet.

Sorry this is so wordy, just had morning coffee and am buzzing a bit.


It all depends on how it was flashed and what shape the flashing/roof is in.

are there strips of lead coming out of the mortar between bricks, running onto the roof? this was a pretty common way to do it back in the day and not the best way to go but ok. i have seen zink used and it can fail after a while. a full copper or lead coated copper pan is really the best. fixing a roof/flashing issues are pretty easy to deal with yet i am always amazed at how wrong most people do it. i have re-shingled a lot of houses where the flashing was just installed so wrong. the best advice i have is think like water. look at it and think where the water would go.

blobbing a bunch of tar can fix stuff for a while but really doesn't address the underlying problem. of course if money is tight it can buy you a few years until you can fix it properly.

if you can take some pics of the area i might be able to suggest a course of action.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby motorbike guy on Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:08 am

depending on how old your roof is, I might reccomend just getting a new roof, if you can afford it. The contractor should offer a warranty.

the problem is likely flashing. step flashing around chimneys is one of the things that roofers screw up a lot. you could also have some issues with the brick.

the right way to tie flashing into the brick chimney is to cut a reglet into the brick, tuck some flashing in there (copper or aluminum) and then caulk the shit out of it with heavy duty roofers cement. you gotta re-caulk it about every 5 years.

roofs are important. don't mess with roofs. it could be leaking in areas that are not apparent from the inside. water and wood are not good together.

I have owned 3 houses. two of them, I put a new roof on within 2 years of buying. the other one (a flat sprayed-on foam roof) I constantly worried about it, and I had to go up there every year and patch holes that birds had pecked in the coating. New roofs are cheap peace of mind.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby John W. on Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:25 pm

Thanks guys. Thing is the prior owners just put in a new roof in 2006, so I'm thinking something better just has to be done around the chimney. I'm going to take another look at it and will see if I can't get some pictures up here tomorrow.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby etch on Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:03 pm

I would also bet on the flashing, it needs to send the water off the roof not into the house. If it's not positioned correctly it leaks water.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby John W. on Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:13 am

Dude is being true to his word. He'll be coming back tomorrow afternoon to follow up. No charge. We're going to run a hose on the roof and try to pinpoint what the hell is going on. Noticed that there is new wood where the leak is coming in, so it probably has been an ongoing problem we inherited from the prior owners. I think they thought it was fixed when the roof was replace in 2006, but rotted wood was definitely removed recently right at the site of the problem.

Oh and we're going to figure out where the goddamn squirrels are getting in at night.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby buzzsaw on Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:25 am

Johnny 13 wrote:Reader's Digest has a big home repair book that I have been using as my bible for the last 20 years. Check out The New Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual. It is well illustrated, and covers most everything you might encounter.


I second this book recommendation. I rehabbed a house and i learned everything as i went. I learned quickly what my strong areas are (electrical, tile) and where I should call in a pro (plumbing, plumbing).
i have found that after finding a good local professional, you can ask this person who they recommend in other fields of repair. It usually pays to find a good honest circle of good repair people.
I did a bunch of things where i realized that practice makes perfect. Drywalling is not rocket science. It is technique. Practice mudding and taping in a closet or a bath before you tackle a bigger room. Tile is so easy that i cannot believe that people pay big bucks to have it done. Unless time is an issue......
Good luck. Post pics.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby Arson Smith on Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:31 pm

buzzsaw wrote:Drywalling is not rocket science. It is technique.

...and patience.

buzzsaw wrote:Tile is so easy that i cannot believe that people pay big bucks to have it done. Unless time is an issue......

The ex-Lego kid in me loves the cutting of the tile and the placement of the tile, but I would sooner slit my wrists than ever have to do all the grout-related tasks again.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby squarewave on Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:20 pm

You get yourself a Tivo or the DVR option from your cable/sat company, and you setup season recordings for Ask This Old House and Holmes on Homes.

I have been watching TOH since Bob Vila hosted, and had subscriptions to their magazine since it has existed.

I just got my first place of my very own, and I have been pleasantly surprised that I know how to tackle every thing that I have seen so far.

The most advanced thing I have done to date is knock out the death trap basement stairs and re-frame in a new triple-stringer staircase from scratch.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby Bill Flaig on Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:52 pm

2nd Rick wrote:Holmes on Homes.


dude is a fuckin' badass. I love watching his show.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby Ty Webb on Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:56 am

killyourself wrote:
2nd Rick wrote:Holmes on Homes.


dude is a fuckin' badass. I love watching his show.


+1

We've been watching that one for a long time now.

Was amused to see his stunned reaction to the news that his latest project had a buried oil tank in the back yard. He said he'd never even heard of such a thing, while it has been our constant worry while house-hunting here in NY because they're fucking all over the place.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby AlBStern on Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:13 am

Ty Webb wrote:
killyourself wrote:
2nd Rick wrote:Holmes on Homes.


dude is a fuckin' badass. I love watching his show.


+1

We've been watching that one for a long time now.

Was amused to see his stunned reaction to the news that his latest project had a buried oil tank in the back yard. He said he'd never even heard of such a thing, while it has been our constant worry while house-hunting here in NY because they're fucking all over the place.


Not a fan. He definitely knows his stuff but 1/2 the show is his stunned reaction to various mistakes made by the previous contractor. The same mistakes he saw in the last house, mind you. The same mistakes most crappy contractors make. Too much schtick for my taste.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby squarewave on Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:23 pm

MY least favorite part is his CONSTANT need to make a statement in the form of an asked question, and then immediately answer his own question to complete the statement.

Corin (pinky) is pretty hot though.
rocker654 wrote:(regarding jail) I can't recommend it. The toast is too rubbery, and the bellboys have too much snotty attitude.

steve wrote:I haven't heard your band, and you might not want me to.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby squarewave on Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:25 pm

Ty Webb wrote:
killyourself wrote:
2nd Rick wrote:Holmes on Homes.


dude is a fuckin' badass. I love watching his show.


+1

We've been watching that one for a long time now.

Was amused to see his stunned reaction to the news that his latest project had a buried oil tank in the back yard. He said he'd never even heard of such a thing, while it has been our constant worry while house-hunting here in NY because they're fucking all over the place.

On Comcast, they never showed the 2nd half of that episode...
That's the one with the hot daughter in the librarian glasses and the POW stacked body, right?.
rocker654 wrote:(regarding jail) I can't recommend it. The toast is too rubbery, and the bellboys have too much snotty attitude.

steve wrote:I haven't heard your band, and you might not want me to.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby Ty Webb on Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:21 pm

squarewave wrote:On Comcast, they never showed the 2nd half of that episode...
That's the one with the hot daughter in the librarian glasses and the POW stacked body, right?.


Shit. I must've missed the best part of that episode if that's the case.

Placing an order for that DIY book right now. I'm going to need it big time.
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby Big John on Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:36 pm

Ty Webb wrote:
killyourself wrote:
2nd Rick wrote:Holmes on Homes.


dude is a fuckin' badass. I love watching his show.


+1

We've been watching that one for a long time now.

Was amused to see his stunned reaction to the news that his latest project had a buried oil tank in the back yard. He said he'd never even heard of such a thing, while it has been our constant worry while house-hunting here in NY because they're fucking all over the place.


The vernacular is L.U.S.T. -- Leaking Underground Storage Tank
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Re: Home repair/maintenance/improvement thread

Postby deep.BTUz on Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:44 pm

I'm a big fan of wallpaper but a friend of mine told me that the reason a lot of people in NYC don't have wallpaper is because it attracts cockroaches because they eat the paste. Anyone know if that is true or is that an urban myth? If it is true, anyone know any alternatives to traditional wallpaper paste that won't attract roaches?
Ice up, son
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