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Old 01-03-2014, 12:38 PM   #101
JackInDaCrak
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I disagree about the microwave hood vent. If you do any serious cooking, stir fry, or sear meats, having a strong hood with a large capture area will help capture all that aerosolized grease that would otherwise slowly coat all your kitchen surfaces with a thin sticky film of grease over the years.

If you've ever had a bottle or dish in a kitchen that sits out of the way unused and gets grimy/sticky over time, that what that is.

Also a good vent will contain/remove stinky food smells.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:40 PM   #102
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Re: Home ownership

For the last year I haven't owned a microwave for the first time ever and don't miss it at all.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:53 PM   #103
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Re: Home ownership

Live in FL. No need for heat and gutters never freeze. .

Although, i had a main line water leak. There is no way to tell until you get a water bill for $500. Seems a tree root broke into my water line. All in all including the water came to be about $1500.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:55 PM   #104
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Re: Home ownership

Im very happy I bought a home. I did not over extend myself and I made 40k equity in one year.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:27 PM   #105
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Re: Home ownership

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Originally Posted by jkscott View Post
Live in FL. No need for heat and gutters never freeze. .

Although, i had a main line water leak. There is no way to tell until you get a water bill for $500. Seems a tree root broke into my water line. All in all including the water came to be about $1500.
I had something similar happen when a tornado knocked a tree down which broke the water line. A call to the municipal water department resulted in an adjustment on the bill. Most of the adjustment was for sewer charges, which obviously weren't used, but there was also some adjustment for the water "used". YMMV, of course, but a call is free and can't hurt.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:58 PM   #106
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Re: Home ownership

If you have well water don't forget to have your water tested by a lab yearly.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:21 PM   #107
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Re: Home ownership

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Originally Posted by JackInDaCrak View Post
I disagree about the microwave hood vent. If you do any serious cooking, stir fry, or sear meats, having a strong hood with a large capture area will help capture all that aerosolized grease that would otherwise slowly coat all your kitchen surfaces with a thin sticky film of grease over the years.

If you've ever had a bottle or dish in a kitchen that sits out of the way unused and gets grimy/sticky over time, that what that is.

Also a good vent will contain/remove stinky food smells.
agree with this 100%. Biggest regret in my kitchen is not putting in a hood. Just for food smells alone it is worth it. Cooked chili the other day and my whole ****ing house smelled like it for 24 hours.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:53 PM   #108
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Re: Home ownership

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agree with this 100%. Biggest regret in my kitchen is not putting in a hood. Just for food smells alone it is worth it. Cooked chili the other day and my whole ****ing house smelled like it for 24 hours.
I agree, you also want a hood that vents outside and not one that uses filters and blows the smoke and air back into the room.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:06 PM   #109
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Re: Home ownership

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I agree, you also want a hood that vents outside and not one that uses filters and blows the smoke and air back into the room.
yeah, this is what i basically have with the over range microwave and it sucks for the most part.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:20 PM   #110
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Re: Home ownership

Best advice ever: CLEAN YOUR DRYER VENT YEARLY.

You will be amazed how much lint collects in there. It's a huge fire hazard and dangerous.

Cleaning will also make your dryer run more efficiently overall and save on energy costs. I purchased this kit from Amazon and it worked great.

http://www.amazon.com/Gardus-RLE202-...=dryer+cleaner
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:39 PM   #111
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Re: Home ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackInDaCrak View Post
I disagree about the microwave hood vent. If you do any serious cooking, stir fry, or sear meats, having a strong hood with a large capture area will help capture all that aerosolized grease that would otherwise slowly coat all your kitchen surfaces with a thin sticky film of grease over the years.

If you've ever had a bottle or dish in a kitchen that sits out of the way unused and gets grimy/sticky over time, that what that is.

Also a good vent will contain/remove stinky food smells.
I also prefaced my comment about doing serious cooking.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:44 PM   #112
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Re: Home ownership

working on a deck/porch for my pitshed this weekend. pretty small, 16'x3.5' or so. cleared the area in front and putting in those deck block things to support.



front supports in


overhang to keep the rain out is next...


...also, it sounds like you kitchen remod guys could use my new toy more then me right now. :-D

Spoiler:
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:55 PM   #113
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Re: Home ownership

i just fixed our garbage disposal and i feel like a boss
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:04 PM   #114
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i just fixed our garbage disposal and i feel like a boss
Got the same feeling last night when I changed my water heater thermocouple. Hopefully today when I get back home from work my house is not on fire.
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:11 PM   #115
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Re: Home ownership

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Usually true but depends on the expectations and what the place is worth. There's still a place for lower-end finish outs in more modest neighborhoods, so it depends on what BBB is talking about.

100k-ish condos around me are hot atm (people are looking for investment properties right now). Current project, broker & agent both told me anything beyond builder grade kitchen is lighting money on fire. 90% of the units have the original builder grade cabs/lam tops from 25 years ago.

Horror story: One identical unit (same development) went all out with 42-inch cabinets, probably $6k in nice appliances, silestone counters, and laid new hardwood throughout. Did a great job but totally overbuilt it at a time when the places were like $90k or so. They just assumed that they could drop in whatever they wanted and some buyer would cover it.
Yeah so I live in a row house near downtown Pittsburgh. Next door neighbor's house is identical except I have an extra bathroom and slightly nice outside space. They're listing for $230k and I think they'll probably get $215-220

The house has a lot of nice features but the kitchen is by far the worst room in the house, followed by the bathrooms. I think I will overbuild my street if I upgrade to the point where the house is worth > $275k.

On the bright side my kitchen is small (like 12'x13') so maybe I am better off going with premium counters. I would probably be looking at Corian or a comparable product if I don't do silestone or granite. I guess I need to price all 3. Not sure about concrete but I can't really picture it fitting in with the way the rest of the house looks
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:27 PM   #116
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Re: Home ownership

BBB. are you looking to sell soon after the remodel, or do you plan to live there awhile?

BTW, I am not a huge fan of concrete countertops, I doubt it would go with any of the older styles near Pitt. Does you house have a lot of the older style door and window moldings? Like the 1x3 straight trim around?
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:33 PM   #117
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Re: Home ownership

Thinman, looks like you have pretty good dirt in your area, that still looks like a pain in the ass, I would be worn out. The dirt around here sucks, lots or rocks.

Ah, I don't even remember when my saw looked that new. Did you have to pay for the stand or did it come with the saw? Lowes will have a special every onece in awhile where the stand is free, I had to buy mine though. Still a must have if you have that saw.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:06 PM   #118
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Re: Home ownership

yeah, I had to buy the stand also. looked hard for the combo sale, but no luck. doubt they run it this time of year.

the orange dirt I got from craigslist to build my rc track. its pretty good and compacts well, but gets a bit dusty. going to try and pack it with a roller this year though and see how it does.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:17 PM   #119
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Re: Home ownership

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Originally Posted by electricladylnd View Post
BBB. are you looking to sell soon after the remodel, or do you plan to live there awhile?

BTW, I am not a huge fan of concrete countertops, I doubt it would go with any of the older styles near Pitt. Does you house have a lot of the older style door and window moldings? Like the 1x3 straight trim around?
No plans to sell soon but I am 30 something and it's possible I get married and have kids sometime in the next few years. I would move out to the burbs if that happened.

I still try to think about ROI mostly because I don't have strong opinions going in other than not get the cheapest stuff and will get satisfaction knowing that as much money as possible is going into home equity vs. waste, even if it is balance sheet money that could increase or decrease as styles change.

My house doesn't feel a hundred years old but I wouldn't call it modern either. After doing research today I don't think I will consider concrete. Going to try to get a quote for Corian and Silestone, I will have a seam in the most frequently used part of the counter if I go with either granite or quartz which is a bummer
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:14 PM   #120
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Re: Home ownership

If your neighbor's place is identical and worth $220k in typical good condition, obviously you getting to $275k isn't happening. With an extra bathroom and nicer yard yours would sell first and maybe fetch a little bit more, depending on the details and other things going on. Like units are like units though.

You're in a weird spot because you're not sure what your plans are beyond the short term. 8-10 years from now, all the granite, travertine, stainless steel appliances (etc) could easily be seen as dated. Granite is still everywhere but I hear it's selling less than it was, don't know how true that is. I've noticed a lot more listings locally with engineered quartz counters lately near the shore in nicer places. Not a big deal if you put in something now and sell in a few years, but ime "a few" years tends to become a lot longer when it comes to moving.

I don't know anything about Pittsburgh or what $220k buys. Not a lot of row homes near me either, my in-laws (near Allentown) live in one worth a lot less and it's not a granite type neighborhood. Also in 3-4 years a neighborhood can change a lot, of course the market itself may be drastically different.

A small kitchen though is obviously easier, especially if there's not a lot of counter space. A smaller kitchen can add up though depending on layout. The last project was a U-shape 8x9 kitchen but had three L-shaped counters, including a raised one you could sit at with stools.

But anyway, for the present:

The stuff you have installed now, does it suck or is it falling apart? If not you could always just put the decision off. And the general style of the home weighs in pretty heavily on your options. A place with crown moulding, formal DR with chandelier (etc) is a long ways from some deal with cathedral ceilings and can lighting. Just consider what this kitchen remodel would require of you in terms of doing other work in the house later.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:09 AM   #121
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Re: Home ownership

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Originally Posted by Gonzirra View Post
If your neighbor's place is identical and worth $220k in typical good condition, obviously you getting to $275k isn't happening. With an extra bathroom and nicer yard yours would sell first and maybe fetch a little bit more, depending on the details and other things going on. Like units are like units though.

You're in a weird spot because you're not sure what your plans are beyond the short term. 8-10 years from now, all the granite, travertine, stainless steel appliances (etc) could easily be seen as dated. Granite is still everywhere but I hear it's selling less than it was, don't know how true that is. I've noticed a lot more listings locally with engineered quartz counters lately near the shore in nicer places. Not a big deal if you put in something now and sell in a few years, but ime "a few" years tends to become a lot longer when it comes to moving.

I don't know anything about Pittsburgh or what $220k buys. Not a lot of row homes near me either, my in-laws (near Allentown) live in one worth a lot less and it's not a granite type neighborhood. Also in 3-4 years a neighborhood can change a lot, of course the market itself may be drastically different.

A small kitchen though is obviously easier, especially if there's not a lot of counter space. A smaller kitchen can add up though depending on layout. The last project was a U-shape 8x9 kitchen but had three L-shaped counters, including a raised one you could sit at with stools.

But anyway, for the present:

The stuff you have installed now, does it suck or is it falling apart? If not you could always just put the decision off. And the general style of the home weighs in pretty heavily on your options. A place with crown moulding, formal DR with chandelier (etc) is a long ways from some deal with cathedral ceilings and can lighting. Just consider what this kitchen remodel would require of you in terms of doing other work in the house later.
The stuff I have now is functionally fine but looks terrible. The cabinets are a mix of wood veneer trim and white laminate panels and the counters are light grey formica. The oven door was smashed once and replaced with a generic door. The floor is cheap laminate with cuts in it. Fridge is fine but 20 years old. Dishwasher works great but is loud.

If the project adds up to more than 20k then I have to either take out a loan or put it off but I think most likely its less and I go forward. I would rather get it done now, as I might be going to grad school later in the year.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:49 AM   #122
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Re: Home ownership

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Originally Posted by BadBoyBenny View Post
Yeah so I live in a row house near downtown Pittsburgh. Next door neighbor's house is identical except I have an extra bathroom and slightly nice outside space. They're listing for $230k and I think they'll probably get $215-220

The house has a lot of nice features but the kitchen is by far the worst room in the house, followed by the bathrooms. I think I will overbuild my street if I upgrade to the point where the house is worth > $275k.

On the bright side my kitchen is small (like 12'x13') so maybe I am better off going with premium counters. I would probably be looking at Corian or a comparable product if I don't do silestone or granite. I guess I need to price all 3. Not sure about concrete but I can't really picture it fitting in with the way the rest of the house looks
Go with the Silestone IMO. I have granite now, I installed Silestone at my old house. Silestone is much easier to keep clean and you don't have to re-seal it.

Also if you have an electric range now install a gas line during the remodel and get a gas range. Unless you don't have gas in your house. The first thing I did when I moved into my new house was install the gas line to the range area, since the new place didn't come with appliances. We used electric for years at the old house, it is unbelievable how much better gas cooking is, especially if you have a pro range.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:45 AM   #123
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Re: Home ownership

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Originally Posted by Gonzirra View Post
If your neighbor's place is identical and worth $220k in typical good condition, obviously you getting to $275k isn't happening. With an extra bathroom and nicer yard yours would sell first and maybe fetch a little bit more, depending on the details and other things going on. Like units are like units though.
Should explain that my house and my neighbor's house are nearly identical but that's not the rest of the street. It's a historic district with old row houses that is slowly undergoing gentrification. As a result houses on the street vary pretty widely probably 80k for the worst one that hasn't been fixed up at all in 50 years and 300k for the nicest renovations. There's a group of 3 houses built from the ground up 20 years ago after an arson and I own one of those. There's a facade to blend in with the older building but it's siding in the back and none of the problems of owning a really old house.

The main reason I think the house could be worth a lot more than neighbor's is because their kitchen is equally bad as mine right now. It will probably be the worst kitchen any potential buyers in their price range look at. The houses have other great, practical, uncommon for the area features (dry basement with high ceilings, off street parking, etc) that competing houses won't have but the kitchens and bathroom were done 20 years ago with what look like the cheapest cabinets and counters and flooring on the market at the time. If I have a much nicer kitchen and a master bath that they don't have I think it adds significant value. Regardless, my main point is that there are a few other houses on the street probably worth 275-300k so I'm not really overbuilding the neighborhood until I would hit that number.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guller View Post
Go with the Silestone IMO. I have granite now, I installed Silestone at my old house. Silestone is much easier to keep clean and you don't have to re-seal it.

Also if you have an electric range now install a gas line during the remodel and get a gas range. Unless you don't have gas in your house. The first thing I did when I moved into my new house was install the gas line to the range area, since the new place didn't come with appliances. We used electric for years at the old house, it is unbelievable how much better gas cooking is, especially if you have a pro range.
I have gas now, love it. I will seriously check out Silestone, seems like most people are pointing that direction and I am not going to be one of those guys who asks a question on here and does the exact opposite of what's recommended.

Last edited by BadBoyBenny; 01-04-2014 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:24 AM   #124
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I just installed ceasarstone which is another type of quartz surface like silestone and I like it a lot. Cant speak to long term maintenance but it looks and feels very high quality. Easy to clean too.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:11 PM   #125
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Re: Home ownership

BBB: That clarifies everything. If you & your next door neighbors' property are on the lower end of the block as is, and the neighborhood is on the rise, then by all means do it up. The stuff you have sounds hard to live with and seals the deal.

I'd agree with Jack above, engineered quartz is really nice and has some solid advantages over granite. The ones he mentioned and DuPont makes one called Zodiac too, with their own range of colors. I'd get some more informed opinions wrt to the overall market and what buyers think of it since that's a concern for you, but from what I can tell it seems like it's on the rise as far as popularity and a safe bet.
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