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Old 10-12-2021, 06:34 PM   #41
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Gotta take care of the infrastructure before the amenities and pretty stuff.
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Old 10-12-2021, 08:39 PM   #42
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They’ve caught the This Old House Fever, bless them. I caught it once and recovered, fortunately, and I have discovered that the immune response is permanent.
This is hilarious and basically what I've been thinking while reading this thread! My last owned home was brand new with no problems and still more of a headache than I wanted. Sold it 10 years ago, been renting ever since, and can't imagine a sweeter deal. When will there be a reality show about this?
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Old 10-12-2021, 08:48 PM   #43
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This is hilarious and basically what I've been thinking while reading this thread! My last owned home was brand new with no problems and still more of a headache than I wanted. Sold it 10 years ago, been renting ever since, and can't imagine a sweeter deal. When will there be a reality show about this?
I have owned 8 homes in my life, some new, some used, and all were headaches at one point during ownership. I've not ever bitten off on what these subject folks have though. It will be a trip, for sure.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:20 AM   #44
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You can save a lot of money just by skipping the general contractor and hiring the tradespeople you need yourself.
That only works if you know what you're doing and have access to reliable trade people. Most people don't have the knowledge or the contacts.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:46 AM   #45
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I can’t do a single thing but be concerned for them.
IMHO that is probably the best thing you can do. A lot depends on their attitude. Some people can handle what you describe better than others. The more you get to know them, the more you can discern how they are handling it and therefore how to be supportive. There may not be a need to force a smile, just provide a willingness to listen.

I have friends who have made (in my view, biased since I am not into dealing with fixer uppers )similar mistakes, and I express my concern and support. I usually do not offer my opinion unless directly asked, and try to avoid playing "Monday Morning Quarterback". At times I have helped them with unskilled and unpaid labor. Sometimes things have gone real south but they have still appreciated my concern and support. Sometimes it becomes a life lesson.
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Old 10-13-2021, 10:15 AM   #46
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Let them learn for themselves it's a good lesson. In 1990 we bought a 160 acre farm for under a 100K. My DH and BIL went and had lemonade with the widowed owner and struck a deal. He didn't even see the house he sat on the screen porch.


We moved in and for 15 years all we did was milk cows, crop farm, raise kids and fix on the house..did it all ourselves with some help from BIL. We had the advantage of having a solidly build house but my big kitchen window looked like it was repurposed from an outbuilding!!!


Some day I might sit down and try to pencil in just the cost of materials, I guess I'll need to when we sell someday. But I won't get any money bump from the hair pulling experience of rehabbing a farmer built 100 year old house.



This is mini whine as the building site and outbuildings are worth multiples of what we paid for the entire farm.
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:12 PM   #47
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A boiler, that says a lot. Steam heat with big cast iron radiators? I wish them my best.

Winter is coming and the twin cities get pretty cold. Big energy bills too.
We had a house in the Chicago area, built in 1958 with a boiler (natural gas) and cast iron radiators. BEST heating system EVER. The trick was to know how to set the thermostat so that the radiators didn't get too hot for too long...You sort of had to let them "coast" and give off heat after the boiler switched off.
Radiant heat puts forced air heat to shame. It is unbelievably cozy.
And I remember our (non-radiant heat) neighbors complaining about their heating bill...our bill was about half of theirs!
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:36 PM   #48
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... Radiant heat puts forced air heat to shame. It is unbelievably cozy. ...
Not for everyone, personal preference comes into play.

I grew up in a house with radiant heat (the more modern hot water, not steam system). It used a "boiler", nothing wrong with a boiler, per se. But every home since then has been forced air. I *much* prefer forced air.

I like to turn the heat down at night, or if we are out for more than an hour or so. I like the place to warm up quickly when I want. I'd turn the heat up on a cold day when I take a shower, I like the warm air circulating when I get out. If I'm on active project, I'll turn the heat down. If I sit down to read, I'll turn the heat up. You just can't get those bursts when you want with radiant heat. It's slow and even, a blessing in some cases, a curse in many others.

So many variables to one house's bill vs another. But you save by intelligently turning it up and down as needed (the average temperature is lower, ignore the comments that you just pay for it reheating - that's not where the savings comes from).

To each their own.

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Old 10-13-2021, 11:10 PM   #49
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I grew up in these old houses. My parents would buy one, rehab it, sell and buy another. It started with a love for old houses and a dream and turned into a lucrative career. They had many friends who did the same.

You never really know people’s motivations, capabilities or resources. Many times it doesn’t end well, but not always.
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Old 10-14-2021, 02:08 AM   #50
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Same here, in northern NJ, only the furnace used heating oil. The low baseboard radiators were probably aluminum, and gave off wonderful plinks and tinkles when warming up. The furnace, in the basement, got so hot you couldn't touch it - but our tiny Siamese cat loved to curl up on top of it. Her own fur got too hot to touch.

Don't know how it is now, with climate change; but back then, winters in "the sticks" were long, snowy, and often dipped into minus degrees Fahrenheit at night. We were never cold, and the bill must not have been too bad, as I don't recall my frugal Dad complaining, the way he did about the electric bill.

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Originally Posted by dadu007 View Post
We had a house in the Chicago area, built in 1958 with a boiler (natural gas) and cast iron radiators. BEST heating system EVER. The trick was to know how to set the thermostat so that the radiators didn't get too hot for too long...You sort of had to let them "coast" and give off heat after the boiler switched off.
Radiant heat puts forced air heat to shame. It is unbelievably cozy.
And I remember our (non-radiant heat) neighbors complaining about their heating bill...our bill was about half of theirs!
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Old 10-14-2021, 01:16 PM   #51
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.........And I remember our (non-radiant heat) neighbors complaining about their heating bill...our bill was about half of theirs!
I don't know why this would be true unless their ducts were very leaky or the house was not insulated well.
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Old 10-14-2021, 01:25 PM   #52
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Radiant heat puts forced air heat to shame. It is unbelievably cozy.
I have to agree, having grown up in a house with oil-fired hot water heat with those big ol' cast iron radiators underneath every single-pane window in the house. I think the only insulation was about three inches in the attic, nothing in the walls, which of course were plaster, not drywall.
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Old 10-14-2021, 01:41 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by dadu007 View Post
We had a house in the Chicago area, built in 1958 with a boiler (natural gas) and cast iron radiators. BEST heating system EVER. The trick was to know how to set the thermostat so that the radiators didn't get too hot for too long...You sort of had to let them "coast" and give off heat after the boiler switched off.
Radiant heat puts forced air heat to shame. It is unbelievably cozy.
And I remember our (non-radiant heat) neighbors complaining about their heating bill...our bill was about half of theirs!
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Not for everyone, personal preference comes into play.

I grew up in a house with radiant heat (the more modern hot water, not steam system). It used a "boiler", nothing wrong with a boiler, per se. But every home since then has been forced air. I *much* prefer forced air.

I like to turn the heat down at night, or if we are out for more than an hour or so. I like the place to warm up quickly when I want. I'd turn the heat up on a cold day when I take a shower, I like the warm air circulating when I get out. If I'm on active project, I'll turn the heat down. If I sit down to read, I'll turn the heat up. You just can't get those bursts when you want with radiant heat. It's slow and even, a blessing in some cases, a curse in many others.
-ERD50
I know people who had radiators and it was a pain to get it just right. I'm with ERD50 on this one. I live on the Canadian prairies where heating is a serious issue and natural gas forced air dominates. I love it. I turn the heat up and down all the time and much prefer instant control rather that than waiting for a boiler to catch up. I don't need "even" heat when the temperature difference is 1 or 1.5 degrees between on and off...that's more than even enough for me.
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Old 10-14-2021, 02:01 PM   #54
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I've lived in houses with hot water radiators all my life. Actually, here in the frozen north, the cost of heating is very manageable. Radiators are the BEST. It is kind of a ritual to hold out as long as possible in the fall to turn them on (we are getting there right now) and to bleed them. Besides, cats love to lie on them and there's nothing more calming than a cold morning, warm radiator, and purring cat stretched out on the radiator. I do put a towel on it for his comfort.

Only one time, as a renter for a brief period, I had forced air and it was miserable--very uneven heat throughout the house and made me gag at times with the smelly air coming through.
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Old 10-14-2021, 02:06 PM   #55
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Only one time, as a renter for a brief period, I had forced air and it was miserable--very uneven heat throughout the house and made me gag at times with the smelly air coming through.
I've had forced air for 40 years. Simple fix. Clean the ducts, change the air filter, and adjust the dampers.
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Old 10-14-2021, 02:29 PM   #56
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I've had forced air for 40 years. Simple fix. Clean the ducts, change the air filter, and adjust the dampers.
My experience, too. Another benefit of forced air is that it is easy to add air conditioning.
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Old 10-14-2021, 04:36 PM   #57
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I have one-pipe steam heat in my 1929 house. I like it well enough, but would prefer two-pipe hot water heat. (I don't really require central air where I live, so that is not an issue.)
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:57 PM   #58
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........ (I don't really currently require central air where I live, so that is not an issue.)
Fixed it for ya.
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:54 PM   #59
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I've lived in houses with hot water radiators all my life. Actually, here in the frozen north, the cost of heating is very manageable. Radiators are the BEST. It is kind of a ritual to hold out as long as possible in the fall to turn them on (we are getting there right now) and to bleed them. Besides, cats love to lie on them and there's nothing more calming than a cold morning, warm radiator, and purring cat stretched out on the radiator. I do put a towel on it for his comfort.

Only one time, as a renter for a brief period, I had forced air and it was miserable--very uneven heat throughout the house and made me gag at times with the smelly air coming through.
I grew up in a forced-air house in St. Paul, and now live in an 1890s house with hot water radiators. They're both fine. I do love the cat on the radiator, too, and we often put wet towels on radiators to humidify the dry winter air, too. We love our radiator heat just fine, though I don't think one or the other is significantly better, as long as it's working well. I don't really understand the need to turn the heat up or down quickly on a whim.
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:56 PM   #60
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I don't really understand the need to turn the heat up or down quickly on a whim.
To save energy.
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