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Homeowner/House Thread: It's going to cost more than you expect

That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guyRegistered User regular
edited September 2017 in Debate and/or Discourse
I see SE has one of these who why not us. Have you found yourself $250,000 in debt to a bank you've never visited? Do you have just one more project before it's livable? Doing remodels or renovations? Did you find the perfect place in the perfect location and just wanna gush about it? This thread is for you. Here we can discuss the trials and tribulation, the ups and downs, the adventure that is home ownership in a post recession economy.

Home Hunting Resources
zillow.com
trulia.com
realtor.com

Credit Resources
creditkarma.com
annualcreditreport.com
mint.com

Mortgage resources
mortgagecalculator.org
www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/mortgage-calculator.aspx

Loan advice
Find a small local broker. They are going to work the hardest to make sure you find just the right loan for you. The big banks just don't have as much of an incentive.

More to come

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Posts

  • milskimilski Their Will comes, at last, to Earth, to the Neath, as a storm crosses the sea. Registered User regular
    I have about two dozen singles missing from my roof from a recent hailstorm, which is gonna cost a huge chunk of money since my deductible is so high.

    I sent the info to the roofing contractor but radio silence since then. Hmm.

    High, cold, eternal, immobile, minuscule. You endure; you burn.
  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    edited July 2017
    I just closed on my first home today. I picked up the keys around 3pm and started moving stuff in. I found this really great 2bed 2.5bath end unit townhome just 15 minutes from town. Got a real sweet USDA mortgage on it. I was able to finance all but ~$600 of the closing costs too. I'm making small trips back and forth from my apartment to my new place all afternoon but I only have a fiesta hatchback so space is limited. I'm taking most of next week off of work to do the real work of moving.

    Edit: It was a for sale by owner deal too. Everything went so smooth. Being able to communicate directly with the seller was SOOOOOOO much easier than working with a realtor. I had tried out a few people before I came across this place. Just wasn't working for me. I found this place on Zillow and had it under contract the day after I saw the place. My broker said it was the simplest contract he'd ever seen. It was simply the agreed upon selling price and when we wanted to close. A few tweaks later and here I am. A happy homeowner.

    Now the real hell begins, right?

    That_Guy on
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  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Did you have inspections done?

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    Did you have inspections done?

    Yup. Got a full home inspection even before the appraisal had happened. They found nothing major, just a few minor items that will be cheap/free to get fixed.

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  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited July 2017
    I bought my first place nearly two years ago. It all worked out pretty well - about the time I had enough money put away to seriously consider buying a place, my step brother was wanting to sell his condo. No realtors needed.

    It's an older building, but buying a place in Yellowknife is crazy expensive. To buy a manufactured home on a small slice of land in a neighbourhood that's all gravel starts at about $400k. A home with an actual foundation that's blasted into the bedrock that is the Canadian Shield? $500k and up. My condo was $250k, and is a 3 bedroom, 1075 sq ft place that's actually in a p good location. I can walk to work and it's a quiet neighbourhood.

    I'm saving up to do some renos around the time that I have to renew the mortgage (In Canada, mortgages are for five years at a time. The full term might be 20 or 25 years, but every five years you have to basically refinance at whatever the current interest rate is at the time). I'd like to do the kitchen first, then the bathroom. Everything else is in pretty good shape.
    Please wipe your feet before entering!
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    EDIT: Oh, and my condo fees are $900 a month.

    Yeah.

    Nova_C on
    ElvenshaeRchanen
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo Registered User regular
    I live in a post war terrace that has concrete gutters. After a year of dealing with other disasters (mostly related to a contractor turning out to be inept) we're on to removing them. It should all be sorted early august and then fingers crossed we can marvel at the improved insulation and lack of condensation through the winter.

    Hopefully anyhow.

    Sometimes I look wistfully at new builds. Sometimes.


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  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    For this move I decided to go with a mix of 18 and 30 gallon plastic storage bins instead of ratty old boxes. Several of my family members swear by them and I see why. Packing and moving them around is so much easier. The lids make em easy to stack but also get into. They're a little pricy considering how many of them I need but they'll be handy to have around later.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Plastic storage bins are great if you store old documents in a basement - no danger of water or vermin getting in.

    ShadowfireRchanenBrainleech
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    That_Guy wrote: »
    I just closed on my first home today. I picked up the keys around 3pm and started moving stuff in. I found this really great 2bed 2.5bath end unit townhome just 15 minutes from town. Got a real sweet USDA mortgage on it. I was able to finance all but ~$600 of the closing costs too. I'm making small trips back and forth from my apartment to my new place all afternoon but I only have a fiesta hatchback so space is limited. I'm taking most of next week off of work to do the real work of moving.

    Edit: It was a for sale by owner deal too. Everything went so smooth. Being able to communicate directly with the seller was SOOOOOOO much easier than working with a realtor. I had tried out a few people before I came across this place. Just wasn't working for me. I found this place on Zillow and had it under contract the day after I saw the place. My broker said it was the simplest contract he'd ever seen. It was simply the agreed upon selling price and when we wanted to close. A few tweaks later and here I am. A happy homeowner.

    Now the real hell begins, right?

    We got a USDA loan for our home almost exactly 4 years ago. It was kind of surprising that the area qualified, and it didn't a year or two after that, so we lucked out. It was really great since we had saved the down payment for the potential FHA loan that was now pretty much ours. We even got money back after closing. I definitely recommend people check for those when looking to buy. The only real downsides to them are they have a monthly fee similar to PMI (but much lower) that doesn't go away, there's like a $5k fee they tack on to the selling price, and it takes a bit longer to close (I think ours was around 60 days, and they got it done fast).

    Our home is now about 10 years old, so we're kind of approaching the point where things will start to go out, which has me a little worried. We've had some minor repairs so far but nothing too bad. Youtube is a huge help when pretty much anything goes wrong.

    I absolutely love my house, though. We really lucked out with finding it and having our offer accepted, especially in the market we have here. I guess the worst thing is in the 4 years we've lived here, our appraisal value has gone up about $70k, making our taxes about $100 more per month. That's been kind of rough.

  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Last Fall, I tried out a new (to me) product for my gutters. It's basically open cell foam that's cut in a triangular shape. The idea is that the rainwater can still get into the gutter but the detritus sits on top. I installed it into a section of the first floor that kinda sticks out the back.

    Well, it worked well enough that I'm installing the rest of it (mostly today).

    It's worth noting that reviews are saying trees that drop small particles/material clog up the cells in the foam. I don't have that problem where I live, so I think it'll work out.

    At the end of the day, I'm doing the whole house for under $300; so even if I get 1-2 years out of it, it's worthwhile. Anything that wins me back gutter cleaning time is a win.

    Here's the link for what I'm using. I got mine from HD.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/GutterStuff-GS-K5-Foam-Filter-5-in-W-X-4-ft-L-For-Use-With-5-in-K-Style-Gutter/22217418

    Rchanen
  • EvigilantEvigilant VARegistered User regular
    I bought a house about 3 years ago or so with a VA loan through USAA. It's a 3bed 3bath and it's just my dog and I. I live really close to the college campus so I know I'll never have issues renting out the place.

    My only issues have been: having to replace the AC unit because of the dog; replacing the Hot water heater because of the dog; buying a fence during that time; wasps; and this is VA loan specific, but it requires you to have that place as your primary residence for 5 years minimum. After having bought the house, now I want to make money off of it while I move somewhere else. So having to wait for that 'okay' is maddening sometimes.

    Otherwise, it's just too much house for the dog and I. I love having a yard and garage in the city but I should have just kept renting. I want to downsize and use the house to generate income. Oh also, since I have an out of this world mortgage rate, I can essentially never refinance, ever, because I'll never get a rate close to or better than what I have now.

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  • RiusRius Registered User regular
    The first time I went into my basement do to my laundry in my washer/dryer that don't cost quarters and has no line? Yeah, that's when I decided buying a home was worth it.

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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    I mean

    You can rent a place with all of that too

    Mojo_JojoFencingsaxadejaanWACriminal
  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    Rius wrote: »
    The first time I went into my basement do to my laundry in my washer/dryer that don't cost quarters and has no line? Yeah, that's when I decided buying a home was worth it.

    Having your own washer and drier is really nice. I had a cheap set that I got from a used appliance store at my old apartment. In my new place I picked up a front loader set for cheap from a friend of a friend. Now it's like having the laundry mat in my own home.

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    Evigilantbowen
  • Mr KhanMr Khan Not Everyone WAHHHRegistered User regular
    I'm not looking to get into home ownership anytime soon (figure i need to be married or well into my 30s if i get that far unmarried, just because of the time commitment to make it sensible vs renting). I know they've got a lot of mortgage calculators, but i wondered if there was a "total cost of ownership" calculator. Because yeah, you not only have to pay mortgage, but insurance, taxes, and maintenance of all kinds, but the costs for that are factored into the rent your landlord charges you.

    So i wondered if there was a website that could tell you at what point renting vs owning becomes sensible on a pure monthly cost level (like that it would be stupid to pay $2,000/mo rent because mortgage plus fees on a reasonable house would be $1,800 or something)

  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    Mr Khan wrote: »
    I'm not looking to get into home ownership anytime soon (figure i need to be married or well into my 30s if i get that far unmarried, just because of the time commitment to make it sensible vs renting). I know they've got a lot of mortgage calculators, but i wondered if there was a "total cost of ownership" calculator. Because yeah, you not only have to pay mortgage, but insurance, taxes, and maintenance of all kinds, but the costs for that are factored into the rent your landlord charges you.

    So i wondered if there was a website that could tell you at what point renting vs owning becomes sensible on a pure monthly cost level (like that it would be stupid to pay $2,000/mo rent because mortgage plus fees on a reasonable house would be $1,800 or something)

    Those calculators are reasonably accurate if you know how much you want to spend on the house and where it is. It's hard to factor in things like utilities though.

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  • AridholAridhol Registered User regular
    Maintenance and stuff like that can't be accurately predicted. You could have storm damage the first year that screws your roof or you could have basically no maintenance for years it depends on the property, the location, etc...

    I think ultimately having a complete control over the place that I lived is what swayed me. I did well property value wise as well but really its the "it's mine" factor trumps all.

    JragghenBrainleech
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    Last Fall, I tried out a new (to me) product for my gutters. It's basically open cell foam that's cut in a triangular shape. The idea is that the rainwater can still get into the gutter but the detritus sits on top. I installed it into a section of the first floor that kinda sticks out the back.

    Well, it worked well enough that I'm installing the rest of it (mostly today).

    It's worth noting that reviews are saying trees that drop small particles/material clog up the cells in the foam. I don't have that problem where I live, so I think it'll work out.

    At the end of the day, I'm doing the whole house for under $300; so even if I get 1-2 years out of it, it's worthwhile. Anything that wins me back gutter cleaning time is a win.

    Here's the link for what I'm using. I got mine from HD.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/GutterStuff-GS-K5-Foam-Filter-5-in-W-X-4-ft-L-For-Use-With-5-in-K-Style-Gutter/22217418

    I have that in my gutters. It needs to be hand cleaned still of tree debris or it starts growing little trees. Also it seems to attract insects because it is damp most of the time. But it works better than nothing and is cheaper than gutter shields.

    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Aridhol wrote: »
    Maintenance and stuff like that can't be accurately predicted. You could have storm damage the first year that screws your roof or you could have basically no maintenance for years it depends on the property, the location, etc...

    I think ultimately having a complete control over the place that I lived is what swayed me. I did well property value wise as well but really its the "it's mine" factor trumps all.
    Maintenance et al can be reasonably predicted so long as you're ok with it not necessarily being accurate each individual year/month.

    wbBv3fj.png
    shrykeJragghenElvenshaeLoisLaneCaedwyrwebguy20
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    Yeah, many months we have nothing maintenance to do, and then whoops drip irrigation has a leak and it was originally installed underground and I get to spend this weekend digging it out and laying new line, and it wasn't noticed immediately, so some of the landscaping on the side of the house isn't doing great. Ugh.

    The worst part of home ownership is finding the right people for the projects you can't do yourself. Tip from my experience: if you're getting someone to reseed your lawn instead of doing sod, buy the seed yourself. I had the guys doing it do so, figuring they know more. Looked great for a few months, and then it turns out it's more of a local breed which goes dormant in the summer, which...yeah. :-/

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Lawns are the worst anyway.

    JragghenAridholLoisLaneMegafrostRiusPhoenix-DQuidKruiteChiselphaneCalicaAntoshkaSmrtnikA Dabble Of TheloniusAustinP0027JoolanderAbsoluteZero
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Mugsley wrote: »
    Last Fall, I tried out a new (to me) product for my gutters. It's basically open cell foam that's cut in a triangular shape. The idea is that the rainwater can still get into the gutter but the detritus sits on top. I installed it into a section of the first floor that kinda sticks out the back.

    Well, it worked well enough that I'm installing the rest of it (mostly today).

    It's worth noting that reviews are saying trees that drop small particles/material clog up the cells in the foam. I don't have that problem where I live, so I think it'll work out.

    At the end of the day, I'm doing the whole house for under $300; so even if I get 1-2 years out of it, it's worthwhile. Anything that wins me back gutter cleaning time is a win.

    Here's the link for what I'm using. I got mine from HD.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/GutterStuff-GS-K5-Foam-Filter-5-in-W-X-4-ft-L-For-Use-With-5-in-K-Style-Gutter/22217418

    I have that in my gutters. It needs to be hand cleaned still of tree debris or it starts growing little trees. Also it seems to attract insects because it is damp most of the time. But it works better than nothing and is cheaper than gutter shields.

    Good to know. I will take that under advisement

  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    That being said, annoying as doing yardwork and maintenance is, the satisfaction of finishing a major project is huge.

    One of the long-standing things which I'd been planning to do after we bought our house was removing a hedge. One three day weekend, I tackled that, heading out early before the heat of the day and taking it out in segments. Turns out there was a mouse nest in it, so I got rid of them at the same time, the hedge had actually been weighing down the fence to where if I hadn't removed it it probably would have collapsed (as-is, it lasted through the winter until we got a bunch of storms where the wind finally pushed it mostly over. The whole thing is replaced now, with cost split 50-50 because another section was also leaning in the other way because our neighbors had been storing a bunch motorcycles and such leaning on it).

    It's such a small, silly thing. Removing a hedge. But that damn thing took hours and hours of work, and it felt so good once it was gone. I'm getting a similar (lesser) feeling this weekend with the drip irrigation - it's working again. not fully done (need to stake it all down, a couple places we want to change what the nozzles are doing, etc), but done enough to where the plants which weren't getting water are getting water again now, at a better pressure than when we bought the place. It's super satisfying, particularly after having gotten a quote from a sprinkler repair place and balking at the price...knowing we saved ourselves that, too.

  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    @That_Guy I suggest adding mint.com under the free credit score piece. They provide one that updates I believe every month or two.

    Been a home owner for a couple years here in the Denver area, meaning our home value has skyrocketed in that short time. It's a starter home, and we're putting as much into the equity as we can (along with saving money on the side) so that we'll have a nice amount to put down when it's time to upgrade in a few years.

    Agreed, yards suck. We kept a small bit of grass in the back, but the second and third tiers (our back yard is on a hill) we got rid of any grass and put in mulch plus a bunch of bushes that don't need watering. Now if only I could get rid of all the Aspen trees. They do not do well at this elevation, and their roots push up little baby shoots all through the yard. It's annoying.

    camo_sig2.png
    That_Guy
  • KruiteKruite Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Lawns are the worst anyway.

    Lawn care is the devils work.

    shrykeEvigilantwebguy20
  • mRahmanimRahmani DetroitRegistered User regular
    edited September 2017
    I turn a lot of wrenches in my spare time, so I'm pretty pumped about my latest project: heating the garage.

    My parents essentially rebuilt their house, and I ended up with a free natural gas furnace in the process. So far this has cost me $50 for a flexible gas line and a drywall saw.
    21740699_10109047548761573_4648502073156328824_n.jpg?oh=ef8b9759191dbb046d8db7ab90368f89&oe=5A40A1C0
    Made an access panel on the left side of the garage. The house's existing furnace is located in a little closet in the garage directly above the area I cut out. Sadly, I wasn't able to get the drywall piece out without damage for reasons that will become clear shortly.
    21558810_10109047548856383_7355597366237020655_n.jpg?oh=634bd0f23ffbb353399b27e7b6de8878&oe=5A4BFF0A
    A convenient gas line! I need to grab a valve at Home Depot tomorrow so I can shut off the extension separately.
    21740622_10109047548911273_1302924768031796884_n.jpg?oh=e9accc60f743bd06870cd167b2fac34b&oe=5A4062AC
    What kind of dumb contractor hangs drywall with nails and a shitload of glue? Impossible to get the piece off without destroying it, so I'll have to get a 41"x48" piece cut to replace it.

    To do:

    - run power line
    - run gas line
    - set up thermostat
    - set up exhaust
    - check connections and test fire
    - cut replacement drywall panel and install
    - optional: insulate the back wall

    mRahmani on
    MortiousMugsleybowen
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Yes, I'm necroing this bastard.

    Our sump pump has been short cycling since last week (the last round of storms on the East Coast). I checked it and there's a break in the line that sends water out of the house. The result is the water that doesn't make it all the way out of the basement back flows into the sump, which causes just enough of a level increase that it turns the pump on again.

    I was able to push the piping back together and that helped a bit, but it's not a fix.

    The kicker is that this sump was put in about 10 years ago when the previous homeowners installed a french drain system. When they did that, the installing contractor buried part of the sump pump drain line when they re-cemented the floor. And, of course, the break seems to be about 2-3" along the length of the portion that's under the cement.

    If I had the free time, I could probably fix it in a weekend, but we have a guy coming tomorrow to check it out (and hopefully fix).

    I know this kind of work is within my capabilities, but I'll be damned if I have the time to focus on it. And that just makes me feel that much more inadequate having to pay someone else to do it.

  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    The SE thread got closed so this is the next best place to house post.

    Sumps can be a nightmare if they malfunction. Hopefully they can just put a smaller diameter pipe in the existing conduit or just repair the break. I'd be quite concerned if I had a sump and it was pumping water directly into the foundation. Good luck, man.

    camo_sig.png
  • El MuchoEl Mucho Registered User regular
    I just recently discovered that my house that we've been living in for two years is full of Radon gas.

    I borrowed an electronic detector from a co-worker out of curiosity and the levels from that initial test came back at 3 times the limit (Canadian limit being 200 Bq/m3).

    I bought my own electronic detector because some google searches came back with a lot of negative reviews regarding high false readings on the one I borrowed. Unfortunately, the new detector all but confirmed that I have a Radon issue. The last 3 weeks have been getting week long averages for the kids bedrooms, basement rec room and crawl space.

    I did some minor mitigation by covering the floor drain with a one way airtight rubber seal. It allows water to flow down it but blocks gasses coming up from the weeping tiles. Also, during my investigations I discovered that my crawl space that is underneath half of the house is likely the major source; measurements in the crawl space peaked around 1900 Bq/m3, with the week long average being ~900 Bq/m3. I also discovered some significant cracks in the concrete slab in there. The major cracks I found I filled with spray foam and the smaller ones sealed with a polyurethane concrete caulking.

    I'm hoping that re-measuring the basement after sealing the obvious potential sources in the crawl space will get the numbers down to reasonable winter levels. If not I'll be calling in professional remediation and that is going to set me back a few thousand.

    Ugh, houses.

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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I know this kind of work is within my capabilities, but I'll be damned if I have the time to focus on it. And that just makes me feel that much more inadequate having to pay someone else to do it.

    Man, don’t be ridiculous. Value the personal time you are saving as worth paying for and appreciate that paying someone else to do these things is often much more efficient than futzing around yourself.

    TingleSigBar.gif
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  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit At the edge of spacetime lies a path with no end.Registered User regular
    El Mucho wrote: »
    I just recently discovered that my house that we've been living in for two years is full of Radon gas.

    I borrowed an electronic detector from a co-worker out of curiosity and the levels from that initial test came back at 3 times the limit (Canadian limit being 200 Bq/m3).

    I bought my own electronic detector because some google searches came back with a lot of negative reviews regarding high false readings on the one I borrowed. Unfortunately, the new detector all but confirmed that I have a Radon issue. The last 3 weeks have been getting week long averages for the kids bedrooms, basement rec room and crawl space.

    I did some minor mitigation by covering the floor drain with a one way airtight rubber seal. It allows water to flow down it but blocks gasses coming up from the weeping tiles. Also, during my investigations I discovered that my crawl space that is underneath half of the house is likely the major source; measurements in the crawl space peaked around 1900 Bq/m3, with the week long average being ~900 Bq/m3. I also discovered some significant cracks in the concrete slab in there. The major cracks I found I filled with spray foam and the smaller ones sealed with a polyurethane concrete caulking.

    I'm hoping that re-measuring the basement after sealing the obvious potential sources in the crawl space will get the numbers down to reasonable winter levels. If not I'll be calling in professional remediation and that is going to set me back a few thousand.

    Ugh, houses.

    That's not good... all the daughter products are potent alpha emitters and very good at causing cancer. Do you have any way to vent your crawlspace? If you have crawlspace vents, are they open?

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    El MuchobowenElvenshae
  • El MuchoEl Mucho Registered User regular
    edited March 14
    El Mucho wrote: »
    I just recently discovered that my house that we've been living in for two years is full of Radon gas.

    I borrowed an electronic detector from a co-worker out of curiosity and the levels from that initial test came back at 3 times the limit (Canadian limit being 200 Bq/m3).

    I bought my own electronic detector because some google searches came back with a lot of negative reviews regarding high false readings on the one I borrowed. Unfortunately, the new detector all but confirmed that I have a Radon issue. The last 3 weeks have been getting week long averages for the kids bedrooms, basement rec room and crawl space.

    I did some minor mitigation by covering the floor drain with a one way airtight rubber seal. It allows water to flow down it but blocks gasses coming up from the weeping tiles. Also, during my investigations I discovered that my crawl space that is underneath half of the house is likely the major source; measurements in the crawl space peaked around 1900 Bq/m3, with the week long average being ~900 Bq/m3. I also discovered some significant cracks in the concrete slab in there. The major cracks I found I filled with spray foam and the smaller ones sealed with a polyurethane concrete caulking.

    I'm hoping that re-measuring the basement after sealing the obvious potential sources in the crawl space will get the numbers down to reasonable winter levels. If not I'll be calling in professional remediation and that is going to set me back a few thousand.

    Ugh, houses.

    That's not good... all the daughter products are potent alpha emitters and very good at causing cancer. Do you have any way to vent your crawlspace? If you have crawlspace vents, are they open?

    There are no vents in the crawl space and the entirety of the foundation walls in the crawl space and the basement are sealed with spray foam. But I believe I've sealed the major sources. The major sources being the laundry room floor drain, the smaller cracks in the crawl space concrete and the inch wide crack that ran the length of the crawl space (this one I could feel a draft coming up from).

    The cancer risk is significant but from what I've read it's not an immediate risk, but more from prolong exposure. The Canadian Goverment recommends for my levels remediation within 2 years, so it's definitely become my priority as far as house expenses go. However, I'm going to make get some longer term readings after sealing the suspected sources before any major remediation.

    Winter where I live is very cold, so for the majority of January/February the furnace is running constantly all that air going up the chimney was unfortunately being replaced by air being sucked up through the cracks and floor drain. Adding to this the previous owners installed new doors and new windows throughout the house and spray foamed the basement. Also my furnace does not have a fresh air intake. Basically, my house is a gigantic vacuum in winter, so I expect these readings are as high as they'll get. I'm hopeful that the sealed cracks will reduce the flow of air from the ground significantly enough to lower the readings.

    If not, the remediation involves depressurizing the soil below the foundation slab. It's just expensive.

    El Mucho on
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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    El Mucho wrote: »
    El Mucho wrote: »
    I just recently discovered that my house that we've been living in for two years is full of Radon gas.

    I borrowed an electronic detector from a co-worker out of curiosity and the levels from that initial test came back at 3 times the limit (Canadian limit being 200 Bq/m3).

    I bought my own electronic detector because some google searches came back with a lot of negative reviews regarding high false readings on the one I borrowed. Unfortunately, the new detector all but confirmed that I have a Radon issue. The last 3 weeks have been getting week long averages for the kids bedrooms, basement rec room and crawl space.

    I did some minor mitigation by covering the floor drain with a one way airtight rubber seal. It allows water to flow down it but blocks gasses coming up from the weeping tiles. Also, during my investigations I discovered that my crawl space that is underneath half of the house is likely the major source; measurements in the crawl space peaked around 1900 Bq/m3, with the week long average being ~900 Bq/m3. I also discovered some significant cracks in the concrete slab in there. The major cracks I found I filled with spray foam and the smaller ones sealed with a polyurethane concrete caulking.

    I'm hoping that re-measuring the basement after sealing the obvious potential sources in the crawl space will get the numbers down to reasonable winter levels. If not I'll be calling in professional remediation and that is going to set me back a few thousand.

    Ugh, houses.

    That's not good... all the daughter products are potent alpha emitters and very good at causing cancer. Do you have any way to vent your crawlspace? If you have crawlspace vents, are they open?

    There are no vents in the crawl space and the entirety of the foundation walls in the crawl space and the basement are sealed with spray foam. But I believe I've sealed the major sources. The major sources being the laundry room floor drain, the smaller cracks in the crawl space concrete and the inch wide crack that ran the length of the crawl space (this one I could feel a draft coming up from).

    The cancer risk is significant but from what I've read it's not an immediate risk, but more from prolong exposure. The Canadian Goverment recommends for my levels remediation within 2 years, so it's definitely become my priority as far as house expenses go. However, I'm going to make get some longer term readings after sealing the suspected sources before any major remediation.

    Winter were I live is very cold, so for the majority of January/February the furnace is running constantly all that air going up the chimney was unfortunately being replaced by air being sucked up through the cracks and floor drain. Adding to this the previous owners installed new doors and new windows throughout the house and spray foamed the basement. Also my furnace does not have a fresh air intake. Basically, my house is a gigantic vacuum in winter, so I expect these readings are as high as they'll get. I'm hopeful that the sealed cracks will reduce the flow of air from the ground significantly enough to lower the readings.

    If not, the remediation involves depressurizing the soil below the foundation slab. It's just expensive.

    If you are not smokers, the 'risk' according to the EPA at your levels is 20 times the risk of dying in a home fire. So, significant but not terrifying. Best to take action with one of the fan based soil depressurization systems, it sounds like they are not absurdly expensive.

    In the short term, summer is coming. Keep your windows open. That will cut your levels in half easily.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
    El Mucho
  • El MuchoEl Mucho Registered User regular
    Yeah, non smoking home. With summer coming the plan was to leave the detector running to get a year long average with the holes plugged. If the numbers after a year are still bad. I'll get the depressurization done.

    Local company charges between $2200 - $3500 for the soil depressurization install. So not financially crippling and a year getting a long term average will give us a chance to put some cash aside to cover it.

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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    El Mucho wrote: »
    Yeah, non smoking home. With summer coming the plan was to leave the detector running to get a year long average with the holes plugged. If the numbers after a year are still bad. I'll get the depressurization done.

    Local company charges between $2200 - $3500 for the soil depressurization install. So not financially crippling and a year getting a long term average will give us a chance to put some cash aside to cover it.

    The issue I've read in regards to plugging holes is that it will often work for a while, but what happens is that new cracks keep on slowly opening up as the foundation settles and shifts. So your radon levels can jump back up again surprisingly quickly. By combining plugging holes with the fan it means that the small new holes are not risky to you, and so the problem can be resolved.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    Buying a house was infinitely more stressful than getting married. That's probably a good sign right?

    MugsleyAbsoluteZeroCeaytynari
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited March 14
    Whoops!

    Quid on
    DoodmannJragghenElvenshae
  • mRahmanimRahmani DetroitRegistered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I know this kind of work is within my capabilities, but I'll be damned if I have the time to focus on it. And that just makes me feel that much more inadequate having to pay someone else to do it.

    I'm wrestling with this a lot these days. In the last 6 months I've gotten hit with:

    Water heater replacement
    Furnace blower fan replacement
    Garage door sensor short
    Kitchen/bathtub drain clog
    Garage door spring replacement

    So far, I did everything myself except for the backed up drain. $250 here and $300 there adds up quick, so I've been doing as much as possible myself, but if I wasn't trying to pay down debt I'd probably call somebody more often.

  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    You know what is more expensive than I could have possibly thought?

    A cinderblock wall.

    It's the most basic building block construction kind of stuff, nope $100 a foot.

  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    mRahmani wrote: »
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I know this kind of work is within my capabilities, but I'll be damned if I have the time to focus on it. And that just makes me feel that much more inadequate having to pay someone else to do it.

    I'm wrestling with this a lot these days. In the last 6 months I've gotten hit with:

    Water heater replacement
    Furnace blower fan replacement
    Garage door sensor short
    Kitchen/bathtub drain clog
    Garage door spring replacement

    So far, I did everything myself except for the backed up drain. $250 here and $300 there adds up quick, so I've been doing as much as possible myself, but if I wasn't trying to pay down debt I'd probably call somebody more often.

    I hope you didn't do the garage door spring yourself. People die replacing those if they don't know what they're doing.

    thatassemblyguySmrtnikHeirwebguy20Bullhead
«13456781
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