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Thread: Latest house project - front porch

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Latest house project - front porch

    When we bought this place three years ago it had a koi pond in the front porch area. It was nice, and had an impressive waterfall feature, but we were never in love with it since the space is just a 12 foot gap between the house and garage and literally the only time anyone would be near it was walking to and from our front door since there's no space for chairs to sit out there or anything. And then after we moved in we realized that it leaked and the previous owner had a timer attached to the faucet to refill it every morning. So it was also a big waste of water. Once we shut off the water fill timer it drained almost completely in a matter of a couple of weeks. And then sat like that for the better part of three years.

    Finally this summer SO decided we needed to do something about it. So he got quotes from the contractor that did our bathroom to either just concrete it or put decking. About $4,000 of both quotes was removal of what's there. So he decided that he could do that part and has spent two months digging out the pond and water pump, etc. Monday he spent $300 to have a task rabbit guy come and haul everything to the dump and now we have a flat dirt surface.

    We've decided to have pavers installed. SO found some nice, basic 2'x2' ones at home depot for $18/apiece. And the install will be $4,000 less than the previous quotes to finish the space.

    One good thing about this is that while digging out the pond SO also dug up our gas main. Because it was no longer protected by the concrete that was there when the house was built the pipe is rusting from water seeping down through the dirt and we can occasionally smell whiffs of natural gas out there so it has at least a small leak. We have a plumber coming tomorrow to inspect, and likely replace, it. It is also not up to current code, which requires things like that to be at least 18 inches below grade. Hopefully that won't be too expensive, but just as I was fine with paying for a new electric panel because of safety reasons I'm glad to spend the money to fix this as well.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    That is a good savings for sure, and will be a nice simple design for your front area. I never wanted a Koi pond back when they were popular, but I do like water features that have moving water, but as you say they require maintenance.
    I am not a serious person.

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Yikes on the gas line! I like pavers.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    That is awesome that your SO had the will to tackle that himself!! Successful DIY projects are so satisfying, from the perspective of self-reliance and, of course, savings of cash outlay!! You both will always look at that paver patio with different eyes than if you just paid someone to do it.
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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    That’s great about saving 4K by doing the work yourself. When we had houses all my husbands were handy so didn’t have to pay for a lot of improvements). I got a painting estimate for my balcony and it was 400 for 55 sq ft with me buying the paint. I only considered hiring it because it has a vaulted ceiling and I wasn’t thrilled about having to get that high on a ladder to paint the trim. I did it but it was terrifying and I never intend to do anything like that again.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Today, as SO was clearing out the dirt around the gas main prior to the plumber he found the sewer access point, which the home inspection report noted as ‘couldn’t be found’. It had been buried under the pond which seems kind of dumb. In any case we can now have the contractor build some sort of access panel to it when he installs the pavers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    That’s great about saving 4K by doing the work yourself. When we had houses all my husbands were handy so didn’t have to pay for a lot of improvements). I got a painting estimate for my balcony and it was 400 for 55 sq ft with me buying the paint. I only considered hiring it because it has a vaulted ceiling and I wasn’t thrilled about having to get that high on a ladder to paint the trim. I did it but it was terrifying and I never intend to do anything like that again.
    Saw on a home improvement show that they have poles that extend for painting high places. The person doing the painting had not done it before and exclaimed how easy it was..... ???

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugal-one View Post
    Saw on a home improvement show that they have poles that extend for painting high places. The person doing the painting had not done it before and exclaimed how easy it was..... ???
    That doesn’t sound easy at all…. You’d still need to tape the edges. And every time the roller needs more paint you have to be careful not to bump it on areas you don’t want to paint as you back away to get the roller to the paint tray.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frugal-one View Post
    Saw on a home improvement show that they have poles that extend for painting high places. The person doing the painting had not done it before and exclaimed how easy it was..... ???
    I don't know that my upper body strength could handle using anything extended and over my head for a significant period of time.

    All the house stuff folks are doing sounds great! Makes me feel like I should get a project going... maybe.
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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugal-one View Post
    Saw on a home improvement show that they have poles that extend for painting high places. The person doing the painting had not done it before and exclaimed how easy it was..... ???
    I did use a pole but you have to get on a ladder to paint the trim. With a roller you can’t get close enough to the corners. Also my friend had to hang the plastic and tape it off high because I wasn’t steady enough to take both hands off the ladder to do this. With painting I could have one hand on the ladder. The pole was much easier for the high places and you don’t need much strength. I have a bad back and neck and am really in pain now from doing it.

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