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What tools do I need as a new homeowner?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 01 2012 - 12:30 PM

I was so young and naive... ;)   So I'm out house hunting again, but with a wife to help. I probably have an old house-hunting thread somewhere, but I've not found it yet.   My question this time is: What little things do you wish for in your house? Or what did you do that was a great idea?   On our wish list of minor details are: * Tankless water heater * Whisper-quiet bathroom vent fan * Kitchen fume hood vented to outside    

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted April 01 2012 - 01:13 PM

My question this time is: What little things do you wish for in your house? Or what did you do that was a great idea? On our wish list of minor details are: * Tankless water heater * Whisper-quiet bathroom vent fan * Kitchen fume hood vented to outside
Tankless water heater would be wonderful. When I switched to gas about ten years ago, they could only use a 40 gallon tank because of the angle and placment of the flue. Even being single, 40 gallons isn't enough unless I'm very careful. Luckily with gas it's a very quick recovery time. Tankless heater would take care of that and in theory you never run out of hot water. Never heard of the quiet vent fan, assuming it's something up in the attict so you can't hear it. As for the Kitchen furness hood, a major definite you've got to have. Any of the phony crap that "filters" the air then just blows it back in your face is a 100% total waste of money. I've got a vent that is vertical in the wall above the stove that vents outside, great as long as you're only using the two burners that are near the vent. I've wanted a full, external venting hood for years, but not in the budget at this time. But a major must have in any home. We're certainly not doing Paul Prudhommes blackened fish, but just everyday cooking creates a tremendous amount of steam, odors and even smoke. Why blow those back into your face and spread them around the house, get them vented to the outside and keep the inside clean and clear.
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#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted April 01 2012 - 01:28 PM

Forgot to mention what tools you may want to have: Just a basic set of screwdrivers, normally sold in sets, that combine different sizes and heads Hammer, pliers, a saw, vice-grips, pipe wrench, a good socket set, household oil, plunger, maybe a snake, wire cutters that handle different gauge wires and if you have a yard, all the basic rakes, shovels, hoes, hoses, sprinklers, etc. This is just a quick list of the basic things that will do for most things. Probably pretty small and I'm certain others will chime in. Any other specialized tools you may never use, better to buy them as you need them for things like: fixing floor tiles, bricks, specialized plumbing repair, etc. Hopefully you've got a decent hardware store nearby. I've got one about six blocks away and big ticket items they will rent for pretty reasonable charges, which is a great way to use tools that you only need for a day or two. Next of course is just hire a pro. Rather than mess things up even worse than they are, just recognize when it's beyond your skills, bite the bullet and hire somebody who can get right to the problem.
Stan

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 01 2012 - 05:36 PM

The vent fan: http://www.amazon.co...id=UWXABWV8IJ76   Thanks about the tools :)    My original question was from 2004 when I was buying my first house. My wife and I are house-hunting in a new state. As we're looking, I'm thinking about these little things and luxuries for the new place.

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted April 01 2012 - 06:25 PM

Guess I should have paid more attention to the "entire" thread. Those three items are also on my wish list, except I like my house and will probably end up doing them myself. In a new home, although none of them are deal breakers, I'd try and negotiate a lower price based on the lack of them. A good kitchen hood and ventilation is almost a necessity now, it has to be there. The water heater and quiet vent fan are probably considered more as luxury items and not sure how much clout you would have asking for them. Not sure I'd trust a current owner to put them in, since they're ready to do anything, probably on the cheap side, just to sell. Might be better to negotiate some sort of discount and get them custom installed the way you want them to be done. Good luck
Stan

#6 of 11 ONLINE   Paul D G

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Posted April 04 2012 - 11:23 PM

Huh. Never heard of silent bathroom fans. But now that you mention it, it's going on the wish list. Luxury item, sure, but our fan is really loud. You sort of expect it to be loud, you know?   The only thing I really dislike about our house is how freaking loud it is when you run a bath upstairs. The bathrooms are directly above the family room and it drowns out the TV. Can't say I've ever noticed any noise in the other two story homes I've lived in (tho it had been years previous)

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Jeremiah

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Posted April 08 2012 - 10:44 AM

They have some real quite bath fans and are good for larger bathrooms, they are nice. Some people don't want them too quite because you will be able to hear people go the bathroom. You probably need insulation under your bath, I had to put some in for a customer while doing their remodel, it helped.
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#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted April 08 2012 - 12:10 PM

Natural gas furnace was a HUGE upgrade for us over our oil tank, to the point where I wouldn't buy a house that didn't have gas service on the street. Unless you're planning to live in the country, though, that's probably a given. Basement ceiling height. Having a basement is a must for me, even in the South where they're far more rare. And having a basement with ten foot ceilings is a huge upgrade over a basement with eight foot ceilings. Because if you decide to finish a basement eight feet in height, you'll probably end up with seven foot ceilings by the end. Kitchen cabinets you like. Unless you're going to do a total kitchen renovation right away, you'll be living with whatever cabinets you have for a while. Appliances come and go, the cabinets are a constant. A quality roof. If the roof is good now, it will save you a lot of headaches down the road. A dry foundation. One corner of the house I'm living in now has moisture seeping through the foundation. The sheetrock has to be replaced every couple years, and we're constantly battling mold and mildew problems. A dry, well-sealed foundation prevents a lot of problems. Prone to flooding? Better to be on the top of a hill than near the bottom.

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted April 12 2012 - 07:00 AM

Adam, natural gas, like it was to you was a HUGE upgrade,. I semi-inherited my grandparents' home, built in 1950 and everything at that time was oil. The house always had a certain odor to it, not bad, just figured it was how things were so it never bothered me. I switched to gas in 1998 and couldn't believe the difference, it was like breathing in fresh springtime air. Had no idea that all that time it was the oil smelling up the house. Probably the best upgrade I've done yet on this house. As for living in the country, I have a friend that runs most everything on propane, which also burns very clean with no odor. He has a big outdoor tank tha he gets filled about once a year. I can imagine it comes in handy if there are power outages. Basements I could do without, haven't measured my ceiling but it doubt it's even seven feet, so even the finished, liveable portion has a cramped feeling to it. Add to that the fact that I can't stand basements, the next house I buy will not have a basement. Being the oldest child, my bedroom was always in the basement in every house we ever lived in, so I have no fondness for basements.
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#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted April 12 2012 - 01:07 PM

As for living in the country, I have a friend that runs most everything on propane, which also burns very clean with no odor. He has a big outdoor tank tha he gets filled about once a year. I can imagine it comes in handy if there are power outages.
Unless there is something about propane, which I've never owned, you still need electricity to run the furnace..fans and all that.. Jay
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#11 of 11 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 12 2012 - 05:47 PM

I had a great basement in my previous house. I had it dug an extra course deep, 13 courses, about 13 feet so it would be great with a finished ceiling. However, it never got finished and now I'm 500 miles away :)   I've long been fascinated by the "New Urban" community design: walkable, planned communities with shopping and commercial sections. I don't know that we'll go that way, but there's a couple of locations here that would give me that. Nice houses, lots of sidewalks, and walkable or bike-able jaunt to coffee, restaurants, and movie theater.      Back inside the house: I'd love to have in-floor heating, but that's just a dream I think :)  




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