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mcgreenvegtables
Nov 2, 2004
Yum!

Brennanite posted:

Is this load-bearing ducting? Because I really, really want to buy this house, but I don't have the money to renovate a house that's been that badly "updated."



Edited to show image because I am dumb.

Do you have more pictures? I have some engineer-verified non-load-bearing brick walls in my basement, so its possible. At a minimum, that doorway lacks a functional header, and at least from this angle, it seems like a minor miracle that thick masonry over the door has not fallen yet.

Also, this is something you can sort out in a home inspection. If your market is too hot for one of those right now, at least do a walk-through pre-offer inspection and ask the inspector about it.

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Brennanite
Feb 14, 2009


mcgreenvegtables posted:

Do you have more pictures? I have some engineer-verified non-load-bearing brick walls in my basement, so its possible. At a minimum, that doorway lacks a functional header, and at least from this angle, it seems like a minor miracle that thick masonry over the door has not fallen yet.

Also, this is something you can sort out in a home inspection. If your market is too hot for one of those right now, at least do a walk-through pre-offer inspection and ask the inspector about it.

This is the only other picture of the basement. It's the part on the other side of the "door" in the wall. You can see in this room there's been some masonry removed for ducting, but it doesn't seem as bad.


The market here is INSANE. Please tell me about this pre-offer inspection because I would very much like not to buy a money pit.

SourKraut
Nov 20, 2005

POST QUALITY UNDER CONSTRUCTION




Maybe it was a joke, but we have a newborn and my brain is tired, but... there's really no such thing as load-bearing ductwork. Maybe there's a metal beam or such above it that is actually bearing the load, but just from the images, I'd personally be concerned.

It also looks like they had a leak at some point that was 3+ feet deep, and looking at some of that concrete, it looks in pretty rough shape in places.

I'd run away.

Brennanite
Feb 14, 2009


SourKraut posted:

Maybe it was a joke, but we have a newborn and my brain is tired, but... there's really no such thing as load-bearing ductwork. Maybe there's a metal beam or such above it that is actually bearing the load, but just from the images, I'd personally be concerned.

It also looks like they had a leak at some point that was 3+ feet deep, and looking at some of that concrete, it looks in pretty rough shape in places.

I'd run away.

It was a joke, but I spent like six months after my kid was born as a zombie, so I get it. There's no way that basement ever had even 3 inches of water in it though, unless someone ran a hose through the window. More likely, it's weeping through the foundation wall. It's a 100 yr old house, so that worries me a lot less than the missing portion of a potentially load-bearing wall just because it seems like that could compromise the entire structure. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that.

Queen Victorian
Feb 21, 2018



Brennanite posted:

More likely, it's weeping through the foundation wall. It's a 100 yr old house, so that worries me a lot less than the missing portion of a potentially load-bearing wall just because it seems like that could compromise the entire structure. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that.

Yeah, I think the white is just weeping/efflorescence - it happens in porous old house basements and generally isn't anything to worry about.

As for the middle basement wall in the first pic with the ducting going through it, if I'm piecing the pics together correctly, it is parallel to the joists so there's a good chance it's not supposed to be load-bearing. Going off my own basement, we have a center wall that IS load-bearing, but ours is perpendicular to the joists. I'm not a structural engineer or construction expert by any means though so hopefully you get some more input before you have to make a decision.

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



Fridge chat: the crappy integrated fridge freezer than came in our 5yr old house is acting up and loads of plastic bits have started cracking, plus the freezer drawer runners are collapsing because they aren't properly filled with foam. So we dragged the Bosch beer fridge in from the garage, the first fridge freezer my wife and I bought nearly 18 years ago. Apart from the freezer drawers that have cracked and broken it's in pretty good condition, better than this contractor grade pos.

Final Blog Entry
Jun 23, 2006

"Love us with money or we'll hate you with hammers!"

cakesmith handyman posted:

Fridge chat: the crappy integrated fridge freezer than came in our 5yr old house is acting up and loads of plastic bits have started cracking, plus the freezer drawer runners are collapsing because they aren't properly filled with foam. So we dragged the Bosch beer fridge in from the garage, the first fridge freezer my wife and I bought nearly 18 years ago. Apart from the freezer drawers that have cracked and broken it's in pretty good condition, better than this contractor grade pos.

This thing has been with me since my first dorm room and will be 20 years old in the next couple of months

mcgreenvegtables
Nov 2, 2004
Yum!

Brennanite posted:

This is the only other picture of the basement. It's the part on the other side of the "door" in the wall. You can see in this room there's been some masonry removed for ducting, but it doesn't seem as bad.


The market here is INSANE. Please tell me about this pre-offer inspection because I would very much like not to buy a money pit.

You can just hire an inspector to walk through the property with you before you put in an offer, then decide if you want to put in an offer or not, no contingency. They aren't going to be able to spend 6 hours looking behind outlet covers, but will definitely be able to give you answers to questions like the ones you have and make a general thumbs up / thumbs down assessment.

If your realtor didn't mention this they are the worst, like all other realtors

The second picture suggests the joists run parallel to that wall, at least in the room with the HVAC unit. However, it also seems like there are two sets of basement stairs ?? So who knows what is going on. Regardless you should bring someone with you to take a look at the house, but this particular issue is probably not a big deal.

EDIT: Real reason to pass on the house is those cans of Behr paint.

mcgreenvegtables fucked around with this message at 20:13 on Apr 15, 2021

BigPaddy
Jun 30, 2008

That night we performed the rite and opened the gate.
Halfway through, I went to fix us both a coke float.
By the time I got back, he'd gone insane.
Plus, he'd left the gate open and there was evil everywhere.




Adding to Realtors are the worst. My place was up for 2 weeks and no offers. I force them to lower the price and same day I have a no contingency offer for 9k less than the old listing price. They said I could have held out but with other offers that came in not budging it shows the house was overpriced and all the other agents saying it was priced well are liars.

Brennanite
Feb 14, 2009


mcgreenvegtables posted:

You can just hire an inspector to walk through the property with you before you put in an offer, then decide if you want to put in an offer or not, no contingency. They aren't going to be able to spend 6 hours looking behind outlet covers, but will definitely be able to give you answers to questions like the ones you have and make a general thumbs up / thumbs down assessment.

If your realtor didn't mention this they are the worst, like all other realtors

The second picture suggests the joists run parallel to that wall, at least in the room with the HVAC unit. However, it also seems like there are two sets of basement stairs ?? So who knows what is going on. Regardless you should bring someone with you to take a look at the house, but this particular issue is probably not a big deal.

EDIT: Real reason to pass on the house is those cans of Behr paint.

Ah, I did not know that was a thing. I'll go check it in person at the weekend open house and try to rustle up a reliable inspector in the meantime. I have no idea what is going on with the stairs, but my gut is that this house was added on at the back. I think that's why there's essentially two separate basements. One is the original cellar and one is under the addition.

tangy yet delightful
Sep 13, 2005





Brennanite posted:

Ah, I did not know that was a thing. I'll go check it in person at the weekend open house and try to rustle up a reliable inspector in the meantime. I have no idea what is going on with the stairs, but my gut is that this house was added on at the back. I think that's why there's essentially two separate basements. One is the original cellar and one is under the addition.

You could try pulling permits, seems like most places these days have online searchable databases. By most places I probably only mean major metro large pop counties but hey!

edit: not to say the work was permitted, but maybe

SourKraut
Nov 20, 2005

POST QUALITY UNDER CONSTRUCTION




Brennanite posted:

It was a joke, but I spent like six months after my kid was born as a zombie, so I get it. There's no way that basement ever had even 3 inches of water in it though, unless someone ran a hose through the window. More likely, it's weeping through the foundation wall. It's a 100 yr old house, so that worries me a lot less than the missing portion of a potentially load-bearing wall just because it seems like that could compromise the entire structure. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that.

Hah, no worries I guess I was assuming the basement had double walls with a waterproofing membrane between them, but guessing that's not the case, and yeah, that could be weeping. Not sure if that bookcase has always lived there, but it definitely looks like there was water damage to it at some point based on the bottom portion?


Queen Victorian posted:

Yeah, I think the white is just weeping/efflorescence - it happens in porous old house basements and generally isn't anything to worry about.

As for the middle basement wall in the first pic with the ducting going through it, if I'm piecing the pics together correctly, it is parallel to the joists so there's a good chance it's not supposed to be load-bearing. Going off my own basement, we have a center wall that IS load-bearing, but ours is perpendicular to the joists. I'm not a structural engineer or construction expert by any means though so hopefully you get some more input before you have to make a decision.

Regarding the load bearing nature of that wall, it depends also on what is on the floor above, because it originally could have been built so that a wall directly above the basement, directly transferred its load to the wall beneath, regardless of the direction of the joists. Looking at the pictures again closely, it looks like there's probably a couple of beams on the side(s) of the ductwork that may have been there the entire time or were put in when they did the ductwork, but ultimately I'm guessing the loading is taken care of.

Of course, it's also not uncommon for installation craftsmen to notch studs/joists/etc. without really thinking, so who knows, lol.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

SourKraut posted:

Hah, no worries I guess I was assuming the basement had double walls with a waterproofing membrane between them

A what? Where are things built this way?

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



Ships?

SourKraut
Nov 20, 2005

POST QUALITY UNDER CONSTRUCTION




Motronic posted:

A what? Where are things built this way?

Where I lived in Illinois, the water table was fairly shallow, and so a lot of basements were built where the structural walls were formed/poured, then a waterproofing membrane set on the exterior, and then wire mesh set adjacent to the membrane and shotcrete applied to encapsulate the membrane. At least, this is what seemed to be done up until the 80s, when builders starting cheapening out and simply went with the wall+membrane approach or, in some cases, concrete sealers only.

Now I live in Phoenix, and while basements aren't very common, when they are built, ironically waterstop is often used in any CJs and EJs in addition to a membrane, because the soil is so dry, that when it does rain, the soil will readily absorb everything, so a few feet below depth, you can have the soil remain saturated for quite some time, which causes frequent weeping into the basement space after storms.

Qwijib0
Apr 10, 2007

Who needs on-field skills when you can dance like this?


Fun Shoe

mcgreenvegtables posted:


EDIT: Real reason to pass on the house is those cans of Behr paint.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

SourKraut posted:

Where I lived in Illinois, the water table was fairly shallow, and so a lot of basements were built where the structural walls were formed/poured, then a waterproofing membrane set on the exterior, and then wire mesh set adjacent to the membrane and shotcrete applied to encapsulate the membrane. At least, this is what seemed to be done up until the 80s, when builders starting cheapening out and simply went with the wall+membrane approach or, in some cases, concrete sealers only.

Now I live in Phoenix, and while basements aren't very common, when they are built, ironically waterstop is often used in any CJs and EJs in addition to a membrane, because the soil is so dry, that when it does rain, the soil will readily absorb everything, so a few feet below depth, you can have the soil remain saturated for quite some time, which causes frequent weeping into the basement space after storms.

Gunnite isn't waterproof. You're misunderstanding what it was used for.

These days you hang a sheet of exterior waterproofing membrane on top of the waterproofing you put on the exterior basement walls which is not only better because it's actually waterproof but also fills the role of the gunnite: keeping the waterproofing membrane from being damaged.

In no way was it a second wall. If you saw someone applying it that thick they were doing it wrong. This construction method wasn't unique to Illinois, but is long gone today.

Motronic fucked around with this message at 15:07 on Apr 17, 2021

SourKraut
Nov 20, 2005

POST QUALITY UNDER CONSTRUCTION




Motronic posted:

Gunnite isn't waterproof. You're misunderstanding what it was used for.

These days you hang a sheet of exterior waterproofing membrane on top of the waterproofing you put on the exterior basement walls which is not only better because it's actually waterproof but also fills the role of the gunnite: keeping the waterproofing membrane from being damaged.

In no way was it a second wall. If you saw someone applying it that thick they were doing it wrong. This construction method wasn't unique to Illinois, but is long gone today.

It wasn't gunnite, it was either shotcrete or flowable concrete, and admixtures absolutely exist for both shotcrete and flowable concrete that give it high resistance to water permeability. (Reminder: shotcrete and gunnite aren't the same thing, even though people like to use them interchangeably). Gunnite sucks and should never be used.

Which isn't to say that it should be used for this purpose these days, but you could absolutely shotcrete/flow a 3"-4" wall with welded wire mesh and a suitable admixture and have it act as a secondary water-resistant barrier and protective barrier to the membrane.

But yes, it isn't actually a structural wall, which is apparently how you interpreted it... and as above, I would say isn't really needed anymore.

Rat Poisson
Nov 6, 2010



Im looking for thoughts on this plan. Id like to slightly improve the insulation in our ceilings and also cover up some hideous acoustic tiling in the process. We also need to improve the lighting in the bedrooms, which is currently a single wall sconce in each room, so wed like to get some ceiling-mounted lighting going.

Our house in 1960s vintage, with a flat roof (actually a slight slope) and no attic space. Being a southern california tract house, it has zero insulation anywhere. There is no attic space. The roof/ceiling currently is: rolled asphalt roofing over ~3/4 tongue+groove planks with acoustic tiles glued (tested positive for asbestos) to the underside of the roof planks. The tiles are the ceiling treatment on the inside, so it resembles a schoolroom or whatever. It leaks cold air like a sieve around the tops of the walls where the t+g roof planks meet the walls, although this is visibly obscured by the acoustic tiling. In the summers the roof (and walls) soaks up the sun and the rooms quickly hit 80-90F+. There is no AC in the house, but there is forced air heating delivered through soffits.

Im thinking of placing ~2 thick rigid styrofoam board against the acoustic tiles, and then securing the foam with 1x furring strips, using screws sunk upward through the furring, through the foam, through the acoustic tile, and into the roof planking. Then use the furring strips as the basis for attaching 1/2 drywall as the new ceiling treatment. In the process Im thinking Id add (4) round pan electrical boxes on the furring strips to provide a way to mount low-profile LED ceiling lights up there. Ideally the styrofoam would act as a radiant barrier and insulating layer to reject some of the heat the roof soaks up during the afternoons. There are also exposed beams running on the ceiling in each room (10+ depth), so Im thinking that 2 foam + 3/4 furring + 1/2 drywall will still leave enough beam exposed to not lose that feature.



Ive read varying opinions about the danger of creating a mold+fungus farm and the necessity for vapor barriers (or not) when adding insulation into existing structures. Much of that advice seems tilted toward houses in places with actual cold weather and the potential for condensation against the underside of a cold roof in winter. That ought to be less of an issue in coastal SoCal, but Im still casting around for opinions on that topic. If the styrofoam plan isnt a complete non-starter, would you approach the attachment and drywalling strategy in a different way?

His Divine Shadow
Aug 7, 2000

I'm not a fascist. I'm a priest. Fascists dress up in black and tell people what to do.


Rat Poisson posted:

Ive read varying opinions about the danger of creating a mold+fungus farm and the necessity for vapor barriers (or not) when adding insulation into existing structures. Much of that advice seems tilted toward houses in places with actual cold weather and the potential for condensation against the underside of a cold roof in winter. That ought to be less of an issue in coastal SoCal, but Im still casting around for opinions on that topic. If the styrofoam plan isnt a complete non-starter, would you approach the attachment and drywalling strategy in a different way?

What you need to be thinking about is humidity and ventilation. More insulation means you need enough ventilation to pull out air and pull in new one (ideally a slight underpressure in your house so moisture is not forced into gaps and holes in your vapor barriers).

I'd do the extra insulation and use a vapor barrier, and keep an eye on the air humidity indoors.

EDIT: Wait california and no AC? I read it as you had one. An AC I think would help with dehumidification.

His Divine Shadow fucked around with this message at 05:31 on Apr 18, 2021

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



I won't comment too much because vapour barriers etc are complicated but I will say please don't use styrofoam as it's horribly flammable. Although more expensive there are better insulation foams available.

His Divine Shadow
Aug 7, 2000

I'm not a fascist. I'm a priest. Fascists dress up in black and tell people what to do.


There is also insulation that does not really require a vapor barrier. I am mostly working from using rockwool which is most common here, most of the main insulation here goes bad when it goes wet. Vapor barriers are important for that, though they seal up the house so well that you need to compensate with ventilation. So there are options here, I am not an expert on what is most available in california.

Rat Poisson
Nov 6, 2010



cakesmith handyman posted:

I won't comment too much because vapour barriers etc are complicated but I will say please don't use styrofoam as it's horribly flammable. Although more expensive there are better insulation foams available.

That's worth discussing. I was envisioning the 4x8 sheets of polystyrene or poly-iso with radiant foil on one face. I guess it's mainly used for insulating foundations, and maybe it's inappropriate for interior usage? If the rigid foam sheets aren't feasible, am I stuck using some floppy fiberglas or rockwool batts?


His Divine Shadow posted:

There is also insulation that does not really require a vapor barrier. I am mostly working from using rockwool which is most common here, most of the main insulation here goes bad when it goes wet. Vapor barriers are important for that, though they seal up the house so well that you need to compensate with ventilation. So there are options here, I am not an expert on what is most available in california.

We're effectively a desert, so prolonged high humidity inside is less of an issue. I don't see much vapor barrier used here on interior spaces, just exterior housewraps. For whatever it's worth, I can also add that our bathrooms had drop ceilings added at some point, and the cavity above the ceiling panels has stayed mold-free for decades. The bathrooms only have exterior windows, no exhaust fans, but the accumulated steam from showers hasn't caused any issues.

FCKGW
May 21, 2006



https://twitter.com/newslambert/status/1383809837876662281?s=21

😬

devmd01
Mar 7, 2006

Elektronik
Supersonik


Well there go my plans to add more shelving to my garage, it can wait. Better spent as a winter project anyways.

His Divine Shadow
Aug 7, 2000

I'm not a fascist. I'm a priest. Fascists dress up in black and tell people what to do.


Damnit to america get your lumber under control. We're having record prices here too because people are exporting lumber to america because of the high prices there. This is looking to ruin my building plans. And it's definitely a summer project

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




At this rate, it'll be 2025 before I actually get started on construction in my basement.

extravadanza
Oct 19, 2007


I just built a Pergola with some bracket kits and the Cedar was ~$1200 for 6"x6"x8' (6) and 6"x6"x12' (2). Never bought cedar before so I don't know how much that usually costs, but it seemed real pricey to me.

devmd01
Mar 7, 2006

Elektronik
Supersonik


Our neighborhood has a specific mailbox/mailbox post guy we use. He was across the street doing our neighbors yesterday, so I went over to chat with him a bit to get a new flyer that I could disseminate since the one I have is over two years old. His material costs have gone up at least 50%.

iv46vi
Apr 2, 2010


The new hot trend on YouTube seems to be building workbenches and shelves with aluminum extrusion fixtures because the cost is now comparable with wood products.

SpartanIvy
May 18, 2007


Hair Elf

I just spent 2 hours on my stomach in my crawl space hosing all the wood down with bora-care and mold-care. So loving exhausted but gently caress you bugs and mold!

I put together a sweet spraying rig using a Ryobi electric backpack sprayer that I spliced 50 feet of additional hose onto. With my girlfriend tending the rig outside and reeling in and out hose as needed it was a far better experience than it could have been.

SpartanIvy fucked around with this message at 21:26 on Apr 18, 2021

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

That's a really good idea.

Bet you're glad that job is over.

tater_salad
Sep 15, 2007




Wow.. gently caress that job.

DaveSauce
Feb 15, 2004

Oh, how awkward.


Contractor finally got off their rear end and is getting permits moving for our deck/porch.

5 months after signing the contract.

I guess they were waiting for us to get HOA approval, despite us asking the project manager every few weeks for basic plan/elevation drawings, because we told them on multiple occasions that we needed those for HOA approval. Pretty sure he was just a dipshit, though, because the owner is now the primary contact point.

I wonder if it's a good idea to ask him to switch to steel instead of PT for the framing. Also I hope they honor their initial quote but lmao we're probably going to get reamed on materials. At least we're using trex for the decking, probably cheaper right now!

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Straight White Shark
May 16, 2009



Fun Shoe

Sooo just went to install some shelves in the closet the previous owner built and it seems like they left some of the drywall compound unpainted around the corners. Thought I was done with painting, now at a minimum we have to prime and repaint this thing. Urgh.

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