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Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Help me internet, and/or laugh at another poor sucker owned by home ownership. It's a good excuse to take my mind away from dealing with family holiday drama.

The problem is a defect in an addition (ca. 1990s). Something about the design and/or the execution of the addition has caused water to get into structural elements. The rafters have been replaced. Twice (1999 and 2015). There is currently a large quantity of water (maybe a liter or more) in a section of rafters/roof decking, and more is accumulating/passing through.

The evidence is subtle enough that it can be overlooked or shrugged off. In the summer everything is dry, and staining is hidden or small. Now that it is winter water is accumulating, but only flows when conditions are right. I'll show you.



This is the back of the house in April after moving in. The problem is above the on the side wall of the kitchen addition. On the interior side of that wall, there was a small stain on the ceiling drywall when we moved in. This spot dripped a few weeks ago after a warm (mid 30s F) period following a cold period. Here's a view of that area-



The dripping is just uphill of the skylight, next to the wall. The stain is too small to see from here. (The trim is pulled down a bit from me poking around) The roof above this is much warmer than the rest of the roof, as evidenced by snow melting there



On the exterior side of that wall, there is an eave with a removable soffit vent. A section of the soffit is clearly new boards, presumably from the 2015 job. The pattern of replaced boards matches the pattern of moisture visible today.



Looking behind the soffit vent in April, there was moldy decking (which is 5 years old). Looking in there now there is visible frost and liquid water. Also, a large icicle forms behind the fascia board, which is water flowing from the rafters/decking. Here are views of those areas.

Looking downhill

Looking uphill

The icicle on the right is the bad one

iciles on gutter aren't great. icicles on front of fascia are a bummer. icicle on back of fascia major bummer

The roof style and insulation is something like this


Album: https://imgur.com/a/MCHj4zI

So, I'm fairly confident there is still a serious issue. I'm also moderately confident that it is caused by interior air flowing into these spaces. I could continue trying to diagnose the issue, and/or start coming up with a plan to fix it. But I'm not sure what the next step is. Find a contractor to do the fix? What kind? Or do I pull off the interior trim to look for more clues? Is there a pro that will help diagnose this issue?

Epitope fucked around with this message at 01:49 on Dec 15, 2020

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Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Details about the house
Built in the 50s. On a slope, basement foundation, walk out on the front side (south side). Top floor is at ground level on the back (north side). Single gable roof, ridge in the center running east west. Vaulted ceilings, no attic. There is a ridge vent and soffit vents, but they are likely part of the problem/solution. The original roof is low angle, asphalt roll material.
There are three additions, two of which are part of the problem area. I don't know if they were all done together. I believe they were added in the 90s.

Addition 1 is the loft, so the original roof was removed. This addition is adjacent to the problem area, but may not be the source of the issues.
Addition 2 is a kitchen expansion. This is where there are serious design flaws, or at least risky choices. Issue 1, the addition is in the back, and extends beyond the original foundation. Cantilevered I think you call this? The outside corners are on sonotube. There's not enough space to crawl under, but you can reach under. Issue number 2, there are skylights and further they are at the corner of the roof. This means no eave around this section. If money and remodel time were not factors, I'd get rid of the skylights tomorrow.

Details about contractors. I enjoy DIY, but I have no qualms about paying for a pro to do this. Just want them to actually fix it, and I have yet to meet one who will pay attention and actually think about what is going on. The previous owner paid for a six figure roof job, so clearly throwing money at it is no guarantee. He also sued the owner before, alleging faulty work.The home inspector was a joke, but I've had two roofing companies look, another home inspector, many contractor friends, and now an energy auditor with an infrared camera. Nobody has a diagnosis.Who else can I call? An engineer?

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Motronic posted:

What exactly does this mean? Because it sounds like you need a new roof - a competently done job with appropriate sheaving replaced, ice shield installed, flashing fixed/replaced/augmented, etc.

And then some other things too maybe? I'm not quite sure from your post.

You're not wrong, the roof crew was clearly sloppy. The gutter that drains from the problem area is not sloped properly, so water pools at the non- downspout end. There's wrinkles in the roofing material. They didn't seal the roofing material to the drip edge completely. The drip edge is just thrown on, doesn't overlap the gutter right, lots of places where water runs down the fascia.
However, it's not just a problem with that stuff. Rain doesn't get up into the decking/rafters, at least not much. Ice dams can run uphill, so that could be part of it. There is membrane on the decking, though we can't assume it was applied correctly.The roof above the sky lights isn't vented, since there's no place to put an intake. However most of that roof is ok, it's just the one section next to the wall.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

I don't see a single thing that was done properly there. I doubt there is a way to make that right without major, major tear outs. Anything else you do is just buying time.

Did you get that place inspected before you bought it? Because just from those few pictures I'm seeing a dozen pages of material defects.

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Motronic posted:

I don't see a single thing that was done properly there.

Thank you. No one else will say this. Everyone just talks about how great the house is. Very crazy making

H110Hawk
Dec 28, 2006


There is another thread titled something like "the first thing I should have done is burn it down." I'm of course not suggesting arson, but I also don't know how handy you are with repairing electric service or gas lines. I know literally nothing about cold weather problems but I am almost certain that you're not supposed to have frost inside your rafters and convenient cartoon mouse holes.

I have learned a lot about soffit vents though and how they help prevent ice dams. Whatever those are.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

Epitope posted:

Thank you. No one else will say this. Everyone just talks about how great the house is. Very crazy making

The original house very well may be. The layout of the addition might be nice as well. But based on the little I've seen I would guess it would take me under 45 minutes to inspect and determine that the cheapest way to make that place right would be to tear off the addition and start over.

So again, did you have this place inspected before buying it? If so what did the inspection report say?

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Motronic posted:

The original house very well may be. The layout of the addition might be nice as well. But based on the little I've seen I would guess it would take me under 45 minutes to inspect and determine that the cheapest way to make that place right would be to tear off the addition and start over.

So again, did you have this place inspected before buying it? If so what did the inspection report say?

The original inspector was a joke, he said the house is great. He put in the report that there's no hot spots where the snow is lower, and included a photo where you can see the hot spot where the snow is lower.

The second inspector said ya there's some issues, have someone come fix it. Both roofing companies that came just focused on patching little holes.

Recently had a remodel contractor out. He praised the trim work. I doubt I'm going to use him.

Who do I call next? How do I tell if they're going to be any better than the last several decades of scammers and schlebs?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

Uhhh, you don't call anyone next. Not right now anyway. We're in the middle of a global pandemic, there are material shortages because the supply chain is hosed and contractors are charging a premium because so many people are sitting at home with last summer's vacation money unspent going "you know, we really should finally get to remodeling this room......."

But when this is over you need a good GC who does remodels. Someone with references. Someone who can show you other local work they have done.

If you call a roofer every problem you have will be "solved" within the bounds of roofing. This is typical for any trade. So what you need is the kind of person who manages lots of remodel jobs.

Now that's if you're trying to fix it right. What's this house worth and what's your repair/remodel budget? One or both of those may make it not feasible to do this "all the way." You may need to bite the bullet and put up some electric ice dam poo poo while the same roofer goes through half a roll of flashing to attempt to get water off of that roof in some meaningful way while the addition and the original house continue to move in different directions. FYI, that's what it looks like is happening here in part - and it could be foundation issues, it could be that the addition is simply rotting away at an accelerated pace.

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Thanks, that's good input.

The what's it worth what's your budget question is key. There's some funds available, but when would it be throwing good money after bad?

Some of that ties into the emotional side. I feel like an idiot for sitting at a higher limit table than I should have. Now I'm somewhat pot commited with pretty poo poo cards. Also, of the houses we viewed, this was the one that didn't need remodeled. That was a big draw for me.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

Epitope posted:

The what's it worth what's your budget question is key. There's some funds available, but when would it be throwing good money after bad?

It depends entirely on the scope of the job, the value of the house, and what comparable homes are selling for per square foot. There is no reality in which you don't lose money on this. The only question is exactly how much.

Tezer
Jul 9, 2001



Motronic posted:

Now that's if you're trying to fix it right. What's this house worth and what's your repair/remodel budget? One or both of those may make it not feasible to do this "all the way." You may need to bite the bullet and put up some electric ice dam poo poo while the same roofer goes through half a roll of flashing to attempt to get water off of that roof in some meaningful way while the addition and the original house continue to move in different directions. FYI, that's what it looks like is happening here in part - and it could be foundation issues, it could be that the addition is simply rotting away at an accelerated pace.

Ya, if the corners of the kitchen addition are just piers, all they've got to do is start settling a little bit and the whole assembly where it attaches to the house will start pulling itself apart. There could be bulk water issues causing the leak, and air exfiltration issues causing the ice in the soffits - the building and specifically the roof is complicated so there is likely more than one way it's not working properly.


Epitope posted:

Details about contractors. I enjoy DIY, but I have no qualms about paying for a pro to do this. Just want them to actually fix it, and I have yet to meet one who will pay attention and actually think about what is going on. The previous owner paid for a six figure roof job, so clearly throwing money at it is no guarantee. He also sued the owner before, alleging faulty work.The home inspector was a joke, but I've had two roofing companies look, another home inspector, many contractor friends, and now an energy auditor with an infrared camera. Nobody has a diagnosis.Who else can I call? An engineer?

Motronic has it right, you want a good remodeler. The goal is to find someone with experience managing/performing multiple trades (since you have multiple overlapping issues), and also has experience fixing mistakes. A new construction outfit won't want the work (and they don't have experience with failing assemblies), and remodelers who just do kitchens/baths aren't going to have the experience needed to deal with what is an insulation/air sealing/framing issue.

Finding this contractor won't be easy, particularly because it's hard to figure out whether a specific contractor has the aptitude and interest to dig into the root cause of the issue as opposed to just papering over it. If you have a local green building/performance building supply shop, they might be able to recommend someone who takes that stuff seriously. You could also call in a building consultant, or ask one if they know someone in your area. Here are some examples of what I'm talking about. I really don't recommend this because it will be very expensive and just finding a good remodeler is a better course of action, but you might find it helpful to look at the language they use so you can better gauge whether a contractor is serious or not:
Building Science Corp: https://www.buildingscience.com/
Building Envelope Specialists: https://www.building-envelope-specialists.net/about/

Epitope posted:

The problem is a defect in an addition (ca. 1990s). Something about the design and/or the execution of the addition has caused water to get into structural elements. The rafters have been replaced. Twice (1999 and 2015). There is currently a large quantity of water (maybe a liter or more) in a section of rafters/roof decking, and more is accumulating/passing through.

Which rafters were replaced? If they are visible in the pictures, please label them.

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Thanks, root cause is one of the things I'm very curious about. Now that you fill me in on what that looks like in building science, I have a better idea how viable it is

Tezer posted:

Which rafters were replaced? If they are visible in the pictures, please label them.

I don't know. I talked to the sub who did the rafters in 2015. He said he sistered in. He also remembered having to fix a lot of nail pops. I only know about the 1999 rather job from court filings. It was unpermitted

I poked some more holes in the soffit board between the frost hole and the wall. You can see in this photos. I just hit wood. Seems thick for one rafter, so maybe that's a sister pair

ntan1
Apr 29, 2009

sempai noticed me


Wow, that's an amazing ice dam.

Unfortunately I have no experience with dealing with ice dams (except that it's caused by either non-ventilation of the unconditioned attic space OR by air leaking from the living space into the attic), because I don't live in a place that gets under freezing.

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

ntan1 posted:

Wow, that's an amazing ice dam.

Unfortunately I have no experience with dealing with ice dams (except that it's caused by either non-ventilation of the unconditioned attic space OR by air leaking from the living space into the attic), because I don't live in a place that gets under freezing.

Oh right, thank you for reminding me. They added a ridge vent in 2015. However, they did not run it the whole length, there is still a section that is unvented. The section they didn't vent includes the very same rafter channel that is full of frost at the bottom. You can see the gap in the vent if you zoom in on the first photo (behind the bathroom fan chimney). The loft and its opposite side are fully vented.

I'm still tempted to pull down a bunch of trim, and see if I can't find where air is going through and stuff up the hole. The trim isn't sealed, so I don't think I'll be disturbing any air barrier. It is large and heavy, so it would not go back on easily. The missus would not enjoy having the kitchen feel like a construction zone, and of course there's the risk I gently caress things up worse. If it stems the bleeding though, could be worth it.

I'm also tempted to bring in another energy auditor. I understand they are not going to really get to the root cause, but they are $$$ instead of $$$$ or $$$$$. Could gain more information, and I don't see much risk beyond wasting a relatively small amount of money and time.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

Epitope posted:

Oh right, thank you for reminding me. They added a ridge vent in 2015. However, they did not run it the whole length, there is still a section that is unvented. The section they didn't vent includes the very same rafter channel that is full of frost at the bottom

The soffit vents you've shown so far aren't likely to be anywhere near adequate for a ridge vent. Also, your ridge vent may be too large, too small or just right. We don't know. That takes measurements and math.

A few points on this:

- You can absolutely have too much ridge vent.
- You really can't have too much soffit vent, but you sure can have too little.
- The fact that your ridge vent doesn't span the entire ridge isn't useful information without knowing other things.

It's entirely possible that some of your ice damming is due to lack of insulation. It's equally as possible some of it is due to too much/improperly installed insulation. I like to see soffit vent baffles installed in any place with a ridge vent to make sure the airflow is working and will remain working even if someone goes up in the attic and does stupid poo poo kicking insulation around:

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

There's no attic so I don't know really what it looks like in there. The "mouse hole" is as I understand it the vent between the soffit and the insulated run to the ridge. How much insulation and how much air space I can't guess. Are there other cross members? Did they get mouse holes? Dunno. I would bet there's not a ton of airflow between channels, but I highly doubt they're sealed from each other. Still, I have very little confidence the ventilation is correctly balanced anywhere, let alone in the problem spot. But point well taken, I won't start cutting more ridge vent as soon as it's above 40

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

Epitope posted:

There's no attic so I don't know really what it looks like in there. The "mouse hole" is as I understand it the vent between the soffit and the insulated run to the ridge. How much insulation and how much air space I can't guess. Are there other cross members? Did they get mouse holes? Dunno. I would bet there's not a ton of airflow between channels, but I highly doubt they're sealed from each other. Still, I have very little confidence the ventilation is correctly balanced anywhere, let alone in the problem spot. But point well taken, I won't start cutting more ridge vent as soon as it's above 40

Why is there no attic? Is this all cathedral ceiling inside? Or is there an attic that just doesn't have any access?

I see that "loft" thing in your photos, and perhaps that's the spot you're talking about now? It's really difficult to understand just what exactly we're talking about when you get into specifics after I've given you generalities.

carticket
Jun 28, 2005

white and gold.



Thanks for posting this. I have to install baffles in my attic but didn't know what they were called.

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Vaulted cathedral ceilings, no attic anywhere. There are a couple closets with flat ceilings, so small dead spaces above those I guess

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

Mr. Powers posted:

Thanks for posting this. I have to install baffles in my attic but didn't know what they were called.

There are a ton of different styles. If you are retrofitting them in make sure you find something that makes your life/that job easy as there are absolutely some that are meant to be installed in new construction that will be a huge pain in the rear end for rework. There's an entirely plastic type I've seen that attach up high around the joists that are great for retros. There are even better/easier options if you're doing this with the rood decking off. I doubt that's the case but I'm gonna mention it just in case you're replacing your roof anyway......it's SO much easier that way.

Also, depending on where you are in the world you might hear other names for this including "rafter vent".

Epitope posted:

Vaulted cathedral ceilings, no attic anywhere. There are a couple closets with flat ceilings, so small dead spaces above those I guess

Yeah, that sucks. Because you can't even tell what you've got until the roof decking is up or you're tearing out drywall. This is another one in the "tear off the addition and start over" column.

Tezer
Jul 9, 2001



Epitope posted:

There's no attic so I don't know really what it looks like in there. The "mouse hole" is as I understand it the vent between the soffit and the insulated run to the ridge. How much insulation and how much air space I can't guess. Are there other cross members? Did they get mouse holes? Dunno. I would bet there's not a ton of airflow between channels, but I highly doubt they're sealed from each other. Still, I have very little confidence the ventilation is correctly balanced anywhere, let alone in the problem spot. But point well taken, I won't start cutting more ridge vent as soon as it's above 40

We're getting away from your acute problem near the kitchen, but this is kind of the nature of your problem - a bunch of just not quite right decisions all working together to create a weird failure.

Today, when you build a cathedral ceiling the insulation and ventilation of the assembly is restricted by code to a limited number of configurations. This is done because as buildings have gotten more air-tight and insulation values have gone up, failures emerged in cathedral roofs. Warm, moisture-laden air rises inside the home, worms it's way into the roof, and condenses against the cold sheathing. A lot of these roofs still work because they are so leaky they manage to dry out anyways, but when they fail slowly it results in rot (might be why your rafters got replaced) and when they fail fast it results in what looks like leaks but is really just tons of condensation.

Here's my best guess with your main roof (ignoring the kitchen addition and the loft). It is probably insulated with fiberglass batts, it might have ventilation channels like Motronic mentioned or it might just have loose batts. At some point someone was told it needed to be ventilated, so a hole got cut at the soffit (in your pictures) and the ridge vent got added. Maybe they were original, but if they were original I don't know why the soffit vent is a round hole - that's something I can imagine doing while retrofitting an assembly, but a weird choice if it was built that way to begin with. There is likely zero air flow from rafter bay to rafter bay unless they drilled holes in each rafter, which structurally wouldn't have been a good idea so probably wasn't done.

Maybe some of this moisture is from roof ice-dams, but if it's really just all condensation (and it mostly looks like that - the ice crystals are depositing as opposed to flowing) the short term goal should be to limit the amount of warm, moist air that can get into these assemblies. To start, you need to figure out where it's getting in. You could hire someone, but given you're pretty invested in this and have had poor experiences so far, you might just want to take the first step yourself.

Buy something that will emit visible smoke so you can try and find small air movements. These are typically called "smoke pens" or "smoke pencils" or "smoke leak detectors". For big stuff you just straight up rent a fog machine, but you want something inexpensive and handheld. I just tried searching for them and stick "air leak" on the end of your search to avoid getting a lot of vaping results. Play around with it and see if you can start developing an idea of how warm air might be leaving your house.

Here's the first youtube link I pulled up, he shows how to use it to detect air flowing away from you, as well as air flowing towards you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l_Vv5QjvTQ

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

You are brave Tezer.

You also sound like you really know what the hell you are talking about. But yeah.....this is well beyond what is useful to someone in this position. This is a homeowner, not another contractor you are talking with.

Elviscat
Jan 1, 2008

MESS WITH THE OWL GET DISEMBOWEL





I'm not an expert like some of the other guys, but I wouldn't rule out straight up leakage around that kitchen addition, that roll roofing you have is notorious for leaking, even in places where you don't get snow buildup and ice dams, and it looks like there's a big seam in it right where the problem area is, and a bunch of really weird looking flashing.

Also those nearly-flat skylights are the worst loving idea in snow country. Roof penetrations are difficult to seal well on high pitch roofs in places that don't have snow, a nearly-flat roof that builds up snow, and you better make drat sure you know what you're doing.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

Elviscat posted:

Also those nearly-flat skylights are the worst loving idea in snow country.

There were so many other things I didn't even get to this part but yeah......if this isn't a tear down those are like the first loving thing that needs to go.

Tezer
Jul 9, 2001



Motronic posted:

You are brave Tezer.

You also sound like you really know what the hell you are talking about. But yeah.....this is well beyond what is useful to someone in this position. This is a homeowner, not another contractor you are talking with.

Ya, but I figure everyone has time to kill these days.

I started writing "first, start removing trim" and then realized that kind of advice would lead nowhere good. Can't break anything or hurt yourself with a smoke pen.

Elviscat posted:

Also those nearly-flat skylights are the worst loving idea in snow country. Roof penetrations are difficult to seal well on high pitch roofs in places that don't have snow, a nearly-flat roof that builds up snow, and you better make drat sure you know what you're doing.

Agreed.

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

I mean, what about getting a pro to look behind the trim?

Tezer
Jul 9, 2001



This might help you find someone qualified. I know people who have this certification, but I don't have direct experience.
http://www.bpi.org/

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Nice. This sounds like I'm getting warmer for sure
https://www.linkedin.com/in/fairwinds

quote:

Specialties: Energy and Building Analysis,
Project Development and Management,
Promotion and Sales of Green Products
Energy Technology Installation and Education

I hope you're making this thread a lot more boring. It would be better internet if I rip off the trim while mototronic shouts at me

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Tezer posted:

Maybe some of this moisture is from roof ice-dams, but if it's really just all condensation (and it mostly looks like that - the ice crystals are depositing as opposed to flowing) the short term goal should be to limit the amount of warm, moist air that can get into these assemblies. To start, you need to figure out where it's getting in. You could hire someone, but given you're pretty invested in this and have had poor experiences so far, you might just want to take the first step yourself.

(smoke pen stuff)

I recognize some of my poor experience comes from within. I am an unwilling remodeled, which makes me a pain in the rear end. Will y'all be my therapist so the contractors don't have to? Thanks.

I am biased and uneducated/inexperienced in this field, but you are reinforcing my theory. It's interior air. The roof is not great, but generally fine. It was recently redone and has had several roofers check it. The addition foundation is not great either, but whether it's involved or not the water is not coming from the foundation. Also, the water in the rafters has been going on for a long time, possibly since the addition was added. So I doubt foundation movement created the issue. Not only has it been going on a long time, it appears to be somewhat consistent. The soffit boards that were replaced 5 years match the current moisture pattern. I still allow myself to hope there's a big air path that, if plugged, will slow the issue down significantly. This picture tantalizes me



It looks like the warm wet air path is visible in the frost pattern, and that it's a strong enough stream to traverse the rafter space. Whether that's the case doesn't really change the next steps. What are the next steps? I'm continuing to look for contractors, but I'm running into what you and Motro talked about. It's hard to find the right one, and they're all busy. And, if this is a small job (which of course I wish it to be) it's not worth their time. So, while I wait, I may as well keep going with relatively cheap non-invasive diagnostics. I think I will book another thermal camera blower door person. When the guy that came had his blower door running, i swear I could feel air coming in from behind the trim there. Maybe I'll play with a smoke pen, or find someone who does that. I wonder about bringing the trim down first. Also, if there is an obvious path to plug, who will plug it?

I did just go ahead and take off one piece of trim that's small enough I can put it back up easily. Used stir stick shim ftw



Epitope fucked around with this message at 14:45 on Dec 16, 2020

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

So this "trim" you keep talking about taking off is - around the windows? I'm not sure what you're trying to show us there other than the cheapest thing you can use in place of "millwork" that has been shoddily installed which is probably indicative of the quality of the entire addition.

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer



All the blond boards around the windows and skylights. Well not all of them. The ones by the wall with the knife board

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

Yeah, I'm not sure what you're expecting to find other than poorly insulated windows. Evaluating what's happening in that house is well beyond removing some trim.

I'd start with a Flir camera and be ready with a sawzall for where that directed me.

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

FLIR has happened, I had a guy out. I learned two things. Those things are not easy to use or interpret (he let me play with it). And unfortunately there's no obvious clue there. The guy I had out is a pro, but he was incredibly sloppy, so I'm planning on getting someone else out

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Also, couldn't "poorly insulated windows" be part of the problem, and something that could be addressed with less invasive methods? Like, I get it, you and maybe any professional worth a drat is not going to see any point in dinking around with this stuff. But I have to. I can't commit to what sounds like a six figure rehab job without trying every other option first. And again, the previous owner did a six figure rehab job, and it didn't fix the problem.

Here's some more pictures of that window, with what looks like more interior air working it's way through.


Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

I really don't know what you're looking for here. The addition is hosed. I have a hard time believing that there was "six figures" of work done on it, as that's probably enough to tear it off and start over. You're being cagy about what the house is worth so it's impossible to suggest when amount of work would be reasonable.

Understanding what you've already been told and that there are no easy or magic answers, what exactly are you hoping to accomplish with this thread?

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

I don't understand why the house's value is all that relevant. I mean sure one exit is to move, but we don't want to move. We just don't want the house to rot while we live in it. I'm here to organize my thoughts, and put them in a sharable form. Maybe get some feedback, maybe provide some entertainment. You're giving me feedback, so thank you.

Here's my idea of a potential air path I would like to investigate. As you note, these guys didn't do a good job. Maybe one of the lazy shortcuts they took resulted in a hole that me or someone more skilled than me can plug. Maybe that will cost thousands instead of hundreds of thousands. Maybe this is all just me satisfying myself that the only fix is tearing it all out.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

Epitope posted:

I don't understand why the house's value is all that relevant.

You're not familiar with the term "throwing good money after bad"?

Fixing this correctly is drat near a certainty of tearing off the addition, which means a $100k+ bill. If that is a significant percentage of the value of your home it is 100% not worth it. If this is a million dollar home it's the easiest decision in the world to just do it right.

Now, once that direction is established it defines how you proceed with investigating the details of the problem.

That is why it matters. In fact, it's the very first thing that matters. You're saying things like "we don't want to move" but it's entirely possible that you might not be able to afford not to move. The more you actually know about these problems the more you have to disclose. Sometimes just getting a sense of it and remaining willfully ignorant before doing the paperwork to unload the place is the best move.

Now if you're independently wealthy and none of this matters then do whatever the hell you want, but I'd suggest hiring the kind of person we've already discussed and telling them "be ready to start work in the spring, we'll be moving out for 30 days while you complete the job."

Bi-la kaifa
Feb 4, 2011

Space maggots.



I know it's apples to oranges but it's like when you're faced with a pricey repair cost for your automobile. Sure you could fork over three grand to redo the valve stems and replace that timing belt, but you bought it for 5k and the tow truck guy said he'd give you $200 to let him get a salvage fee for it. The amount of time and money it's going to take to properly redo the addition and fix whatever issue you happen to be fixating on now needs to be within an amount that would offer you a reasonable return when you sell it/burn it down. Don't fix it for $100k if all you're going to get back is $300k, but if it's worth way more than the rebuild cost then it's absolutely worth doing.

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Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Ya I'm familiar with the willfully ignorant maneuver since I just got skewered by it. Not my style though. And I'd kinda like to at least pretend we don't live in a giant casino of a civilization. I do recognize that pretending has cost me chips. I suppose it's worth mentioning legal action. I'm not sure we have many options, since everyone who works here is pretty good at covering their asses.

Look, I find the biz fin min maxing stuff tedious and distasteful. We don't need to determine which limb to amputate today, so we're gonna let it ride. If all you can think about is necrotizing flesh, and that's not your thing, thank you for your time. I'm gonna focus on the science and engineering until I'm out of rabbit holes to explore.

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