House Hunters

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Occasionally I will watch the shows on HGTV.
I just don't understand, why the prices seem so far out of reality...they redid an entire basement, extended a living room on the ground floor and made it into a balcony for the master bedroom on top, redid the landscape, all new kitchen...and the total price was like 38K? Where have they been? 38K is not even enough for the kitchen cabinets.
Tonight I watched the House Hunters show, where they showed three houses to a couple and they choose. The wife said "I don't like the location, it's too far from work, and the rooms are small, however, I really like the closet door decor and the brush nickle finish feature of the faucets". Hmmm...ok...brush nickle faucet feature - checked - sold!!!
MC
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I think because they make teh homeowners do a lot fo the work. They don't show it all step-by-step, but from what I've seen overall, there is a lot of "sweat equity", as opposed to having all of it done professionally. They also seem to cut corners.

I know, some of the comments are incredibly dopey - although I suppose that shouldn't be surprising.
I used to watch it sometimes to try to get ideas, but a lot of their ideas in the recent couple of years seem to be og decreasing interest to me.
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These shows are all sponsored and supplied by the manufacturers.

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I watch some of these home shows from time to time simply because I am in the middle of a major redo project and I was hoping to get some ideas...unfortunately I have gotten none.
Most of these shows are not very creative. Same idea recycled over and over again.
This house has a ugly looking carpet, so how to improve it? Wow just like magic, you pull up the carpet there is this beautiful untarnished original oak wood floor or terrazo, ding ding ding, problem solved! and the owners didn't even know!
while I am sitting here still trying to figure out how to hang a few ceiling fans in a non-intrusive way, went through three dozen ideas and none stick.
Forget it, I am going to let the wires hang for another two weeks, may be some idea will come to me, meanwhile onto the kitchen!
Don, you left Florida in time, the real estate down here is just completely depressing.
but I do like the brush nickel finish feature of the faucet. LOL.
MC
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don't like carpets, does not work in hot/humid Florida anyways.
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Well, they are ALL wrong. I am right :)
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We got a type of tile in this house that feels, dunno how to describe it, almost "fuzzy" when you walk on it, because it's ceramic but not super- smooth. It sounds odd because I don't knwo how to describe it well, but it's actually pleasant. I never much liked the shiny/slick tile - even tho' it's easy to clean, you still have to keep up with the grout.
WHich brings up a question I've long had: why does tile *need8 grout lines in the first place? Why not a very thin bit of cualk and jam them up close to one another? Is grout supposed to be "decorative", or is ther ea physical reason for the grout spacing?
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There is a reason. Most tiles are first shaped, then baked. For this reason there will be variations along the edge, and a wider grout line will solve the uneven-ness problem. Marble and rectified tiles are cut afterwards, and therefore can be installed as close as the thickness of a credit card.
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AH, I see. Out floor tile is quite straight, so it seems that the width of the lines is to save the builder the price of, what, maybe five tiles...
((I do like those granite and other stone tiles, esp. travartine...travartine is beautiful.))
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We had a house in Mid-Wales UK, built in 1875 by a railway company. Cavity brick walls (9" and 4 1/2", 2" cavity, slate damp courses). Expanding footings went down maybe 6ft or more - never managed to dig far enough down to find the foundations. The houses needed a degree of earthquake-proofing with heavy steam engines and coal trains passing by. The back kitchen/living room floor was "quarry" tiles ( 6" by 1/2" ceramic) laid over about a foot of compacted boiler ash. No grout, no gap. Still servicable 110 years later. Only problem was if a single tile cracked, then you needed to replace it quickly before the adjacent tiles started to creep. The place also had very hard 8" by 3/4" concrete skirtings all round the internal walls.
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Wow, I wish I could see that!!, do you have any photos?
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That quarry tile was probably Welsh "Heather Brown" by Denis Reuben (sp). An old high school classmate of mine began importing it in the late 50's as a lark. It is indestructible. He hit it rich when the new Boston City Hall was built with all public areas paved with the tile, and it still looks good 42 years later. I put it in the first floor of my Boston House, and 27 years later it was untouched. Stays clean with a light mopping. Around here it can be purchased from Shep Brown Associates. EDS
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Is it installed as was described, with no gap/grout? THat'd be interesting to see; it must look like a solid slab of stone. THe boiler ash part also is interesting. THe building that was described sounded like an interesting thing overall.
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Not of the floor or the skirtings. Didn't have a decent camera then, Some outside shots have perished with age/tropical humidity. The house was part of a terrace - two straight rows facing each other. Place called Builth Road - junction of the Cambrian Railway running west (long closed), and the Shrewsbury to Swansea line, still operational when we were there. Couldn't see much on Google Earth last time I looked - just the railway bridge where the line crosses the River Wye. Google web search will find the Cambrian Arms tavern (former railway station).

Wow. Sounds like the stuff. I recall they were difficult to get hold of in the country of origin, but then there were always a few recyclable ones available locally.

Yep.
In parts yes, but ours had taken a hammering. Maybe the result of railwaymens' boots and tools? I broke a tile trying to lever a hearthstone up - using a tracklayers bar I found buried in the back yard. Where I also found a motor bike buried. When the railway workshops closed, anything not screwed down disappeared apparently.

The place was thought to be a bit rough. Paid 3,500 sterling for the house in 1978. Sold up in '86 for about 2.5 times what we paid for it. The terraces are probably heritage listed by now and worth a bomb ...
There had been a Roman fort just up the slope above the tavern, and Llewelyn, last Prince of Wales, was buried just up the road a bit. (Well his body was apparently. His head was sent to London.)
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It's not usual, but I was curious and figured I ask ;)

REcycled stuff can be great. It always amazes me that people (in the US at least) just throw so much away. If it was collected whole ti souldnt' be so bad, but it all goes through the trash compacters.

Makes sense.

Buried, huh. I guess it's one way to get stuff out of sight when one no longer wahts it. Sort of like buried treasure for later inhabitants ;)
It makes sense in a way that people would take whatever trhey could use, onc somethign is abandoned. In a way, it's sad, becasue it's hard to piece together the history afterwards, but one can't say it isn't *practical*.

THat's the thing that amazes be about Europe and Asia, the thousands of years of history that can turn up almost (sometimes?) literally in one's back yard.
The Americas were settled so mocu more recently, and worse, much of what there was of the first cultures was obliterated - a lot of the things they made and used, of course, were also ephemeral.
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Gone a bit OT but never mind ...
[snip]

no

use,

In a way - but in WW2 the local Home Guard were given a box of hand grenades which didn't get handed back at the end of the war.
Found the hard way by a farmer's plough. He survived but the plough was scattered everywhere ...
Another questionable practice - numerous drums of railway-issue bitumen squirelled away in the attics of the houses. Not too bad maybe - unless there was a fire. The fire-separating walls in the roofspaces had all been knocked through to install electric cable, hadn't been bricked up again, so if one house had gone up the rest would have been history.

I sort of miss it in way, but it was often a problem - every time a job involved digging a hole.there was always a chance of finding something, then everything being put on hold until the archeologists finished checking it out. Human remains anywhere.meant an inspection by the Coroner. I was on a job once where we found the skeletons of 5 dead miners in a drift mine shaft. We knew they'd been there a while as there were cages with canary bones in them. So whatever it was, gas or a tunnel collapse, had happened before the miner's safety lamp was invented, about 1832. Also found a Roman septic (wastewater) system. Pattern of stone arched tunnels a few feet down, near the site of a Roman fort. Still in good order and operational. When a farmhouse was built centuries later on the same site, they must have found the old ceramic pipes, and connected their ablution facilities into them.
Charnel pits would get exposed from time to time - places where the victims of Beubonic Plague were buried - hundreds of them at a time.

Similarly here in Australia. But here in Townsville we have General McArthur's bunker, complete with operations room and metre-thick concrete walls. Still in good shape - part of my department's offices are there, and the bunker is used by the Council for storing files.
There are places on the coast north of here where there are miniature under-sea mountains built entirely of jeeps, trucks, etc - pushed over the side of supply ships.
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Holy cow... ;)
I saw some clips re: people (builders, excavators, etc.) still finding unexploded bombs in London. Scary stuff.

=:-o
It's one thing to use discarded stuff that's useable, but it's a bit crazy to keep soem stuff. OTOH, took a couple years to break my styrofoam meat tray thing (used to run 'em through the dishwasher and stack them in the garage...), so I can't make *too* much fon of "collectors" <ahem!!>

A bit bizarre but also interesting to read about (tho' I wouldn't be very interested in finding human remains under my foundation...)

Not very pleasant. But historic (?historical?) I guess...

Doug's DUgout, eh? ;) Kind of interesting tho'.

One would think that'd have dire effects on the sea life. But don't a lot of sunken ships and so on, even metal warships, get turned into reefs by sea critters...? I guess it might be interesting to scuba dive around some of thiose, to see both what people discarded, and the abodes that sea critters turn it into.
(I often think I'd like to havea long visit in Australia - but I'm afraid I'd never want to leave once I got there ;) )
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I installed it in what is called a "mud job". My original softwood floors were on 2x12's at 14" oc spanning 13.5' with 2 layers of 1" sheathing (all full size). House was on piles on filled land, and dead level. I laid down 6 mil plastic on the original sheathing, and then 1.25" mortar bed, leveled it out, and then laid down the tile in grout with about 1/8" joints. Grouted the joints, waited a few days, and occupied the floor. The quarry tile has lovely variances in color ranging from brown-orange to brown purple, often within one tile. AIR, it is also frostproof, and relatively non-skid. EDS
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[snip]

Sounds great. I like stone a lot. WE ended up with ceramic tiles because they're so much less expensive, even cheaper as the grout-gaps are almost a half-inch :p , but if I could build a place that was built *to last*, I'd like to be able (budget permitting) to put doen stone, and some hardwood (recycled, pref.).
Although I'm not one for renovating, I'm always gald some people are, to preserve some of these gems. It's also neat IMO to see how people in the past did things. I liked the "bed of boiler ash" tidbit in Troppo's post, describing that 110+ yr old flooring. REsourceful, IMO ;)
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Mankind has always been resourceful, when allowed. My high school summer job was at the old Waste pump station on the Island. My first summer we were still using triple expansion steam engines, the next summer they had installed 2 diesels (each about the size of an 18 wheeler) running on methane collected from the main sewer lines (11' diameter). The system was deemed too expensive to maintain, so was switched to diesel fuel. Interestingly they are now installing wind generators to run the new plant. EDS
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