RC spy car as crawlspace inspection device?

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When my wife and I were looking for this house, we had three criteria: I liked it, she liked it, and we could afford it. We looked at a lot of houses. It was easy to get two out of three. This was the first one that scored 3 of 3.
-- Doug
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wrote:

;-)
The one rule that I didn't mention was that she wanted a new house. We didn't even look at older homes. That wasn't my decision, but I didn't have the time to look at many more than I did (new job, long move and all). I really wasn't into a fixer-upper or a new roof, either.
The "could we afford it" part was easy. We had long decided to look well below what we could comfortably "afford"; we were looking to pay the mortgage off in ~5 years (not our first rodeo). Bottom line: if it wasn't in our price range we didn't waste the RE agent's time[*] or ours.
[*] Never tell an agent what your real financial situation is. We set her sights lower, knowing that their MO is to up-sell. ;-) We came in at the upper end of our target, but well below what I had in mind for the walk-away limit.
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wrote:

Sure. The price-feature curve certainly isn't linear and varies significantly by location and market conditions. We bought this house two years ago, which was pretty good timing. The market was obviously on the down-slide but there was still a reasonable inventory of spec homes. Builders were quite motivated, at least those who hadn't rented. I'd likely have looked higher if I didn't have a short end in sight (retirement) and wasn't somewhat concerned about the job lasting. It's not like we need more space (two people, 2600ft^2, 3BR, 3-1/2 bath). My cave is the only real shortcoming.
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2 words: flash floods
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TV
<2 words: flash floods>
That sounds like a good reason. I've never seen rain like I saw in Orlanda, FL when I visited one spring. Had to pull off the road it was raining so hard and even that was just guesswork. I figure the windshield wipers couldn't have kept up even if the wiping speed was increased 100X. It was like walking under a waterfall.
-- Bobby G.
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Here in Florida, those are called swimming pools.
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wrote:

<Here in Florida, those are called swimming pools.>
I'm beginning to get the picture.
-- Bobby G.
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On Wed, 3 Nov 2010 10:35:49 -0400, "Robert Green"

You're not moving to Florida, then. (Might be a good thing for those of us already here as well as for you. My mom used to have a bumper sticker "leaving Florida? take a friend".) Basements are rare in Florida, and pretty much non-existent in residential building.

High expense when it's not needed to get below the frost line. In north Florida, the frost line is about 1/4" below the surface. In south Florida, it's at the top of the grass. Plus the water table is almost never 8' down, so a basement has to have a floor and the walls and floor have to be not only watertight but keep out 2 to 4 psi. Basically you have a houseboat.
If you don't like repairing something in a crawl space, try repairing it when it's embedded in a slab.
But I agree, an 8" crawl space is beyond stupid. They don't have to be like that. I can sit up in mine in the most cramped corner. At the access door, I can sit up and have space between my head and the joists. Eventually I plan to seal it with 6 mil poly and put down boards to slide on -- cleaner and keep the humidity out.
So the problem is not a crawl space per se, but a crawl space that's stupidly small.
Edward
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wrote:

No worries, I'm not moving to the Hurricane Belt. Got socked in with Opal in Montgomery, Alabama. Once is enough.

That makes sense. Another mystery of life revealed.

On the one hand, the slab would keep critters from chewing on wires, but on the other hand, when you need to do something, it's a hell of a mess.

That makes more sense, but it seems that you have to be vigilant about the keeping the vents screened and with something a little sturdier than aluminum screening.

I'll still take a basement every time. (-:
-- Bobby G.
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On Fri, 5 Nov 2010 00:15:34 -0400, "Robert Green"

That depends how it is built. In a slab, wires can run in "ducts" or "conduits" - no strapping required - to replace just drag the new wire in with the old in a conduit, or remove the duct cover in the floor - but MOST utilities in on-slab are run overhead.. MOST on-slabs are also only single storey construction (bungalow) so all the utilities are in the attic - and very often also the furnace and central air. Forced air heat requires significant pre-planning if you want floor mounted registers, but in-floor radiant heat is very common in on-slab homes.

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wrote:

Opal
don't
on
What about the toilets, sinks and tub drains? They surely can't run *those* overhead. (-"
-- Bobby G.
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On Fri, 5 Nov 2010 23:35:02 -0400, "Robert Green"

Nope, but it all runs under the basement floor eventually too. Having the drains in and under the slab is not generally an issue.
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On Wed, 3 Nov 2010 04:14:40 -0700 (PDT), Eric in North TX

Tie a string to it to retrieve it if it gets stuck. I use an RC truck to pull cable over suspended ceilings quite often. If it gets hung up, I yank on the fish-cord to get it unstuck, then let it go again.
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On 11/3/2010 2:16 AM, james wrote:

you could tie a light line to it incase you have to drag it back or something. I know in one house we have, there IS no going in the crawl space. It's about 8" from the joists to the dirt.
--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
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Oh yes there is going there. 6 mos ago the last place I rehabbed was just that. Fortunately dry. Took wireless house phone with me for sure. If I had a Fred Sanford "Big One" under there it would have been a CSI desert recovery and ID by the time I was found.
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Video camera from Harbor Freight? Radio Shack? For light install a proper lamp assembly fitted with a CFL.
Joe
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There are telescoping poles with wireless cameras (Some very costly).
This cam pole, maybe? Or make something similar.
http://www.4kam.com/gutter_inspection_pole_camera.htm
.. two cent...
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Watch this excerpt from Modern Family, Season 1, Episode 16.
http://www.hulu.com/watch/132151/modern-family-truck
If you can find the entire episode someplace, the "RC spy car as crawlspace inspection device?" question will be answered for you.
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