Search found 435 matches

by Bengineer
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement water issue or not? Advice?
Replies: 5
Views: 704

Re: Basement water issue or not? Advice?

From your description, you have windows that are below grade and wells that bring the grade down to below the windows. How do the wells drain? I'd think you'd want a drain that ties into your other yard drains. What happens when you run a hose into the wells? What happens when you spray the windows ...
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Battery
Replies: 31
Views: 2775

Re: Auto Battery

Thanks for all the info contribution. ... Since 2013 I have been retired and my truck sits in the driveway most of the time. ... One thing that might help in this scenario is to use a smart charger/maintainer to keep the battery at full charge. I use a Cetek MUS 4.3. Checking/filling with distilled...
by Bengineer
Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterior Home Improvements - Order of Operations?
Replies: 10
Views: 1295

Re: Exterior Home Improvements - Order of Operations?

I too think a landscape architect / designer is the first item. Get what you want to happen with your outdoor spaces first. Meanwhile, you can investigate replacement window options and cost and maybe start getting recommendations for contractors. You can get a general contractor to do the whole job...
by Bengineer
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier woes
Replies: 66
Views: 5231

Re: Dehumidifier woes

Thanks for the humidistat info LTG & DD. Hmm. I was thinking of getting the Frigidaire 50pt/day FFAD5033R1. After all the anecdotal commentary on this thread, I'm not expecting a long life out of whatever I end up with. I'll surely go for the energy star 2+L/kwh, but after that, it seems like sh...
by Bengineer
Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to direct water away from a sloping driveway - French drain or ..
Replies: 13
Views: 1695

Re: How to direct water away from a sloping driveway - French drain or ..

Go out and look at what the water is doing when it is raining. If it's pooling around the drive / garage / house, where could it drain to? What's lower than where the water is pooling? If the ground around is lower, could you grade the yard so it drains? If not, then things get more complicated. Und...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier woes
Replies: 66
Views: 5231

Re: Dehumidifier woes

I have found that all of these cheaper, easy to obtain dehumidifiers (ie found in retail stores) internal dehumidistat will short cycle the unit because of the moisture left on the coils after it cycles off. They may also have a fairly low humidity swing on/off trigger point. Decided to get an exte...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Happy Fathers Day - got me a used Weber grill!
Replies: 26
Views: 2788

Re: Happy Fathers Day - got me a used Weber grill!

I second that. Plus, you've now got a Weber, which will last you many years, and have the satisfaction of re-using something perfectly good instead of landfill the old + buy new. :happy
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar attic fans vs. regular turbines?
Replies: 26
Views: 2289

Re: Solar attic fans vs. regular turbines?

OP, I'm with the "air-sealing and insulating" posters. Your contractor has an inherent conflict of interest. I think the Bogleheads DIY analogy is to inform yourself on the allocation and investment options, determine the best course of action and then act to get the best return and value ...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Prices, expecting over listing?
Replies: 8
Views: 990

Re: Real Estate Prices, expecting over listing?

I'd add the size of the buyer pool to bigred's hot vs cool market. Selling a house in a county with 9 million inhabitants is quite different from one with a few thousand 100 miles from a city. We have priced slightly under market comps and sold for well over asking in a week twice now in populous ar...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Tax Underpayment Penalty
Replies: 9
Views: 1068

Re: Estimated Tax Underpayment Penalty

I'd recommend running your taxes in December, particularly if you have variable income. That way, you can make a Q4 estimated payment to cover any shortfall you discover.
by Bengineer
Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you had this issue with Subaru Forester windshield replacement?
Replies: 25
Views: 2503

Re: Have you had this issue with Subaru Forester windshield replacement?

Lots of similar stories on subaruoutback.org.

Both the cost and the ease of damage might have something to do with the required optical properties for eyesight.
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to divide investments for early retirement
Replies: 16
Views: 2217

Re: How to divide investments for early retirement

A few possibly helpful thoughts: Putting funds into tax-deferred buckets is good, and generally speaking, maxing those opportunities out each year is good, since they are a use it or lose it proposition. But: working for small companies as you do and I did/am, the tax deferred options can be non-exi...
by Bengineer
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small tax refund or owing taxes?
Replies: 35
Views: 2414

Re: Small tax refund or owing taxes?

Having been through a scam refund hassle, I prefer to owe.
by Bengineer
Wed May 31, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I max out wife's 401k
Replies: 26
Views: 1700

Re: Should I max out wife's 401k

Ouch. So to be clear, your wife is contributing just enough to get the max company match. That seems reasonable, given the fees, but you're losing out on tax-deferred space. Here's a thought. If she is planning on changing jobs before too long, maxing the 401k and then rolling it to the new job's pl...
by Bengineer
Wed May 31, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Senility: How do you plan on protecting your money when you lose your mental capacities?
Replies: 72
Views: 6710

Re: Senility and Seductresses: How do you plan on protecting your money when you lose your mental capacities?

Based on what I've seen, it's a difficult problem... close to unsolvable. The problem is that people in mental decline enter a very, very broad gray area that can last for years, in which their close friends and family believe that they see problems, but they themselves are insistent on staying in ...
by Bengineer
Sun May 28, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insulating Walls - Worth it?
Replies: 44
Views: 5560

Re: Insulating Walls - Worth it?

... There's one way to know for certain - make a hole in an exterior wall and look. Doesn't need to be a big hole, say 2 inches. Start small and careful so you avoid any wires. Pick a spot that is out of the way (probably low to the ground, perhaps behind a curtained area or in corner). Once you ha...
by Bengineer
Thu May 18, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window tint (film) on house windows?
Replies: 24
Views: 3060

Re: Window tint (film) on house windows?

...Also wondering if anyone has seen any studies on whether sun screens (window screens that are a tighter weave than regular window screens) produce about the same benefit, or maybe if the combination is additive? No studies, but I've installed solar window screens over plain glass windows (single...
by Bengineer
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo Bath Remodel 1/2 -> Full
Replies: 1
Views: 372

Condo Bath Remodel 1/2 -> Full

Anyone with a condo remodel a half bath into a full one? I'm thinking about turning a 2br 1.5ba condo into a 2 master unit. Did you move any of the interior walls? How did you get the Drain-waste-vent done? I'd think you'd need access to the floor below or cut the slab, depending on the foundation. ...
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering a Weber grill this week
Replies: 149
Views: 12626

Re: Ordering a Weber grill this week

I just ordered the Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker 14.5". Never smoked anything before. Almost went for an electric one but the charcoal one kept calling me back. The decision to go with Weber was an easy one. Those smokers are pretty much 5 star ratings anywhere you look. Have one, love...
by Bengineer
Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Setting up home office/network question
Replies: 18
Views: 1231

Re: Setting up home office/network question

I would personally drop another phone outlet, but then I'm a tech junkie who has cable and phone outlets in every bedroom of the house. The usefulness of phone outlets in every room is diminishing with wireless telecommunication options though, so let me give you an option #4. You can buy a wireles...
by Bengineer
Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: More Zenni Optical Questions
Replies: 13
Views: 1873

Re: More Zenni Optical Questions

OP, I've found zenni to be something like 1/8 of retail optical for comparable untinted glasses with fairly strong myopia, astigmatism, progressive with $ trivex lense material and AR coating for about $100. I've been happy with the vision and really happy not paying $800 + my time for a pair of gla...
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone know if this is mold? Would this mean replacing all air ducts?
Replies: 22
Views: 2828

Re: Does anyone know if this is mold? Would this mean replacing all air ducts?

To pile on, Yes it looks like mold. Yes that looks like exposed fiberglass. Yes there is a large amount of dust & cobweb build-up in the pix. All that dust & mold is likely in your air handler & clogging up your coil as well. Is there a filter in the return? Open return duct somewhere li...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fire extinguishers
Replies: 45
Views: 2934

Re: Fire extinguishers

We started off with a laptop. Something to think about is the type of extinguisher. The common ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher often contains monoammonium phosphate. "Due to the corrosive properties of ABC Dry chemical, it is not recommended for use around aircraft or sensitive equipment.&qu...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping my MIL figure out her holdings (Success! at least mostly)
Replies: 47
Views: 4731

Re: Helping my MIL figure out her holdings (no idea where)

OP, I dealt with my parent's later years and estates, one of which was much as the situation you describe. Ken & Nisi's posts both align with my experience. ComputerShares runs DRIP programs for companies. So does BNY Mellon. If you can get your MIL involved, you might be able to create online a...
by Bengineer
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When/If a degree is useful for software developers?
Replies: 45
Views: 3645

Re: When/If a degree is useful for software developers?

I'm an electrical engineer by training. I have been a software engineer for a good bit of my career and remained an individual contributor throughout it. I believe my training in engineering provided me problem solving skills, mathematical expertise and an understanding of hardware systems. I find d...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 3731

Re: Home heating options

OP, some thoughts. Oil & Propane are generally considered expensive fuels, particularly as compared to natural gas, but also compared with all but the highest electricity rates. I would compare oil, propane and electric, calculating $/btu. Consider an air-sourced heat pump solution. As noted up-...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 3731

Re: Home heating options

I believe that new wood burning fireplaces have been illegal in California for some time. They are tremendous sources of pollution and very hard on any neighbor within a block or three who has a respiratory condition. I would expect that that type of regulation would spread to other states eventual...
by Bengineer
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping kitchen knives sharp
Replies: 54
Views: 5070

Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

OP, I'd have to admit I'm a little into sharpening cutting edges. For my kitchen knives, of which I have a spectrum of quality from cheap and effective Forstners to a Wusthof or two, I use a steel (not a ceramic or gritted sharpener) to burnish the edge before each use. This straightens up the edge,...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.
Replies: 70
Views: 4202

Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

...I am a little confused about all the talk about moisture problems with insulation. What is this all about? How would moisture get inside my walls? DBR has it. Warm, moist air in your house, cold, dry air outside. Moisture migrates from high humidity to low. Warm, moist air flowing from inside yo...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.
Replies: 70
Views: 4202

Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

OP, I'm with Just Frank and the other posters suggesting insulation. You can do a thermostat or increase the heat to your MBR, but you've still got an uninsulated house. You could go with both - something temporary for a few $ to get comfort now, with a longer term plan to make the whole house comfo...
by Bengineer
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do I attach phone wire to a house?
Replies: 7
Views: 626

Re: how do I attach phone wire to a house?

I'd use cable straps. There are little plastic ones with an included brad made for phone/cat cable. At your hardware or big-box home improvement store.

A crown stapler for wiring is an option, also useful for putting up the xmas lights.
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can Bogleheads Have Fun Too?
Replies: 29
Views: 3265

Re: Can Bogleheads Have Fun Too?

OP, I think you've asked a complex question. I think I'll go with 1) Of course you can have fun! I'm sure you're reading up on and planning to invest enough to let you retire comfortably when you reach 6x in 30 odd years. Getting your e-fund and liability insurance set. Working your cash flow so the...
by Bengineer
Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Physical security solution for basement door?
Replies: 19
Views: 2024

Re: Physical security solution for basement door?

Some thoughts: It's a basement door. A sheet of polycarbonate over the glass on the inside would increase the difficulty of getting in and be less obtrusive than bars. A sheet of perforated metal might work as well. If access from outside is needed, a good deadbolt & long screws would help slow ...
by Bengineer
Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No employer retirement plan; how would you proceed?
Replies: 11
Views: 1510

Re: No employer retirement plan; how would you proceed?

I think the most important thing is saving. "tax advantaged" might or might not play out, as tax law may change in the future. Properly it's best to think of it as tax deferred. I wouldn't sweat it too much if you don't currently have tax-deferred options. Save as much as possible, invest ...
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: the economics of Spinn coffee making
Replies: 29
Views: 4686

Re: the economics of Spinn coffee making

I'm with SouthBay. ... Call me crazy, but I like to heat water in an electric kettle and do a pour over. Takes a couple minutes but tastes great and cheap/simple. That machine looks clever, but I would be worried about cleaning it and how reliable it will be. I use an electric kettle with adjustable...
by Bengineer
Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: In search of weak LED lights
Replies: 12
Views: 1428

Re: In search of weak LED lights

I use spot bulbs in my motion fixtures along the side of the house to limit the light spillover to the neighbors.
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any recs for a Linux-compatible laptop?
Replies: 62
Views: 6472

Re: Any recs for a Linux-compatible laptop?

IME, the touchpad is also something to check in addition to the network adapter, sleep/hibernate and graphics chip. I think if you are buying a just-released laptop, it would be wise to check the specific hardware in the exact model you're planning on getting.
by Bengineer
Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator issues - Temperature & Other
Replies: 22
Views: 1979

Re: Refrigerator issues - Temperature & Other

OP, I'm going to suggest putting a simple fridge/freezer thermometer in the middle of one side at a time, adjusting every so often until you get ~0 in the freezer and ~40 in the fridge, giving it hours to a day in between adjustments. The "dreaded fill tube freeze-up" is a well-known issue...
by Bengineer
Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: want to leave comcast but keep my email?
Replies: 17
Views: 5568

Re: want to leave comcast but keep my email?

My preference is a paid email service. It's all they do. Simple to set up, a few $ a year, permanent (assuming the provider remains in business). I'm not tied to an isp, nor am I a product available for mining by the likes of google or yahoo. I chose not to set up my own domain, but rather use one o...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eating Healthy/Meals for One
Replies: 65
Views: 5565

Re: Eating Healthy/Meals for One

... I seem to be tossing out/wasting a lot of food. I find it nearly impossible to make a recipe that serves less than 4 - and after 3 days of the same thing, I don't want to look at it any more. ... I eat a mostly whole foods diet - do not like processed food much. All suggestions appreciated. I'l...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with my underwater house, sink or swim?
Replies: 29
Views: 3935

Re: What to do with my underwater house, sink or swim?

William104 wrote:Don't put too much weight on Zillows estimate in your decision making. ...


And/or do your own homework on recent sales near you, comparing them to your own home.

If you want to stay, refi-ing to a 15 or 30y fixed mortgage would cut your interest costs if your cash flow supports it.
by Bengineer
Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: pocket listing
Replies: 13
Views: 1046

Re: pocket listing

We have had good luck with: 1) Having a pretty good idea of what the house is worth - location, dig up the recent sales in the area, etc. 2) Picking a listing/selling agent after interviewing a few that sell similar houses in the neighborhood. 3) Spiffing up & staging the house & yard so the...
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AC blower motor died. need replacement
Replies: 20
Views: 1671

Re: AC blower motor died. need replacement

One option would be to buy a window unit to give you some time to shop around. If your air handler has an ECM, $840 might be a pretty good price for an AC company replacing it. If it is a PSC motor, that's a bit much. If it is a PSC motor, the start capacitor is a likely suspect, as noted, but your ...
by Bengineer
Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home energy efficiency
Replies: 7
Views: 859

Re: Home energy efficiency

I think the checkup will be worth it if it is a proper energy audit, which should involve a blower-door house envelope air leakage test, a duct leakage test, record the HVAC efficiency, insulation levels, etc. I had one done that was a similar arrangement with my electric utility. I think it is in y...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bifiocals vs progressive lenses - value/cost
Replies: 20
Views: 1907

Re: bifiocals vs progressive lenses - value/cost

Progressives for general use. If you spend a lot of time reading like heartwood or working on a large monitor desktop like me, consider an additional single-prescription pair for that. I really dislike moving my head to read various parts of the screen. Having a single prescription pair with a wide ...
by Bengineer
Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice on backyard project
Replies: 20
Views: 2854

Re: advice on backyard project

I advocate getting your design down in detail first. "What do we do" is one of the best things we've found think about. How do you envision spending your time out back and doing what? Meals, partying, reading a book, sunning, hot tubbing, pitching horseshoes? ... Engaging a landscape desig...
by Bengineer
Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: air conditioning filters
Replies: 36
Views: 3341

Re: air conditioning filters

From the air handler's perspective, it's all about pressure drop at the airflow your system runs at, something like 400cfm per ton of AC, might be more or less cfm for your heat. Your system probably has a filter slot/grill sized appropriately for a "bird catcher" - the blue or white stand...
by Bengineer
Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a different cassette for my road bicycle? Currently 11-23
Replies: 40
Views: 2541

Re: Should I get a different cassette for my road bicycle? Currently 11-23

"me too" :) I got a larger cassette & chain for hill rides. It worked well for me. As noted, be sure your derailler can handle the larger range.
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood Flooring: Floating vs. Glue
Replies: 35
Views: 24399

Re: Hardwood Flooring: Floating vs. Glue

I think I'd go with a floating floor. A perfectly flat subfloor is critical. As noted, engineered flooring is basically cheap plywood / mdf / plastic substrate with a finish layer. The thicker the finish layer, the denser/harder the substrate and better the finish, the more wear and impact resistant...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gmail, Two POP Clients, Smartphone, Gmail Recent Mode
Replies: 12
Views: 1391

Re: Gmail, Two POP Clients, Smartphone, Gmail Recent Mode

I use exactly this [pop, gmail recent] on multiple clients. I automatically download new messages, leave messages on server, for at most nnn days.