Search found 1994 matches

by texasdiver
Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pea gravel as paver patio alternative
Replies: 24
Views: 1799

Re: Pea gravel as paver patio alternative

Pea gravel is kind of rounded stones that don't pack and compress very well I don't think. I suspect something like decomposed granite might be preferable in that it will pack down to a harder surface. What you are suggesting is commonly done. I just think you want to make sure you get the right kin...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best drill/driver for home use
Replies: 66
Views: 3745

Re: Best drill/driver for home use

I have this Porter-Cable drill/driver kit and LOVE it: http://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-PCCK602L2-Lithium-Tool-Combo/dp/B00CM7Z2KW Seems they have a similar set fro $30 less on same page and I'd guess you wouldn't notice much of a difference. I'm trying to understand the purpose of buying a kit o...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best drill/driver for home use
Replies: 66
Views: 3745

Re: Best drill/driver for home use

I have this Porter-Cable drill/driver kit and LOVE it: http://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-PCCK602L2-Lithium-Tool-Combo/dp/B00CM7Z2KW Seems they have a similar set fro $30 less on same page and I'd guess you wouldn't notice much of a difference. I'm trying to understand the purpose of buying a kit o...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best drill/driver for home use
Replies: 66
Views: 3745

Re: Best drill/driver for home use

Not long ago I bought this Makita 18v cordless set: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M9D5L3M Works amazingly. you get a separate drill and driver which are both equally useful but because you get two matching tools, you also get two batteries which means when you are working on big projects you a...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of stone patio
Replies: 17
Views: 2485

Re: Cost of stone patio

thank you for the responses. i looked at pictures of stones set in concrete and set in sand and i like the sand better. just don't like the maintenance it requires. i read that you can have landscape mesh laid down to prevent weeds. that and roundup would do it i think. not sure what COl we live in...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of stone patio
Replies: 17
Views: 2485

Re: Cost of stone patio

Too many variables. Do mean actual stone like bluestone? http://www.stonefarmliving.com/products/landscape-stones/pennsylvania-bluestone-72 Or just concrete pavers set in sand? http://www.pavestone.com/content/pavers/ That actually sounds like a reasonable price for properly installed pavers on a gr...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying the most expensive house on the street?
Replies: 34
Views: 4593

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Thanks guys. We'll likely just follow our instincts. We fly out for our hopefully final house hunting trip this coming weekend. We are taking 3 days to visit and see everything we can and then will just pull the trigger on whatever feels the best. We have already narrowed down our search to just on...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying the most expensive house on the street?
Replies: 34
Views: 4593

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Thanks guys. We'll likely just follow our instincts. We fly out for our hopefully final house hunting trip this coming weekend. We are taking 3 days to visit and see everything we can and then will just pull the trigger on whatever feels the best. We have already narrowed down our search to just on...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to repair rotted wood on a structure?
Replies: 16
Views: 1832

Re: Is it possible to repair rotted wood on a structure?

Can't see the whole structure from the pictures. But if it is just the cross beams of the trellis you might possibly be able to get by if you add some reinforcing beams like an additional 2x6 along each side of the beam that is rotting. But if it were me, I'd just pull it down and rebuild it, replac...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying the most expensive house on the street?
Replies: 34
Views: 4593

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

Thanks guys. We'll likely just follow our instincts. We fly out for our hopefully final house hunting trip this coming weekend. We are taking 3 days to visit and see everything we can and then will just pull the trigger on whatever feels the best. We have already narrowed down our search to just one...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying the most expensive house on the street?
Replies: 34
Views: 4593

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

In this neighborhood the lots are flatter and so most of the houses are smaller without the daylight basements. But there is one part of one street on a hill with downward sloping lots where the builder was able to put in daylight basements. A few of those houses are larger than the rest because th...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can we buy our dream home in S. California? (Military)
Replies: 24
Views: 1841

Re: How can we buy our dream home in S. California? (Military)

Of the four Killeen ISD schools, Harker Heights is the most affluent and stable area. But of all the schools in the greater area, Belton is going to be your best choice. It has the highest rated schools between Waco and the Austin suburbs. What about Temple schools? Temple HS and Temple ISD is shri...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can we buy our dream home in S. California? (Military)
Replies: 24
Views: 1841

Re: How can we buy our dream home in S. California? (Military)

If you do decide to buy in TX for the next 3 years and commute to Fort Hood I would still look at Belton. I think it is the nicest community and stands to hold its values the best of any town in that area. Even if you don't plan to use the schools, the school quality still relates to real estate pr...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can we buy our dream home in S. California? (Military)
Replies: 24
Views: 1841

Re: How can we buy our dream home in S. California? (Military)

TexasDiver, Yes, we will be going to Ft Hood, and we have been stationed there before. We are very familiar with the area and though it is not a terrible location, it does not solve the issues of being close to family/friends/mountains/ocean. We are only farming for us, so 1 acre will be more than ...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can we buy our dream home in S. California? (Military)
Replies: 24
Views: 1841

Re: How can we buy our dream home in S. California? (Military)

Current Texan here (although in the process of relocating to Washington State for my wife's job). I would suggest you look harder at Texas. The west coast (California included) has much more land locked up in government hands (Forest Service, BLM, Parks service etc.) and much more population which m...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house with effectively no long term equity
Replies: 29
Views: 3023

Re: Buying house with effectively no long term equity

Don't do it. I would never buy a house I couldn't subsequently sell. You never know where life might lead and that kind of stranded asset makes no sense if you ever need to cash out and move. You'd be better off just renting. That place also looks like it has a giant hurricane target painted on it. ...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying the most expensive house on the street?
Replies: 34
Views: 4593

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

My wife and I are actively home shopping in advance of relocating to a new state. We know the area we are moving to generally, but not so much the specific neighborhoods. Last week I was out there on business and or real estate agent showed me a couple houses, two of which were nearly identical (sa...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying the most expensive house on the street?
Replies: 34
Views: 4593

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

If it's a good place to raise your family then buy. But since you don't know the area well I would rent one year (I realize that's a pain, moreso with a family). It's not just the hassle of moving twice. The kids are already disrupted enough losing their friends and moving to a new school across th...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying the most expensive house on the street?
Replies: 34
Views: 4593

Buying the most expensive house on the street?

My wife and I are actively home shopping in advance of relocating to a new state. We know the area we are moving to generally, but not so much the specific neighborhoods. Last week I was out there on business and or real estate agent showed me a couple houses, two of which were nearly identical (sam...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooking Meat/Fish/Poultry Indoors?
Replies: 32
Views: 1911

Re: Cooking Meat/Fish/Poultry Indoors?

I recently moved from a single family home to a city apartment. I had to give up my beloved Weber grill and the only method I know of, for cooking fish, poultry or meats (I used it year round, even during a blizzard!) I'm concerned that baking meat will only serve to heat up my apartment this summe...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My current bicycle tour in Italy
Replies: 35
Views: 3353

Re: My current bicycle tour in Italy

I might have to rethink this. SF to LA on a bike is something I would like to do, but I am not sure I am up to it. I did it four years ago (actually, from Santa Barbara to Berkeley) and it was wonderful, never felt in jeopardy, the traffic is moving rather slowly and drivers gave you some room. Whi...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification
Replies: 28
Views: 1835

Re: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification

There are basically three kinds of private schools. 1. High-end college prep schools that charge $$$ for tuition and send their privileged little students off to the Ivies and near-Ivies. Every big city has them. These schools are extremely competitive to teach at and generally pay equivalent to wh...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification
Replies: 28
Views: 1835

Re: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification

I know several acquaintances who get started in teaching with positions in private/parochial schools, where the "teaching" credentials (but not knowledge of the subjects) were less stringent. The wisdom of that approach depends on the locale/state. In PA many public school systems - espec...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair vs Replace appliances
Replies: 11
Views: 667

Re: Repair vs Replace appliances

My rule? If I can figure out how to fix it myself using online repair forums and YouTube then I fix it myself no matter how old the machine is. Most generic appliances are pretty simple and not much changes inside them from year to year. The out trim and electronic panels are what changes. If the re...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Urgent help regarding Refinancing and Title issue
Replies: 6
Views: 583

Re: Urgent help regarding Refinancing and Title issue

Here in Texas when you do a car loan the bank or credit union holds the title. Then when the loan is paid off you get the title in the mail from the bank with the lienholder section on the back showing that they have released their interest. I don't know how it works in other states. Obviously you h...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My current bicycle tour in Italy
Replies: 35
Views: 3353

Re: My current bicycle tour in Italy

My youngest daughter is scheduled to graduate from college in 2028. Then I can start joining you.

Although this summer I might bring her along on a shorter cycling tour in the Northwest.
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification
Replies: 28
Views: 1835

Re: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification

Thank you kindly for the very helpful responses. He also has a post-graduate degree in science and several years work experience in sciences through the military. The American Board appears to be well recognized in his state so he's going to sign up with them. He's also contacted the local school d...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?
Replies: 87
Views: 5210

Re: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?

Thank you again for all your help, everyone! In NoVA, I was considering beginning my search from Loudoun county due to itx proximity to the airport without realizing the area being one of the most expensive places to live. I am open to venturing out to other areas including MD. Are there any signif...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm willing to pay them whatever they want!
Replies: 66
Views: 7393

Re: I'm willing to pay them whatever they want!

My wife and I are in the middle of relocation. I would say the only thing that meets this criteria for us is finding the right school district. Everything else is a potential compromise. EDIT: Oh yes...internet. We would rule out anyplace that doesn't have robust broadband service. We lived out in t...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?
Replies: 87
Views: 5210

Re: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?

Having lived in both areas I would say that frankly, neither of them really have all that much to offer in terms of outdoor recreation nearby. Northern VA has more within driving distance but the population pressures and traffic still make things like day hikes in the woods a hassle compared to less...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I can retire right??
Replies: 14
Views: 2012

Re: I can retire right??

My wife passed away 10 years ago and at the time of her passing was a government employee . I receive what would have been 75% of her pension with COLA along with access to her very good health plan which costs me $1,100 out of pocket per year. The cost of the plan has remained basically unchanged ...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?
Replies: 87
Views: 5210

Re: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?

I've lived in both areas. Dallas will be WAY cheaper. Frankly the outer suburban areas of both cities are mainly family oriented. If I was single I would actually live in Dallas and commute out to the suburbs. It will be a reverse commute. There are a lot of interesting singles oriented areas in upt...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification
Replies: 28
Views: 1835

Re: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification

The answer absolutely and entirely depends on the state he lives in. You simply cannot generalize. I live in Texas. I went the alternative teacher certification route through a local community college after my wife's career brought us to Texas. But I already had a BA in biology from a top liberal ar...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: starter home vs. final home
Replies: 37
Views: 3660

Re: starter home vs. final home

My wife and I are currently shopping for our 4th home in 15 years. None of our moves have involved "moving up" to a larger house for the sake of moving up. All were forced due to career-related re-locations. Each time we have moved our house has gotten nicer but that's more an effect of be...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Five Best National Parks to Visit?
Replies: 99
Views: 6723

Re: Five Best National Parks to Visit?

As a former Alaskan I'm partial to the Alaskan parks which far exceed anything in the lower 48 and have barely gotten a mention here. Glacier Bay National Park in Southeast Alaska is absolutely spectacular and one of the best places on the planet for both marine and land wildlife. Most people typica...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage floor--paint?
Replies: 5
Views: 857

Re: Garage floor--paint?

I've done my last two garages with the Rustoleum Epoxy Garage Floor paint. Works pretty well and seems to last about 5 years before you have to repaint if you want. The key is getting the garage floor absolutely clean and etched with acid to remove any trace of oil The prep of cleaning the floor is ...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Easy way to estimate grade (steepness) of a drive?
Replies: 16
Views: 1200

Re: Easy way to estimate grade (steepness) of a drive?

I am going to download this to my Android phone and see how it works :idea: Measure Angle https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iYOK.AngleMeterV10&hl=en It works :mrgreen: Apple iPhones have the same feature built in. Works great for things like leveling crooked pictures. It is kind...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Easy way to estimate grade (steepness) of a drive?
Replies: 16
Views: 1200

Re: Easy way to estimate grade (steepness) of a drive?

Thanks guys..... I kind of figured out that I could use one of these which does both distance and angle from horizontal. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005AZZNXE It will be useful in a whole lot of ways including measuring the interior rooms of houses we are looking at as well as measuring the ba...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Easy way to estimate grade (steepness) of a drive?
Replies: 16
Views: 1200

Easy way to estimate grade (steepness) of a drive?

As a science teacher you'd think I'd know how to do this. And I'm sure I could figure out complicated ways to do it. But I'm wondering if anyone has a quick shortcut way to estimate the steepness or grade of a street or driveway. Say I'm house shopping and see a house with what looks like a relative...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to convert 1/2 bath to 3/4th or full bath?
Replies: 5
Views: 607

Re: Cost to convert 1/2 bath to 3/4th or full bath?

10 K, for normal plumbing and basic facilities. Keep adding for different styles of tiles, etc... That was about my ballpark guess. I"m assuming plumbing would not be that complicated as there would already be drains and water supply at the same location for the toilet and sink. And as long as...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to convert 1/2 bath to 3/4th or full bath?
Replies: 5
Views: 607

Re: Cost to convert 1/2 bath to 3/4th or full bath?

Are there any one floor houses available? A one floor house with 2 or 2 and 1/2 baths would solve your problem without any reconfiguring. Not really, it is all 2 story houses on fairly small lots. No expansive one-story houses on large lots like we are used to in Texas. The typical house I see most...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to convert 1/2 bath to 3/4th or full bath?
Replies: 5
Views: 607

Cost to convert 1/2 bath to 3/4th or full bath?

My wife and I are currently house hunting in a fairly hot real estate market so desirable houses are going pretty quick. One of our somewhat important criteria is to have some sort of guest bedroom and full bath on the main floor for when my wife's elderly parents visit. However that design criteria...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Temporary (air mattress type) bed recommendations
Replies: 13
Views: 519

Re: Temporary (air mattress type) bed recommendations

I use pop up trundle beds. The frame costs about $100 and you put any old twin mattress on it. I keep them stored under the kids beds and roll them out when there are guests. Bought mine at a local mattress store. Here is the Amazon version http://www.amazon.com/Leggett-Platt-Consumer-Products-Group...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A friend with a pension and a House
Replies: 10
Views: 1504

Re: A friend with a pension and a House

My advice? Don't tell him what to do. If you want to have a financial discussion, feel free to tell him what YOU are doing and why and let him draw his own conclusions. I had a recent eye-opening dinner conversation with one of my wife's work colleagues. He's a physician and probably makes in the ne...
by texasdiver
Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pod moving and storage recommendations?
Replies: 17
Views: 1467

Re: Pod moving and storage recommendations?

We will be moving the family from Central Texas to Vancouver WA area this coming June and I'm leaning towards using one of the containerized pod moving and storage companies. My wife's new employer will pay for most of all of the move so this isn't to save costs but more for our convenience and bec...
by texasdiver
Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Engineering Discipline for the next 20+ years !!!
Replies: 122
Views: 7028

Re: Which Engineering Discipline for the next 20+ years !!!

I've got no experience in Engineering but I gotta think that climate change is going to provide a wealth of opportunities for civil engineers with specific expertise in areas such as mitigation for sea level rise. Coastal cities around the world are going to be spending trillions of dollars mitigati...
by texasdiver
Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pod moving and storage recommendations?
Replies: 17
Views: 1467

Re: Pod moving and storage recommendations?

we aren't certain we will have a house lined up right away to receive us in June. So we may be storing household belongings for a few weeks or more. I'm also fussy and would just rather pack stuff myself and sort it rather than hire movers to pack and load everything. I had similar thoughts on a pr...
by texasdiver
Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: sellers want us to waive financing contingency
Replies: 80
Views: 6161

Re: sellers want us to waive financing contingency

Congrats on the possible deal. We are in the middle of home shopping in the same market. Just made a full price offer on a property this past weekend a day after the property hit the market. Turns out there were 3 other buyers also making offers and we didn't get it. So it goes. We aren't looking fo...
by texasdiver
Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pod moving and storage recommendations?
Replies: 17
Views: 1467

Pod moving and storage recommendations?

We will be moving the family from Central Texas to Vancouver WA area this coming June and I'm leaning towards using one of the containerized pod moving and storage companies. My wife's new employer will pay for most of all of the move so this isn't to save costs but more for our convenience and beca...
by texasdiver
Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unwanted cold call from Mass Mutual agent
Replies: 45
Views: 3278

Re: Unwanted cold call from Mass Mutual agent

When I get unwanted unsolicited calls of this sort I don't hang up, I put them on hold. "That sounds interesting, can you hold for just a minute?" Then I put the phone down and get back to whatever I as doing before, curious how long it takes until the phone starts to beep with the dead li...

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