Search found 123 matches

by WaffleCone
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Received bill from sub-contractor after paying general contractor in full
Replies: 17
Views: 3974

Re: Received bill from sub-contractor after paying general contractor in full

Reviving an old issue as it turns out not to be resolved. Long story short... HVAC guy is due $1000. I talked with GC and it seems legit, and we each agreed to pay half. It was really the HVAC guy's error in that he split the bill in some arbitrary way between GC and myself, and never sent my portio...
by WaffleCone
Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA overlap due to FSA carryover
Replies: 11
Views: 757

Re: HSA overlap due to FSA carryover

[quote="Spirit Rider" post_id=4987967 . The last-month rule will allow me to keep my full 2020 contribution. If I go non-HDHP, then I'll have to request back excess contributions and pay the tax (but no penalty) on my 2020 return. Does that sound right? No and this is very important. In the case of...
by WaffleCone
Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA overlap due to FSA carryover
Replies: 11
Views: 757

Re: HSA overlap due to FSA carryover

HSA eligibility is pro-rated monthly, but only affects your yearly contribution limit. There is nothing preventing you or your employer from making contributions before 4/1. However, if your total employee + employer contributions are > your pro-rated contribution. You are automatically deemed to h...
by WaffleCone
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA overlap due to FSA carryover
Replies: 11
Views: 757

HSA overlap due to FSA carryover

I have $300 remaining in my FSA from a 2019 carryover. However, I began contributing to an HSA on Jan 1 and my employer already contributed $1000. Based on what I've read I'm "disqualified" from an HSA until April 1, the first month after my FSA carryover ends. Even if I spend it down earlier, April...
by WaffleCone
Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quick analysis: PPO vs HDHP health care
Replies: 3
Views: 392

Re: Quick analysis: PPO vs HDHP health care

Are there any other wrinkles where one plan has better coverage in an area like ER visits? You describe the PPO has having a $250 deductible. Isn't it $500 for your family, not $250 which is for an individual? If not, then you are right, the HDHP option seems better. You should keep in mind that, e...
by WaffleCone
Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quick analysis: PPO vs HDHP health care
Replies: 3
Views: 392

Quick analysis: PPO vs HDHP health care

Family of 6. 4 kids ages 10 and under. Everyone in good health with a few monthly generics. Next year my wife will be getting outpatient surgery with a few specialist follow-ups. Our PPO cost is going up $1000 next year and looking at HDHP for the first time. There is some debate among colleagues wh...
by WaffleCone
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Received bill from sub-contractor after paying general contractor in full
Replies: 17
Views: 3974

Re: Received bill from sub-contractor after paying general contractor in full

I don't have a written contract with sub. Any change orders with the GC were verbally agreed on despite the signed contract saying they needed to be in writing. This hasn't been an issue with this GC in the past. The original contract plus the extras (hvac and otherwise) were all paid, but the amoun...
by WaffleCone
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Received bill from sub-contractor after paying general contractor in full
Replies: 17
Views: 3974

Received bill from sub-contractor after paying general contractor in full

I can't believe I'm in this predicament! Getting a signed letter absolving me of future claims was on my list but I was so happy to finish the project I just wrote the final check. I didn't want to hold up payment with a "formality". It was late on a Friday when the GC completed the punch list and t...
by WaffleCone
Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold feet - Radiant subfloor heating question
Replies: 26
Views: 2572

Re: Cold feet - Radiant subfloor heating question

I don't think radiant would be practical in your case. If you already had a boiler and were adding to an existing zone it might be worth talking about. With forced hot air you have all the hydronic boiler mechanicals that need to be installed-- mixing valves, zoning, pumps, etc. and that's before an...
by WaffleCone
Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sound"proofing" basement -- what about hvac ducts?
Replies: 9
Views: 1107

Re: Sound"proofing" basement -- what about hvac ducts?

Similar flooring situation in my house. We did a layer of soundboard with 5/8" drywall and fiberglass in the ceiling. It's good for the amount spent. You can't hear normal walking or talking or TV but if the kids are running/jumping upstairs it still comes through. As as we added softer sound absorb...
by WaffleCone
Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stump Grinder - Ridiculous Side Hustle??
Replies: 51
Views: 7983

Re: Stump Grinder - Ridiculous Side Hustle??

There are a few stump removers around my area. They charge roughly $100/stump with a discount if they're small or you get more than a few done. Generally the guy drives around doing estimates and then shows up to run the equipment with a laborer to level and load the grindings. In the end I don't th...
by WaffleCone
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]
Replies: 68
Views: 4838

Re: Buying 1/2 pint drinks in bulk for lunches?

I found some on Amazon after four seconds of searching. https://www.amazon.com/Horizon-Organic-8-Ounce-Aseptic-Cartons/dp/B000LKVB52 I don't want to get into a milk debate. This is ultra-pasteurized milk that doesn't need refrigeration and has a slightly different taste and texture than traditional...
by WaffleCone
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]
Replies: 68
Views: 4838

[Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

Why do retailers not sell 1/2 pint milks in quantity? All the other junk drinks are available but no milk. We just got hit with the first week of school lunch expenses: $55 for 2 elementary aged kids. Normally they pack but the first week is crazy and we hadn't set up restrictions on their accounts ...
by WaffleCone
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor's FIOS cable running over my yard
Replies: 52
Views: 7374

Re: Neighbor's FIOS cable running over my yard

I'm pretty sure there's no easement there but it's not worth getting a lawyer involved. I'll start by calling VZ again and let them know I am not satisfied with their "repair". I think it's since dropped and is even lower now than before. 50 minutes on hold just to talk to a rep, and then that rep w...
by WaffleCone
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor's FIOS cable running over my yard
Replies: 52
Views: 7374

Neighbor's FIOS cable running over my yard

Our neighbor's FIOS wire from the pole to their house runs over my yard. Due to the landscape it runs lower than I'd like, 10ft or possibly lower. It was in the way trying to get a truck into the back yard. Verizon says: it is where it is. It can't be raised or moved. I don't understand why they can...
by WaffleCone
Thu May 09, 2019 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement Window shopping advice
Replies: 20
Views: 1768

Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

I would rather have cheap windows that have been properly installed than expensive windows not installed correctly. -- square to frame, level, properly caulked, spray foam/insulation at sill and trim area. Many drafts occur not from the window or even the install, but that gap at the frame to the f...
by WaffleCone
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement water issues
Replies: 37
Views: 3508

Re: Basement water issues

I'm by no means an expert in this area but have wrestled with water problems on several houses. First I'll say that it's unfortunate your basement was recently finished by a flipper. It'll be difficult to investigate anything thoroughly and I suspect other shortcuts or mistakes were made. Not as ste...
by WaffleCone
Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford this house ?
Replies: 20
Views: 2154

Re: Can we afford this house ?

Nothing wrong with a 30-year mortgage. I have young kids and understand the desire to get a nice family home now and pay it off over the long haul. It's not evil American consumerism. You just need to make sure you get something you CAN afford. I agree with all the others that $2700/month is WAY TOO...
by WaffleCone
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ingenious Way To Find Reasonably Priced Painter
Replies: 57
Views: 7727

Re: Ingenious Way To Find Reasonably Priced Painter

Go to your local Sherwin Williams store and ask about paint contractors that buy their paint there.You can gleam some good intel there like if the painter is a drunk - like half of them are.Also you can find out the price of the contractor paint.I believe they get about 10% discount. +1. Normally I...
by WaffleCone
Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sellers beware on eBay.
Replies: 92
Views: 9313

Re: Sellers beware on eBay.

This was all covered in the ebay user agreement. You read that thing cover to cover, right? :D https://www.ebay.com/help/policies/member-behaviour-policies/user-agreement?id=4259 11. Holds To protect eBay from risk of liability for your actions as a seller, eBay has at times recommended, and may co...
by WaffleCone
Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ground level windows: Laminated or Tempered Glass?
Replies: 2
Views: 449

Ground level windows: Laminated or Tempered Glass?

We are selecting some lower level bedroom windows and aren't sure if we should upgrade to laminated glass. Tempered glass is required at a minimum, as it's stronger than plate glass and breaks in small pieces. Laminated is even stronger, you might have to hit it with a bat several times to get throu...
by WaffleCone
Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance - Is this too much?
Replies: 22
Views: 1949

Re: Life Insurance - Is this too much?

The work policy is not apples-to-apples with my personal policy. My company subsidizes part of the $700k but the cost goes up with age. It's also not guaranteed, as some people discovered last year when the company switched providers and they could not re-qualify. For the people who say my cost is h...
by WaffleCone
Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance - Is this too much?
Replies: 22
Views: 1949

Re: Life Insurance - Is this too much?

Looking at term4sale, our prices are better than if we got 25 year policies to replace the ones we have now. This makes sense. Switching to 20 year policies is about $400/yr less for both. A+ rated companies. Is this a good check or should I be getting estimates? Having LI until I'm 70 is probably o...
by WaffleCone
Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance - Is this too much?
Replies: 22
Views: 1949

Life Insurance - Is this too much?

5 years into a 30 year term life policy. My age 44, wife age 41, both good health. I am an engineer and she is a SAHM. We have 4 kids ages 4-10. My policy - $1500/yr - $1M coverage Her policy - $525/yr - $500K On top of that we have coverage from my employer. Total cost is $450/year for coverage of ...
by WaffleCone
Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Heating Advice
Replies: 72
Views: 6214

Re: Home Heating Advice

Home will be located in northeast Ohio. Google tells me the following: electric $/kWh = 5.36¢/kWh (local pricing) I'm pretty sure that's not your full rate, it's more likely double that. OH has electric choice and .0536 looks like your generation charge. You have to add transmission and distributio...
by WaffleCone
Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Purchase of 2018?
Replies: 255
Views: 22296

Re: Favorite Purchase of 2018?

'18 Chevy Volt, though leased not purchased. (Yes I know they're going to stop making them.) It just might be the best commuter car ever: quiet, drives well, super cheap to operate, good for the environment. Gas savings and incentives cover the majority of the cost of my three-year lease. +1. Upgra...
by WaffleCone
Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on Home Improvement Repairs
Replies: 29
Views: 1917

Re: Saving on Home Improvement Repairs

For example, I need to install some gutter drainage around the house. Do something low risk first. If you're not used to working on ladders, don't let gutters or roofing be your first project. Personally, I'd avoid them altogether. Gutters aren't cheap but they go in quickly. Pros can keep them sea...
by WaffleCone
Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kid schooling - not learning much academically. Looking for suggestions.
Replies: 112
Views: 6704

Re: Kid schooling - not learning much academically. Looking for suggestions.

I have 4 kids in Catholic elementary school. The teacher may only measure them for counting 1-10 but they're probably singing songs where they count to 100, by 10's, 2's, etc. Like others have said, PK and K are more of a structured social space preparing them with the basics of how to be successful...
by WaffleCone
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quebec City Winter Carnival with Kids? Or something else?
Replies: 7
Views: 628

Quebec City Winter Carnival with Kids? Or something else?

We're thinking of taking a road trip from PA to QC for the Winter Carnival, stopping overnight in upstate NY each way to break up the drive. Four kids, ages 4-10, would be on their first trip out of the country, first time hearing a language other than English spoken as primary, and get to experienc...
by WaffleCone
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Prius or something else?
Replies: 25
Views: 1949

Re: Which Prius or something else?

So after a lot of waffling it looks like I am going to buy a new car. I was in a similar situation and ended up with a Chevy Volt. I see a lot of them at the office charging and test drove one one a whim. The quiet drive and smooth acceleration blew me away. I had mine for a month and got 1800 mile...
by WaffleCone
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Botched countertop installation - leave it as-is or risk the repair?
Replies: 78
Views: 8902

Re: Botched countertop installation - leave it as-is or risk the repair?

The current warranty is 1-yr. What is reasonable for an extended warranty and discount if we go this route? I don't think you're entitled to either. You contracted for a kitchen to be installed in a professional manner free of leaks and defects for 1 year for $X. Caulk is a perfectly acceptable sea...
by WaffleCone
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Botched countertop installation - leave it as-is or risk the repair?
Replies: 78
Views: 8902

Re: Botched countertop installation - leave it as-is or risk the repair?

Get a high quality siliconized caulk and squeeze a bead around the sink. Should be a straight, smooth line. Done. Take comfort in knowing that it's the same sealant that keeps your walls dry every time you take a shower.

Enjoy a glass of wine in your new kitchen and move on. Life is short.
by WaffleCone
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Botched countertop installation - leave it as-is or risk the repair?
Replies: 78
Views: 8902

Re: Botched countertop installation - leave it as-is or risk the repair?

I hate silicone as an exposed caulk. It stays tacky and attracts dirt. I would not accept that as is, even to my DIY eye the caulk job looks like a hack but it could be the pictures. But I find it hard to believe that the only solution is a complete counter reinstall. What's securing the sink beside...
by WaffleCone
Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What performance to expect from central AC?
Replies: 35
Views: 2634

Re: What performance to expect from central AC?

Interested in what the solution ends up being. Hopefully you'll have one more heat wave before the end of summer. A few quick comments: We have a ranch style home similar to yours except slightly bigger, 1600sqft main floor plus we condition about 400sqft in the basement off a 2.5 ton conventional u...
by WaffleCone
Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevy Volt for Commute
Replies: 24
Views: 2778

Re: Chevy Volt for Commute

Sorta a shame that the visionary Volt is likely done after the 2019 model year. Where did you read this? Sounds like it will be the last generation but it should continue until 2020 or beyond, until replaced by a crossover. 2019 will charge in 1/2 the time as before and I doubt that’s a one year fe...
by WaffleCone
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Freelance.com for landscape design assignment?
Replies: 1
Views: 309

Re: Freelance.com for landscape design assignment?

Is this a site where you post details about your project and anyone on the internet can bid on it? If so, I used a similar service for a landscape plan and floorplan ideas. I specifically requested a US college student who had designs posted that I liked, and paid roughly $15/hr. I don't remember th...
by WaffleCone
Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?
Replies: 62
Views: 4183

Re: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?

I am curious as to the scam bluelight reports? What could they tell her daughter that would make her buy a gift card and give them the code? An PhD friend was duped by one claiming that he owed taxes due immediately. Went to the grocery store and bought MoneyPak cards. May have had a guilty conscie...
by WaffleCone
Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?
Replies: 62
Views: 4183

Re: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?

Thankfully, this appears to have been purely that she bought a $500 ebay gift card and gave them the code for the card. I didn't even know such things existed. I don't believe that they could get any credit card info from the purchase, and she said that she didn't give them any additional info. Thi...
by WaffleCone
Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Experienced with Credit Card Fraud ? Need Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 2420

Re: Anyone Experienced with Credit Card Fraud ? Need Advice

From our experience, no one really seems to want to catch the perpetrators and the cc issuer's strategy seems to be to keep you (the victim) in the dark and tell you nothing. I don't get it at all. They (the issuers) get what they deserve. I previously worked for a major online retailer who was hit...
by WaffleCone
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for ice machine
Replies: 22
Views: 2127

Re: Recommendations for ice machine

Not related to the ice maker, but I have been making cold-brewed iced tea lately, with good success. It takes some planning ahead. I do this with green tea. Comes out very smooth and light, compared to brewing hot and then icing. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try some cold brew Luzianne tea. It's...
by WaffleCone
Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for ice machine
Replies: 22
Views: 2127

Re: Recommendations for ice machine

I'm surprised that your refrigerator did not come with an additional full ice maker in the freezer. Every refrigerator I looked at with ice-in-the-door had a full ice maker. If you don't have a second ice maker in the freezer, you should check to see if your fridge brand/model has an optional ice m...
by WaffleCone
Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lincoln Aviator
Replies: 5
Views: 796

Re: Lincoln Aviator

I was a big fan of Lincoln in the early 2000's when they had the LS. It compared well against euro cars at the time. But they never invested into it, let it get stale, and dropped it a few years later. Since then they have an alphabet soup of MKZ MKT MKX models while at the same time trying to reliv...
by WaffleCone
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for ice machine
Replies: 22
Views: 2127

Re: Recommendations for ice machine

this seems weird. its like your whole family should be tested for anemia. i turn our ice maker off for weeeeeeeks. because we dont use that much ice. One of the kids is a bit of an ice eater but he was tested normal. The others put it in their large water bottles and it melts throughout the day. Ju...
by WaffleCone
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for ice machine
Replies: 22
Views: 2127

Recommendations for ice machine

We are a family of 6 and go through a lot of ice. My wife and I are unsweetened iced tea drinkers so it's easy for us to use an ice cube tray each, or more. The older kids load up their sports bottles with ice and water, and even the younger ones always want "ice water" instead of just plain water. ...
by WaffleCone
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC
Replies: 97
Views: 6614

Re: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC

Longwood is nice if you live in the area, but don't bother with it as it's out of the way and will eat up an entire day when you can do much more by staying an extra day in Philadelphia. Morris Arboretum is much more accessible if you're into nice gardens/estates (and check out the beautiful neighb...
by WaffleCone
Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new
Replies: 24
Views: 2121

Re: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new

What is the brand and type(side by side, freezer top, French door, etc) of fridge? Sometimes they have a built in diagnostics program you can use to eliminate the guesswork: turn on evap fan, turn on compressor, open freezer flap, defrost, etc. A new fridge will set you back at least $1000, double t...
by WaffleCone
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC
Replies: 97
Views: 6614

Re: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC

Also late to the thread but this is what I would do... In Philly, make sure you do at least these things: - Liberty Bell - Independence Hall - Museum of the American Revolution - Reading Terminal Market (food!) - Art Museum or something else along the Ben Franklin Parkway. Eastern State Penitentiary...
by WaffleCone
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Consolidating funds in 401k portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 987

Re: Consolidating funds in 401k portfolio

OP back. Sorry, got swamped with family stuff the past week. I have about $50k in non-retirement accounts. It's a mish-mash between Vanguard, Dodge and Cox, and some individual stocks (XOM primarily). I won't be able to increase that savings anytime soon and I'm more comfortable keeping it "out of s...
by WaffleCone
Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Consolidating funds in 401k portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 987

Consolidating funds in 401k portfolio

Me: Age 45, married with 4 young kids. Occupation: Software/Engineering. Stable job. Spouse: Age 40, stay at home mom. College educated. Emergency Fund: 12k of higher yielding I-bonds circa 2000. I would only use these if absolutely necessary. We keep very good credit and would use HELOC or 0% cards...
by WaffleCone
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving UHaul
Replies: 20
Views: 2613

Re: Driving UHaul

I never had a good experience with uhaul, from their front desk policies to the maintenance on their vehicles. Look at alternatives from Penske. For me, they rent locally from Home Depot. My go to option these days is a cargo van from Enterprise. It's just over 8' deep, so may be a little small for ...