Search found 467 matches

by Bengineer
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3319

Re: Humidity in basement

Hmmm. I don't think a radiant barrier would do much for you. Radiant can help some where you have really high temperatures you want to mitigate, like roofs. Even so, radiant barriers are only effective if they stay clean (dirt increases the emissivity) and have an air gap (the radiant part). You def...
by Bengineer
Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3319

Re: Humidity in basement

OP, ... First, measurement. You're measuring relative humidity (RH). The basement is cooler than upstairs, so the RH will be higher for the same amount of water in the air. Try calculating the dew point for the up and downstairs to get a measure of the water in the air that's comparable at differen...
by Bengineer
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 38
Views: 3319

Re: Humidity in basement

OP, I have a few thoughts. First, measurement. You're measuring relative humidity (RH). The basement is cooler than upstairs, so the RH will be higher for the same amount of water in the air. Try calculating the dew point for the up and downstairs to get a measure of the water in the air that's comp...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...
Replies: 42
Views: 2546

Re: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...

..... Or you could figure it out for yourself. Assuming you don't need prescription glasses, but find yourself straining to read or see details that are up close now that you're over 40, you will likely find "drugstore readers" work just fine for reading. If you do wear prescription glasses and don'...
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation
Replies: 3
Views: 332

Re: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation

Good point. I don't think so, but will inquire as we go forward. I updated my OP to indicate the house was built in the late '70s
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation
Replies: 3
Views: 332

Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation

We are embarking on an extensive remodel / renovation of our home, which was built in the late '70s. We did one fairly extensive remodel of a much older house about a decade ago. The plan with our architect is to interview several potential contractors and pick one to work with the architect and us ...
by Bengineer
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites
Replies: 84
Views: 6746

Re: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites

Eyeglass leashes. (think Croakies)
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models
Replies: 40
Views: 2879

Re: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models

... Unlike side-by-side doors which close on separate freezer and refrigerator compartments. French doors close on a single refrigerator compartment. Therefore, most designs have an interlocking rotational seal between the two doors. This requires some inertia or manual close. ... That was my exper...
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen sink (faucet)
Replies: 10
Views: 945

Re: Kitchen sink (faucet)

Seems like a higher flow aerator could work. The other of you does have a point, in that the point of an aerator is to minimize the splashing... Possibly more than you want to get into, but I used an on-demand recirculating pump in two CA houses for the "wasting a gallon of water while waiting for i...
by Bengineer
Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mold in caulk of shower
Replies: 21
Views: 2223

Re: Mold in caulk of shower

... You'll also want to correct the conditions that enable the mold to grow. If you remove the old caulk (not easy) and reapply, the new caulk will eventually mold unless you address the favorable conditions. And when you do replace the caulk, do a careful job of removing the old caulk (and inevita...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I fix my heating bill?
Replies: 73
Views: 3562

Re: How do I fix my heating bill?

... Hm, it seems whenever I turn on my heat in the winter if it is below freezing, emergency heat automatically comes on. The heat pump is located outside (it's also my AC) so not sure how it could be bringing in warm air at all? I'll have to do some more reading on heat pumps as my understanding o...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I fix my heating bill?
Replies: 73
Views: 3562

Re: How do I fix my heating bill?

... My thermostat has "emergency heat" that shows up when it's on but I'm not sure how accurate that is. But during the months of December/January/February, emergency heat is pretty much on at all times that the heat pump is on. That doesn't sound right. Your 2016 heat pump should be carrying the l...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Not to be a Slave to my Wood Deck?
Replies: 37
Views: 3055

Re: How Not to be a Slave to my Wood Deck?

Basically, no film-forming coating (i.e. paint) is going to last on any wood surface that goes through a wetting and drying cycle. The wood expands with moisture and contracts as it dries, popping the coating off. You're after a stain that penetrates the surface, provides some UV resistance and repe...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Small, Portable, and Ductless Air Conditioners]
Replies: 54
Views: 3016

Re: Best Small Air Conditioner

Check out the window ac info @ energystar.gov.
by Bengineer
Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new
Replies: 24
Views: 1871

Re: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new

OPs issue sounds like a classic case of auto defrost failure. It’s likely one of 3 parts; defrost timer, defrost thermostat or defrost heat coil(s). Each part is $10-$25 and can be determined with a screwdriver and possibly a VOM, if you have the skill. Will likely require taking rear interior out ...
by Bengineer
Tue May 08, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with current Auto/Home/Umbrella/Term Life Insurance Policies
Replies: 6
Views: 797

Re: Help with current Auto/Home/Umbrella/Term Life Insurance Policies

I third the "get quotes from an independent agent". I've become a convert after many years with one of the companies one sees on TV. I got the desired coverages at a much better price than "named" insurance companies quoted me in my area. I hadn't heard of any of the companies backing our policies, ...
by Bengineer
Wed May 02, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reasonable cost for Tankless Water Heater Inspection / Annual flush
Replies: 4
Views: 656

Re: Reasonable cost for Tankless Water Heater Inspection / Annual flush

OP, you can do this. First, you need hose-thread taps on your water heater inlet and outlet lines in order to flush it. Your WH should have these. If not, it's plumber-time. Assuming you have those, You need a 5 gallon bucket, a set of washing machine hoses, a small utility pump, and about 3 gallons...
by Bengineer
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mid-40s in tech - how to pass off as acceptably young
Replies: 111
Views: 11662

Re: Mid-40s in tech - how to pass off as acceptably young

OP, an alternate thought: It's not your age, it's where you're interviewing.

You have experience and skill in managing the mayhem at a small start-up. I'd think that would resonate most strongly with similar organizations.
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I prewire my home network myself?
Replies: 40
Views: 2643

Re: Should I prewire my home network myself?

OP, some thoughts: You could prewire and not terminate - just run cat5e/6 from wherever you want your central panel to be to each room outlet and terminate the ones you use later. If you have a basement or utility room, it's nice to have a panel to set up your incoming cable/fiber/phone/networking a...
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I proactively replace my central AC unit?
Replies: 33
Views: 2901

Re: Should I proactively replace my central AC unit?

This: I wouldn't. Had a similar situation and just got a window unit until I could get it repaired. A few hundred to keep life tolerable, resell on CL. Do some reading up and shopping around in the meantime so that you know what you want, get some quotes. then when it breaks, you have a plan. Maybe ...
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?
Replies: 7
Views: 1528

Re: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

I own a Breezer Uptown 8. Upright, lights, fenders, rack. 8 speed Shimano Nexus internal hub, 1.5" wide tires, front shock. Great for city/relaxed riding. We own a Specialized Haul as well. The key is the Shimano Nexus or Alfine internal hub.
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Awning over door: style and size?
Replies: 3
Views: 506

Re: Awning over door: style and size?

We have a sunbrella over frame awning that is 30" deep. I'd say that depth is about the minimum to get out of the rain while opening the door. An awning will also protect your door from weather, prolonging its life and helping to avoid eventual rot downward from the door sill. Think about how strong...
by Bengineer
Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Tax of Income for Non-Resident
Replies: 3
Views: 542

California Tax of Income for Non-Resident

Here's the scenario: Consultant does some work for a California company while living and working in another state. The company is entirely in CA, the consultant does his work remotely, never setting foot in CA. The CA Franchise Tax Board docs are clear that if the consultant lives in CA and/or the w...
by Bengineer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental chews for dogs....useful?
Replies: 36
Views: 2494

Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

For us, yes. They mechanically scrub off the dog's teeth and massage their gums as they chew it up. Our 7 year old dog gets an appropriately sized treated rawhide chew daily. Teeth & gums in great shape They kept our last dog's teeth in good shape into his teens. I use the basic chews treated with e...
by Bengineer
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon: basement stair and basement gym considerations
Replies: 11
Views: 1263

Re: Radon: basement stair and basement gym considerations

I think I would understand the mitigation system in place and that it was functioning as designed. I would get a test kit / detector and verify that the current radon levels in the basement are below what is considered safe and monitor the level going forward. You'll probably want fresh air when exe...
by Bengineer
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Range Hood Blower Sizing
Replies: 40
Views: 2178

Re: Range Hood Blower Sizing

I've done a couple range hoods. Agreed, quiet trumps power. I installed a 600cfm 30" with an 8" pipe up through the roof over a gas range in my last house. We cook daily and I never used max speed. It was loud running wide open and not all that quiet at lower speeds. Consider that while you may have...
by Bengineer
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Subaru Forrester
Replies: 34
Views: 2749

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Forrester

We chose the '17 Outback over the Forester after driving both. The Forester ride was less settled, meaning more roll and sway over a bumpy city street. It was also noisier inside. The OB had a more settled, composed ride (subjective terms, I realize), was quieter, had a nicer interior and will tow a...
by Bengineer
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best flooring for a basement wood shop?
Replies: 27
Views: 1911

Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

My .02. Inexpensive carpet now for the kids. T&G OSB or plywood or planks later for the shop. Might depend on what's cheap and how level your current subfloor is vs how level you want it. I'd think it would be really handy to be able to shoot some screws into the floor to set up braces / props / sca...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with what to do with drafty fireplace
Replies: 26
Views: 1645

Re: Help with what to do with drafty fireplace

OP, I grew up with a fireplace used daily and have had one at all but a couple residences since. I really enjoy a wood fire on a cold, damp night. A chimney-top damper works well. It will totally seal the flue and keep weather from entering. I also had a leaky, bent damper in one house and installed...
by Bengineer
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost analysis on buying vs. renting skis?
Replies: 12
Views: 892

Re: cost analysis on buying vs. renting skis?

I'm in the rent camp. I skied a fair bit when younger and owned several pairs of skis at a time. With a bit of arrangement, you can pick up near top of the line, nearly new "demo" (meaning skis like you'd buy, vs "rental market") skis that are sharpened and waxed when you arrive and keep them your e...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater
Replies: 100
Views: 8005

Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

OP, is your issue the time it takes hot water to arrive, or the wasted water? If it's the time, a circulator or small water heater as others have suggested sound like a solution, albeit at extra energy use. If it's the wasted water, an on-demand pump is one answer. They are typically plumbed to the ...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: carry on luggage, 4 wheel spinner or 2 wheel rollaboard?
Replies: 29
Views: 2233

Re: carry on luggage, 4 wheel spinner or 2 wheel rollaboard?

We have both. I think the traditional rollaboards are more durable. Our spinners have smaller plastic swivel casters. I've replaced the casters that have failed on both types with "skate" wheels, which have good bearings, but the swivel part of the caster is cheap plastic. I expect one of the swivel...
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement water issue or not? Advice?
Replies: 5
Views: 978

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: 3739

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: 1792

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: 7955

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 shooti...
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: 3977

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: 7955

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: 4154

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: 4463

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 for your m...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Prices, expecting over listing?
Replies: 8
Views: 1423

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: 1676

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: 29
Views: 8113

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: 2902

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: 3513

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: 2208

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: 8416

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: 7378

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: 3992

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: 463

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. ...