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-   -   1st time homeowner! Advice needed! (http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f45/1st-time-homeowner-advice-needed-8527/)

xochi16 01-31-2010 01:53 PM

1st time homeowner! Advice needed!
 
Hello everyone. My name is Stephanie, I graduated from college in December and I'm 21 and just recently purchased my first home. I am in need of some advice. The home I purchased is definitely a fixer upper. First of all, I have quite a bit more in a budget for renovations, my realtor managed to get the asking price down by quite a bit due to all of the work that needs done around the house. One of my bigger concerns is the backyard. This is definitely where I need some help. The previous homeowners were very nice, and did show me before I purchased the home all of the things they thought would need fixed. In the backyard, they started to strip the back deck. They said they started it several years ago and then just didn't finish it. It looks to me like its been pretty well stripped off by weather now, and most of the boards need replaced, I was considering replacing them with a composite decking like Trex, but was unsure the cost was worth it. A bigger problem is the hill behind the house. The wife said when they first moved in they hired a landscaper who built a rock retaining wall, that collapsed less than a year after the build. It is a very steep incline, and is continuing to fall down. The erosion has built up so much the dirt off the hill has covered up 2 stairs of the existing deck. I am not sure I can afford a block retaining wall or not, in fact my boyfriend and I were hoping to try and do something ourselves, I saw on DIY network a couple that built a treated lumber retaining wall, I'm just not sure if that will be heavy duty enough. But I'm still not sure about drainage. Which leads to the next problem, the side yard adjacent to the deck and hill has pooling water. The wife again said it had always been a problem, but they never had it fixed. Also in the side yard is the water meter for my home and the neighboors. I was wondering what could be done to assist the water from pooling. I hate to keep blabbering, but I have two more questions. The cabinets themselves in the kitchen are in great shape, but definitely need new doors and hardware. How difficult would it be to take the existing doors and make them glass doors instead? And one other thing is the chain link fence in the front yard. I have two dogs and the fence would be nice, but I'm not a big fan of chain link and its fallen into disrepair and needs replaced. How hard is it to remove chainlink? Thanks to anyone for any sort of advice or suggestions! ^_^

Wuzzat? 01-31-2010 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xochi16 (Post 39828)
A bigger problem is the hill behind the house. The wife said when they first moved in they hired a landscaper who built a rock retaining wall, that collapsed less than a year after the build. It is a very steep incline, and is continuing to fall down.

the side yard adjacent to the deck and hill has pooling water.

How difficult would it be to take the existing doors and make them glass doors instead?

The Angle of Repose for soil, etc., is about 30, so the closer you are to this angle the less pressure will be on the retaining wall.
If the hill is 4' high you'd then need it to be 8' from whatever you don't want to be eventually covered up.

For steeper angles and using timbers, here's one design
Google Image Result for http://www.electronicblueprint.com.au/drawings/04/04_007-1-Timber-crib-wall.gif
The angle shown is about 70.



Re: pooling, hardware stores sell kits with which you can turn a garden hose into a pretty accurate level. You need to find some lower place to drain the water, preferably with a buried drain pipe having a downward pitch of 1" in 10', or more. If the trench needs to be several yards or longer you can rent a trencher, or a "Ditch Witch."

Yards with slopes less than 1% [1' drop in 100'] can be a problem if the soil is not porous.


Glass is 3x denser than wood; you may want to use bolts instead of screws to fasten the hinges. Or you can use these
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threaded_insert
with #6 or #8 machine screws.

Keep track of all home improvements: it goes into the basis for the house, for tax purposes.

travelover 01-31-2010 05:52 PM

Welcome. You have a pretty good laundry list of projects, so I'll make a general suggestion. Go to your local library and check out their DIY books. You will probably find a pretty good selection of books on topics that you are interested in. For topics not available in the library I'd suggest that you look on Amazon and find books that are highly reviewed on topics that the library is missing. But buy these books used. You can find them very cheaply here, once you know the title.

BookFinder.com: Search for New & Used Books, Textbooks, Out-of-Print and Rare Books

The internet is also a good resource, but I like a good book as a reference. The Reader's Digest Repair Manual was one of my first books and I still refer to it.

Amazon.com: Reader's Digest: Fix It Yourself Manual How to Repair, Clean and Maintain Anything and Everything I: John Speicher: Books

xochi16 02-04-2010 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wuzzat? (Post 39829)
The Angle of Repose for soil, etc., is about 30, so the closer you are to this angle the less pressure will be on the retaining wall.
If the hill is 4' high you'd then need it to be 8' from whatever you don't want to be eventually covered up.

For steeper angles and using timbers, here's one design
Google Image Result for http://www.electronicblueprint.com.au/drawings/04/04_007-1-Timber-crib-wall.gif
The angle shown is about 70.



Re: pooling, hardware stores sell kits with which you can turn a garden hose into a pretty accurate level. You need to find some lower place to drain the water, preferably with a buried drain pipe having a downward pitch of 1" in 10', or more. If the trench needs to be several yards or longer you can rent a trencher, or a "Ditch Witch."

Yards with slopes less than 1% [1' drop in 100'] can be a problem if the soil is not porous.


Glass is 3x denser than wood; you may want to use bolts instead of screws to fasten the hinges. Or you can use these
Threaded insert - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
with #6 or #8 machine screws.

Keep track of all home improvements: it goes into the basis for the house, for tax purposes.

Yes, the hill is a pretty steep incline. Thank you very much for that link it looks like it will be very helpful. As for the water pooling, the yard slopes but were definitely going to have to rent the ditch witch, the pooling problem is probably 40-50 feet away from where we want it to drain. Will the drain prevent the pooling all together? Or just move the pooling water away after it sits? Thank again for all of the advice! Greatly appreciated!
Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 39847)
Welcome. You have a pretty good laundry list of projects, so I'll make a general suggestion. Go to your local library and check out their DIY books. You will probably find a pretty good selection of books on topics that you are interested in. For topics not available in the library I'd suggest that you look on Amazon and find books that are highly reviewed on topics that the library is missing. But buy these books used. You can find them very cheaply here, once you know the title.

BookFinder.com: Search for New & Used Books, Textbooks, Out-of-Print and Rare Books

The internet is also a good resource, but I like a good book as a reference. The Reader's Digest Repair Manual was one of my first books and I still refer to it.

Amazon.com: Reader's Digest: Fix It Yourself Manual How to Repair, Clean and Maintain Anything and Everything I: John Speicher: Books

Yes, I figure its going to be a long running laundry list, but well worth it in the end. I'll definitely check out those books! Thanks for the links! ^_^


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