Home Repair Woes

Preacher

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Posts
5,687
Location
Big D
@smoothrecluse I am like you brother, I kind of get overwhelmed with a whole bunch of issues at one time. My suggestion, take it a piece at a time.
Start with the water heater first. If you soldered on your old connections you must have some skills, and with the new Sharkbite connections it makes hooking a water heater that has copper pipes a breeze, believe me you won't ever solder again on copper pipes. Drain that old sucker and put the new one in with flexible connections and you will have that one piece off of your plate.

As far as the other foundational stuff. Foundations are kind of like life, if you have a good one everything is pretty easy. If you have a bad one there can be some circumstances that cause issues in life.

If you have drainage line issues in a slab poured house that can cause some issues but there are some options around that which do not require jack hammering out the existing floor. If the pipes are close to an outside wall, they can splice into the existing drain and then run a new drain outside the foundation line of the house to the main drain. It might be something to look into.

Also I would have another plumber do a pressure test on your drain lines, it is possible that the original plumber did not do it correctly. We had a friend who had the same issue call me to discuss options. He explained that while having his sewer line snaked the plumber told him he had a problem, performed a pressure test and showed the homeowner that there was a leak. I asked if they had used the cleanouts on the house or had he snaked it from the toilet. The guy told me that he did not have a clean out. It was a 15 year old house so I knew that was not a fact and after a little searching we found it at the base of a mature rose bush. And the cap was off and the rose bush was taking a drink straight from the tub so to speak.

Even though it is daunting, do some eyeball work on your own to see what needs to be done. Again at $95K it might be a good time to cash out or even look at making it an income producing property and rent it out.
 

Fretting out

Doctor of Teleocity
Platinum Supporter
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Posts
12,195
Age
30
Location
Land of Mary
That’s more than a termite only issue/didn’t cause that

I’d contact my insurance, if you have homeowners insurance

Termites aren’t going to cause the wall to fall out like that, that’s serious structural/foundation damage there

That’s just from what I can see in the picture

This isn’t something to skimp on, if insurance pays or doesn’t you need someone reputable
 

Telekarster

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Posts
6,573
Location
Earth
How are your gutters and downspouts? Many people don't realize just how important it is to keep water away from your home and foundation as far as possible. I can't tell you how many foundations and homes, basement flooding, I've seen ruined over the years simply because a 10 dollar downspout was missing or not properly installed or a gutter had been clogged up and overflowing for years. Getting all water away from the home is key. I have extensions on every single downspout, and they go out at least 3 feet from the elbow on the ground.

Also, is there any chance of sink holes in your area?
 

Marc Morfei

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Posts
3,753
Age
57
Location
Wilmington, DE
Have you considered taking out a home equity line of credit to finance these repairs? Leaks of any kind should be repaired immediately. Your exterior envelope needs to be secure and watertight. If not, it will lead to all kinds of other problems and things will only get worse.
 

boris bubbanov

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Posts
56,413
Location
New Orleans, LA + in the
How are your gutters and downspouts? Many people don't realize just how important it is to keep water away from your home and foundation as far as possible. I can't tell you how many foundations and homes, basement flooding, I've seen ruined over the years simply because a 10 dollar downspout was missing or not properly installed or a gutter had been clogged up and overflowing for years. Getting all water away from the home is key. I have extensions on every single downspout, and they go out at least 3 feet from the elbow on the ground.

Also, is there any chance of sink holes in your area?
Yes, but the other thing that occurred to me is, "spastic clay". That kinds of soil types do you have in your area. Because if the contractors were at least somewhat diligent, you shouldn't be having anywhere near this much trouble. Unless. Something is seriously amiss as regards the soil beneath the residence.

+

Anyway, to those looking to buy something/anything before the interest rate goes still higher, please do serious diligence with an inspector you (or your closest) have some actual experience with. Especially in Texas.
 

Telekarster

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Posts
6,573
Location
Earth
Yes, but the other thing that occurred to me is, "spastic clay". That kinds of soil types do you have in your area. Because if the contractors were at least somewhat diligent, you shouldn't be having anywhere near this much trouble. Unless. Something is seriously amiss as regards the soil beneath the residence.

+

Anyway, to those looking to buy something/anything before the interest rate goes still higher, please do serious diligence with an inspector you (or your closest) have some actual experience with. Especially in Texas.

Yep, no doubt. I'm not familiar with TX land at all but in many other parts of the country I've visited, I've seen homes where there were major structural damages done simply because of faulty gutters and spouts. I know of 2 homes that had to be raised because they were too far gone to repair over such things. Crazy. Water is a very destructive force on many levels.

I'll 2nd the inspections! Worth every dime they cost regardless of where the home is ;)
 

telemnemonics

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Posts
34,577
Age
62
Location
Maine
Iron in slab failing, exterior falling apart, multiple other problems and/ or age related decay, repair anxiety, chronic procrastinator, limited budget?
Time to sell if the local market is paying decently.
Contrary to the housing shortage, not every house in every spot brings big money.
But you may need to relocate to a cheaper community to not end up paying as much more to relocate as to stay and fix.

In other news this is happening to every damn American who is not among the higher income.
My house is newer but similarly needs fixing above my means while property taxes tickle the $10,000 mark and the local economy worker income is drastically below the cost of living here.
That because tourism and rich vacation home buyers alter the economy into a disneyworld style false economy where nobody can afford to live here on the local pay rates.

Then those worse off than me cant even afford to rent semi locally, never mind buy or keep up home ownership.
Certainly the only local "workers" who can afford to buy are successful tourism business owners.
As opposed to homes shut down every winter or retired business people.
 

telemnemonics

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Posts
34,577
Age
62
Location
Maine
Poor time to be contracting anything, price gouging abounds not to mention materials.
If you can even get a contractor lined up with less than a six month wait, depending on locale.
Less kids go into the trades while more kids are bred needing homes equals unsustainable growth.
Materials too, takes blue collar semi skilled labor to make building materials plus trees for lumber which we keep cutting down for housing as the amount of forest diminishes and the amound of clear cut land for developing increases.
 

RetiredUnit1

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jun 18, 2022
Posts
949
Age
66
Location
SoCal
Why didn't the plumber run a video camera down the sewer to LOOK at it to see what the problems is? I find that suspicious that he'd give a "maybe" price when a simple video can give you an accurate one.

Bricks are not structural? Remove and replace with stucco which is very affordable in comparison to $2 each for bricks.

Water sounds in pipes. I hear the neighbors taking showers in the morning, sound travels in water. Not as efficient as air, but the lower bass waves from THEIR pipes going bang-ga bang-ga is probably what you hear. No damage there.

Want your water heater to last longer, then drain it. You're supposed to shut off the incoming water, and use that hose bib in the front to attach a hose and drain it every year to remove the hard water 'goo' that builds up.

Master bedroom shower, again, video to see what's up.

Most important. BE HAPPY DON'T WORRY. Life is too short to sweat the small details.

It could be worse. My cat is dying as I type this. He may be dead, I have to go check on Cody when I finish this reply. He's sleeping next to my wife's ashes who died last year. We both got Covid in January 2020 and that damn disease took it's time killing her. Took 21 months for her to finally fade away.

I dream of her every night, all night...... :)
 

jays0n

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Posts
2,373
Location
San Francisco, CA
I hear ya about home ownership and feeling overwhelmed. We got our house about 14 years ago and I am still not comfortable with fixing things that come up, nor have we done many improvements since buying. We have hired a few outfits over the years and had some not great work done that we had to have redone.

However, we recently found general contractor that is really good, reliable and responsive. He has contacts in most areas, so when we recently asked about electrical and heating he came over with specialists he works with and did walk throughs, and helped with quotes etc. They all will work on it together.

I think if the OP can find a good person that knows other reliable people, that sort of referral system is best. Just based on my experiences of course and I am also still a relatively new-ish homeowner.
 

smoothrecluse

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Posts
1,187
Location
Panther City, TX
I recommend getting several estimates IN WRITING so you have an idea of the scope of work and cost.

Old cast iron is failing everywhere. I assume you are on municipal sewage and not a septic tank. Are your bathrooms and kitchen on exterior walls?

Unless your neighbors sprinkler system is tied into your supply water there is no way it can be causing you water hammer issue

All I can offer is positive thoughts and good luck

Yeah, the plumber said that the cast iron for the whole neighborhood has outlived its life expectancy.

The bathrooms and kitchen are on exterior walls, as is the utility room, though there is a concrete patio on the other side of the utility room. The plumber said they'd tunnel under the house to replace the cast iron, which is what they did for the bathroom.

The water supply for my neighbor and I comes from the city supply, then splits into our two separate meters and then from there into each of our houses. I'm wondering if there's a bad valve on my side at the split.

Thanks for the positive vibes!
 

getbent

Telefied
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Posts
48,448
Location
San Benito County, California
Iron in slab failing, exterior falling apart, multiple other problems and/ or age related decay, repair anxiety, chronic procrastinator, limited budget?
Time to sell if the local market is paying decently.
Contrary to the housing shortage, not every house in every spot brings big money.
But you may need to relocate to a cheaper community to not end up paying as much more to relocate as to stay and fix.

In other news this is happening to every damn American who is not among the higher income.
My house is newer but similarly needs fixing above my means while property taxes tickle the $10,000 mark and the local economy worker income is drastically below the cost of living here.
That because tourism and rich vacation home buyers alter the economy into a disneyworld style false economy where nobody can afford to live here on the local pay rates.

Then those worse off than me cant even afford to rent semi locally, never mind buy or keep up home ownership.
Certainly the only local "workers" who can afford to buy are successful tourism business owners.
As opposed to homes shut down every winter or retired business people.

are there a lot of disneyworld false economy in Panther City, Tx?
 

wrathfuldeity

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Posts
2,042
Location
Turdcaster, WA
Instead of being overwhelmed...take the long view. I've been a diy with hack skills and worked on my house for 20+ years with total inside/outside paint taken down to the wood with brushed on primer, two coats in 3 colors, remodeled kitchen, bathroom, added a bathroom in the basement, drain tile in the basement, replaced tube and knob wiring, insulation, new garage and have saved...in current materials/labor/contract market perhaps well past 100k. The only thing contracted out was the roof...which I could have done and was a roofer in college...but age, speed and mess...a steal at 10k.
 

smoothrecluse

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Posts
1,187
Location
Panther City, TX
I recommend getting several estimates IN WRITING so you have an idea of the scope of work and cost.

Old cast iron is failing everywhere. I assume you are on municipal sewage and not a septic tank. Are your bathrooms and kitchen on exterior walls?

Unless your neighbors sprinkler system is tied into your supply water there is no way it can be causing you water hammer issue

All I can offer is positive thoughts and good luck

are there a lot of disneyworld false economy in Panther City, Tx?

No, not in Fort Worth. Housing market is insane because everybody's moving here, but that's a lot of places. Getting some of the trades to take on repair might be a little hard though because there's so much new construction they can do.
 

getbent

Telefied
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Posts
48,448
Location
San Benito County, California
No, not in Fort Worth. Housing market is insane because everybody's moving here, but that's a lot of places. Getting some of the trades to take on repair might be a little hard though because there's so much new construction they can do.
My son just returned from vacation and was visiting us this week (he has a training class in the area) and he told me that he thinks he might want to live in Ft. Worth for 'a couple of years'... he said that the time we spent there in his childhood are some of his favorite memories and he always loved Ft. Worth and I smiled and said it is one of my favorite cities and places... I still have a great friend over in Weatherford... lots to do, lots of great music....

I know you'll figure out a solution. For me, not knowing exactly what the issues are and how much it will cost cause me more anxiety than knowing. Strxrus gave great advice, get several folks over to examine OR call a decent home inspector and have him look at your entire place and help you prioritize.
 

RetiredUnit1

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jun 18, 2022
Posts
949
Age
66
Location
SoCal
"It could be worse. My cat is dying as I type this. He may be dead, I have to go check on Cody when I finish this reply. He's sleeping next to my wife's ashes who died last year. We both got Covid in January 2020 and that damn disease took it's time killing her. Took 21 months for her to finally fade away."

Cody is with his Mama in Eternity. I'm sure my wife is happy to have him by her side.
 

smoothrecluse

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Posts
1,187
Location
Panther City, TX
"It could be worse. My cat is dying as I type this. He may be dead, I have to go check on Cody when I finish this reply. He's sleeping next to my wife's ashes who died last year. We both got Covid in January 2020 and that damn disease took it's time killing her. Took 21 months for her to finally fade away."

Cody is with his Mama in Eternity. I'm sure my wife is happy to have him by her side.

I’m sorry for your losses.
Puts things in perspective. Thank you for the insight, and I hope the best for you.
 

String Tree

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Posts
18,283
Location
Up North
I feel overwhelmed. I tend shut down and ignore problems when they seem too big to tackle, but I’m hoping some of the more experienced minds here can give me some direction, or maybe even simply commiserate.

This is my first house. We bought this house 7 years ago, and it was built in the early sixties. We owe about 95k. We were given money to fix the foundation as part of the sale, which we did, and the repair has a lifetime warranty.

The corner of the garage is starting to dip a little, and the brick is coming away from the framing, which is worrisome. In order to perform warranty work on the foundation, the house has to pass a freshwater pressure test and a hydrostatic sewer test. It passed the freshwater, but failed sewer. I had a slab leak under the bathroom about 5 years ago, which we fixed, but this is probably under the kitchen or utility room, which still has cast iron pipes. The plumber doing the pressure test said that off the top of his head, replacing the cast iron would probably run between 20k-40k, which I don’t have. Plus, the repair would be lengthy, and my wife and I would probably have to stay elsewhere during the work, and would have to find a place to house the dog and pig while all this is happening.

Meanwhile, while taking a shower early in the morning, I hear a car revving and idling in my walls, which I figure out is the pipes water-hammering when my neighbor’s sprinkler system comes on. I mentioned it to the plumber doing the pressure test, and he basically said that it’s impossible.

Our master bathroom shower is out of commission because the poured floor cracked and leaks after the house shifted from the foundation repair. But we have two bathrooms, so we just don’t use that shower.

I’m fairly certain that there’s termite damage in the corner of the garage, and that might be exacerbating/causing the brick to pull away from the framing there.

Water heater’s knocking, and it’s on year 5 of a 9 year life expectancy. I’m just trying to get the motivation to change it. It’s on the ground in the middle of the house, pretty easy to get to, but lifting an old water heater out and soldering the new one in is a little daunting to me. I helped install this one with my dad, but he’s not getting around so well anymore.

I know I need to address the water heater soon, but I don’t know how much money I should invest in this place, or in what order, or even if I shouldn’t just sell the place as-is and start looking for a better place elsewhere. The thought of selling a home and moving also terrifies me. The wife and I are teachers, and the sewer repair on its own would eat up one of our yearly salaries.

I don’t know who to call about the brick - a mason, or a framer? Would a termite exterminator know a guy? How bad is the water hammering from the neighbor’s system? What should I prioritize? I feel helpless. I hear the megamillion lottery is up quite high, maybe I’ll buy a ticket.

I’m sorry for the rambling post.
Lets start with the Plumbing.
Your House appears to be what we call Slab-On-Grade.
There is no way to replace those Pipes without Major Surgery.
The Waste Pipes (they aren't Sewer Pipes until after they leave the house) MUST be at a precise Slope to work Properly.
The MEN can do this but, it isn't easy.

When the existing pipes Leak, that is a Health Hazard and even more trouble for your Slab/Foundation.
The more it leaks, the more it destabilizes the Ground your House sits on.

Water Heater.
If it is an electric Heater, you my well get by with changing the Elements.

Good luck, more help is here if you need it.
~ST
 




Top