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Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

Some pre-purchase renovation questions

I was looking at a house over this weekend, and it seems like it may be a good deal, however it does require some work which I am not sure how hard / doable it is:

- recessed lights take forever to warm up (I'd say 20 minutes to full brightness), the realtor said it's not too big / not too expensive thing to replace, but my question is when replacing recessed lighting, is it direct replacement, or the ceiling has to be modified for each light?

- the house was built in late 60s so some of the doors are rather narrow. Especially the bathroom doors. Is it a huge pain to replace the doors / frames to make them wider?

- What are IG Pool maintenance costs? It's concrete and heated. I know they will vary by area, but rough idea what it takes to run it / maintain it?



Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:1

If it was built in the 60s, the recessed cans are probably remodel versions, which are very easy to swap out. But the only reason I can think that they would need to warm up is if someone put early generation/cheap CFL bulbs in them. Try popping a new incandescent bulb in one of them and see if it strikes right away.
As far as replacing them, the cans themselves come in standard sizes, so you should be able to swap them out.

Are you maybe talking about recessed fluorescent fixtures? Those are even easier to replace, and they too come in standard sizes. It's usually just 2 screws holding the fixture in place.

The door issue will depend a lot on the wall framing, but shouldn't be too hard.

The pool costs will vary greatly depending on the average ambient temperature, what temperature you want to keep it at, surface area of the water, what type of cover, how efficient the pump is, how efficient the heater is, and what type of fuel the heater uses. You will definitely need to provide more information to get any sort of ideas on that one.
--
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Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

The doors might be an issue but you wouldn't know until you bought the house and opened it up. My house was built in 1960 and I've opened up the walls for electrical on a few doors. Just be prepared in case it turn out to be $300-500 in labor per door.

On the pool expect to pay $1,200-2,000 a year if you do it yourself. Double that if you plan to hire someone to do it.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!


HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to Dodge

Unless the lights have an oddball bulb connector, just change the bulbs.

Door replacement would require some drywall work. The re-framing is usually not difficult. The big "gotcha" is if other things are hiding in the wall, just next to the doors (plumbing and HVAC ducts, for example).

The pool will cost you around $100 per month if you DIY. Some of that is for chemicals and testing supplies. Some of it is for electrical costs to run the pump. If you aren't familiar with taking care of a pool, I HIGHLY recommend that you go to »www.troublefreepool.com and click on the "Pool School" blue oval at the top right corner.

As for heating the pool, that can cost a small fortune. It takes a LOT of BTU's to warm up thousands of gallons of water that are constantly losing heat into the ground and through evaporative cooling. Pool heaters tend to run in the 250,000 to 400,000 BTU/Hr range. My sister has a 13K gallon in-ground pool near Austin. They see a $50 spike in the natural gas bill when they warm the pool up for a fall party. That's for a single day of heating, but the heater has to run pretty much non-stop for 24 hours (plus the pump has to be running the entire time) to bring the pool up to comfortable swimming temp.


HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to Dodge

One other thing to note about owning a pool. The companies that make pool products seem to assume that only rich people own pools. Thus every part that you'll ever need to replace is priced as if it were gold plated. Sometimes you can find deals online, but be prepared to buy $50 light bulbs, $25 gaskets, and other assorted items that have 1,000% markups.



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by HarryH3:

One other thing to note about owning a pool. The companies that make pool products seem to assume that only rich people own pools. Thus every part that you'll ever need to replace is priced as if it were gold plated. Sometimes you can find deals online, but be prepared to buy $50 light bulbs, $25 gaskets, and other assorted items that have 1,000% markups.

Yup! I'd say plan $100 a month for basic maintenance and put $100 into a repairs account per month. Otherwise when the pump dies and you need to spend THOUSANDS it's a major shock. If you have $2,000-3,000 in a saving account waiting for it to break you're all set. A pool is the biggest money pit you can imagine. The saying about the two happiest day in a man's life is when he buys a boat and sells a boat pales in comparison to a pool. For the wife and I we reduce the price of the house by $10,000 if it has a pool. After maintaining a pool for about 10 years NEVER AGAIN!!!!
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!


I_H8_Spam

join:2004-03-10
St Catharines, ON
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to Dodge

If you want to cut some expense from pool maintenance, consider going salt system for the pool. Have a professional ensure your pool could be switched beforehand (corrosion resistance)
--
AFK: Attack, fight, kill!! The healer is telling you to go pull mobs.
WTF: Way to fight! The healer is applauding your tactical genius


HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

said by I_H8_Spam:

If you want to cut some expense from pool maintenance, consider going salt system for the pool. Have a professional ensure your pool could be switched beforehand (corrosion resistance)

Several users on »www.troublefreepool.com have measured how much electricity the chlorine generator in their salt pool consumes and found that they aren't saving any money vs. buying chlorine. Then there's the $1,000+ upfront cost and the $500 cell replacements that you have to do every 4-5 years. It IS more convenient, but is doesn't save you any money.


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

If I had to do it all over I'd go with Copper Silver Ionization system for the pool. Sadly that's only a very very very small part of the pool expense. The pool itself and pumps are what use to cost us the most. You only do that stuff once every 5-10 years but it's so expensive you may as well be saving $100/month extra to cover it.

»www.enviroswim.com/us/domestic/index.htm
»www.poolpak.com/download/brochur···0503.pdf
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!


Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27
reply to Dodge

Thank you for all of the responses. The pool now scares me Are all the pumps and heaters and maintenance year round? We are talking about North East here, the pool is only useful for about 3 months out of a year.



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

You just have to have the system 'Winterized' once a year. Add $250-500 per year for that. Also ask how many gallons the pool is. It can be anywhere between 8,000 and 18,000 gallons so add another few hundred in water per year.

»www.poolandspa.com/page366.htm
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!

Expand your moderator at work


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

Re: Some pre-purchase renovation questions

Another thing to note is pools increase you annual home owners insurance cost a little due to the extra liability. That's really not a big thing since it's most likely only $50-100 but yet another thing that stacks onto the pool costs most people don't figure in.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!


HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to Dodge

Xcal brings up a good point about the insurance. In addition to the extra cost for just having the pool, we also added a million dollar umbrella policy that costs around $150 per year (but covers the house and the cars). In this sue-happy society I consider it money well spent.

Having lived in the Boston area in the past, I wouldn't even consider owning an inground pool there. There just isn't enough opportunity to use it. I'm now in Central Texas, where a pool is useful most of the year and I don't have to mess with closing the pool (though I do have to pay for the pumps to run a few hours per day even in winter).

Oh yeah, one other unavoidable cost: Property tax. The taxman wants to be paid every year for you having that hole in your backyard.



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to Dodge

said by Dodge:

Thank you for all of the responses. The pool now scares me Are all the pumps and heaters and maintenance year round? We are talking about North East here, the pool is only useful for about 3 months out of a year.

How's the saying go... The two best days in a pool owner's life is the moment it's finally being installed, and the day it's ripped out.

And for the Northeast where you only get 3 months of useful use. Ouch.

As far as the door, is the door located on a wall that's load bearing? It's easier if it's not. But it's not impossible if it is either.


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

Forgot about the city taxes on the pool. If it's in-ground then it is permanent and subject to taxes. If it's above-ground it's personal property and not subject to taxes.

Another thing to look for is if there is a fence around the pool. If not good luck down the road.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!


Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

said by Draiman:

Forgot about the city taxes on the pool. If it's in-ground then it is permanent and subject to taxes. If it's above-ground it's personal property and not subject to taxes.

Another thing to look for is if there is a fence around the pool. If not good luck down the road.

What's up with the fence?

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

said by Dodge:

said by Draiman:

Another thing to look for is if there is a fence around the pool. If not good luck down the road.

What's up with the fence?

Required to keep people from accidentally falling in.


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

said by Dodge:

said by Draiman:

Forgot about the city taxes on the pool. If it's in-ground then it is permanent and subject to taxes. If it's above-ground it's personal property and not subject to taxes.

Another thing to look for is if there is a fence around the pool. If not good luck down the road.

What's up with the fence?

No fence most of the time means the insurance company won't pay any liability cases that a fence would have prevented so you'll be personally held responsible should a kid wonder into the pool and die for example or someone's dog wonders off and falls into your pool.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!

Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

What if the property itself is fenced in? Do you still need another fence around the pool?



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by Dodge:

What if the property itself is fenced in? Do you still need another fence around the pool?

You still need a pool fence. A yard fence doesn't do anything for the pool.

"The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals has developed a model barrier code for residential swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs; this code has been approved by the American National Standards Institute.

B.O.C.A. pool safety standards:
The International Code Council (I.C.C.), more often known by their former name, the Building Officials and Code Administrators (B.O.C.A.), outline strong safety standards for swimming pool fences. In an effort to eliminate or reduce the accidental drowning of children, these standards have been recognized by many communities throughout the world.

Here are the highlights of the B.O.C.A./I.C.C. pool safety standards:
1. The fence must be a minimum of 48" tall (or taller, depending on distance between horizontal rails).
2. The middle horizontal rail must be at least 45" above the bottom horizontal rail (to prevent using the horizontal rails as a kind of ladder for climbing).
3. The spacing between pickets must be less than 4".
4. If space between pickets is less than 13⁄4, rule #2 does not apply and fence does not have to be taller than 48 (because the tighter picket spacing has made climbing much more difficult).
5. The space between the bottom horizontal rail and the ground must be less than 2".
6. The gate(s) must be self-closing and self-latching.
7. The gate(s) need to open outward (away from the pool area).
8. The operating mechanism of the latch must be at least 54" from the bottom of the gate or it shall be on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches below the top AND shall not have any opening greater than 1/2 inch within 18 inches of the release mechanism."
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!

Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27
reply to Dodge

Great, now I am afraid of pools


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus

I'm very much considering installing an in-ground pool with my (hopefully soon) new house build. Yes, there's maintenance, yes, there are future repairs, but there are great benefits, too (assuming you like to swim). Great way to keep active and an excuse to have people come over, bring the kids and just relax with a beverage.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Dodge

said by Dodge:

What if the property itself is fenced in? Do you still need another fence around the pool?

Check with your local code department.


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

said by Dodge:

Great, now I am afraid of pools

Pools are great IF you use them. Normally you use them for the first year or two then it sits there to be used maybe once a year. I ran out of fingers and toes to count the number of people I know whom have a pool and never use it anymore.

My neighbor threw a party last year when a tree felt on his pool and cracked it. It was a total loss and the insurance company cut him a check to completely replace it. This year he's using the money to remove it and the rest is going into his 57' Chevy.

The biggest thing I'd stress is you eliminate 50% of all buyers if you own a pool. People are split right down the middle on liking or hating a pool.

On the other hand a SPA is a fraction of the work and they tend to get used a lot. You can use those year round everywhere! We'll be buying a spa soon as the deck is done this Summer.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!


natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC
reply to Dodge

Seems like the only people who like pools are the ones who don't have one.
The pool part of this thread should be made a sticky, it not for anything it will give me some ammunition for when the wife says that we NEED a pool.
--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Dodge

If anything buy a house without a pool. Next go onto Craigslist and find one of a dozen FREE above ground pools people are giving away. Go get it and use it until you get sick of it then turn around and give it away on free Craigslist.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

said by Dodge:

What if the property itself is fenced in? Do you still need another fence around the pool?

Check with your local code department.

Bingo - requirements for a fence all depends on the locality. My dad has an inground pool and he does not need a fence by code. It is far enough off the road there is no requirement for a fence. His insurance does not break the bank either.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to Dodge

said by Dodge:

I was looking at a house over this weekend, and it seems like it may be a good deal, however it does require some work which I am not sure how hard / doable it is:

- recessed lights take forever to warm up (I'd say 20 minutes to full brightness), the realtor said it's not too big / not too expensive thing to replace, but my question is when replacing recessed lighting, is it direct replacement, or the ceiling has to be modified for each light?

- the house was built in late 60s so some of the doors are rather narrow. Especially the bathroom doors. Is it a huge pain to replace the doors / frames to make them wider?

- What are IG Pool maintenance costs? It's concrete and heated. I know they will vary by area, but rough idea what it takes to run it / maintain it?

what did your Engineer / Inspector say?
do not trust the agent
--
* seek help if having trouble coping
--Standard disclaimers apply.--

Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

said by AVD:

said by Dodge:

I was looking at a house over this weekend, and it seems like it may be a good deal, however it does require some work which I am not sure how hard / doable it is:

- recessed lights take forever to warm up (I'd say 20 minutes to full brightness), the realtor said it's not too big / not too expensive thing to replace, but my question is when replacing recessed lighting, is it direct replacement, or the ceiling has to be modified for each light?

- the house was built in late 60s so some of the doors are rather narrow. Especially the bathroom doors. Is it a huge pain to replace the doors / frames to make them wider?

- What are IG Pool maintenance costs? It's concrete and heated. I know they will vary by area, but rough idea what it takes to run it / maintain it?

what did your Engineer / Inspector say?
do not trust the agent

I am not going to get an engineer until I put in an offer on the house. I am still in the agonizing stage of "do I or don't I".