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Old 05-03-17, 11:49 AM   #326
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
I want to get one of those Kobalt mowers. They look sweet.

I close on the new house on Friday.
yeah the 80v Kobalt mower looks pretty nice. $500 though. I think my wife is setting aside money for one since my current gas mower is getting old and is held together with bail wire. i've replaced the throttle line 2 or 3 times so far
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Old 05-03-17, 10:32 PM   #327
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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It has been a stressful journey to get here. I'll be glad when the closing is over... Dealing with the realtors...lawyers...bank...just terrible. So you're saying it gets worse?!?!
I am sure you will enjoy the house (probably more space, more freedom) but don't think that once you buy the house, you are done with the major expenses. You will likely want to buy more stuff, renovate, upgrade, and you will occasionally have major repair needs. Best way is to prepare yourself by setting aside money for those emergencies so things are less stressful if and when they happen.
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Old 05-03-17, 10:36 PM   #328
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Got a new irrigation control panel installed, really nice one.
What kind of irrigation control panel? I upgraded to a "smart" system that uses wifi to check the local weather to adjust watering times and amounts. Really happy with it so far. I laugh when my neighbor's lawn sprinkler turns on during the rain.
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Old 05-04-17, 05:22 AM   #329
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Psi View Post
I am sure you will enjoy the house (probably more space, more freedom) but don't think that once you buy the house, you are done with the major expenses. You will likely want to buy more stuff, renovate, upgrade, and you will occasionally have major repair needs. Best way is to prepare yourself by setting aside money for those emergencies so things are less stressful if and when they happen.
I was only joking. I know it's going to be a shit ton of work. Gotta put in the pool! Clark Griswold style.

Last edited by dex14; 05-04-17 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 05-04-17, 07:54 AM   #330
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Psi View Post
What kind of irrigation control panel? I upgraded to a "smart" system that uses wifi to check the local weather to adjust watering times and amounts. Really happy with it so far. I laugh when my neighbor's lawn sprinkler turns on during the rain.
wow didn't know such technology existed, can you share the model you have?
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Old 05-04-17, 08:50 AM   #331
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Psi View Post
What kind of irrigation control panel? I upgraded to a "smart" system that uses wifi to check the local weather to adjust watering times and amounts. Really happy with it so far. I laugh when my neighbor's lawn sprinkler turns on during the rain.
Surprised that could actually work by just using a weather app. How would it know if you were going to get rain at your house?
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Old 05-04-17, 09:21 AM   #332
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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wow didn't know such technology existed, can you share the model you have?
The bigger brands are Rachio and RainMachine. There are other brands but I stay away from the smaller ones for fear that the companies go under. Each brand also has other models that can support more or fewer zones. I went with a RainMachine because I think it looks much nicer and it has a screen, so you can control your sprinklers right at the unit, or through a smart phone. With the Rachio, there is no control panel so smartphone is the only way.

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Originally Posted by cpgator View Post
Surprised that could actually work by just using a weather app. How would it know if you were going to get rain at your house?
It knows by your zip code. My model also takes your specific address so it can look up your "micro climate." Basically it uses a weather service to see how much rain you have received and are about to receive in the next week, and modifies the basic program you normally use -- for example if it rained last night or will rain later in the day, it will adjust the watering down.

There are many advanced factors that will influence the calculation, such as type of irrigation, type of soil, ground slope, type of vegetation, wind (because that could affect evaporation). You can disable these features if you want to keep it simple, but these are truly smart machines, kinda like the Nest for lawn watering.

We are in the rainy season where I live, so I see big adjustments made by the machine to my normal watering, and it seems to be very accurate in rain prediction and water correction.
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Old 05-05-17, 07:15 PM   #333
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

I came here to post that I just moved (was in a house 17 years and it was a lot to move) but PSI, I had just ordered a Rainbird wireless, but just canceled and ordered that RainMachine. I wasn't going to post about that, but I have ordered a ton of new toys. Connected Garage Door, Deadbolt, Logitech Remote that works with Alexa, 5 Nest Smoke Detectors...I am ordering a HD NVR Security Camera System this week too.

Irrigation systems are pretty easy to fix/install. I did mine at my old house and the hardest part is trenching / digging. Once you get to the pipes, it's easy. (Glue)
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Old 05-05-17, 07:35 PM   #334
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Chrisedge View Post
I came here to post that I just moved (was in a house 17 years and it was a lot to move) but PSI, I had just ordered a Rainbird wireless, but just canceled and ordered that RainMachine. I wasn't going to post about that, but I have ordered a ton of new toys. Connected Garage Door, Deadbolt, Logitech Remote that works with Alexa, 5 Nest Smoke Detectors...I am ordering a HD NVR Security Camera System this week too.
Congratulatons, you've just made it much easier for hackers / black-hat types to break into your house! All without cracking a single window or forcing any door jamb.

Remember, anything "smart" (with a MAC address and / or IPv6 address) can be hacked, more easily than you realize. Even with a "good" password. All it takes is getting into the firmware of the device remotely!

As more homes become "smart", and the first big stories of "smart" home invasions become national news, people will see the error of their ways, and go back to Keeping it Simple, Stupid!
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Old 05-05-17, 07:57 PM   #335
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Congratulatons, you've just made it much easier for hackers / black-hat types to break into your house! All without cracking a single window or forcing any door jamb.

Remember, anything "smart" (with a MAC address and / or IPv6 address) can be hacked, more easily than you realize. Even with a "good" password. All it takes is getting into the firmware of the device remotely!

As more homes become "smart", and the first big stories of "smart" home invasions become national news, people will see the error of their ways, and go back to Keeping it Simple, Stupid!
This is kinda true, for some of it. I will never have a deadbolt on the front door tied to wifi, or a garage door for that matter. The convenience isn't worth the risk. (Not sure there really is a convenience anyway). "Oh, I don't have to push a button on the wall or car, just on my smartphone?"

I do think the doorbell cameras and security cameras have a place.
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Old 05-05-17, 09:05 PM   #336
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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I came here to post that I just moved (was in a house 17 years and it was a lot to move) but PSI, I had just ordered a Rainbird wireless, but just canceled and ordered that RainMachine.
Not sure where you bought it, but you can buy a 12-zone RainMachine at Newegg or Sprinkler Warehouse for $219.
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Old 05-05-17, 10:01 PM   #337
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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The convenience isn't worth the risk...
I don't like having physical keys out there. I can always reset codes, etc...And of course a blackhat can get in my network, but the average joe isn't. It's far more likely a prowler or someone jacking an Amazon Prime order. Cameras themselves are a good deterrent. I've had them for a long time, just in a new house.
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Old 05-06-17, 12:51 AM   #338
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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I don't like having physical keys out there. I can always reset codes, etc...And of course a blackhat can get in my network, but the average joe isn't. It's far more likely a prowler or someone jacking an Amazon Prime order. Cameras themselves are a good deterrent. I've had them for a long time, just in a new house.
Yep, you're right. You've done some nice upgrades. I don't really disagree with anything you've done, just do diligence on any access to your house. Seems like your on top of it.
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Old 05-06-17, 08:33 AM   #339
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

I bought this badboy last weekend:
Spoiler:


It has rained every day since, so I didn't get much furthur than testing it out on a small section of siding, a corner of the patio and a couple other things.

Home Depot was a nightmare as was getting it to work. I bought it around lunchtime, came home ate a bit and unboxed it to put it together. I get to the final step, connecting the hose and gun and ... I'm staring at an empty box. Apparently I got someone else's return, who apparently stole the hose & gun(this model has a unique/fancy hose and special nozzle that they don't have on other models, and aren't sold separately). I take it back apart, box it up and return to HD to exchange. Oh, the only other ones they have are on the top rack near the ceiling. I had to wait :30-:45 for someone to bring a lift to get it. Jeez.

So I get home, piece it together, gas her up and hook it up in the back yard. Won't start, for like :20 minutes I'm yanking the pull cord. Every time it begins to start I pull the trigger to spay water and it cuts off. At this point in the day I'm ready to chuck this $400 POS into the woods. This is when my wife comes out and tells me the rear spigot that I'm hooked to (which we just paid a couple hundred to fix a couple weeks ago) is spraying water all over the basement. Brilliant. I cut off the water to address the basement issue.

At this point I take the pressure washer to my only other spigot on the side of the house and hook it up. Starts relatively quickly after a few pulls. So I'm guessing you need full water pressure for it to want to start which it wasn't getting on the broken spigot. At this point it's dinner time and I just try it out on a few different surfances. It's going to be a fun toy once it quits raining around here.

Sigh...life as a home owner.
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Old 05-09-17, 12:57 PM   #340
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

So the new nuisance at our house is behind our fence. There's a seawall along a stream behind our fence along the county watershed. Some crazy guy who lived in this house years ago built it outside the county knowing. We didn't realize it pretty much when we were buying the house last May. Part of it has crumbled and looks to have been the way for a while.

Enter my wife who's worried that we're going to lose our backyard to this sandy bank we have behind the fence, which drops off pretty steeply behind.

Trying to decide what our options are. I had reached out to the county, they pretty much said it's our responsibility, which if they try to call me on someday, I'm going to call bullshit. A neighbor next door who's been there in the neighborhood for 20 years, has said, she's gone to the county numerous times about it.

What are my options going forward? I had reached out to one engineer who quoted me $2500 just to draw up a plan for either fixing or removing it, I'm assuming he meant fixing it.

Help!
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Old 05-09-17, 01:19 PM   #341
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Sigh...life as a home owner.
How goes the critter problem?
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Old 05-09-17, 02:59 PM   #342
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Psi View Post
The bigger brands are Rachio and RainMachine. There are other brands but I stay away from the smaller ones for fear that the companies go under. Each brand also has other models that can support more or fewer zones. I went with a RainMachine because I think it looks much nicer and it has a screen, so you can control your sprinklers right at the unit, or through a smart phone. With the Rachio, there is no control panel so smartphone is the only way.



It knows by your zip code. My model also takes your specific address so it can look up your "micro climate." Basically it uses a weather service to see how much rain you have received and are about to receive in the next week, and modifies the basic program you normally use -- for example if it rained last night or will rain later in the day, it will adjust the watering down.

There are many advanced factors that will influence the calculation, such as type of irrigation, type of soil, ground slope, type of vegetation, wind (because that could affect evaporation). You can disable these features if you want to keep it simple, but these are truly smart machines, kinda like the Nest for lawn watering.

We are in the rainy season where I live, so I see big adjustments made by the machine to my normal watering, and it seems to be very accurate in rain prediction and water correction.
Thanks for the info. And the units are cheaper than I thought they would be.
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Old 05-09-17, 04:09 PM   #343
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by wishbone View Post
How goes the critter problem?
Unsure. I decided to flood a bunch of the holes with the hose to see if I could flush anything out. Didn't flush any critters out but it turns out the holes are in pairs; a simple entry and exit point and pretty shallow. So at least that's good to know that there isn't some massive underground network ruining the grading or something like that.

Got a break in rain on Sunday and managed to pressure wash the whole house in a few hours. Took way less time than I thought it would. I also bought an 18' extension since I have two stories...that thing is a beast to control. Solid workout with that thing. So it hasn't quite paid for itself yet, but that'll come on future uses. I want to do the driveway and walkways next.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:16 PM   #344
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

I ordered the Rainmachine, took a week+ to get here, then was defective. Took another week to get me a replacement. Just got it hooked up. Seems great...is there a way to just have it water 100% of what it thinks it should? I do I have to start with something and let it adjust?

Edited to add: I changed it in the web-interface...easy.
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Last edited by Chrisedge; 05-19-17 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 05-19-17, 11:00 PM   #345
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

I set my starting point (100%) equal to whatever the dumb controller used to have. So far the automatic adjustments have been reasonable (avoiding over-watering during rainy periods), and my lawns and plants are not suffering from the cutback in watering. But I installed the RainMachine in October and haven't gone through a Texas summer with it yet, so I watch it closely in case it goes too far.

Edited to add: One feature I like since I have slow-water absorbing clay soil is the soak feature. It divides the watering time into smaller chunks with delays in between, to let the water soak in before starting to water again. That helps a lot to reduce run-off, so even though the watering is reduced, it is more efficient.

Last edited by Psi; 05-19-17 at 11:05 PM.
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