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DaveNV: Making a Home in the Desert

DaveNV

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Now, you’re making me re-think wanting to move!
I know it’s a major PITA, but your place is looking great (love the bathroom lights) and once everything is in place, it will have been worth it. Hang in there, take a deep breath when something unexpected pops up, and forge on! Thanks for the update.
Nah, don't wait. Just order your new appliances well ahead of when you think you'll want them. Check the new place for termites, even in places they aren't expected, and take appropriate action. Then take a vacation. LOL! Come back several weeks later, when things are ready for you. :D

Dave
 

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First there was a shortage of paper towels & tissues products, Lysol spays & wipes, then US coins and now there is a shortage of appliances. What is up????
Is Whirlpool or LG still in business making appliances ?
 

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Great update! Congratulations on getting this far under all of the crazy circumstances.

We have been looking for a new refrigerator since about May and from what I have been told, there are a lot of appliances stuck on container ships that are not being allowed into ports because of covid. I am holding my breath about the refrigerator as our freezer is struggling to keep everything frozen - we are hardly using it at this point - but I want a specific refrigerator that still isn't available so we are just keeping our fingers crossed. FYI, my backup plan is to buy something off of craigslist to hold us over if it becomes necessary. Maybe you could do that with the dryer until yours arrives?

And I had to lol about the light switches. Yours was special-stupid on the placement for the carriage light switch, but I often think about what folks will say if/when we sell this house. Our kitchen light switch is on the wall in the dining room, just outside the kitchen. It's definitely weird but we have gotten used to it. But I am sure that a new owner will say "wth"?? We moved into our house when we were babies (29/26) and it was brand spankin' new. Now it is quite middle aged. We never thought that we would just stay here. As one of our friends said about their home: "It *was* our first house, now it's just our house".
I hope your fridge holds out. We own one we keep in the garage for overflow beverage storage and such, which we're taking to the new place, along with the chest freezer that sits next to it. They're both nearly twenty years old, and we expect them to fail at any time, but till then, we'll use them. So if push comes to shove, I could go buy a cheap tabletop microwave, and get by. But I'm trusting the trucking company to do what they've said, and I'll expect the new appliances to show up next week. We'll see how it works out. Installation is an entirely different story. :)

These light switches are just crazy. They have switches and things all over the house where they aren't needed, and they don't have them where they should be. Another example: There is an electrical outlet on the laundry room wall adjacent to the door into the garage. Fine. But it's on the wall opposite where the appliances plug in, and where there is no shelving, or room to place anything that would need to be plugged in. Oh yeah - and it's nearly six feet off the ground! This outlet was installed there because they wanted it installed there. The only thing I can figure out is that they may have had a handheld rechargeable vacuum that hung on the wall, and was plugged in there. Nothing else makes any sense.

If you look at the "art niche" picture in my post above, there is a double gang switch in the middle-right of that picture. Those two switches are now removed, because they were directly in the way of the artwork we want to hang there - and they were redundant. The switches themselves were for the living room ceiling fan, and one wall outlet across the room, for a lamp, I presume. When we put in the living room can lights, the outlet switch became redundant, since there is another one across the room, AND there is ALSO a switch for the ceiling fan AND one for the light on the fan across the room. How many switches in one room do you need to turn on a ceiling fan? (And never mind that the ceiling fan also has pull chains hanging from it to turn on the fan and its light.)

As you said, WTH? :D

Dave
 

DaveNV

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Is LG still in business making appliances ?
They'd better be - that's the brand of the appliances I ordered. :) The problem is that with everyone staying home, they're using their appliances more than ever, so things are failing more often. Home improvement projects are happening at a greater rate than normally. And since people aren't traveling, they're putting money into their homes. The demand has far exceeded the supply, so manufacturers are behind. They can only make things so fast, and on-hand inventories are exhausted. It's been weird, for sure.

Dave
 

klpca

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The order went in normally. But then the delays started. The status kept changing, and it was one thing after another, and not just with the vendor - the trucking company was a major part of this. In the case of the kitchen appliances, they were picked up from the vendor on September 30th. I was told it would be one week to delivery. I finally got a call at two weeks out, on October 14th, and they told me they wouldn't be able to deliver them until October 29th. !!!

I went off, and raised holy hell about that. But gosh, what do you know? The very next day I got a call telling me they would be delivering on October 21st. Hmm. Like I said before, it's been nuts.
I'll bet your dryer met a similar fate and went to someone who had to raise hell. Just kicking the problem down to the next customer.
 

DaveNV

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@DaveNV Everything is looking fabulous! I might have missed the renovation cost, if you don't mind sharing, how much will the renovation cost when all is said and done? We are not imaginative people and doubt we want to get into a full blow renovation but since pickings are rather slim in the community that we are looking at, we are wondering aloud if we should buy whatever is available and the renovate the hell out of it.
I haven't added up the detailed hard costs yet, because I'm afraid it'll scare me to death. :) If I were to estimate things in round numbers, though, for flooring, window coverings, painting, appliances, electrical, plumbing, and miscellaneous household expenses, it's easily over $30K. Add in things like new furniture, the costs of the rental home, and assorted other things, and it's easy to add another $20K. But it's also hard to pin things down between "needed" vs. "wanted." Someone else may have done this a lot cheaper than we have. I can only go with what makes us feel right about the project, and look ahead to how nice it'll be as the "forever" (for now) home this will be for us. A new-build might have ended up at lower costs, but we wanted this specific floor plan, which this builder isn't doing anymore, and we knew this home would need updating. So it all balances out in the end.

Also note, we didn't have to remove any walls, or restructure anything. Everything we've done is around the existing structure. If this had been a true fixer home, I'd expect a lot more things would need to be repaired or replaced.

Dave
 
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DaveNV

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I'll bet your dryer met a similar fate and went to someone who had to raise hell. Just kicking the problem down to the next customer.
That's what I think. And when I said as much to the Customer Service rep with the vendor, he agreed with me. He said the orders they get are put together by the manufacturer, and then they are sent as a bundled complete order to the vendor. The vendor then sends them on to the customer. In my case, my order from the manufacturer was shorted, but nobody said anything until the order arrived - missing the dryer. Somebody upline had no doubt kicked the can down the road. And here I am, still waiting for what was supposed to already be received. Frustrating.

Dave
 

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It's coming along beautiful and little things can make a huge difference!!! :)
 

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It's coming along beautiful and little things can make a huge difference!!! :)
Thanks, Anna. I agree - it'll be a nice home to live in, once we're done. And it may seem like I'm complaining, but on the whole, I'm not. It's a great house, and worthwhile project. I'm just ready to move in. :D

Dave
 

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Love what you’ve done so far! Glad you will soon be in your new home, despite the obstacles!

I know all too well about switches. And our house is a new build! They had it where when you came in the front door the switch went to nothing! Not the ceiling fan light. Not the outlets in the living room where lamps would be plugged on. Just nowhere! So you’d have to feel your way around the room in the dark to put a lamp on or for the remote for the ceiling fan light!

In the bathroom they had the first switch when you walked in going to the can light over the shower or tub! Why would they do that instead of the center light or vanity light? Beats me! No logic!

Stuff like that throughout the house. I bought a smart bulb for the back door of the walk out basement because sometimes at night I want to see out the back but to put the light on I would go downstairs into the basement for the switch.

Now I can just ask Alexa to turn the light on from upstairs or use my phone to do the same and look right out my upstairs windows. No electrician needed.

Thankfully the builder sent the electrician back to correct everything else.
 

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Love what you’ve done so far! Glad you will soon be in your new home, despite the obstacles!

I know all too well about switches. And our house is a new build! They had it where when you came in the front door the switch went to nothing! Not the ceiling fan light. Not the outlets in the living room where lamps would be plugged on. Just nowhere! So you’d have to feel your way around the room in the dark to put a lamp on or for the remote for the ceiling fan light!

In the bathroom they had the first switch when you walked in going to the can light over the shower or tub! Why would they do that instead of the center light or vanity light? Beats me! No logic!

Stuff like that throughout the house. I bought a smart bulb for the back door of the walk out basement because sometimes at night I want to see out the back but to put the light on I would go downstairs into the basement for the switch.

Now I can just ask Alexa to turn the light on from upstairs or use my phone to do the same and look right out my upstairs windows. No electrician needed.

Thankfully the builder sent the electrician back to correct everything else.
Thanks, Mary Ann. That's a great idea about the smart bulb. The only exterior lights we have on this house are the five carriage lights (three in the courtyard, two on the garage), and two ceiling lights in a covered patio in the back of the house. (Above where the new patio furniture is sitting.) So there isn't really anywhere I could use a smart bulb like that.

Check your outlets in the living room for one that is upside down. Those are called "Half Hot" outlets, and are the ones that are tied to those light switches that seem to go nowhere. Maybe. After what I've learned about how this house was wired, nothing would surprise me anymore. :)

Dave
 
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DaveNV

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In reply #278 above I mentioned an electrical outlet in the laundry room that is nearly six feet off the ground, for no apparent reason. This is that outlet:

IMG_3188.JPG


I checked, and the outlet is actually MORE than six feet off the floor. I'm nearly six foot, and it's well over my head. Anybody have other ideas for what this may have been used for? The best idea I had was to plug in a mounted cordless vacuum or something. Nothing else seems to make sense.

Dave
 

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In reply #278 above I mentioned an electrical outlet in the laundry room that is nearly six feet off the ground, for no apparent reason. This is that outlet:

View attachment 27650

I checked, and the outlet is actually MORE than six feet off the floor. I'm nearly six foot, and it's well over my head. Anybody have other ideas for what this may have been used for? The best idea I had was to plug in a mounted cordless vacuum or something. Nothing else seems to make sense.

Dave
What is the white panel located beneath the outlet?
 

DaveNV

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What is the white panel located beneath the outlet?
It's a Leviton Cat 5 Ethernet wiring panel. There are RJ45 jacks in major rooms to connect computerized things together. But it's older technology, since wireless connectivity has taken over in recent years. I had a similar panel in the old home in Washington, and by the time we sold that house, we weren't even using the in-wall wiring anymore. It'll be the same thing here. We use laptops, and our color laser printer is wireless. No need to connect a computerized network together anymore. (Yes, wired can be faster, but the home network system I have to set up is wireless.)

Dave
 

controller1

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It's a Leviton Cat 5 Ethernet wiring panel. There are RJ45 jacks in major rooms to connect computerized things together. But it's older technology, since wireless connectivity has taken over in recent years. I had a similar panel in the old home in Washington, and by the time we sold that house, we weren't even using the in-wall wiring anymore. It'll be the same thing here. We use laptops, and our color laser printer is wireless. No need to connect a computerized network together anymore. (Yes, wired can be faster, but the home network system I have to set up is wireless.)

Dave
Then I don't know about the outlet location. I thought the panel might have been something that the electrical code would have required an outlet within so many feet of it but I don't think that would qualify in this instance.

Perhaps the wiring panel was installed after construction and replaced a built-in ironing board and that required an electrical outlet?
 

klpca

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Then I don't know about the outlet location. I thought the panel might have been something that the electrical code would have required an outlet within so many feet of it but I don't think that would qualify in this instance.

Perhaps the wiring panel was installed after construction and replaced a built-in ironing board and that required an electrical outlet?
I was thinking iron/ironing board too but six feet+ is a bit much. One of life's great mysteries.
 

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In reply #278 above I mentioned an electrical outlet in the laundry room that is nearly six feet off the ground, for no apparent reason. This is that outlet:

View attachment 27650

I checked, and the outlet is actually MORE than six feet off the floor. I'm nearly six foot, and it's well over my head. Anybody have other ideas for what this may have been used for? The best idea I had was to plug in a mounted cordless vacuum or something. Nothing else seems to make sense.

Dave
Our outlet is at 5' and has our water softener plugged into it. IMG_0838.JPG
 

DaveNV

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Good ideas, all. But this outlet is inside the laundry room - the water softener is in the garage. And the laundry room is only as wide as a washer and dryer sitting side by side. So roughly 5 feet wide. Not really wide enough for an ironing board, especially with two doors opening into the room. The photo is taken with me standing in the doorway to the kitchen. Behind the door to my right is the door into the garage, which is hinged on the same wall as that outlet is on. So the door from the garage opens against this crazy outlet. If the door was pushed all the way open, I think it'd hit that outlet. I'm stumped.

Weird mystery, hmm?

Dave
 

VacationForever

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In reply #278 above I mentioned an electrical outlet in the laundry room that is nearly six feet off the ground, for no apparent reason. This is that outlet:

View attachment 27650

I checked, and the outlet is actually MORE than six feet off the floor. I'm nearly six foot, and it's well over my head. Anybody have other ideas for what this may have been used for? The best idea I had was to plug in a mounted cordless vacuum or something. Nothing else seems to make sense.

Dave
Stackable laundry machines? But it is probably not 220 Volts. More likely they were short on wire and terminated it where the wire ran out.
 

DaveNV

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If that panel is for your home-run cat5 ethernet wiring, then perhaps they had a floating shelf up there for router, switches, etc?
Good thought. That may be what was going on. I've looked, and don't see any sign where shelving mounts were patched, but that doesn't mean anything.

Dave
 

DaveNV

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Stackable laundry machines? But it is probably not 220 Volts. More likely they were short on wire and terminated it where the wire ran out.
The laundry space is to the left of the doorway, hidden in this view. There was a cupboard across that upper wall, so nothing additional in that regard. This outlet is on a wall basically behind the door to the garage. If anything larger was placed on the wall, it'd block the garage door.

As the King says in The King and I, "It is a puzzlement." :D

Dave
 

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I'll bet it was to plug in a router or some kind of wifi extender. I think they work better when they're high, as opposed to floor level where there's a lot furniture and appliances.
 

DaveNV

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I'll bet it was to plug in a router or some kind of wifi extender. I think they work better when they're high, as opposed to floor level where there's a lot furniture and appliances.
You may be right. Given the advanced age and other issues this elderly couple had, it may have been something someone had set up for them. I doubt I'll ever really know the whole story.

Although come to think of it, there were a couple of smaller monitors mounted higher on the wall in a few rooms (like an older 12" flat screen size) that may have been from some sort of security monitoring system. So maybe this is related to that. I'll need to open that Leviton panel and see what's inside.

Dave
 

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Our house was built in the summer/fall of 2004....which you may remember featured four hurricanes making landfall in FL within 6 weeks. Every available electrician was....not in NC. ;) I think we eventually learned that an apprentice electrician and a retired electrical engineering professor were the two people in charge of wiring the house. We have/had *so many* odd issues with both our wiring and our cable. I mean, it all passed inspection, and nothing has felt unsafe; it's just a lot of those kind of weird, odd things, mis-wirings, outlet issues, etc.

In other words, I feel your pain. We've fixed some of them, and some of them just haven't risen to the top of the deferred maintenance list yet. ;)
 
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