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The Lawn Care/Home Improvement Thread


SaveByRichter35
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22 minutes ago, chile57 said:

@SaveByRichter35 looking good brother. What's going on with the OG steps? Looks like concrete but there's like mortar looking "joints" on the sides (?).

Can't recall if you mentioned - are you having the driveway done up too?

Original steps look like it is just "decorative" plaster or concrete over top of the sidewalls.  The whole house probably had it before the siding was put on.

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1 hour ago, Naz said:

Original steps look like it is just "decorative" plaster or concrete over top of the sidewalls.  The whole house probably had it before the siding was put on.

I see it now (particularly when you see the cross cut of the original step) - good call @Naz

Also - welcome to the few, the proud lawn enthusiasts @BadAngle41

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2 hours ago, chile57 said:

@SaveByRichter35 looking good brother. What's going on with the OG steps? Looks like concrete but there's like mortar looking "joints" on the sides (?).

Can't recall if you mentioned - are you having the driveway done up too?

What happen was they cut out the old stoop and the concrete that you see that was left behind is part of the foundation.  Whoever did the original stoop did a really shitty job(surprise surprise) trying to build the stoop to mate it to the foundation and then threw on rows of cement to, I assume, make it blend?  Not sure.  It was terrible though, and it was all falling apart.  The stoop was jut a shell of concrete and it was literally breaking away from the part of the foundation that was left behind.

I tell you, I was fucking furious that we were quoted 3-6 weeks back in May but ended up waiting about 20.  But you know what?  The job these guys are doing are really making it worth the wait.  Their attention to detail on a lot of little things has floored me.  I'm still pissed that I am being forced to seed way later than I would like to but it is what it is.  If I have to end up doing it again in the spring then so be it.

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1 hour ago, BadAngle41 said:

Love all the stone work front and back. Fire pit is a great call. My patio is a giant square and I'm struggling to get the seating to work around the Solo Stove. 

Thanks.  I have lots more to update with.  They finished the garden wall today, build up the firepit, laid the polymeric sand on the back patio so that is essentially done.  Still have to do the paver base around the fire pit(inside the circle).  The concrete driveway was demoed today, laid down RCA for the new driveway base, and the guys are already laying down the border for the driveway.

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  • SaveByRichter35 changed the title to The Lawn Care/Home Improvement Thread

The old stairs look period correct. 50 years old ain't a bad run.

Fun story - when the Parkway was built by the Parkway Authority in the 50s, they had seven concurrent contracts working at the same time. (160 mile roadway). When we were rebuilding some of the original bridges up by you, we found that several abutments lacked rebar. They just were concrete. The plan showed rebar, the as-built plan had rebar, I'm sure the Parkway paid for rebar... They were still ok over 50 years later until we replaced them.

There are so many things that were built while re-designed on the fly by concrete/ contractor guys. 

Yes, I did a thesis in grad school on the construction of the Parkway.

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4 minutes ago, MTH said:

The old stairs look period correct. 50 years old ain't a bad run.

Fun story - when the Parkway was built by the Parkway Authority in the 50s, they had seven concurrent contracts working at the same time. (160 mile roadway). When we were rebuilding some of the original bridges up by you, we found that several abutments lacked rebar. They just were concrete. The plan showed rebar, the as-built plan had rebar, I'm sure the Parkway paid for rebar... They were still ok over 50 years later until we replaced them.

There are so many things that were built while re-designed on the fly by concrete/ contractor guys. 

Yes, I did a thesis in grad school on the construction of the Parkway.

Which parkway? lol

1 minute ago, MTH said:

Are you going to re-profile your lawn now that the stairs have a nice wall in the front? You could level the yard some if you want to.

Yes that was in the plan and was done today too.  I wanted to take off more then they did but my cesspool is in that area so we couldn't take off too much.  

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Great minds - I've got the Yukon. How do you like yours? I have to admit - although its nice I'm not sure it quite lived up to the hype.

8 hours ago, BadAngle41 said:

Love all the stone work front and back. Fire pit is a great call. My patio is a giant square and I'm struggling to get the seating to work around the Solo Stove. 

 

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9 hours ago, chile57 said:

Great minds - I've got the Yukon. How do you like yours? I have to admit - although its nice I'm not sure it quite lived up to the hype.

 

Yukon here as well. The original purchase was around Xmas last year during one of the promotions they had for the full bundle of every accessory... the stand... mesh tops... tongs... roasting forks etc. Only problem was a dent on the back side. This spring I contacted Solo Stove who immediately sent out a replacement at no additional charge... FedEx "lost" it... so Solo Stove sent out another... which we did finally receive a couple months ago.

If there is any issue with it... it's that it burns lesser woods vey quickly. Gotta use good dry hardwood... the longer the seasoning the better. My neighbor must have seen it one night when we were out there with the kids making s'mores and the next day asked about it. He couldn't believe that it wasn't gas given the complete lack of smoke once it's up and running. 

No my only problem is making the best use of our seating space. Would really like to make a table for it... something that could be used whether its burning or not. Has to be big enough to surround the Yukon and allow to set drinks on it without boiling them. Was actually thinking of picking up a rectangular outdoor dining table (from Ikea or something)... cutting down the legs... and cutting a hole in it for the stove to fit through. TBD... but with weather around me finally turning into something that resembles fall we'll be having more nights out there for sure.

Something like this...

SoloStoveTable.jpg.80f962c59da64b617a99617d2978ba2a.jpg

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Good idea @BadAngle41. Have you heard/looked into the Breeo (another smokeless variation)? You might be able to poach some ideas/get brainstorming with their setup.

My biggest gripe is that you see less of the fire if you want to be smokeless since all the wood needs to be below the air holes.

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5 hours ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

I tell you, I was fucking furious that we were quoted 3-6 weeks back in May but ended up waiting about 20.  But you know what?  The job these guys are doing are really making it worth the wait.  Their attention to detail on a lot of little things has floored me.  I'm still pissed that I am being forced to seed way later than I would like to but it is what it is.  If I have to end up doing it again in the spring then so be it.

Your backyard looks like 2 pallets of sod. Don't hate. We live in a state full of glorious sod farms.

Just overseed the seams and where the sod meets your existing lawn that looks like sod already.

Reid Sod Farm - Sod | Freehold, NJ

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@coopaloop1234 @SaveByRichter35 guess it depends where you are at and what you have at your disposal. If I were in Richter's spot - I'd probably go that route. My place sits on an acre and is surrounded by trees on three sides. We've lost a few in some recent storms and I've got a good Stihl chainsaw in the shed so I've got a tailor made firewood supply. Guess some might argue you don't get the same campfire ambiance around a propane fireplace. Aesthetics might be some of it. I wouldn't go the natural gas/propane route unless I ran an underground gas pigtail out of the house to feed it - there's not much hiding a propane tank necessarily. Some would rather mess with stacks of wood than refilling tanks...

To each their own. For what its worth - we converted the wood burning fireplace in the back living room to a gas insert. I wouldn't want to hassle with that business inside (plus she HATES spiders).

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So today they wrapped up the job.  All of the brickwork is complete.  Driveway still has to settle for another two weeks before they can pave it.  Sprinkler guy should be here tomorrow to go over anything that needs to be fixed and to go over how we're going to do all the new stuff.  Fence guy will be here next week to close up the back yard.  I have to sift through my phone to find some pictures to show before shots of the areas we updated, my dumb ass never took specific before pictures.  I wonder if my wife did 🤔...

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14 minutes ago, chile57 said:

@coopaloop1234 @SaveByRichter35 guess it depends where you are at and what you have at your disposal. If I were in Richter's spot - I'd probably go that route. My place sits on an acre and is surrounded by trees on three sides. We've lost a few in some recent storms and I've got a good Stihl chainsaw in the shed so I've got a tailor made firewood supply. Guess some might argue you don't get the same campfire ambiance around a propane fireplace. Aesthetics might be some of it. I wouldn't go the natural gas/propane route unless I ran an underground gas pigtail out of the house to feed it - there's not much hiding a propane tank necessarily. Some would rather mess with stacks of wood than refilling tanks...

To each their own. For what its worth - we converted the wood burning fireplace in the back living room to a gas insert. I wouldn't want to hassle with that business inside (plus she HATES spiders).

While I get the location differences, I have a propane one myself due to town house living, these smokeless pits almost seem like they're in a weird purgatory between a regular fire pit and a propane version.

I know here in the PNW we're essentially under an open fire ban from May till September. Propane firepits allow you to circumvent those rules and still have an open flame.

But I agree with you about the running the underground line. Typically a good set up, especially if you have a natural gasline to your house, is to tee off from where you'd have your outside BBq hooked up to and run an underground line to the firepit.

 

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49 minutes ago, coopaloop1234 said:

While I get the location differences, I have a propane one myself due to town house living, these smokeless pits almost seem like they're in a weird purgatory between a regular fire pit and a propane version.

I know here in the PNW we're essentially under an open fire ban from May till September. Propane firepits allow you to circumvent those rules and still have an open flame.

But I agree with you about the running the underground line. Typically a good set up, especially if you have a natural gasline to your house, is to tee off from where you'd have your outside BBq hooked up to and run an underground line to the firepit.

 

I guess I can see the middle ground argument but like I said - probably boils down to what you have for fuel at your disposal. Like you said - burning wood really isn't an option where you are. I don't mind cutting and splitting wood - gets the heart rate going. I know for me - she's all about a "real" fire: crackling logs and whatnot so there's that ambiance factor. Poh-tay-toe, poh-tah-toe. 

The Solo Stoves aren't necessarily cheap either so you can throw that feather in your cap too.

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15 minutes ago, chile57 said:

I guess I can see the middle ground argument but like I said - probably boils down to what you have for fuel at your disposal. Like you said - burning wood really isn't an option where you are. I don't mind cutting and splitting wood - gets the heart rate going. I know for me - she's all about a "real" fire: crackling logs and whatnot so there's that ambiance factor. Poh-tay-toe, poh-tah-toe. 

The Solo Stoves aren't necessarily cheap either so you can throw that feather in your cap too.

I'm a wood > propane guy too.

Nothing beats a real fire in November while on a hunting trip.

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Bingo. Either way - you get heat/flame - just boils down to aesthetics and/or whether you have a preference for gas or wood. Sure - propane is cleaner and you just turn it on/off but its not a "campfire".

15 hours ago, coopaloop1234 said:

I'm a wood > propane guy too.

Nothing beats a real fire in November while on a hunting trip.

 

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14 hours ago, coopaloop1234 said:

I'm a wood > propane guy too.

Nothing beats a real fire in November while on a hunting trip.

 

59 minutes ago, chile57 said:

Bingo. Either way - you get heat/flame - just boils down to aesthetics and/or weather you have a preference for gas or wood. Sure - propane is cleaner and you just turn it on/off but its not a "campfire".

 

The kids also like helping build it up. The little guy in particular will go to the extent of bringing home "good burning logs" from the park. For me it's the aroma, snap, crackle, pop of a real wood burning fire.

To each their own for sure... but I feel the same way about grilling. Propane is nice for quickly heating up... but more satisfaction and flavor from taking a little bit longer and cooking over lump charcoal. 

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