The Regret list : If I had to do it all over again....

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tikiyaki
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The Regret list : If I had to do it all over again....

Postby tikiyaki » Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:35 pm

In the spirit of past threads of Top 100 ways to "screw up" and "improve" your MCM homes, I'd like to add this to the list. I don't know about all of you. but there are things I did to my house that, if I was doing it again I would do differently...mainly due to lack of knowledge or available funds.

Sorry, No prizes for this.

So I will start the ball rolling...

1. Rather than put in all new flooring, I would just refinish the cement slab. Those VCT's are a b*tch to clean, and some of my laminate flooring got damaged by some flooding that occured. Also, the dogs nails marked up my brand new hardwood pretty good :-(

2. Talk my fiancee' out of getting oak ply for the bedroom walls instead of the birch we used in the living room.

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Postby JXBrown » Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:09 pm

I wish that I had figured out how to repair some of the original kitchen cabinets rather than having them removed. Most of the original cabinets were just cheesy, cheap, and deteriorating, but the high cabinets with the sliders might have been restorable. I've just about finished restoring the dining room cabinet -- which hadn't been as completely "upgraded" -- as the kitchen version. I bet I could have come up with some way to restore the corresponding kitchen cabinet. On the other hand, I have no regret about the bland particle board and off-white formica cabinets with their stains and bizarre layout.

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Postby streinen » Fri Jan 06, 2006 5:03 pm

Great idea for a thread. A confessional of sorts...

I wish I had not painted by t&g ceiling white. Big time.

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Postby JXBrown » Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:02 pm

Oh streinen! Ouch! Big time. I've got some leftover PeelAway 7 and some slightly used Black and Decker Scumbusters in the garage, if you get ambitious.

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taken my time

Postby MikeLindsey » Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:11 am

I wish I had lived in my house a little longer before I started working on it. We painted everything but the bathrooms before we moved in and after only a few months, I don't like the colors in a few rooms. However, this is an easy fix once I find the right color!

To avoid regrets, take your time and learn from your home, what needs to be done.

(on a side note, I painted the first bathroom last weekend and I love it!)

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Postby johnnyapollo » Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:20 am

I wish that we had held off on cutting some trees surrounding our house. Since it was less expensive to take them down at once, we thinned down the grove (front yard) - that was 3 years ago. Last year several more had to be taken - now there is a bit more light than we would like (of course it does open up some additional landscaping possibilities).

Having now occupied the house for 3.5 years, it's now time for a professional landscape architect. Luckily I have a friend who is willing to trade some items in my collection for the work. The idea is "spectacular, un-ostentatious and low-maintenance" - I'm hoping to create gathering areas surrounded by lush growth, without diminishing the impact of the house itself. I'm also hoping to save many of the existing Rhodies, Azalias and Camillias and add a water feature.

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regrets, I have a few...

Postby Midlife Modern » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:51 am

In order to save money we only installed cork in public rooms, one bath, and the home office but used carpet in three bedrooms. I used a thin carpet in a light color. Six years later it is totally trashed and shows dirt very easily not to mention dog fur. I think I woud have researched carpet options more before choosing the synthetic sisal that looks great in photoshoots for magazines but is hard to keep looking good in reality.

Also, I would lose the lawn (still a possibility). It is high maintenance and thirsty even though we put in the "low maintenance fescue" recommended by our landscape architect.

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regret list

Postby MarinModern » Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:41 pm

I would have waited to paint my beautiful Mahogony walls. Luckily I did not paint half of them so my home has maintained much of it's integrity.

I also would have gotten a foam roof and not the tar and gravel. We could use more insulation and I would have less leaks. :(
Check out http://www.MarinModern.com and http://www.eichlerforsale.com for great MCM homes in the San Francisco Bay Area!

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Postby jenkinshouse » Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:14 am

I wish we had waited to cut down the nearly dead tree in the backyard. It was nice to look at, but I was afraid the termites in it would jump 20 feet to the house! The backyard looks a little barren without it. We put bamboo in the back along the fences, but we haven't put anything in the middle of the yard close to where that tree stood. I also think I may have spent too much on that bamboo. It was so expensive and I think I may have been better off going with something cheaper.

My new front door is a bit of a bone of contention among a purist or 2 I know, so we may think about going back to solid wood someday, but I like more glass.
Jason in Houston

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Postby Keke » Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:36 am

There are many things I wish we could have done to our house before we moved in (new roof, carpet, shelving), but we simply lacked the funds.

Sometimes I wish we'd lowballed our offer on the house 5-10k more. Don't get me wrong--we got a decent deal on our house, but some of its problems were either grossly understated by the realtors, or undetected by the inspectors. We put a lot of money just into the essentials, such as replacing the AC and furnace, the hot water heater, and the roof.

I AM very happy we got cork floors for the basement. We get the most compliments on that floor! I'm also glad we had the money to re-finish the hardwood floors in the bedrooms before we moved in.

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Postby Joe » Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:42 am

I don't know where to start :oops:

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Postby morbank » Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:18 am

Keke wrote:Sometimes I wish we'd lowballed our offer on the house 5-10k more. Don't get me wrong--we got a decent deal on our house, but some of its problems were either grossly understated by the realtors, or undetected by the inspectors.


Keke, don't look back on those "unknowns." There is no way to know what would have happened had you lowballed your offer....maybe you wouldn't have gotten your house at all. Hey, I wish we hadn't sold our $300K Los Feliz Hills home 4 years ago which sold for $850K this summer...

As far as for me, here are some poignant things I wish we had or hadn't done:

I wish I had seen all of the contractor's work before we had a cement layer poured over our slab.

I wish I had put in sky lights and overhead light fixtures in all of the bedrooms when we redid the roof.

I wish I had replaced the interior siding instead of restoring/restaining the old siding.

I wish I had bought solid core interior doors instead of following the original with hollow core doors.

I wish the IRS hadn't audited me this year for $13K of back taxes from 2003.

I wish I was 5 lbs. lighter.

Whoa...where is this going?!

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Postby Keke » Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:49 pm

Good point, Morbank! I'll admit, despite some of the setbacks, we've been happy with our house. Onwards , says I! :D

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Postby mlo » Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:01 pm

Finally a topic I can add to!

I wish I would have found "Lotta Livin" four years ago. Reading the archives alone has transformed my thinking and tought me a lot.

I wish I knew better than to walk in to the local architectual firm and start spending money. I have several rolls of very expensive paper I'm going to start a fire with in our new fire place someday.

I wish I would have created a "master plan" for the homes proposed changes before spending any money. I am currently moving a 18x24 shop 40ft. because of bad planning.

I wish I had a good friend that was an engineer.

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Postby johnnyapollo » Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:16 pm

To add to my previous post - another regret that I have is that I didn't take advantage of resighting all the power lines along the roof for additional lighting fixtures (and to fix a bad repair), while the old roof was off. I've got a conduit coming up a column, across a beam and boxed above the main kitchen light. It appears that the original line was cut when the previous homeowners took out the two badly leaking skylights. If I had my $hit together, I would have fixed the wiring while the old roof was off. Hind-site is 20-20. I did manage to add a lead in the bedroom and a vent for a bathroom fan before the new roof was put on. Fixing the kitchen light would have been icing on the cake, though.

Advice for anyone thinking of replacing the roof - look over all your lighting or electrical wiring and put anything you think you might want or need for the future, under the insulation before the new roof goes down. A little planning goes along way.

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Postby moderns-r-us » Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:52 am

Good advice Johnny!

I have seen several electrical disasters caused by roofers on post and beam homes. So make sure they undestand the system before they start screwing down insulation.

Roofer quotes:

"What..... you mean there is no attic between the roof and the living space," as we gaze up at the few hundred screws projecting through the roof deck.

"What do you mean none of the lights work on this end of the house," after piercing a main electrical line with another screw.

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Postby Joe » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:02 am

- I wish I had replaced the fascia before installing new roof
- I wish I had installed a tar and gravel roof
- I wish I had ran a natural gas line to my patio before landscaping (fire pit)
- I wish I had ran my sewer line from my garage before landscaping
- I wish I had complete the interior before the exterior
- I wish I could learn to work on outdoor projects during the Summer and indoor projects in the Winter
- I wish I had acquired my original doors/windows before having Pozzi make custom ones
- I regret spending $7000 on architectural plans to expand the home, but will never use
- I wish I didn't have to fire two contractors and an architect
- I wish my side light at my entry was wider
- I wish I had not used white grout with my white tiles in the bathroom

I may go back and redo these items, but I have other stuff to finish.
Last edited by Joe on Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby classic form » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:19 am

I have way too many to list but wanted to ask Joe why he wished he got the T and G roof? I really am not looking to highjack this into another roof discussion but...

Joe, was it because of looks or ease of repair or serviceable life or...?

If there is another thread where this was discussed direct me there cause I didn't search before posting this :oops:

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:44 am

T&G roofs look pretty good on a low-pitched roof. If maintained properly, can last forever. I still see homes in my town with tar and gravel (yes, even in the NW).

My home had rolled roofing and was about shot. It's tar and gravel long gone. I figured since many Eichlers were going with Duro-Last vinyl membranes, that would be the way for me. Plus, I couldn't find a carpenter/roofer who understood my desire to restore the original fascia with self gutters. Rainy reason was on the way...

So, in about 4-5 years, I'll tear off my membrane, restore the original fascia, and install the t&g roof. I'll go with a white rock in varied sizes.

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Re: The Regret list : If I had to do it all over again....

Postby Joe » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:49 am

tikiyaki wrote: Those VCT's are a b*tch to clean...


tiki, I use a commercial dust mop twice a week and a wet mop every other week. I use a wax-friendly sray on the dust mop and do my whole house in about 20 minutes. Wet mopping take about an hour.

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Postby PacificaModern » Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:11 pm

I'm with Joe on this one. I really really wish we had replaced our old tar and gravel roof(actually three roofs) with another tar and gravel roof instead of the asphalt shingles we now have. Live and learn... :roll:

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Re: The Regret list : If I had to do it all over again....

Postby tikiyaki » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:13 pm

Joe wrote:
tikiyaki wrote: Those VCT's are a b*tch to clean...


tiki, I use a commercial dust mop twice a week and a wet mop every other week. I use a wax-friendly sray on the dust mop and do my whole house in about 20 minutes. Wet mopping take about an hour.


The difference is, you were smart enough to get a color that hides dirt...I got white :-(

Plus I have dogs....

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Postby Joe » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:39 pm

actually black shows everything and my beagle drops a boat load a hair. I do like the black tiles. Though I wish we could have polished the slab and installed cork in the master bedroom.

Wow, PacificaModern and I agree on something!

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Postby tikiyaki » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:53 pm

Joe wrote:actually black shows everything and my beagle drops a boat load a hair. I do like the black tiles. Though I wish we could have polished the slab and installed cork in the master bedroom.

Wow, PacificaModern and I agree on something!


Right, you have a dog too...I forgot. I'm with you on the cork...I really like the look and feel of it. A polished slab would be SOOO easy to clean, especially since our 3 month old puggle (beagle and pug mix) is peeing EVERYWHERE right now. An industrial mop and some soap and water for ez cleanup....next time I'm definitely polishing the slab.

For some reason I had visions of my kitchen floor white VCT sparkling like the floor in Target (they have the same tile), but they have one of those industrial waxers every night...I tried renting a floor waxer once and it was HELL to operate, and it didn't even polish that much....
Having Terrazzo everywhere would be nice too...that stuff is easy to keep clean. My Terrazzo is very low maintanence, and really maximizes the MCM look.
Oh well, Live and Learn.

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Postby roxy500 » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:42 am

I regret us not forking over the cash to recarpet our whole house before we moved in a year ago. Now we have to basically move out (and I'm 8.5 months pregnant) and risk our cats getting territorial on brand new carpet. Now we are having a race to see what can happen first: the carpet installation or the baby...

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Postby dentedvw » Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:47 pm

Moving a pallet of bricks left over from the remodeling of the Governors house, also MCM. They were the old bricks, knocked off for an addition. I carefully moved them TWICE! When I finally got them to our latest house, I planned on replacing a sagging, old wrecked mailbox. I carefully stacked them by the old mailbox so I could work on it the following weekend. On that thursday, some jerk pulled up, loaded them all into his pickup, and drove away.
And one of my neighbors saw it. Figured I knew who it was. Cops said it was my fault, because I had them by the road. Told me it was like placing a couch by the side of the road. Refused to take a report. I ranted and raved that building materials in my yard are not rotting old couches on the side of the road.
:evil:

I eventually built a different one with bricks that match better anyway. Still, I could have used the old bricks in a walk in the garden, or something.
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Postby Staar » Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:29 pm

hhmm... thanks for the thread. i'll be sure to refer to it as soon as we start our restoration crusade!

(escrow is due to close some time this week or so)

:D

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Re: regret list

Postby tig64105 » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:16 pm

MarinModern wrote:I would have waited to paint my beautiful Mahogony walls. Luckily I did not paint half of them so my home has maintained much of it's integrity.

I also would have gotten a foam roof and not the tar and gravel. We could use more insulation and I would have less leaks. :(


we LOVE our mahogony walls - and considering all the other stupid stuff done to the house, are thankful every day that they were never painted over.

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Postby tig64105 » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:19 pm

moderns-r-us wrote:Good advice Johnny!

I have seen several electrical disasters caused by roofers on post and beam homes. So make sure they undestand the system before they start screwing down insulation.

Roofer quotes:

"What..... you mean there is no attic between the roof and the living space," as we gaze up at the few hundred screws projecting through the roof deck.

"What do you mean none of the lights work on this end of the house," after piercing a main electrical line with another screw.



you know i know this pain.

and yes, i wish we had put some lights in while re-roofing, but as it is, it took a lot longer than planned because we ended up re-decking the whole house, and fixing tons of little things. on the plus side, though, after it was done, the very next day, it rained for 2 weeks straight!!!

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Postby Futura Girl » Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:32 pm

congratulations to all the fabulous and funny contributors of this thread... it was nominated to a "Best of Lotta Living status!!!
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.
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