Danitay t1_ja1bqat wrote

I’m in Bergen County with PSEG. ~$168 for natural gas per month for a ~2300sqft split level. 2x gas furnaces, gas water heater, gas dryer, gas cooktop, and gas bbq grill. Reinsulated and air sealed our attic 2 years ago and we keep our house at 69°F.


Danitay t1_j5uqk1y wrote

Total cost out of pocket hired out: $7k (we have 2 attics). We got $2k cash rebate from NJ Clean Energy Program, so $5k all in. We save about $815/year on energy costs so break even is around 6 years. They removed all the old fiberglass, vacuumed everything out and hauled away the debris. Air sealing took a full day, insulation about half a day. Two separate blower door tests (before and after) to show the 20% improved tightness data.


Danitay t1_j5pgl54 wrote

IMO you’re better off getting an energy audit and upgrading your attic insulation via air sealing top plates and blown in cellulose (high ROI) vs penny pinching gas suppliers. This was our gas energy use before and after new insulation + air sealing: https://imgur.com/gallery/Wo66HZ3

You need to keep the heat in. Also we’ve found if we lower the downstairs furnace to 68° overnight and then bump it to 70°— that burns 30 mins of gas. If we just left it to 70° all night, it would run the same runtimes as if it was 68°. We can maintain it better because of the insulation.


Danitay t1_j5fiwva wrote

I would never move site unseen into new construction. They put them up as fast as possible with the cheapest materials and labor. Oh and forget about builder warranty work within the first year, they will drag their feet until the warranty term expires and you’re SOL.

Find yourself a 1960’s later home with good bones (no foundation, structural, or water damage) and remodel it as you live in the space. You’ll be in charge of what YOU want vs what builder grade material is put in.


Danitay t1_j4tlz0e wrote

Referrals from people you know or neighbors is a good place to start. Once you have a recommendation then you want to make sure the contractor is a good communicator and you have a contract after receiving a proposal. It is tough because some great contractors have terrible internet presence…while some 5 star google review contractors sub their work out to subpar contractors and they reward people to leave top reviews.

I suggest making a list of projects and tackle them in phases. Huge renovations tend to have little details get lost. Working one bathroom at a time (like we did) ensured we had things like wood blocking in the walls exactly where we wanted towel bars and tp holders to go (way sturdier than a drywall anchor).

Here’s some of our projects: https://imgur.com/gallery/65aX3dU


Danitay t1_j4t4c6n wrote

This year we did 2 full bathrooms and a water heater in Bergen County. It took 3 months from signing the first contract to start work (mostly due to ordering the vanity). First bathroom was done in a month. Once that finished we signed the next contract for bathroom #2 after waiting a month for the proposal.

Work started another month later by the same crew— however it took 2 months to mostly complete due to the scope of work. The shower glass took an additional month to manufacture, so make it 3 months total. At the end I asked the plumber subcontractor to swap out our water heater— he came back 2 weeks after the bathroom was completed. We also utilized the bathroom carpenter to replace a garage entry door and a front storm door.

Both bathrooms totaled ~$55k but all materials were readily available. We bought all the tile ourselves, and ordered the plumbing fixtures directly from Build.com after verifying specs with GC.

The key is finding a good GC with reliable subcontractors and building a relationship with them. These same guys did our kitchen in 2019 (3 month job around $85k).


Danitay t1_ixsu38w wrote

Find a local hvac company and get a fall tune up service. It is usually cleaning the flame sensor (builds up with dust), changing filter, turning on your humidifier, etc. I pay around $250 per system (2 furnaces and ACs) for a service contract: fall and spring service plus top of the list for emergency service. Shit happens, had a fuse blow on the control board for one of our 2 year old systems back in june 2021 during peak heat. They were out next day and ran a new wire from the AC since that had a short somewhere that blew the fuse. Worth it.