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Living with roommates

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, May 19, 2003.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Okay, I've really never lived with a roommate before, but I'm going to be soon...I've got a few questions. First of all, does living with a roommate at age 28 make me a loser? (I'm not actually sharing a room, renting from a friend who's buying a 4 bdrm house) Is there anything that I should be cautious of - this guy is a long time friend, but is there any ground rules or anything that generally should be addresed up front to avoid problems later? I just have no experience with this type of living situation, but I know other people do live with roommates all the time...
  2. see, ya put a rubber band on the doorknob if you have a girl over...

    but seriously, i dunno. ask the guy who you're gonna be living with... check to see what his pet-peeves are, what is and isn't cool with him, etc. then you tell him the same about you.
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    "Can I have a wine cooler?
  4. :bawl: *dies laughing*
  5. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    I've seen lots of good friends turn into bad friends from being roommates. The thing is to give them lots of space. It's cool to hang out but not all the time. You will want to kill them in time. Get the rules on food down to start with(dude you took my last Coke now I'm pissed). Remember to clean up after your self. You can be a slob in your room but not the whole house. All in all just try to be better to them/him than they are to you.
  6. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've just moved into a house and I'm sharing with a flatmate. So far so good because we're both trying to be considerate of each others time, space, posessions, money etc. As much as possible we try and share the cooking cleaning etc, we try and keep our noise to reasonable levels, and we try and be friends.
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I've had almost a dozen different roommates (mostly from college when I leased a house), and up to four of us in the house at a time. Best advice I can give is have your own set of dishes and wash them as soon as you're done eating, so you don't have to clean up after anybody else and they can't claim the dirty dishes are yours. Definitely buy your own food and toiletries rather than sharing the groceries. You can still give your roomies something if they ask, but this avoids the whole unequal sharing problem. Have one person designated to recieve all the bills and post the amount everyone owes (this usually goes to the most responsible or the best at math in the house), and make sure everyone pays for their own toll calls so no one else is stuck with them. Also, have a rule about guests and smoking, as that can cause problems as well.
  8. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA

    yes yes yes yes yes!

    all great advice. in my place, we each have a section of the house to clean, buy our own groceries, rotate stuff like TP/paper towel/cleaning supplies, wash all the dishes immediately (no leaving dishes dirty in the kitchen), and each get one bill (i get phone, other guy gets cable, other gets cable modem)

    works out pretty well if everyone does what they're supposed to :ninja:
  9. All very good advice! Don't forget laundry. If there's a Washer/Dryer in the house, sharing can be a big problem too, if everyone wants to wash at the same time.

    I've had a lot of roommates at one time or another, and there's also definitely an edge when the space belongs to you. Since it belongs to your friend, you'll probably have to compromise more than he does.

    If you guys share the cooking chores, make sure you either rotate the duties, or the one who doesn't cook, does the cleanup.

  10. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Also, keep a couple of bags of lye and a shovel handy, just in case things don't work out! :D
  11. Just get married so your wife can do all that stuff.

    That's a joke!;)
  12. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002

    Very good advice, Woodchuck. You really can't stress this enough. :eek:
  13. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Over the years I've had over 20 different roommates (during college and a few years after) and all of the above is good advice.

    I'd say the big straws that tend to break the camel's back are money (someone not holding up their end), possessions (not the demonic kind...food mainly), privacy issues (including someone blasting the stereo/TV during your quiet time/sleep) and guest issues (whether it be constantly having strangers over sleeping on the couch, guys having girls stay over when other guys might be uncomfortable with that or unexpected parties).

    A lot of these issues basically stem from differing expectations on everyone's part. I'd just say don't expect your roommates to have the same standards, habits or morals as you. Also, a good idea would be to sit down and list out things that are important to your lifestyle. Think about your expectations, pet peeves, things you definitely don't want in the house etc...then talk to everyone together about those things and work out agreements that everyone is committed to. At the very least..decide how food will work and if you don't want them drinking all your cokes, beer, wine or whatever then say so and enforce it. Good luck...roommates CAN be a lot of fun...they can also be a big hassle. I've had both.

    brad cook
  14. I made the mistake of letting a friend use the spare bedroom in my house. Here are some things to keep in mind:

    01) No matter how much it starts to feel like home, you are only renting a room. The whole house isn't yours to do with as you please.

    02) Don't make a habit of dipping into their foodstuffs without permission, and don't think a $0.25 box of Mac-n-Cheez is a direct replacement for the boxes of Kraft Shells and Cheese you ate without asking.

    03) Their washing machine is not the place to dye your clothes black with RIT dye. And when you break the fins off the agitator while washing your combat boots, let them know rather than trying to pretend they were always like that. Same for when you break the dryer.

    04) When you dump a can of Pepsi on the beige carpet, dumping a full ashtray on the wet spot is not the way to hide the mistake. It doesn't work on the couch, either.

    05) Don't mix J.B. Weld on the couch, find some cardboard or something.

    06) When they completely clean the kitchen and wash all the dishes, respect that. They shouldn't find every single dish and things that vaguely resemble dishes dirty literally 4 hours later (many plates and saucers looking like you dumped condiments on them and stacked them for no reason).

    07) Don't disassemble the faucets to acquire the screens in them, especially when asked to not do it again and to not have the the reason for it in the house to begin with.

    08) Flush. You may think your wastes are special, but your hosts neither need nor want to find that you have saved enough to mound up higher than the seat...

    09) Their possesions are theirs, no matter how much you think they would be better as yours or disassembled to provide parts for one of your pet projects.

    10) When they bring you the phone bill with over $750 of calls to your parents' house and that old friend of yours down the street from them, don't just say that the phone company made a mistake and think you are done with the whole affair.

    11) When the cops come to pick you up, don't yell to your hosts to tell the cops that you aren't there. Even better, don't do things to bring the police to your hosts' home in the first place...

    While my ex-friend was obviously the true "Roomie from Hell" (the above is only part of it, but that gets the idea across), it doesn't take much to cross the line and head that way. What may seem like no big deal to you may be one to them.

    To those who are thinking of letting a friend rent their spare room, don't. Once they are in, getting rid of them is a huge legal hassle and takes a long time (during which they still have access to your home).

    If I sound bitter, it is because I am. The cost of cleaning up after and repairing the damage done has reached near $15,000 (and we are not done). Sorry to vent like this in what started as an innocent thread, but after what happened to us and to a few others we have known not warning both sides would be negligent...
  15. just don't be a dick. and if you ARE a dick on any occasion, make it right.
  16. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Thanks for all of the advise. I think it's going to work out fine, but I'm a little nervous about the situation so all your advise helps. I've been good friends with this guy for about 17 years and we are both very respectful of others. The only issue that concerns me is the food and cooking. Our plan is as follows: We are going to share food / groceries and each pay half of the grocery bill. I requested that we have a rule that only food and household items be bought on our shared grocery trips - t.p., cleaning supplies, etc. are okay, but no "luxury items" (we talked about what that means to us) - does that sound reasonable?
    He likes to cook and happens to be a very good cook (I don't enjoy cooking and am only ok) so he has volunteered to be the house cook. I think I will offer to do the dishes from any meal he prepares and we both share, but ask that any dishes used individually be washed by who ever used them. I'll make a point of doing my dishes immediately. I am willing to cook meals and share if he doesn't feel like cooking and asks me to take a turn.
    Even though he says the noise won't bother him, I intend to get some good headphones to practice bass. Is there any way I could force him to get his old drum kit out of storage and start pounding the skins again? - That would make him a really good roommate in my eyes!
  17. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Whoa! That sucks... This one is my favorite though.

  18. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I thought that was funny too (not that it happened to DeLorean, but that somebody would do that at somebody elses house) When I was younger I used to know somebody who would take screen from the kitchen faucet at his parents house and then when he was done doing his thing with it, he'd put it back! Yuk!
  19. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Yes, that is pretty nasty.
  20. EWWWW! Truly disgusting! :spit: If your guest really did this (and I believe you) he is a 100% loser in life. I honestly believe that when people do things like this, they know exactly what they're doing; there's no, "Um, oh, I'm sorry, I forgot to flush."

    Creepy, then there's the understanding about bringing women home. GET THIS STRAIGHT FROM THE GET-GO! My friends and I used to rent summer houses on Long Island. There'd usually be only one master bedroom, and the biggest drunk of the house would conveniently sack out in there 1/2 an hour before someone "who got lucky," would need to use the place. No big fights happened because of this, but, it came close a few times.

    Good Luck.