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Old 02-10-2009, 10:30 AM   #1
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My name is Bryan and I'm not great at anything, but I'm pretty good at lots of sfuff. I'm an aircraft mechanic by trade, but I'm a woodworking/metalworking hobbiest and I know just enough about home renovation to be dangerous. I hope you'll stop me when/if I attempt something moronic.

My wife and I recently bought a fixer-upper in Northern California near Sacramento. We live in Southern California, but we'll be relocating within the year.

Specs:
1700sqft
2-story
5 bedrooms
2 car garage
Built in 1974
Colonial...ish
0.32 acre lot
Rural location

It was a foreclosure and had been vacant for several months. During it's vacancy, several cats stopped by to use the house as a toilet/hostel. We got a great deal on the house, but it needs a lot of work.

Major issues:
Needs a new well
Septic has an unknown problem
HVAC system needs work, but how much work is an unknown
Evidence of plumbing problems upstairs

The good news:
The house is structurally sound
Electrical looks good so far

Progress:
Before the well can be installed, the trees near the well site had to be removed. These trees were OLD and had very established root systems. My father in law owns a backhoe which helped, but there was plenty of shovel and chainsaw work involved.

Here is a video of the stump removal at about halfway through the first stump. Pardon my French, but tree removal brings out the sailor in me. Mute if you are easily offended. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwhnEZuSONY

Once the trees were out and the property was cleared, we started the demolition. First to go was the back porch overhang that looked like it was built by 4th graders. Next, we went inside and started removing EVERYTHING...

Here's a "virtual tour" courtesy of my wife. Again, excuse the language...sorry.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PvIy5WEqmw

Since the last video we've torn up the MDF that covered all 1700sqft of subfloor. That was no easy task, but it had to go. The subfloor looks good in all but a few locations. I'll be working on the house again this weekend and I'll take more video.


I've been lurking this site for quite awhile. Long enough to know an information goldmine when I see it. I'm looking forward to soaking up some knowledge on my long, dark road of renovation.


The lastest progress can be seen here. My niece makes a cameo in the beginning. She wants to be a singer...

Any and all comments/advice welcome.

-Bryan

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Old 04-21-2009, 12:24 PM   #2
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Here's a video of my recent progress.



Cliff's notes:
Got all my permits taken care of.

Service panel was upgraded to a 200.

Contracted the well drilling and installed the pump/tank/plumbing.

Inspector green tagged the electrical and the well, so we have water and power back on.

I've rearranged a few walls to update the floor plan.

Started the subflooring on the second floor.

Currently installing a brand new HVAC system.

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Old 05-05-2009, 11:37 AM   #3
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Here's the latest video.



The plumbers are half done. Normally I wouldn't hire a plumber becuase sweating copper is about as easy as it gets, but most of the plumbing in this house is galvanized and I don't own or care to own a pipe threading machine. The plumber is a friend of the family and he's going to bring the entire house up to code plus the add-ons for less than $2000. That's hard to beat.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curb Feeler View Post
My name is Bryan and I'm not great at anything, but I'm pretty good at lots of sfuff. I'm an aircraft mechanic by trade....
As a frequent flyer, I'm not sure how I should feel about that.

Good luck with the remodel. It sounds like we'll be neighbors.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LookoutRanch View Post
As a frequent flyer, I'm not sure how I should feel about that.

Good luck with the remodel. It sounds like we'll be neighbors.

I guess that could have been written better...

Thanks for the well wishes, neighbor, and if you see any glaring problems with the work I'm doing, please let me know.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:50 PM   #6
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Hey Bryan,

I'm looking forward to seeing your progress. Best of luck.

And I think this thread should be in the "Project Showcase" forum.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:29 PM   #7
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My neighbor/buddy was was a Delta mechanic, now teaches at a school at the local airport. I keep trying to tell him to not be so anal when it comes to construction/repairs on his house. It doesn't have to actually "fly". Tolerances are a little less critical than in the airline industry. He's getting better about it....
Best of luck.
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjbatlanta View Post
My neighbor/buddy was was a Delta mechanic, now teaches at a school at the local airport. I keep trying to tell him to not be so anal when it comes to construction/repairs on his house. It doesn't have to actually "fly". Tolerances are a little less critical than in the airline industry. He's getting better about it....
Best of luck.

I have similar problems. It takes me longer to do certain things, but I have to sleep at night and if it's not perfect, it'll agravate me until I fix it.

OCD has it's uses...


How do I move a thread?
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:37 PM   #9
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Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing. He's the first one I "holler" for when it comes to trouble with vehicles when I can't figure it out (more often than I hate to admit in this day of "computerized" cars and trucks). He's a member of the CAF (Confederate Air Force). They restore vintage planes that they have to fabricate parts for. He's doing a "body-off" restoration on a mid-70's Blazer and having to fabricate stuff for it. It will be better than when it came off of the assembly line. If you nitpick every little thing on renovating a house, it'll take years to finish. It doesn't have to be within .030 on your measurements and there are going to be some compromises, unfortunately. It will turn out great though, I'm sure. One of the moderators has to move the thread I believe....
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:45 PM   #10
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What, no pics ???

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Old 05-08-2009, 01:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bjbatlanta View Post
Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing. He's the first one I "holler" for when it comes to trouble with vehicles when I can't figure it out (more often than I hate to admit in this day of "computerized" cars and trucks). He's a member of the CAF (Confederate Air Force). They restore vintage planes that they have to fabricate parts for. He's doing a "body-off" restoration on a mid-70's Blazer and having to fabricate stuff for it. It will be better than when it came off of the assembly line. If you nitpick every little thing on renovating a house, it'll take years to finish. It doesn't have to be within .030 on your measurements and there are going to be some compromises, unfortunately. It will turn out great though, I'm sure. One of the moderators has to move the thread I believe....
Man, that would be a cool line of work. I've never worked on any of the fabric airplanes, but I've always heard it's more art than science. Those guys are serious craftsmen.

I'm in the middle of restoring a 1963 VW Bus (I'm not a hippy) and I had to fabricate several pieces of the frame that had rusted out. I'll be wiring it like an airplane with most of the controls and switches overhead. I guess us mechanic types are all the same...

Luckily i've got plenty of help from friends and family so I've got constant reminders that the house doesn't need to be built to handle a 3G bank, hard landings or excessive turbulance.


Scuba Dave,

I don't have many pictures of the house, but I've got tons of video.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:34 AM   #12
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Here's the latest video.

The master bedroom wall was taken down to open it up (engineered beam installed). Second floor subfloor is finished. HVAC duct is installed on the first floor and the furnace is completely assembled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0iEj8L6vmo

Last edited by Curb Feeler; 06-22-2009 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:38 PM   #13
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Looks like it is getting there. Hard to say what is wrong unless a person is there but thus far it looks great!

Make sure you keep your drywall up off the floor when you rock and make sure you use 1/2 on the walls and 5/8 on the lids.

MMM what else can I say, not much I guess I will keep an eye on this project and just do it right and I think you are by bringing in the pros!

Good luck and be safe!
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Paragon View Post
Looks like it is getting there. Hard to say what is wrong unless a person is there but thus far it looks great!

Make sure you keep your drywall up off the floor when you rock and make sure you use 1/2 on the walls and 5/8 on the lids.

MMM what else can I say, not much I guess I will keep an eye on this project and just do it right and I think you are by bringing in the pros!

Good luck and be safe!
Thanks. I'm doing all but the plumbing and the beam myself. I've done plumbing before and I'm sure I could have handled the beam, but time is a factor here and I don't really have enough of it to spend on things like that. Not when my contractor is doing them for bargain basement prices. I'm sure that beam would have taken me the better part of a week to do correctly, where he was done in a day and a half. Can't beat that with a stick.


Why is 5/8 preferred over 1/2 for the ceilings?

Last edited by Curb Feeler; 06-22-2009 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:44 PM   #15
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Sorry I could only watch 20 seconds........

http://steadycam.org/ Be safe, G

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