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Old 10-23-2008, 04:18 PM   #1
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2 years ago I bought my first home...1000 sq ft, built in the 1951.

The first owner died in 2001 and someone bought it to flip. They really did minimal (and poor quality) work. They basicly just painted everything (including the vinal siding), put in cheap carpet, replaced the laminant counter top, and put up some cheap wall covering to convert the bath to a shower. The house changed hands twice before the previous owner forgot to pay her mortgage. I ended up buying a $85,000 house from the bank for $55,000.

I'm finally in a position to make some improvements and I'd love some suggestions.

What I've already done:
Driveway- replaced 10' wide drive with a 24' drive that extends along the north side of the house (wide enough to park a car) and meets up with patio in back yard.
Back Yard- poured a concrete patio (about 300 sq ft with contoured form); replaced old pole barn and rusted metal shed with a vinal shed on concrete floor; installed new walk and drive gates; removed several dieing trees
Bathroom- converted hole in wall from missing space heater to recessed shelves
Interior- painted all rooms and trim; new furnace

What's already in the works:
New Roof- going with GAF archetectural weathered wood
Windows- looking at either vinal or aluminum with a thermal barrier (I'll be posting another post on this one).
Flooring- new carpet in bedrooms, living room, and hall; new vinal in bathroom and kitchen
Bathroom- replace bathtub walls with propper unit.

Things in mind in the next 6 months to a year:
Front of House- remove 3' deep by 8' long front porch and replace with 8' deep by 40' long front porch. Stairs on north end and centered on front door with curved concrete walk from middle stairs to driveway leaving area for flower bed (the porch will be made from concrete...brother owns concrete company, cousin finishes concrete); car porch/awning over section of drive on north side of house and over new porch

So, what other great ideas do you have?

Thanks!

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Old 11-01-2008, 11:48 AM   #2
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What about a nice place to BBQ and entertain those that donated help and allow you to show off your great new house? Sounds like you have a nice place now. Congratulations.

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Old 11-02-2008, 04:00 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the great deal on the house -- AND getting all that work done. I would buy a nice wine cooler, outdoor fireplace or grill, throw a big party and bask in all the glory!
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for the party-area suggestions! That's another one of my "down the road" ideas. I'm planning to disguise my storm shelter by putting decking on top of it to make it look more like a table.

As of right now, the only things completed are the first paragraph of things, but after today, the roof will be done...YAY! I decided not to wait for family help on the roof (deer season), so I've got a roofing company up there right now scraping, replacing, and nailing away! That alone will be a great improvement.
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:42 PM   #5
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How does the kitchen look? Depending on your budget, this can be a good place to sink money into. There are some lower cost kitchen remodeling solutions you can check out. Do you have the budget to update any of the kitchen features?

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Old 11-05-2008, 01:59 PM   #6
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I've done 3 fixers uppers and I agree that the kitchen is good place to invest money, so is the bathroom.

My wife and I buy handyman specials, we live in them while we fix them. Typically we get bored a year or two after we are totally done and we sell and buy another. I started with a small house worth 60K and the one we're in now is worth over 650K even in this bad market.

Also I strongly recommend using quality brand name windows, like Anderson, Pella, Marvin, etc. They can be more expensive, but they typically last longer and parts are easier to find.

Good luck!
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:43 PM   #7
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Yes, I definately want to work on the kitchen. You can see what it looked like when I moved in here:
http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y29...henBigMess.jpg

I love my kitchen, it's really big for such a small house (240 sq foot out of 980 for the house), but it is outdated. I plan to make changes to the kitchen, but it's livable for now.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:25 AM   #8
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Your money is best spent on items that enhance the house as opposed to the look of the house. Kitchens and bathrooms will be your biggest ROI if resale is a concern. Fix any structure issues (floor/wall rot, roof). Maybe upgrade any old services (electrical, plumbing, HVAC) and possibly flooring. Landscaping is always nice but can be the single most expensive improvement you can make.
Things like paint and lighting I consider decorating and are usually to your taste and can easily be change for a potential sale.
If you're really worried about the best place to put your money, don't be afraid to ask for the advice of your realtor. They know what increases value best!

Most of all, have fun, ask questions and enjoy your home!
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:34 PM   #9
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I'd vote kitchen as well. It's an area that will pay you back in property value.
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Old 11-27-2008, 05:29 AM   #10
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How about an eyecatching roof dragon, gargoyle or roof finial to add chararcter to the outside look of your home? I found this site listed below

www.RidgeDragon.com

There is a customer picture's section to view the finials fitted!
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:19 AM   #11
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man, i hate spammers.....

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Old 11-27-2008, 07:40 AM   #12
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I am not a spammer thanks, the guy asked for suggestions, so I supplied a suggestion, man I hate whiners!
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaunridgedragon View Post
I am not a spammer thanks, the guy asked for suggestions, so I supplied a suggestion, man I hate whiners!

The problem is, you presented the website as if it was something you just found when in reality, it's your site. So, you are promoting your site.

Also, had you looked at any of my pictures, you would clearly see that your dragons would in no way fit with my house.
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaunridgedragon View Post
I am not a spammer thanks, the guy asked for suggestions, so I supplied a suggestion, man I hate whiners!
Most of use also hate liars. Don't say you " found" your own website. You now have little credibility.
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:26 PM   #15
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No more dragon man.
Help us moderators out and report that kind of stuff when you see it...It will help us keep the site free of people that are only interested in being here to plug their products instead of actually helping DIYers.

Ok, back to the orignal topic. MeraleeCrowl, might I suggest that you take pictures of your home and post them on this thread. That way people can get an idea of what you've done and what else would be of benefit.

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