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Old 08-20-2006, 02:47 PM   #1
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What do you think?


Guys I am a girl who has not to much cash to play with but is trying to make a decision about my Mom's 1911 Victorian that is not up to code and for all I know still has the original wiring and my question is Can a home this old be re-wired w/out taking out the walls? Any advice or comments would be welcome.

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Old 08-20-2006, 04:04 PM   #2
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What do you think?


There is no way to re-wire a house without some at least minor damage to some of the walls. A good electrician could keep that damage to a minimum.

That being said it would take a good close look in person for me to tell exactly where such damage would be and how much damage would occur. Anyone who would tell you over the internet, the exact extent of the damage that would occure is either a fool or a lier.

I will venture a guess that complete removal of huge wall sections can most likely be avoided, but this will depend on you local building codes.

To get a relyable answer I suggest you get an electrician to come bid the rewire. You may want estimates from several so you can compare.

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Old 08-20-2006, 04:11 PM   #3
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Is there an open attic space?
Is there access to the basement?
Most of the wiring should be able to be running without "removing the walls".
There may be areas that access holes will need to be made to "fish" the wire.
Depends on the house.
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Old 08-20-2006, 04:23 PM   #4
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What do you think?



I suppose this kind of question absouletly is too hard to answer with out seeing but I was trying to get an idea if these type of jobs really demand a complete down to the rafters start. I will call in local talent and see what they say. You guys are the nicest.....Thanks very much
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:30 PM   #5
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What do you think?


redline has it right. a fishtape is needed and would requier a skillfull elecrician. walls don't have to be removed. they will probably even be able to install new boxes and fixtures in the exsisting holes. however if i were doing the job i would insist on a new panel box even in has been updated.
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:50 PM   #6
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Yes access to basements exists. Attic not sure.....I grew up in the house and I am trying to figure out how much basic work is involved before I do something that could be stupid like sell our house in the burbs to get back to the city and take on a giant project. The electrical is just one part. I can say it needs a facelift, some other stuff but one thing I know.....in this case it is a problem situation ALTHOUGH it is not unsurmountable is still a situation. See we are talking about San Francisco, Calif a place where permits are handed out like gold and the reality is just riduciously difficult, I hope you get the drift....I am just scared to be possibly getting into a giant money pit I may not be prepared for...I know you can't advise or help me find my way but like I said I like tossing these ideas out with pro's like you and taking it from there.....
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:13 AM   #7
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What do you think?


I'm not a professional contractor, but you need a licensed Pest inspection and a General Home Inspection by a licensed GHI, or remodeling bids from a General contractor(s) to determine specifically what you're dealing with. You can do the work in stages from there.
The only thing that you need to worry about is "over-investing" in the immediate neighborhood, which probably isn't possible in San Francisco.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:15 AM   #8
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I am glad you are doing things in the right order. I have done rewires where the HO had just refinished all the walls and was livid when I had to make a small hole to fish wires.

The plumber will probably do more wall damage than the electrician.
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:23 AM   #9
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That's funny,

Thanks again
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIYWannabe
I grew up in the house and I am trying to figure out how much basic work is involved before I do something that could be stupid like sell our house in the burbs to get back to the city and take on a giant project. The electrical is just one part. I can say it needs a facelift, some other stuff but one thing I know.....in this case it is a problem situation ALTHOUGH it is not unsurmountable is still a situation. See we are talking about San Francisco, Calif a place where permits are handed out like gold and the reality is just riduciously difficult, I hope you get the drift....I am just scared to be possibly getting into a giant money pit I may not be prepared for...I know you can't advise or help me find my way but like I said I like tossing these ideas out with pro's like you and taking it from there.....
Is this house in San Fran worth more than the one in the burbs?

For example, if the San Fran house has a market value of $750,000 then spending $5,000 or $10,000 to upgrade the electric would be around 1% of the total value of the house-well worth in the the logn run. It will add value when the time comes if you do sell the San Fran house. You may be able to recoup upwards of half the money that you did spend to upgrade the electric on any future sale of the San Fran house.

A house is one of the better investments available when maintained.

Is the area that the San Fran house is located in a desirable and apprecitating location?

If the electric is the only major area that needs attention than it may be a good idea to upgrade it.

Get 3 or 4 estimates from qualified electricians and see what the price amounts to.

Last edited by redline; 08-21-2006 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 08-22-2006, 02:27 AM   #11
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The house is in a good location. There are no cheap houses in the city. Even if the house is a tear down someone will buy it and rebuild. That would bug me big time. You know how the new thing is some people buy houses then fix them then sell them, then the new ones come in and tear out perfectly nice work (I think it's the new thing to do, like low carb diets), and on and on. The house is about 1 mile from the beach. The electric is just one problem that needs to be updated. Someone earlier had it in the right order-get a home inspection first. It needs a new roof but there is a moldiness inside-I don't know how much is in the walls. I love that old house though...It has a lot of charm. It's old-1911 but there is lots of wood paneling (original) and with paint and some TLC and $ could go on for many more years. My Mom raised us there but she was paying bills on a secretary's salary and had closed her eyes to alot of things that needed attention cause she was just that way. She couldn't deal with it I suppose. But nonetheless, she did manage to pay off her mortgage and now she has dementia so the way I understand it someone has to occupy it (IRS 121 ?) and I don't think we can sell it without giving a whopping amount of moolah to the gov (already pay lots of taxes) now you really got the story, probably more than you wanted to know, but my head is working overtime to figure out what to do. I know one thing- once this house is sold it would be impossible to afford to live there, so the greedy one inside dosen't want that to get away!

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