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Old 07-22-2008, 09:59 AM   #1
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About to renovate an old house - Help with strategy please


I'm about to move into my first house. It's roughly 92 years old, sort of a "post eduardian" kind of thing.

two floors with a huge unfinished attic. the roof is an extremely sharp pitch.

anyway, the house is in great shape. no problems with foundation or framing.


my plan is to make an apartment upstairs (it already has the kitchen plumbing), and live downstairs.

the house is all plaster, with zero insulation anywhere.

i'm wondering if you guys would gut all the outside walls, rewire, insulate (expanding foam?), then drywall? is this worth it?

the garage needs a new concrete floor and a new roof. there is some structural rot on the porch, needing a new footing or two and maybe some other things. some rotten clapboards, etc... also, the whole house needs a paint job.

now, i want to get the apartment ready as quickly as possible.

what is the order that you guys would recommend doing things in?

here is my rough plan:

1) new floor in garage so i can organize my shop out there with all my tools

2) take care of the porch

3) renovate the apartment (not yet sure about insulation, but i think given the cost of oil i should do this)

now, the attic could easily be more living space. would you guys spend the time and money to finish it? (insulate, drywall, wire, etc...?

thanks for any tips. this is my DIY renovation and am pretty excited about digging in.

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Old 07-22-2008, 10:34 AM   #2
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About to renovate an old house - Help with strategy please


Its going to be a marriage not a project. If money and time is not a issue then buy all means start with the garage. Its nice to work in a clean and organized environment . If money and time is an issue, then the inside of the house would be my number one priority. start with the upstairs and work your way down. this way when you have to bring any electrical circuits, plumbing, heat risers and so on to the floors above you can open up some walls on the floors below, not destroying something you just finished. Get a dumpster delivered close to the house as possible. make a wooden chute leading from an upstairs window into the dumpster. It will save you time from going up and down the stairs. and will contain the dust from getting through out the house if your going to be living there. Good luck with your marriage. BOB. Yes gutt


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Old 07-22-2008, 10:37 AM   #3
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About to renovate an old house - Help with strategy please


First dont get too excited your looking at a lot of work and the warm months are going to go quickly.Second get a workable budget for yourself and Third get a home inspection to find out what your major problems are first and what would be needed to bring things up to code.Then come back here with your list and go from their,this is not something that will be done in a few weeks or even months as seen on TV
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:29 PM   #4
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About to renovate an old house - Help with strategy please


thanks guys.

i went t hrough it with the home inspector.
he said the porch was basically the highest priority in terms of structural work needed.

inside, just rewiring is needed to bring to code. of course, to make an apartment, i'll need to make a separate entrance, and probably a back porch/exit as well.

there are a few rotten clapboards outside, some areas where i need to remove the boards and c heck out the framing, reflash, etc...
but basically everything is really sound except for the old knob and tube wiring, and not enough circuits and stuff.

i want to replace all the sinks and toilets, get some recessed cans, etc...

yes, i know it will be a marriage.

so, how far should i take it as far as getting an apartment ready?
should i make it as nice as possible to get the highest rent (high end fixtures, etc...), or should i just clean it up a bit and get someone in there?

to what extent should i be hiring people to help me?
money is definitely an issue. i do have a little leeway for bringing in some help, but i've been bartering a bit with a builder friend, which will help a lot.


thanks again.
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:43 PM   #5
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About to renovate an old house - Help with strategy please


i should add a few details:

i got the house for 200K.
bank appraised at 225K, insurance appraised at 349K.

i'm positive if i were to put it up for sale right now i could get 300K for it easily. (it was a private sale and never even on the market). it's in a primetime location.

anyway, with that being said, i almost feel like the more money i put it into at this point will be almost like negative equity, if that makes any sense. like, i'll be "buying" my way to 300K which is what it's worth now. or maybe i'm just not thinking straight.

i plan on owning this longer term, at least 5-10 years. my hope is to, in the end, sell it for 500-600K if and when the housing market comes back.

the area where i live is fairly immune to this, though, and the location will always be desireable.

with those things being said, any further ideas on strategy?

thanks!

i'll start another thread in a few weeks when i get in there, with pictures and everything.
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:13 PM   #6
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About to renovate an old house - Help with strategy please


well if it a prime location think about the type of people you would be renting to if they would be upscale type then I would say put a resonable amount into fixing up the apartment that way you can rent it for the max amount and maybe recover some of what you put in.Also address all code problems with that area first as you will have someone in it not just you.As far as hiring out.. electrical thats a definate YES and any structral problems but the more you can do yourself the more you can put into it just know your limitation.You mention the outside so after the apartment if you stiil have time before winter you might want to address that and check the window ...ie do they close proper are they sealed tight are they new double pain or the old wooden singels.It is nice to have a neat clean enviroment to work out of but you will be surprised how fast and how much money your going to put into this so I wouldnt worry about that floor just yet.It may seam like what you put into now is not worth it but when things turn around what you put in now will come back to you double so do it right and do it well

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