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Old 09-13-2007, 12:31 AM   #1
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Old house new problems: I need advice


We bought this house in 1992. It was built about 1928. It is a 1 1/2 story clapboard house with dormers on the east and west. There have been two or three houses on this site in the past. We are in rural Iowa. We had the house inspected and everything seemed to be fine (other than the heating system which we replaced.) Several years ago the basement walls began to bulge...and we had them stabilized and new drainage installed. During this process we discovered that there is no foundation under the south exterior wall. This past winter we had two very severe ice storms. A few weeks ago (after a rainstorm that dropped about four inches of rain in a day) we noticed that the plaster was falling off the sloping walls in the closets upstairs and this past weekend (after a light rain storm) we noticed that we have leaks on the first floor on both the east and west sides of the house. We have reglazed the windows several times and they continue to crack. So here is my questions:

I got an estimate on replacing the roof - $13,000. The roof already has three layers and a "stick" base...so it will all have to come off and plywood put down. The house is 34 x 28 and the roof pitch is 9/12. Does this estimate sound right?

Second: I know we need to replace/improve the insulation and we were just going to take off the plaster and put in batt insulation...we currently have blown insulation and it has compacted and there are gaps between the insulation and the exterior framing. Now, with all the problems cropping up, I am wondering if it would be possible to basically start over with new foundation and exterior walls on the east and west about five or 10 ft beyond the current foundation (and missing foundation to the south) and tie it all together with the existing house? The current exterior walls are not sheathed and the clapboard needs to be replaced anyway. The windows all need to be replaced...wouldn't be easier to just build new walls?

Sorry for the long post, but I'm feeling a little overwhelmed right now.
Thanks for any help/advice.

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Old 09-14-2007, 02:28 PM   #2
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Old house new problems: I need advice


From the description, $13,000. seems high, but you've given no details about the materials used, so who knows. Do you have a written estimate? is it detailed? Sharing those details would be helpful. A few pictures of the roof would be a good idea.
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:27 PM   #3
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Old house new problems: I need advice


$13grand is way too high. I had three estimates for my roof (1 layer), and went with the mid bid of $3200 for a 920sqft home. My suggestion is, get some more bids, and ask around for references.
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:53 PM   #4
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Old house new problems: I need advice


the roof doesn`t sound way high,you have about 1500sq.ft of roof,you are removing 4 layers,1 of which is cedar shingles which is a nasty cleanup,and a lot of work cleaning the firring strips/purlins before you can install all new plywood,the flashing at the perimeter of both dormers needs to be replaced,as well as any chimney flashings,etc.--as far as the foundation,it would probably be easier to get someone to jack up the house in those ares,and put a foundation underneath-the other way you have to lift the entire house to put continuos joists under the house from the new front and rear walls(big job),you should look at sprayed foam insulation for the rafter spaces on the cathedral areas of the house(sloped ceilings)because the R-value is much greater per " than fiberglass,and the fiberglass is nowhere near enough.fiberglass (6"=R-19,foam1"=R7),ALTHOUGH YOU MUST BE SURE TO MAINTAIN AN AIRSPACE BETWEEN THE ROOF SHEATHING AND THE TOP OF THE INSULATION FOR PROPER AIR FLOW,these things can drive you mad,just take it one step at a time,and be sure to pick the right contractors for the job,---please post pictures of your house/roof so we can give you better information
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