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Old 03-08-2011, 11:34 AM   #1
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New homeowner with OLD home


Greetings all - This past fall I bought my first home... a ~1890 duplex in central PA, so I have become a homeowner and a landlord all at once!

It is in decent shape for its age but there are many things in need of attention. I haven't done much since the winter, but now that the weather is getting better (and my bank account has recovered a little from the purchase) I'm starting to think about improvements.

I generally consider myself pretty handy, but I've never tackled anything on this scale. Some things I will not be able to do myself b/c the house is very tall (3 levels in back) with a very steep roof. I'm planning on contacting professionals to deal with:

Roofing - a leak exists in a seam above my bedroom. There are at least 3 layers of shingle that need to be torn off. Will probably replace in sections b/c of the cost.
Siding - old asbestos is falling apart in places... not really a priority yet.
Window casings - the windows are new but the old wooden casings on the exterior are falling apart.
Electrical - needs some upgrading & I'm not brave enough to mess with this
Plumbing - low water pressure upstairs & some pipes freeze in winter. This could be a DIY project, but I need to figure out exactly what is wrong 1st.

My Plans for DIY projects are:

Side retaining wall - gravel from the side parking area was heaped against the siding & resulted in water leaking into the basement wall. Clearing the gravel and building a barrier should solve this.
Basement Door - leaks like crazy and barely locks. Needs replacing.
Basement Walls
- Old stone block foundation is sound, but the mortar is disintegrating in places. I need to clean it up and replace with new mortar.
70's carpeting - On the 2nd floor and stairs. It is hideous & worn through in places. Will replace with laminate.
Ceilings - sagging & water stained in a couple rooms. Will tear out and replace (maybe with a drop ceiling system).
Kitchen Cabinets & Counter
- Tiny and falling apart. I need to come up with a plan for this.
Painting/Trim
- If I ever get through all that other stuff I'd like to change the color of some rooms.

So I didn't realize how long the list was until I jut wrote it all out like this, and honestly I'm a bit intimidated... but still looking forward to it. I'm glad I found this forum. I think I'm going to need a lot of help!

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Old 03-08-2011, 11:50 PM   #2
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New homeowner with OLD home


Welcome aboard! Keep your list handy as we are here to help!

Gary

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Old 03-09-2011, 03:43 PM   #3
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Gotta love that 70's carpet!
Sounds like you will be busy a long while! Congrats!
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
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Welcome to the site !
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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New homeowner with OLD home


Hey Guys, thanks for the welcomes! I haven't been back to the site for a while, but with the improving weather I've actually had some opportunities to work on my list.

Scuba Dave - I like your thread documenting all the work you've done on your place. From the bits that I browsed through it looked like some pretty impressive stuff. And I like the idea of keeping a record of all the work in one place. It wont be nearly as ambitious, but may have to start something like that myself.
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:51 AM   #6
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Congratulations and Welcome to the Forum.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:53 PM   #7
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New homeowner with OLD home


Hey Nivk. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. Look at it this way...you won't get bored.

As an aside, when you mentioned a 19th century house and flagging water pressure on the second floor I immediately thought "galvanized pipes". Start looking for good deals on copper and stock up!

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