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Old 03-08-2011, 11:34 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Centre County, PA
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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.
- 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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Welcome aboard! Keep your list handy as we are here to help!



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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
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Centre County, PA
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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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Hey Nivk. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. Look at it this 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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