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Old 05-25-2012, 05:54 PM   #61
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526 Lincoln Victorian - AKA The New Money Pit


Hey,
Nice looking place. Found your posts trying to get some information on landscaping my yard, I'm close by in New Berlin, actually drove right past KK and Lincoln on my way to Classic Slice today for lunch.
Anyway, looking forward to your home improvement posts and your blog.
Eric

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Old 06-01-2012, 09:27 PM   #62
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526 Lincoln Victorian - AKA The New Money Pit


Quote:
Originally Posted by 52Caddy View Post
Hey,
Nice looking place. Found your posts trying to get some information on landscaping my yard, I'm close by in New Berlin, actually drove right past KK and Lincoln on my way to Classic Slice today for lunch.
Anyway, looking forward to your home improvement posts and your blog.
Eric
Thanks for reading, great to see other people in the area on the site!

I'll be posting more landscaping stuff later in the summer. I'm actually contracting some of it out (cement stuff).
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:37 PM   #63
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526 Lincoln Victorian - AKA The New Money Pit


Ok.. a quick bathroom update as promised....

subfloor... done.
framing... done.
drywall... done. (more on this later).
Schluter Kerdi waterproofing... failure. (See pics).

Anyways, the bathroom was moving along well. Plumbing done and tested; drywall up, etc. Went to put kerdi on and failed miserably at it. Didn't dampen the drywall with a sponge; didn't mix the thinset loose enough, and used cheap thinset (mapei keraset; couldn't find kerabond anywhere in Milwaukee).

Enjoy the picture of the pulled sheet of kerdi. I also found I missed a 2x4, so the shower drywall is coming down (after I spent 3 hours sanding the thinset off! oh well. lesson learned.).

I found a place that sells laticrete 317, only 11.00 a bag! Got the drywall; so will be cutting and putting up this weekend. Also did a training run with the rest of the old thinset. Put some kerdi on an extra sheet of drywall. The dry run/training went well so I am way more confident in my next effort.

Well, enjoy the photos. Also including the new installed attic hatch. It's a slim pull down ladder. Works well for our tiny hatch. Trying not to overdo the pics, so just the 4...

The shower, with the schluter tray and drain dry fitted...
526 Lincoln Victorian - AKA The New Money Pit-102_4273.jpg

New toilet flange and water supply.
526 Lincoln Victorian - AKA The New Money Pit-102_4278.jpg

Pulled kerdi... horrible job on my part.
526 Lincoln Victorian - AKA The New Money Pit-102_4279.jpg

New attic hatch (sub project, needed to get above bathroom)
526 Lincoln Victorian - AKA The New Money Pit-imag0287.jpg

Next post is the project I did to get myself encouraged again. Needed something I'm good at (hint: framing)
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:54 PM   #64
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I thought I'd catch this thread up, it's been a few years. I think I can size pictures correctly now.

We brought in an engineer who suggested additional supports. We had footing poured, supports added, and all floor joists sistered. This was during a hands off period, where I thought it best to leave everything to professionals. They managed to bring the central wall of the house up an inch or so with no cracking/etc. We're not happy with the sistering, and looking back I should have waited. When we replaced the kitchen I could have gone down to the joists and replaced them (Balloon frame).


Work continues to manage water, both sides of the house, all down spouts and the rear patio all drain to daylight in the front yard. This was before everything else. It works best during pouring rain, where you can stand out on the sidewalk and watch all the water flow.


When we had the new rear porch & side walk poured; they built their forms right into our drainage. Sigh. Had to redo it. It was another 'hands off' project, but we had discussed the drainage lines and that I would be tying into them (downspout, patio drain). I lost my temper a bit when I saw this situation. In the end, they came back and moved the forms; while connecting the patio drain for me.


In the end, we got it done.. new walks/porch, with drain patio:


Retaining walls, etc. The guy who did this was really nice, but never did the sealing; and won't return calls/etc. But it's holding up well.



A cut-away view of the drainage:


Next post I'll catch up on the master bathroom and kitchen projects.
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:44 AM   #65
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I sat down to post the kitchen update last night and ended up spending 3 hours sorting pictures that we've been dumping into 'unsorted' for a few years. The good news is I found lots of pictures that I thought were missing. The kitchen post can now be more of a DIY post than just a showcase of the finished product.

This post is to review the current problems with the house:
  • The house stinks right now, and I'm worried the sewer connection has collapsed.
  • There is water everywhere in the basement: north, south, east and west. Humidity has skyrocketed. The external landscaping/drainage system appears to be a failure.
  • Our gas/electric bill in the winter is $350+, with our attic perfectly warm. We know that its all heat because our last bill was $125. The ducts are wrong/leaky, and include a large run in the attic.
  • The basement stairs are about as old as the house, and starting to fail. But they're only 31" wide and about 9' deep (for a 8 foot climb). I need 36" by ~10' to fit an up to code set of stairs in there. What the hell do I do, illegal stairs?
  • The bilco entrance is soaking wet and continues to be a personal waterfall feature in the basement.
  • There is a collection of old pipes and gutter drains running in the basement that need to be removed.
  • The sump pump needs to pump outside, not into one of the gutter drains. (yep, that's how basement systems installed it)
  • The windows are mostly installed wrong, the best window in the house being the new kitchen window. The plan is to slowly replace windows, but the living room windows unacceptably leak air in the winter/summer.
  • One of the sills (balloon frame, so big 10' X 10' beam), is rotting; with wood starting to fall away from it.
  • The cement by the garage is sinking, with an almost 2 inch gap now created.
  • The front entry has a rotting beam that was just sitting on a cement block. The front door does not open/close.

I don't even know how to prioritize these, but my solution break downs are currently:

Foundation/Basement:
  • Figure out how to get a decent set of basement stairs inside the house
  • Remove the bilco entracnce.
  • External excavate, tuck point, waterproofing and insulation on the foundation.
  • Remove basement systems drain tile, put the sump pit in the ground lower (it's sitting 2 inches out of the ground!), then I'll drain tile around the entire basement interior instead of just 'the north part'.
  • While I'm ripping up basement floor, I'll remove all of the old piping/etc. This is one of those things that balloons on you and you end up replacing it all. I'm ok with that.
  • Tuck point interior basement walls where necessary.

Landscaping:
  • Have cement by garage removed, and pour a new pad that extends all the way to the alley, for garbage cans to sit on.
  • Possibly pour a cement swale/gutter between my house and the neighbors, I'm out of ideas here.
  • Fix grading

Exterior:
  • Minimally, new front picture/bay/whatever they're called window. Properly installed/weather sealed.
  • New gutters, with front down spouts connecting to drainage system.
  • fill in patio where bilco was :-)
  • Redo front porch, it's rotting and all the screws are rusting.

Heating:
  • Spray foam attic (the ceiling of it), bringing it into the envelope.
  • Sit down and do the hvac math, I'm not sure we have proper returns/etc.
  • Replace windows slowly over time.

I'm very overwhelmed.
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:56 AM   #66
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526 Lincoln Victorian - AKA The New Money Pit


Look at it like a puzzle, don't look at it over all, but one part at a time. Do what you know needs to be done first, finish that then move on to the next on your list and before you know it, you will be done.

When building some of the huge houses a few years back, when I first got a set of plans it looked overwhelming, but when I went through each step to build that house, it was a piece of cake.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:41 PM   #67
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Alright, let's build a kitchen! The old kitchen had some major problems. I think the #1 was how cold it was in the winter. But #2 was easily, "Where do you cook?" You didn't want to be in there. The windows had clear drafts, the floor was freezing, and there was no counter space at all.

Oh, and the draw closest to the range didn't open; the range was in the way.



First, every window in our home starts at knee level. It drives me right up a wall. This isn't going to work for a kitchen. The approach was to frame the new window, then apply plywood on the exterior; followed by cutting out the hole for the window.

Once there was a whole cut out, the sill was weather stripped. The window was nailed in and then the rest of the sides weather stripped. I'm pretty proud of it.



Some trim, caulk, drywall and sanding later it was done. It was nice I got to use my new router to round off the interior sill myself. It's deep enough to sit plans on. The old window was installed... horribly. It almost fell out once the trim on both sides wasn't holding it in place.



Second, find an electrical contractor who will cooperate. I ended up finding one I was pretty happy with. He agreed we could remove the drywall below counter level and it would be enough for him to run everything. Before he started, I put 4 boxes of screws into the floor. I started by going over the original floor and screwing it into the joists. Then, I added 5/6" plywood on offsets, spaced; with specifically did not screw into joists.

In these pictures, the sub-floor is mostly complete and the wire has all been roughed in. This passed inspection.


With the rough in approved, it was time to insulate, patch the dry wall, and paint. This would leave the room ready for all the fun stuff. The pictured range is dual-fuel. My foodie wife wanted gas top, electric oven (for proper broiling apparently.)



That's a good stopping point. What will happen in the exciting conclusion? lol.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:24 AM   #68
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So, a brief break from uploading kitchen images.

The primary problem with the house, is still the foundation and water entry. Fixing anything else is simply avoiding the issue. I've had many posts on here and many contracts with contractors for various fixes.

I remember when I started this journey, you read an awful lot about fixing grading and downspouts. All the literature says "Don't ignore this, fix this first". It wasn't until recently that I took a good look at the front yard and realized that just like the back of the house, it was graded towards the home.

The side yard was worse, especially after my neighbor poured his new sidewalk over his old one. So, I set out to do some grading, including both the front and side yards. Here are some pictures.

Three yards of dirt.


Preparing to start:


The front:


The side, done as a swale:


I used a hand tamper after every few inches of dirt, and an old piece of 2x4 as a screed. This mini-project cost ~$200.00. We're planning to have the gutters redone, but that is a future post.

Are my pictures now too small?

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