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Old 09-07-2011, 08:31 PM   #1
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'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...


Hi Everyone,

Partner and I of 5 years bought our first home in late April of this year (2011). We purchased a 1959 (...we think? Can't seem to find a good record anywhere) brick ranch on slab. It is approximately 1755 SF with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a den, a living room, dining and kitchen.
The place also had a giant outdoor shed which we promptly demolished since it was breeding every insect imaginable, took up half the yard and was rotting away at the base. That area has since been claimed back by partner's garden. I do not possess a green thumb...

The house was built very well from what I can tell. There are diagonal tongue and groove boards on all exterior walls of the house behind the drywall.

We have a fairly low pitch roof (which has 5 years of life remaining at most unfortunately) and it is surrounded by HORRIBLE gutters which have been cleaned but are currently in the process of being removed. They are in miserable shape, leak everywhere, have been patched a thousand times and are basically glued to the fascia with a mix of indoor/outdoor caulk that was never smoothed out. Overhand is about 2'8" so I think going without gutters is a viable option. What scares me is that although I don't see any major structural problems in the house anywhere, we had a very dry summer this year (drought for ~2/3 months) and then a deluge for the last week and I'm seeing cracks above doors, etc. Something to tackle down the road...

The house was rented out before we moved in for a few years. The tenants were.... undesirable to say the least. They didn't take care of anything. There is a spit stain from dip on a hallway wall to give you an idea...

The house has lots of character. There are quite a few pocket doors, a pink/black tile hallway bathroom, a yellow/black tile master bathroom and two built-in dressers/cabinets in two bedrooms. Unfortunately, the laundry appliances are currently in the kitchen. That will be changed this year some time.

We have two dogs (I'm sure you'll see plenty of them in the posts...) so when we moved in, we had to build a fence. I like modern/contemporary design, so I opted for that design in the fence. We are nearly done with it, but still want to add a top ledge to it.

One last thing: the house is on a corner lot. We really liked this when looking, but have realized it has a few drawbacks including a bit less privacy and a bit more foot traffic along with a slightly awkward yard. I think that has more to do with how the house was built on the lot. I will post pictures and layouts of everything in the coming posts.

Thanks for coming along for our journey from funk to (hopefully) awesome.

Nate(and JD)

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Old 09-07-2011, 09:03 PM   #2
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'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...


*SORRY ALL THE PICTURES ARE OUT OF ORDER! I am just catching up here so it's easier in the future to post updates.*

'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_2477.jpg
Here is the shed that went bye-bye. It was built with hurricane nails. Anyone ever torn something down that was built with hurricane nails? Not fun. Takes all of your energy and motivation for weeks...


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_2481.jpg
Above is the side of our house which borders a neighbor. It has the chainlink fence still... we are working on demo-ing that and putting up a small section of wood fence to connect to the neighbor's. Notice the lovely graffiti. How does this happen? It looks owner-inflicted. Oh well... we intend to paint the house a cream color one day anyway.


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_2490.jpg
Here is the sad, sad kitchen as of the week we moved in. It hasn't changed much since then. It will be such a major project that I'm leaving it for later. We intend to replace all of the cabinets and appliances (and move the laundry appliances to a dedicated room off of the hallway that we'll be making).


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_2492.jpg
Here's the gloomy hallway which has about a one foot dropped ceiling to create a void for airflow. I intend to knock this out, regain some headspace and run new ductwork to all of the rooms it currently supplies (bedrooms and bathrooms).


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_2493.jpg
Here's the nice, pink bathroom. I am torn with this one. In one sense, it can be restored beautifully and toned down with a few techniques I've read about. On the other hand, I would NEVERRR want this bathroom, so I will have to work on giving myself the right solution. Budget is a big concern with this place, so chances are bringing it back to a version of its former glory will probably win here.

Notice the glorious burglar bars. These are still left in the bathrooms only. We had to remove them from EVERY SINGLE WINDOW IN THE ENTIRE HOUSE after moving in. They were in there pretty good... sawsall came in handy...


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_2496.jpg
Lastly, here is a photo of one of the bedroom built-in dresser/cabinets. I really like these, but I want to take off the doors and make them open shelves and obviously paint everything and give it new hardware. This bedroom is the only one in the whole house that doesn't have quarter inch drywall. It has a strange textured paneling which I think will look awesome when it's painted, maybe even a two-tone look with a white and a cream paint... time will tell.


I can only post six photos at a time, so I hope that you'll keep checking in to see what else has been posted. I would love feedback. As a reminder, I'm big on contemporary/modern style, so I am hoping to incorporate that to this house while also keeping its roots as a traditional ranch.


See ya soon,
Nate

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Last edited by natedro; 09-08-2011 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:37 PM   #3
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'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...


*whistle*

That's quite the project you've got there! So much potential though.

I really love the TnG paneling on the underside of the overhangs. It really adds quite a bit of character. I myself have been considering stained TnG paneling on mine, as well as brick vaneer to chair rail moulding part way up the exterior walls.

Can you elaborate more on the gap that appears in the hallway? It is just sticky vinyl tile that somebody didn't cut the last few tiles for?
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thadius856 View Post
*whistle*

That's quite the project you've got there! So much potential though.

I really love the TnG paneling on the underside of the overhangs. It really adds quite a bit of character. I myself have been considering stained TnG paneling on mine, as well as brick vaneer to chair rail moulding part way up the exterior walls.

Can you elaborate more on the gap that appears in the hallway? It is just sticky vinyl tile that somebody didn't cut the last few tiles for?
I wish that I could say we had real tongue and groove boards under the overhang... That's aluminum unfortunately. In the future, I will figure out its fate.

In the hallway, the gap you're referring to is from an a/c drain overflow the second night we were here. The cheapo vinyl tiles came right off as the water flowed in that spot. Fortunately I found it as soon as I got home for lunch that day and was able to get it fixed immediately. I guess it doesn't matter much as in the end (like most everything else), the floors are all being replaced. There will likely be a floating wood laminate floor over most of the house.

I am going to try to post some more pictures tonight also. I will be checking your thread too. Hey also, I was reading your thread and I'm also 25 and just bought this house when I was 24. Ironic, eh?
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:47 PM   #5
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'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_2499.jpg
Here is the master bedroom as of the month we moved in. Notice the fancy (I know, classy...) trashbag curtains. I debated whether or not this was an improvement from total lack of privacy or the blankets the trashy renters had in all the windows before over the burglar bars. This room, like most others, had some form of cheapo floor tile. This is peel and stick vinyl tile from the dollar store probably. It isn't even laid well. There are gaps and the lines curve if you keep following the edges. This room is about 90% complete now. It has carpet tiles laid, all new patched and painted walls, a new ceiling fan, all new electrical outlets, painted trim, new curtains and blinds. The closets have also been painted and given the carpet tiles, but I am trying to build a custom closet in the walk-in, but am failing as I keep getting distracted by the other 1849723814936218749372 things I could be doing... more updates on this later, I guess!


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_2502.jpg
This is the bathroom off of the master bedroom. It's tiny, but all we needed. I haven't measured, but I'm guessing it's around 5x5 with a shower nook behind the door. The toilet is sort of in an odd spot, but we can't do much with that considering the plumbing is in a slab and the budget is of importance.

The vanity and sink will be getting replaced, the gas heater will be getting removed, the walls need to be painted, recessed lights and a new H/L/V are going in at some point in the future. The tiles need some TLC in places (I found an online vendor that stocks these, surprisingly). There was a cabinet above the shower stall (more pics on that later) that I ripped out as it made the shower about 6'6" tall a.k.a. claustrophobic. I have yet to rip down the ceiling to the shower, even though there's nothing above it. I am trying to figure out a way to do this with the least damage to the rest of the shower. I really don't mind the tile colors in this bathroom at all. It's just the fixutres (and everything else?) that need to be updated.


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_2508.jpg
This is the front of the house a few weeks after we moved in. At this point, we had trimmed the crepe myrtles, killed and removed all sorts of monstrous, overgrown azalea bushes and ripped out a brick planter built along the carport that our inspector told us could breed termites. It was poorly built anyway, so no problem ripping it out. You might notice that in the yard there are dead patches. This would be from the trash who lived here previously parking IN THE YARD... Why? Maybe because 20 of them lived in a 3 bedroom home? Who knows...

The brick will eventually be painted a light creamy white color and we will be replacing the frilly patio supports with a solid wood beam and maybe some horizontal slats (like this). We also need to remove the burglar door over the front entrance, but for now, the locks aren't even all changed yet, so we're waiting on that. There are horrible terracotta tiles on the front patio that are going to be removed and then I will probably be repairing and painting the concrete and then landscaping the front yard (what is this... 5 years from now? )


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_2516.jpg
Just another picture of the side of the house bordering a neighbor. These gutters are halfway ripped down now. All they do is collect the tree branches and leaves from the neighbor's trees. I can't wait until they're all gone.


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110519_120830.jpg
Here was the fence when we were building it. It's ~90% done now. The fence is built and the gate is in, but we never finished the top ledge, so we need to do that... someday... In this picture, the shed is gone from the side of the house and the satellite dish they left is still up. That's down now also (who leaves a satellite dish behind???).


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110604_160320.jpg
Here's a progress picture taken when I was about halfway done with the master. I hadn't painted yet and I was filling in the million holes and bumps in the walls/ceilings... these people hadn't taken care of anything in YEARS.



All in all... it's going to take a very long time to get this place to my level of nice. I'm glad we've got pictures though. They are definitely a motivator to see all the little changes and progress we've made.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:13 PM   #6
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'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110604_160408.jpg
This is where a weird cabinet was above the shower stall in the master bathroom. I ripped that out and am currently in the process of demo-ing this little shower ceiling and opening it up. I have no idea how to do this without damaging more of the shower. Any advice anyone can offer me?


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110619_184654.jpg
Here is the master bedroom (bed area... hence the lamps) about 50% complete. We hadn't yet put in the new carpet tiles, electrical outlets or ceiling fan at this point. Bedlamps were $40 a piece at Lowe's. We love them.


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110627_162801.jpg
And here are the new carpet tiles in place. I wanted more than just a regular carpet tile floor, so I opted for a black border around the room. It's 4" wide. I think the total cost of the floor was ~$400 and I have a little left. They were from HD (had to order online... not sold in store). I hadn't yet finished cutting in yet in this picture. That's all done now and we are back living in this room (we had moved to another bedroom while renovating).


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110820_162341.jpg
This is the den off of the carport and living room. It is currently the main focus. We ripped down those ugly square fluffy ceiling tiles (only stapled in fortunately) and put up sheetrock. I also ripped down a giant built-in along the wall to the right that was falling apart and was very neglected.

The ceiling isn't finished yet, but we're working on it (see below). We also ripped up some parquet flooring that was in pretty bad shape. I'm about 99% sure that's asbestos glue on the floor in this room, so we're eagerly looking forward to covering it with a new floor. I bought some rosin paper to lay over the floor this weekend in the mean time. Next picture shows more progress.


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110820_162414.jpg
Opposite view of den. That doorway with the green plastic is becoming a wall and will eventually be the new pantry off of the dining room.


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110907_174739.jpg
So the drywall is up in this picture (not that it's screwed in very well... we are not pros and only did this ceiling because we knew it was the only place in the whole house that needed all new drywall or else we would've paid the pros to do it). You'll notice the 4x9 wall panels in this picture are all patched up. I bought a vinyl wallpaper liner that has a painted texture to it to cover these panels. Like everything else, the panels were beat up. The panels are pretty odd... just like the cheap 80's stuff but without the vertical lines. This is the ultimate goal for the look of the walls in this room. We are replacing all of the moulding around doors and windows and even replacing the door just like that link. We put deglosser on all the panels a few days ago, then I have to sand the joint compound, prime the walls, put up the vinyl wallpaper liner, paint, then put on the wood to make the new look. Quite a process, eh?

I also would like to put 4 recessed lights in here and a modern ceiling fan. I can dream, can't I?
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:22 PM   #7
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'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110907_174859.jpg
This is why I'm ripping down the gutters... 'Nuff said. I have a few pieces down now in this area and it looks 1000000% better without them. I hope the water doesn't affect the house from runoff. The minimalist gravel landscape (at some point in the future?) around the house will probably help with erosion where the rain hits.


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110907_174919.jpg
A picture of the overhand. At 2'8", I feel like we can get away with no gutters. Anyone disagree? I guess time will tell...


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110907_174932.jpg
The beautiful "graffiti" on the back of the house. Of course, there's also a little on the front. Maybe it's a symbol? Spray paint overspray? Who knows...


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-img_20110907_175120.jpg
Here's the inside view of the entrance door to the den from the carport/side patio area. Very sad, right? It's a solid door, but the frame around it was built by Joe the plumber so it needs to be either replaced or rehung badly. I think I'm calling a pro for this.


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-layout.jpg
Here is the current layout. Most of the yard is in front and driveway is on side (corner lot, remember). Neighbors north and east in picture. South and west are the roads around us.


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-newer-layout.jpg
Here is my (current) future layout plan. I need a strucutral engineer in here before I go ripping out the loadbearing wall and putting in an opening, but I'm pretty sure we will be doing that between the kitchen/dining and living rooms. Notice the new laundry nook off of the hallway and the changed kitchen layout.

One day...
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:42 PM   #8
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'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-streetview.jpg
Streetview picture currently on Google. I'd say the exterior has already come a long way. What the is all this?! Hoarders???


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-yard-before.jpg
Here is a picture taken by the appraiser from just before we moved in. Notice the broken down car that was parked there until (literally) the day of closing. Also, enjoy the weeds and aluminum fencing, giant shed and satellite dish.


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Here is our water heater. It was made in the early 50s. Everyone think happy thoughts that this thing will last us long enough to fix many other things (floors? roof? kitchen?) before it dies. Aside from the fact that it's giant (I think 60 gallons), I'm sure it's super inefficient and probably is filled up with 90% sediment. Needless to say, I can't wait for this thing to go.


'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-shed.jpg
Here's another Google Streetview picture showing the original shed, bushes, gutter and fence. All are now gone.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:19 AM   #9
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A couple thoughts...

The bumblebee bathroom is a bit overpowering to me. A few pints of a more pastel yellow on the upper half of the wall would help break it up a little bit, if you're going to stick with the yellow. And I can't see the ceiling, but I sure hope it's a mattee white.

The master bedroom is coming along nicely. The den as well. I really do like the ceiling that you covered up, even if it was unfinished.

The gutters scare me. I think you made the right decision here. With 2'8" of overhang, your brick will never get wet except in severe driving rain. I'd be more concerned with grading from the house than anything else. Ideally, we'd want to see a 1" drop per 1' for the first 6' for this reason. Do the best you can with what you have and be sure to try to keep as much water away from sitting against the side of the house as you can.

I wouldn't call a pro for restarting on the door rough-in. This is a valuable learning experience, and not nearly as hard as it seems.

As for the layout... what gets me the most is the HUGE amount of doors you have. The guest bedroom alone has no less than 6 doors in it. This is the biggest chances I can see for opening up a bunch of the spaces. You're also losing a ton of wall space that could hold shelving, pictures, bookcases, etc. How about... this?

'59ish Brick Ranch: Updating... everything...-layout.jpg

The master bed loses some closet space. This could open up space for a walk-through or walk-in expansion of the existing closet if you feel you need the storage space. The guest bed gains a lot of extra space.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:20 AM   #10
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Oddly enough, I can't see my own image.

I really like the slat idea for the patio. In the image you provided, it works so well because of the matching railing/fence.

Are you planning anything to match the columns?
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natedro View Post

Here is our water heater. It was made in the early 50s. Everyone think happy thoughts that this thing will last us long enough to fix many other things (floors? roof? kitchen?) before it dies. Aside from the fact that it's giant (I think 60 gallons), I'm sure it's super inefficient and probably is filled up with 90% sediment. Needless to say, I can't wait for this thing to go.
Yikes! I'd get that thing replaced soon, hate for it to break and then you'll have to deal with a flood. We just replaced ours and the water is so nice and hot and I have no more rust stain on my shower head, I'm pretty sure it was coming from the tank.

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Here was the fence when we were building it. It's ~90% done now. The fence is built and the gate is in, but we never finished the top ledge, so we need to do that... someday... In this picture, the shed is gone from the side of the house and the satellite dish they left is still up. That's down now also (who leaves a satellite dish behind???).
The previous owner of the house we moved into left the dish and 4 cables running into the theater room which wraps all the way around the side of the house. I'm still trying to figure out what they were connected to because the cable outlets terminate on the other side of the house. lol They didn't have a wall of TVs so I don't know why they need 4 cables in that room, it's one of those mysteries...
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:08 PM   #12
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Just realized that I don't remember a bath tub in the master bath.

It's a 3/4 bath with tiled showed stall only, right?
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thadius856
Just realized that I don't remember a bath tub in the master bath.

It's a 3/4 bath with tiled showed stall only, right?
Yes 3/4 master bath. Tiled stall shower with a very odd 6 foot something tile ceiling even though there's an 8 foot something real finished ceiling above that... (tried to kill it again last night... No luck).
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:29 AM   #14
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Hrm. Well, best of luck!

I'd probably just got at it with a fine-toothed blade on a reciprocating saw on the 2x4 running horizontally above that piece. I imagine there's one in the back the same way. I can imagine the piece with tile will probably lift right out after that, but you do need to do some sawing.

Be sure to keep the tile you remove, if nothing else. They may come in handy in the future!
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:52 AM   #15
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Looking good!

You've got me beat w/ the water heater, Mine is manufactured in 69'.

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