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Old 08-05-2011, 03:55 PM   #1
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Black Forest Renovation


My wife and I found our dream home in our dream town -- a typical German row house in the northern Schwarzwald. It's on the older side, and needs some work. I promised her I wouldn't get in over my head on upgrade projects, but each chunk of plaster I pull off seems to more completely convince me that it needs a near-total interior renovation. With a target move-in date of September 1st, I have 13 months. Wish me luck; I'm probably going to need it.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:02 PM   #2
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Another German house! I can give you advice. dorf dude...

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Old 08-05-2011, 04:40 PM   #3
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Another German house! I can give you advice. dorf dude...
Dude! You're the reason I'm here in the first place. I just joined, but have truly been following your thread for several months. a) my hat is off to you. Seriously. You've already taught me much. But,

b) you've probably inspired me to jump in beyond my abilities! Don't let my wife find out your address! I definitely look forward to your advice.

All the best...
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:33 PM   #4
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One early lesson learned is that all waste has to be sorted in Germany. (I already knew that, but sometimes I'm a slow learner.) Construction waste (bauschutt) can't contain wood or other biodegradable products. The German equivalent of lath (for plaster) is corn straw; or was in the old days. It only took one wall of picking the straw out of the plaster after it was on the floor to convince me that there had to be a better way. A hammer-drill on chisel-only mode, when held perpendicular to the wall, puts most of the plaster on the ground, and leaves most of the straw on the wall. Discovered it by luck.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
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How far are you from 92271 post code?
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:43 PM   #6
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How far are you from 92271 post code?
About 3 hours. I live and work in Heidelberg. I travel to Graf from time to time, though.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:48 PM   #7
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One early lesson learned is that all waste has to be sorted in Germany. (I already knew that, but sometimes I'm a slow learner.) Construction waste (bauschutt) can't contain wood or other biodegradable products. The German equivalent of lath (for plaster) is corn straw; or was in the old days. It only took one wall of picking the straw out of the plaster after it was on the floor to convince me that there had to be a better way. A hammer-drill on chisel-only mode, when held perpendicular to the wall, puts most of the plaster on the ground, and leaves most of the straw on the wall. Discovered it by luck.
I went through the same thing! That looks soooooo familiar. What ever your estimate is add 4 times the time and 3 times the money. It will take much longer than expected. Many little things are going to crop up and slow you down. How far away are you from me? How old is the house? dorf dude...
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:40 AM   #8
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My inner artist see's potential for that wall on the right. I would sand the beams and putz, stucco, the wall leaving the beams exposed. I want to see more pics! How many square meters is it? Once you get a few more posts then I can PM you.. dorf dude...
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:08 PM   #9
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How old is the house?
The papers say built in 1925. However, we've found quite a few older newspapers used as floor levelers, or wall levelers, or stuffing underneath plaster, etc. One is from 1894. If the house was built in 1925, then someone was working with a stack of 30-year old newspapers. That seems odd to me.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:40 PM   #10
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One early lesson learned is that all waste has to be sorted in Germany. (I already knew that, but sometimes I'm a slow learner.) Construction waste (bauschutt) can't contain wood or other biodegradable products. The German equivalent of lath (for plaster) is corn straw; or was in the old days. It only took one wall of picking the straw out of the plaster after it was on the floor to convince me that there had to be a better way. A hammer-drill on chisel-only mode, when held perpendicular to the wall, puts most of the plaster on the ground, and leaves most of the straw on the wall. Discovered it by luck.
Man I am glad we don't have that law here in the US. The plaster, here in the southern part of the states, was mixed with horse hair as a binder, talk about a nightmare to separate. I noticed that the lath runs vertical there, here it ran horizontal with 1/4- 3/8 inch spaces between for the plaster to ooze through and bond.

I am with DD, that wall on the left would look fantastic like he described doing. Exposing as much of the beams as possible would for sure be the plan for me.

About 15 years of my career was restoring the old antique homes of the early 1800s, DD isn't kidding about the time and cost of restoring, but it is soooo well worth the effort and expense.

I just remembered that one of the homes we restored, the cabinets were built of antique wood from the Black Forest, the patina was beautiful.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:23 PM   #11
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I see a small green dumpster in front of the house. Those things will get very expensive. I learned to get the taller ones. The pick up and delivery charges are the big expense, not the actual material inside. Same cost no matter the size of the dumpster. Some companies have them with a door on the front so you can get a wheelbarrow in. We really need to talk, dorf dude...
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:10 AM   #12
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I see a small green dumpster in front of the house. Those things will get very expensive. I learned to get the taller ones. The pick up and delivery charges are the big expense, not the actual material inside. Same cost no matter the size of the dumpster. Some companies have them with a door on the front so you can get a wheelbarrow in. We really need to talk, dorf dude...
I think it's the largest one (5.5 qm) I'll get in there. I worked or talked with four different companies, and the next size up has a larger footprint. The dumpster and the trailer next to it literally fill my entire "front yard". In fact, the dumpster actually hangs a couple of inches into the street and also a bit over the neighbor's trash bin. It's a tight fit. I had to move the sandstone front stairs to get it in there at all, and here's a picture showing how I broke one of the large steps. Oops. On the upside, my container company doesn't charge by time; they don't care how long it sits between exchanges. That's good, because my work will be sporadic. I won't even get down there for at least another three weeks, for example.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:16 AM   #13
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My inner artist see's potential for that wall on the right. I would sand the beams and putz, stucco, the wall leaving the beams exposed.
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Originally Posted by jiju1943
I am with DD, that wall on the left would look fantastic like he described doing. Exposing as much of the beams as possible would for sure be the plan for me.
And I'm with you both. This particular wall is exterior, so I'm planning to cover it with insulation and plaster. But there are several interior walls with the same appearance and I am definitely looking forward to leaving the beams exposed. I like the look as well!
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:26 AM   #14
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I think it's the largest one (5.5 qm) I'll get in there. I worked or talked with four different companies, and the next size up has a larger footprint. The dumpster and the trailer next to it literally fill my entire "front yard". In fact, the dumpster actually hangs a couple of inches into the street and also a bit over the neighbor's trash bin.
Try to get a dumpster with a lid so that you can use a padlock to lock the lid, especially if the dumpster is easily accessible from the street. There are some strange people who throw their waste into foreign dumpsters, saving themselves some time and money, contaminating your pre-sorted waste.

Greetings from southern Germany
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:17 AM   #15
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And I'm with you both. This particular wall is exterior, so I'm planning to cover it with insulation and plaster. But there are several interior walls with the same appearance and I am definitely looking forward to leaving the beams exposed. I like the look as well!
Man, I don't know my right from my left.

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