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Old 11-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
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The Bowman House


We started looking casually at moving in mid-late 2011 but never really found much that fit our requirements to 'make' us move. Early this year, I saw this house listed as a short sale for $170k but from the pics it looked horrible. It dropped off the listings but came back on in early May and I looked at it again.

It turns out this was Abram Bowman's house whom Bowman Field is named after. He along with his partner Bob Gast are considered the fathers of Louisville, KY aviation. It's not considered a 'historic' building which is fine with us, just kind of neat that there is some history behind it.

We went with our agent for a walk through and could tell it would be a major renovation project but saw a lot of potential also. After a few days of thinking things through, we did another walk through just to double check on stuff. We also found then it had been taken off the market because the bank was tired of lowball offers and said they wouldn't take anything under $150k.

So, we went $158k so the bank would just go ahead and bite on it and they did. The inspection confirmed what I thought it needed, add on a roof replacement though.

3 weeks later, someone broke in and stole the copper piping from the basement. Add a PEX redo to the list.

After 3 months, we finally closed with $11,200 for repairs, making effective price $147k.

Fast forward 9.5 weeks and we moved in. Roof, new back door to replace the one that was busted in, new 92% hvac, new kitchen floor (Trafficmaster Allure Ultra, I like it so far), refinished all hardwood floors, painted all trim/walls/ceilings, remodeled the first floor bath down to studs and back up, new sump pump, new Rinnai condensing tankless water heater, etc etc.

We still have a ton to do, like new light fixtures in all rooms, replace all outlets (have a few done already), rewire several rooms to get rid of some old BX cabling, gutter work, leaking brick foundation by one chimney, move a wall upstairs, remodel the upstairs bathroom and build a laundry room on back side of that wall, etc etc etc etc. You know the story.

Here are some before pics.
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Last edited by SuperJETT; 11-06-2012 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
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The Bowman House


These pics are from various weeks after getting some things done.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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Some of the initial problems:
First floor bath---ceiling messed up from roof leak, bathtub didn't drain, old everything
Second floor bath---horrible condition overall, but functional barely
Kitchen---bird nest in range hood, they had a broom wedged in the cutlery drawer holding bags/stuff up in the range hood to keep the birds out, dishwasher not functional and cover missing, fridge very old and small, floor old, all trim and beadboard painted in fake wood grain
Basement---hvac not working for several years, sump pump not functional, water heater vented into chimney that was 100% blocked, lots of BX cable-some is the really old bad stuff, copper piping was stolen 3 weeks after we had accepted contract, galvanized pipe feeding one bathroom, water leaks through brick foundation in one area during rain
Outside---roof needed replaced, gutters need some work, drainage needs work
Overall---everything needed painting, lots of old wallpaper, 3 rooms had carpet which smelled bad from smoke/etc
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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Looking great so far. Nice use of color. The kitchen looks good.



Is that kitchen flooring Allure vinyl?
I ask because I used it and it only has a sliver of color on top. A small scratch revealed nice white vinyl core that sticks out like a sore thumb. Of coarse I went and used the darkest color available.....
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
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It's the Allure Ultra vinyl, about twice as thick as the regular stuff. I haven't noticed any scratches yet and from installation can't recall seeing any white but will look closer when I get home today.

The kitchen is temporary. We plan on doing a full remodel in a year or two. Right now there is the L-shaped section of cabinets with stove/fridge and on the left side is a straight section with the sink/dishwasher. I want to remove the straight section and add a large island in the middle of the room plus move the fridge and rearrange the L section somewhat.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:06 AM   #6
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Lately I've been trying to seal things up to keep our gas bill from being $500/month this winter. Door sweeps, put a cat flap in the door to the basement so we can keep it closed, pipe insulation for the hot water lines, etc etc.

I'm doing some more thermal imaging tonight/tomorrow morning but have a good feeling that the next items to hit are attic insulation, windows, and the basement. The windows will have to wait until next year but the attic and basement I can tackle now.

The basement is only 1/2 underground, with 6 small-medium sized windows and a door. To me, that means it stays colder than typical and since we have a fairly large first floor footprint, means I need to work on the envelope for it with the rim joists, windows, etc.

Last bill, we had an average temp of 50F and used 100 ccf of gas. Yikes. Our last house was quite a bit smaller, a lot newer, and the highest ccf usage last year was 134 on a month with average temp of 40. I could see our usage being close to double that and it makes me want to focus on efficiency more than normal.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:48 PM   #7
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How did you do the thermal imaging? Did you rent a FLIR camera?
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:50 PM   #8
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We use one at work and I'm the one who keeps it in my office, so...

Unfortunately this one is almost 8 years old and seems to have fried the battery circuit so it only works when plugged in without a battery installed. I'm looking at a new Fluke imager for around $9000 to replace it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:12 PM   #9
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10,300 views----popular thread--need more pictures
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:29 PM   #10
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I had quit posting them because only 1 person had actually commented, figured it wasn't that interesting.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:30 AM   #11
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Thermal imaging from this morning. Gray-scale, white is cold.

Pic 1 is a door that opens to a sunroom which has it's air register shut off and is exposed underneath to the outside with most of the insulation fallen off. I plan on doing fiberglass batts between the joists with rigid foam across the joists to seal it up on the bottom. The door has a towel acting as a draft blocker since it has a good 1/2" gap to the floor.
Pic 2 is the top of that door.
Pic 3 has an open hole where an outlet box used to be and a gfci outlet on the right without a cover. You can see the gfci has a little bit of warmth but the box is cold.
Pic 4 is the door to the basement steps with the new cat door. Looks like it's helping keep some cold out but could use some weatherstripping and a door sweep.
Pic 5 is the old range hood fan housing above the microwave. I have it siliconed shut but need to insulate/seal the cavity.
Pic 6 shows the front door is noticeably colder than the room, needs weatherstripping and a better sealing outside door It has a nicely sealing sweep but the aluminum threshold is cold.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:06 PM   #12
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You do have an interesting thread---The number of views is curious---keep up the pictures/
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:40 PM   #13
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The first floor bathroom was today's project. When removing the window trim it broke the right side of the window frame, so I had to put an oak board behind it for support. Overall, I'm happy with it. I've never done a window before, but it was simple.

The window is a basic vinyl Thermastar from Lowes, the big windows in the original portions of the house will be much nicer windows when I get around to replacing them.

Currently I'm letting the expanding foam set and will trim the inside and seal the outside tomorrow. I'm glad this was my first, it's protected by a roofed-in area outside so it will never see rain or snow, though it looks good outside too.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:22 PM   #14
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The first and last time I used expanding foam on a window, the slider got real tight from slightly bowing the frame of the window.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:35 PM   #15
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I used the door/window foam, it's low pressure and shouldn't cause problems like the normal stuff does.

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