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Old 03-14-2012, 09:30 PM   #1
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Early 80s split level.


I figured it was about time I started my own thread about our families adventure!!!

Early 2011.....wife and I decide we are gonna get married. Both second marriages for us. I have 2 daughters (12&15) she has 1 son (6).We marry -Nov 26-2011.....day after my b-day!! We are currently expecting a daughter in mid April.

During dinner with her dad one day he offers us the family home my wife grew up in. $50,000 under market value (approx $180,000 for us) and allows us to start clean out, demo, renovations before we purchase the house. At the time I still had previous home on the market (short sale) and wife still had hers. Wife and I are all excited, put together a budget, to do list and get started about mid september, estimating a completion date of approx late December-early January.

Things start a bit slow....clean up is a bit of a chore (2 20yd roll-offs just for junk) but we soldier on with clean up, some demo, finding contractors (only needed 2, drywall taper and plumbing rough) and starting the ordering process for materials.

Job entailed......3 bathroom major renovations, 1 complete kitchen renovation, wall removal/beam installation, misc repairs on an older home and some drywall work.

More to come in following posts....

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Old 03-14-2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Early 80s split level.


Where to start.......

Wall removal beam install.

Between the living room and dining room in most split levels is typically a full wall or a wall with a pass thru. This house had an approx 8' opening in the center of a 16' wall.

I've taken a wall out in a friends split level before and it's not that big a deal. There's only attic space above so it's a matter of bringing the appropriate beams inside, building a temp wall, taking out the old wall, rerouting any electrical, hvac, installing beams, studs to support and voila!!

I must say if you are at all unsure about doing a project like this PLEASE do not attempt!! When you read about someone's description it may sound easy.....it takes plenty of research, knowledge and cups of coffee to get it right!!!
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:16 AM   #3
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Early 80s split level.


A bit more info before returning to the pics.


The father in law has been living in the house on his own since his wife passed away approx 5yrs ago. He's not really to keen on cleaning......or changing light bulbs, opening windows....you probably get the picture!!!

On the exterior the house is great. 5-8yr old architectural shingles, same age vinyl siding, mature (slightly overgrown) landscaping, nice lawn and a corner lot on a cul-de-sac to boot!!

Because of the age of the house all the mechanicals are in good shape as well. Copper/PVC plumbing, 100amp electrical with modern wiring, HVAC system has been updated.

Cosmetically......the house was a disaster!!!
Original dark brown carpeting, most (1 newer toilet) bathroom fixtures were original, wallpaper, painted paneling, bathroom flooring, kitchen cabinets....the house was a time capsule from the 1980s!!

Some of the demo pics may show some of this.....during that phase pictures weren't tops on my mind....I just wanted the stuff gone!!
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:51 PM   #4
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Early 80s split level.


The kitchen

Split levels typically have the living room, dining room, and kitchen on the ground level floor. There are a few variations on the placement of the rooms amongst the builders of the time. This model has the kitchen behind the attached 2 car garage and is 22x10. When I first saw the inside of the house the kitchen struck me as really poorly laid out. You'd enter thru a 36" door centered on the 10' wall with then stove and some upper/lower cabinets on the right, fridge and sink and a small peninsula on the left with upper/lowers as well. The dining area was at the far end with a 6' patio door on the 21' wall into the yard.

Problems I saw.....nowhere near enough cabinets/counter space for a family of 6!!

I love to cook......there's no way with 4 kids that having them walk thru the kitchen to the table was gonna fly with me!!

I told the wife one day during the early stages....let's flip the kitchen!! She seemed hesitant but intrigued....her dad said "you can't do that......can you?!"

Current layout.....enter kitchen thru 5' opening on 10' wall, walk past dining area (on the left when entering) into the "kitchen"'part. Island sink/dishwasher in center (with a view out the patio door into the yard), L shaped kitchen against garage wall and exterior wall.

I'll try to post some pics in order.
Questions comments feel free to ask!
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:47 AM   #5
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Early 80s split level.


The entry foyer

The 80s were famous for wallpaper!!
This foyer was a showcase for it!

Most of it peeled off in sheets fairly easily.....some of it not so much....

Once all the paper was off it was onto the glue!

My method....wet wall with hot water using a sponge, wait a few minutes for glue to soften, wet a little again and then scrape with putty knife, wet again, repeat, wipe down again with water, repeat until happy!! I repaired any cracks, holes, etc.

I primed with some oil based primer that I had tinted (I was getting sick of white)....covered good....the buzz.....not so good. Painted the ceiling, 2 coats on the walls and....tada!!!

The floor in the foyer is the only floor in the house that stayed. Millwork still needs to be replaced with white painted trim.

Now to the pics!!
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:10 PM   #6
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Early 80s split level.


Wife would have killed me if I did demo before removing every single piece of furniture...


You're a brave soul indeed...



Like you, I love to update a house. Move walls, windows, lights, etc, etc.

Fun stuff!



What you've done looks great....
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:25 PM   #7
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Early 80s split level.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ktkelly
Wife would have killed me if I did demo before removing every single piece of furniture...

You're a brave soul indeed...

Like you, I love to update a house. Move walls, windows, lights, etc, etc.

Fun stuff!

What you've done looks great....
Thank you sir!!
Fortunately (or unfortunately) some of the furniture in the pics isn't even ours!! Since the house was her parents it was quite a bit of their old stuff.
A few trips to Goodwill (after several attempts at selling/giving stuff away) and that stuff is gone!!

My old house sold before this house was ready....we're doing a renovation AND living here!!

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