And OLD homes mean DIY projects left and right.
I have purchased a 2 story family home built in 1885 in SE Minnesota (about 100 meters from the Ole Miss herself). She's a nice fixer-upper and I've got many plans over the next 2 or 3 years. She's in a sad state right now, much rotting on the exterior (which means some interior as well I'm sure). She has newer gas furnace (4 years old), a newer central air (about 8 years, but not very good cooling upstairs), a detached cinder block 3 car garage (grandpa was a mechanic in a 'previous life' as he put it).
Step one (completed earlier this year): Replace roof (house and stand alone garage). Contracted it as I'm not much into steep roof and high places.
Step two (completed two weeks ago): Replace ceiling in garage. Grandpa put in drywall ceiling which started collapsing due to water leakage in roof. Got to purchase an air compressor and nail gun
(I'm now officially armed and dangerous).
Step three (completed last weekend): Trim a 43 year old Maple tree away from the house and garage roof (as well as the power lines). Couldn't find the heart to completely remove it as my grandfather planted it the day I was born. Had to contract this work as it involved heights and steep roofs again, and I don't have access to a cherry picker.
Step four (completed yesterday): Strip, fill, and reseal the basement walls. Made of old rocks with concrete, way old school. What a job that was, but it's now done. (Purchased an air-paint gun but for the life of me couldn't get it to work - thinking the sealer was too thick. Cleaned everything up and will try again when painting garage and wood fence later this summer)
Step five (beginning next weekend): Replacing a 6x15' three season porch with a 12x15' entry way. This poor thing hasn't had anything done to it since I was a little one being babysat by my grandmother at the house. She's so weak I can probably do de-construction with my hands. Have to remove shrubs from front, learn how to build 3 walls, attach those walls to an existing house wall, replace shattering concrete steps with either new concrete or wood, learn to hang 8 windows or come up with some other design, figure out how to put a exterior door in place, lay a wood floor down (grandpa kept the original hardwood flooring in the attic in the garage, so I'll appropriate it and use some of it as the entry way flooring).
Step six (early summer this year): Same thing to back porch, but make this little entry way porch, about 6x5' into a nicer 12x5' mud room (dogs have to come in from the yard somewhere!)
Step seven (early-mid summer): Level off the grounds. It is awful! I get 4-6" of standing water on my sidewalks / icerinks (in winter) whenever I get some rain/melting snow. I have to get the black dirt in and some grass growing ASAP. This will involve removing about 80' of cement sidewalks my grandfather laid around the house and to access points from neighbors (originally the rest of his family members' homes). I've torn up a portion and it looks like he dropped 4-5" of cement down - HEAVY and back breaking.
Step eight (mid summer): Erect some sort of fence around the yard. It has to be more than 5' tall unfortunately as one of my Border Collies can jump the existing 5' cheapo chicken wire fence without even getting a head of steam. I really don't want to have total privacy, just want something that will keep the dogs in their own yard. They are nice dogs, but I don't want to get a visit from the dog catcher either. Ideas of nice fencing is appreciated. I'm thinking about the wood fence that alternates the side it is hung on (tell I'm an expert in fencing no?) so I can at least get a little bit of light into the yard and see out of it. I do dog rescue work, so I'd like to be able to have a design that isolates the front from the back as necessary while providing dog free access to the front door (while having the ability to 'open the whole yard up' to the dogs for the day -- thinking swinging gates or series of open closed gates). Half the fun is designing I guess.
Next year: Remove paneling from walls inside. Tear down any plaster walls that may still exist, tear up carpeting and check sub-flooring where there is currently 'lift'. Put in new carpeting (maybe some wood floor but my dogs really don't like wood floors). Determine if I can put an addition onto the front of the house to increase the size of the living room and an upstairs bedroom. New siding (probably vinyl) after the addition is made or determined to not be needed (price).
You'll probably be seeing me here often, as I'm not afraid to ask questions and have very little practical experience passed down to me from my father. Grandfather gave me the courage to try though.