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Old 09-19-2009, 04:24 PM   #1
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Slight home remodeling


I'm going to copy/paste this from another forum I post on. I will disclaim that we are working with a GC/ electrician and plumber because of the magnitude of the project we took on we wanted to do this right the first time however all the demo was done by us and we've been helping them out as they go. While we are both capable of doing the work, the intricacy of Baltimore codes was prohibitive since I haven't worked in the city before. We've learned so much from this project that I can't wait to start another. I'll keep the dates included with each post so you can see the progress made and what we learned along the way and bold anything that was incorrect in our initial assessment. Anyway:

6/15/09
This is a house me and a friend of mine are working on. Pretty much got the deal of the century on it in Baltimore. It was a foreclosure that was a giant hassle to settle on but finally happened. In a nut shell the bank was asking 139k, we low balled at $87,900 assuming after countering we'd end up around 110k. Didn't hear anything for a few weeks until we saw it went up for auction. Well the auction fell through and the bank was in the process of being bought out so they accepted our offer in an area of Baltimore where the average home sale was/is $250,000+. We were ecstatic, even the realtor was amazed.

Then it got bad. The new bank started sandbagging the whole process refusing to accept the offer even though the previous bank did. They wanted us to pull our offer and reoffer $30,000 more! Finally after two months of waiting we settled paying the transfer tax and kept our original offer.

So from start to finish we looked at over 50 homes, put out three formal offers and finally ended up with our "dream house". A foreclosure in a nice area that needs updating but doesn't need to be bulldozed.

It's the first major renovation that we've taken on by ourselves. It's actually been a pretty fun process thus far doing the demo. We hauled out 2.5 tons of stuff the other day and will probably do the same again next week.

The house is a brick row home built ~100 years ago. 2 floors and a basement. It technically is a 3/1.5 but really is a 2/1 because the basement is only 6' tall.

The pros:
Original hardwood flooring thoughout
Excellent location
3 homes for sale within spitting distance are listed at 285k, 325k and 355k respectively
9' ceilings
Original oak staircase still in tact
200 amp service
Brand new AC unit (AC is actually pretty rare in these homes other than high end renovations)

The cons:
Nothing other than the flooring and staircase is really salvageable
Original hardwood is under crappy linoleum
Each wall consists of brick (which we're exposing), plaster, 4 layers of wall paper, wood furring strips and wood paneling
Wiring outside of the AC run is the old nylon braid conduit style
Termite damage in the backdoor (understatement of the year!)
Former owner had an unhealthy obsession with dragons
The kitchen sink leaked for at least a year onto the sink base but fortunately most of it was absorbed.
Has a 'fake' ceiling in each room below the actual ceiling

So the plan is to gut almost everything in the house. Off the top of my head: tear down the plaster, rip out the old wiring, reframe the majority of the house, rewire, address the lighting issue, new sheetrock throughout, sand down the floors and stair case and refinish and build a really nice kitchen and master bath. I'm sure I'm leaving out a lot but it's late and I'm tired.

The original pictures:











Last edited by specialguest; 09-19-2009 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:27 PM   #2
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Slight home remodeling


6/15/09 cont.










Last edited by specialguest; 09-19-2009 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:27 PM   #3
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6/15/09 cont.

The original bathroom and kitchen:













There were more layers of grease and crap in the kitchen than I ever care to come in contact with ever again.
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:29 PM   #4
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Slight home remodeling


6/25/09

Before and after (circa about 1.5 weeks ago)





The arch between the kitchen and living room is out, brick is exposed throughout and the fake ceiling as well as the original plaster ceiling above is out. It kind of looks like a log cabin right now with the beams exposed. I'll try and get an updated pic tonight. The wall on the right is something we're kind of up in the air about. We don't know whether or not to build a 4' stud wall to run the electrical and whatnot or just frame the whole thing and build a built in entertainment center. That's pretty far down the road but doesn't hurt to day dream.

Also by pulling down the fake ceiling which had cardboard tile, we actually gained app. a foot of head room throughout giving up 9'+ ceilings.









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Old 09-19-2009, 04:31 PM   #5
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Slight home remodeling


Cont.











Last edited by specialguest; 09-19-2009 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:34 PM   #6
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Slight home remodeling


7/20/09










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Old 09-19-2009, 04:43 PM   #7
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:44 PM   #8
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:44 PM   #9
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:45 PM   #11
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:47 PM   #12
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Cont.

No lead paint. Instead they used spray paint to decorate the walls.

Either way I'm glad it's over. It was a hell of a lot of work for two guys and a grandfather (who is unreal in how strong he is) to take on but we've finished the hard part.

We've got a contractor on retainer for the electrical and plumbing. Basically we were incorrect in what the house had power wise. It is only 100 amp service which according to our contractor implies they either never ran the AC or there was 4 separate breakers for it. Either way doesn't matter. BGE (power company) has to come in and move the electrical meter outside and we'll upgrade to 200 amp service at the same time. All the wiring in the house was the metal armored conduit with the nylon braid for the insulation. That stuff is a royal pain in the ass to remove and finally it took a pair of big bolt cutters to get it out.

The plumbing is also going to go and we'll replace it with PVC. I'm concerned we'll only get about another 10 years out of the current plumbing and we already know there is a minor leak under the toilet pipe because there was water damage on the ceiling tiles right beneath it. Also only the kitchen lines had on/off valves and they are crap anyway. The water main doesn't fully shut off the water as we found out the fun way. Another major reason is we're going to add a 1/2 bath on the first floor and rearrange the upstairs bath's layout (tub going perpendicular on the back side and toilet/sink on the front side) since originally there was barely any room to get to the toilet.

So all that will be subbed out. More than likely unless something dramatic happens with my schedule, we'll do the framing and probably hang the drywall then sub out the finish work. The flooring will then be addressed. Under the pergo floor downstairs are hardwoods in excellent condition from one of the pics above. Upstairs we'll have to replace most of the wood planks with 1/2 inch plywood then probably carpet the bedrooms and hallway and tile the bath.

Regarding the brick. That is a project in and of itself. Every square inch we expose will need to be meticulously scrubbed and sealed. The troughs dug out for the metal conduit electrical will be attributed to 'old world charm' and probably left as is.
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:48 PM   #13
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Slight home remodeling


8/31/09








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Old 09-19-2009, 04:48 PM   #14
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:49 PM   #15
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