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Ztien777 01-03-2009 02:01 AM

Renovation Catch-22
Hello everyone, this is my first post here. I'm an 18 year old HS senior. I live with my mom and sister, parents are divorced. We've got a 50 year old house. Guy who built the house cut corners, used a lot of cheap materials, bad plumbing, terrible design.

After two separate incidents, we're facing major problems. A leak in the toliet wax ring has rotted out some of the bathroom floor. A leak in the water line to the refrigerator's ice maker rotted out the floor underneath the fridge. My mom is still paying on this house, she's had it for 23+ years.

She's due to retire this year, and we're stuck with a dilemma. The bathroom and kitchen both desperately need renovation. But my mom would have to get an apartment to do so. She's still paying on the house, plus she'd have to borrow even more money pay for the repairs. My sister still lives at home, going to college, I'm leaving in August for college.

Is there a way to deal with this to complete the repairs? Should she just try to sell the house? Should I consult someone?

Chemist1961 01-03-2009 08:27 AM

Thre are a lot of good tips AND QUALIFIED PEOPLE on this site. You will need to take some photos of both projects and give us details on the flooring. STart one project at a time. Floorboard material can be removed and replaced properly with a bit of patience.
You can relocate your fridge temporarily to do it. Hopefully you have a spare bathroom. You can do a lot with a kitchen with some melamine paint a new counters and just improving your storage. Start with your most pressing, I would say toilet, but look for the cause of the leak at thr fridge and stop it from getting worse. Describe the basement and wood below the floor surface. Photos again would help from above and below.

Ztien777 01-03-2009 12:55 PM

Considering I have zero experience with these kinds of things, would we be better off getting a contractor?

angus242 01-03-2009 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by Ztien777 (Post 206236)
Considering I have zero experience with these kinds of things, would we be better off getting a contractor?

Yes. Get multiple estimates...they're usually free. This way, your family will have a very good idea of what the repairs will cost so you can start saving up. Maybe check with your home owners insurance....might be covered for water damage??????

In the meantime, perhaps you could start getting into more detail with trying to find out what happen to at least stop the bleeding.

ponch37300 01-03-2009 01:47 PM

Depending on how handy you are you would be able to do these repairs with some help from people on here. I learned by doing and asking alot of questions. You wouldn't have to move out unless this is your only bathroom. Even then if it's not to bad and only the toilet needs to come out you could use a gas station or store for temp toilet. Depending on damage you should be able to remove toilet and replace floor and re-install toilet in a day or two. Might not be fun but save your mom some money and like mentioned you can move the fridge for time being. Also mentioned above call your insurance, a friend of mine ice maker line broke and it was covered. He got almost 4000 for this to replace the floor and ceramic tile. If you don't feel comfortable with tools or work like this then you might want to call a contractor but if you feel comfortable do alot of research and ask questions and maybe start some demo so you can see how bad things actually are. good luck

Nia 01-05-2009 10:35 PM

You have alot of issues going on.

1) Definetely check with your insurance 1st because that will be the answer to your problems.

2) Look into city programs in your area and see if they offer programs to repair your home. It is usually based on income but it maybe worth looking into. The downside is the paperwork and the wait.

3) Volunteer for habitat for humanity and help someone else with their home. This can help in 2 ways, you may meet a contractor that is willing to work with your mom and not charge top dollar and you can offer your labor for free. It also gives you some experience that can help you with working on your mom's house. Referrals are good or have the contractor give you a list of 20 people to choose from that have had work at least 6-12 mos ago. Pick 3 past customers and talk to them about how the work is holding up and if they had any problems.

4) I would get someone that knows what they're doing and you should be able to stay in the house. With time being of the essence the last thing I would recommend is you tackling plumbing issues and costing your mom more money and time trying to deal with the unforseen. Let a pro tackle that and I think you can do the cosmetic repairs. I fix several kitchens and baths plumbing DIY oops!

5) Selling the house in todays market is not the answer because you will be lowballed on the price.

Just my .02

bradnailer 01-06-2009 09:19 AM

Some of the best advice I've seen here is to volunteer at a local Habitat for Humanity or Christmas in Action project. You'll learn more in a weekend than you could ever imagine and do some nice community service.

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