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jram775016 03-07-2010 11:04 PM

virgin homeowner
New homeowner of a 1929 colonial style house, with coal burner that was converted to oil. Wall to wall carpet, unfinished basement and needs help with landscaping. don't know where to start first. kitchen is very outdated and i need advice on what and where to begin first without hurting my pocket and eco friendly and efficient

Grampa Bud 03-07-2010 11:41 PM

Pick something simple like a light fixture or ferilizing the lawn. Maybe a new mailbox. Make a list of the things you would like, then from that list cull the things you feel you really need, then from that list highlight the items that need to be done so you can move in. THEN get to work!

chrisn 03-08-2010 03:54 AM

I am betting that in a home that old , under the wall to wall carpet you have beautiful hardwood floors, that is where I would start.

user1007 03-08-2010 05:58 AM

If a home inspection document was part of the home closing I would get that out and take a look at it again. If there was no inspection I would think about getting one so that you know the things you may have to address and can work them into renovation plans.

If you don't have a basic floorplan take the time to measure the house and create at least a crude one. If your are going to be doing landscaping you might as well measure the yard and place the house on the plot too. You will find even basic scaled plans come in very handy and there are tons of free or cheap floorplan and landscape plan programs out there. It makes it so much easier to discuss projects, order materials and so forth from a scaled plan.

As Chris mentioned, I usually find nice floors hiding under carpeting in old homes. There is often hardwood trim hiding under paint too. On one project I found two sets of drop dead gorgeous, hand carved, oak pocket doors that had been sealed over.

Whatever you do, do not rush into things other than those that have to be fixed. You will regret hasty decisions later. Rush jobs always end up more expensive somehow.

Your library is a great source for ideas and will have tons of books and magazines about home improvements--green and otherwise. Research green tax credits ahead of time too! Call in pros for both design and contract work when needed. Don't overreach your capabilities too far.

Definitely start and keep adding to a wish list and prioritize and divide it into phases now and then. Be sure and set a budget for it all too!

builder22 03-10-2010 09:52 PM

I agree, start small. Focus on one room and make it yours, and don't be afraid to get any help. I know of a site called that lets you state the criteria, such as being eco-friendly, when looking for a contractor, and they compare them apples to apples for you. Might be helpful in your situation! Good luck with everything, I bet it will look amazing when finished!

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