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Old 02-15-2019, 08:56 PM   #1
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A Monster Project


So I have a monstrosity of a house I'm going to try to remodel, I got six months to do it, and it's bad. The two front rooms in the home have broken joists under solid wood floors, floors are intact in the master bedroom but I'm assuming the sinking in the middle is from another broken joist. They are just old, no water damage was involved. The middle of the house which consists of a bedroom and the kitchen is in reasonably good condition structurally. The bathroom had both the water heater and tub collapse due to water damage but the problem was "fixed". The ceiling has fallen out in the laundry room and bathroom both. The whole place is cosmetically horrifying. I'm talking Joe's Apartment bad.

I wouldn't even bother but I need a place to stay after my divorce and a friend no longer wants the property due to health issues. My father was an expert at resurrecting houses that probably should have been condemned and my grandfather was an architect so I've acquired a modest level of skills and tools. The only carpenter I've talked to locally took one look at the inside, said it wasn't possible and left. Perhaps I'm being too optimistic. I'll get some photos up soon.
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:03 PM   #2
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Re: A Monster Project


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A Monster Project-20190215_135658.jpg   A Monster Project-20190215_135727.jpg   A Monster Project-20190215_135757.jpg   A Monster Project-20190215_135824.jpg   A Monster Project-20190215_135835.jpg  

A Monster Project-20190215_135846.jpg  

Last edited by CardinalSyn; 02-15-2019 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Cant figure out pictures (Figured it Out)
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:59 AM   #3
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Re: A Monster Project


I don't know what your budget is like, but gutting it one room at a time would be a solution. I'd start in the basement and correct sagging/broken joists first, and possibly adding post and beam support at the midpoint to help correct sagging. Once the basement is stripped and structural changes made, you can move upstairs and do the same, possibly one room at a time provided the electrical is adequate as it sits.

Don't think this will be like a home show and it will be done in an hour. You have a lot of work to do. Maybe posting pictures of the outside would help, too, just so we can see about the bones.

Just before the last fall in the construction industry, I eyed a house in town that was abandoned and determined who the owner was from county records. The inside was horrible, but, being a brick house built in 1922, there was not a mortar joint crack anywhere. I wanted to buy it and flip it, but the economy tanked.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: A Monster Project


I would fix the structural issue first. Then hire 1 or 2 helpers & get rid of all the garbage. Are you actually buying the house? I hope the current owner is a close friend. You don't want to do all that work, make the house look good & all of a sudden he wants to live there.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:29 AM   #5
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Re: A Monster Project


Looks like a typical tax auction house. It always amazes me that people live like this. Sad actually. Get a dumpster and a box of 3M masks. Get everything out that is going, including dry wall, insulation, appliances and anything else. Next is the roof and or any plumbing leaks. No sense repairing anything if it's taking on water.

A lot people and contractors can look at a house like this and say bulldoze it. And if you have to pay for labor, that might be the best option. But if you can do all or most of the work yourself, then you can make out ok. I have rehabbed many similar houses over the past 20 years.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:43 AM   #6
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Re: A Monster Project


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Originally Posted by Guap0_ View Post
Are you actually buying the house? I hope the current owner is a close friend. You don't want to do all that work, make the house look good & all of a sudden he wants to live there.



This is a good point and really should be addressed prior to spending a dime. Friend or no. It's happened more times than we know. Some one living in anothers house and fixes it up nice, and guess what, the the owner wants it back.

If he truly doesn't want the house, ask him to sign it over to you. I wouldn't do much in it without owning it. Which also include title search, and outstanding liens against the property. The property could be a huge liability that you are not aware of.
Best of luck
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:00 AM   #7
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Re: A Monster Project


Six month of full time work or week ends? Finished or a few rooms to live in?
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:00 AM   #8
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Re: A Monster Project


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Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
This is a good point and really should be addressed prior to spending a dime. Friend or no. It's happened more times than we know. Some one living in anothers house and fixes it up nice, and guess what, the the owner wants it back.

If he truly doesn't want the house, ask him to sign it over to you. I wouldn't do much in it without owning it. Which also include title search, and outstanding liens against the property. The property could be a huge liability that you are not aware of.
Best of luck
I second the sage advise from Yodaman and Guapo.
There could be liens on the property that your friend is
not even aware of...
There could be kids, or other family members that could
also lay claim to the property. Good Luck.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:14 AM   #9
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Re: A Monster Project


Here's a long thread from another brave soul that may have some good guidance, but it proves an old dead home can have a new life.

Bud
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:23 PM   #10
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Re: A Monster Project


I'll try to address each of your posts.

Background situation: was built in 1952, pier and beam foundation, solid wood frame and walls with drywall, little or no cracking, asphalt roof with a single leak in poor condition overall. Owned by best friends mom, we are like brothers, she died in 2012, he had renal failure couldn't get a kidney, left it to brother, brother dies in motorcycle accident. Father and grandparents died the next year. He comes back, the city will not allow anything to be done with it, so he goes to live with a girlfriend in Texas, leaves it in the care of dead brothers fiance, this happens. Mind you it wasn't pretty when my bro lived there but they are all beyond the financial means to restore, resolve legal issues, deal with utility companies etc. I'm resolving the ownership issues and having a legal contract between the aforementioned friend and me drawn up.

My situation: I have 4 days, every other week for six months. I have 4k going in 500-800 a month and a revolving account at HomeDepot for 10k I used when I was still married. That's just to make it livable. After that, I presumably have to live in it. But until my six months are up, I have no bills and no responsibilities every other week. So if I determine after getting in and under everything, that I can't get it livable for around 10k, I will probably walk the other way.

Everything I know:
1. Electrical is and has never been up to code.
2. The plumbing all works and doesn't leak.
3. The roof has a single leak in the back of house between the bathroom and laundry room, although I admit, the attic doesn't seem to have any evidence of this so perhaps its a plumbing issue behind that wall.
4. The walls are remarkably solid and the none of the windows have water damage or crunchiness around them. Theirs a single crack running from the front door to the door on the other side of the living room in the drywall ceiling.
5. All rooms have drywall, closets are solid wood.
6. Hardwood floors in the center of the house could be saved if I really wanted, they are just filthy and need to be refinished. I helped with a remodel of this room in 2010 so its actually in really good shape.
7. There are broken joists under the living room and master bedroom.
8. The ceiling tiles in the bathroom and laundry were a cheap staple-on variety. This is the only project I have measured, checked materials on and developed a plan for. Total cost is estimated $680 to get a moisture resistant tile grid up in both rooms
9. The kitchen is solid, floors don't bow or sink, just needs to be emptied out, painted and floors redone.
10. Bathtub needs to be ripped out and floors redone, and the source of that leak found. pretty sure the water heater room behind bathroom is ******-rigged as well. There's pretty much no vanity left.
11. Lots of stuff I don't cause I haven't ripped anything out yet.

My game plan so far:
1. Resolve. Ownership. Issues.
2. Legally protect myself
3. Empty that sucker out
4. Clean everything
5. Address the bathroom/laundry/roof leak, wherever that may be.
6. Replace living room joists and subfloors + flooring
7. Fix joists under master bedroom if possible without tearing out the hardwood, I don't mind replacing it later so just making it stable for now wouldn't hurt my feeling's a bit.
8. Do something about that god awful bathroom.
9. Paint.

This is all very early stages but there will be virtually no labor for anything but electric and plumbing issues that arise, I have nothing but time.

The scary part is, if I set all the furniture in this wretched place on the curb, the people from 2 neighborhoods over would actually take it and use it.

I'll have to get a picture of the exterior.
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:47 PM   #11
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Re: A Monster Project


May have mentioned, but you need to know what the town/city will need done before they allow you to move in. In some areas a certificate of occupancy is required and those usually require all work to be completed. All areas are different but you need to check.

IMO, you are miles short on cash to make this fly in the short term. If you can set up another place to live while you work on this then you have a legal address. I have slept at many job sites in my life but always had a place to call home if anyone questioned me. Again, that flexibility is location specific. But $10,000 will barely get you started and banks will not loan to people building their own place unless they have an established track record.

Bud
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:47 PM   #12
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Re: A Monster Project


I will add this situation is born out of a somewhat dubious problem happening in my town where houses like this are the only thing people can afford, the slumlord who owns three blocks down the street rents 80 houses, mobiles, and apartments in exactly this condition. Sane people won't live there. The realty companies recently bought the rental properties all over town including the cheaper apartment complexes, threw on a new coat of paint and now rent 2 bedroom units that still smell like their methhead tenants from before for 650-1000 a month. One look inside and you can tell shade-tree mechanics posing as carpenters threw the mortal engines inside together.
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:54 PM   #13
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Re: A Monster Project


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May have mentioned, but you need to know what the town/city will need done before they allow you to move in.
Bud
They just want it out of the mom's name, which is an issue we are already fixing.

Quote:
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IMO, you are miles short on cash to make this fly in the short term.
Bud
Bummer, I was really hoping 10k might cut it, I've managed to remodel an entire mobile home with some structural issues on a budget like that before but again, this is a house, so I may be out of my depth.
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:55 PM   #14
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Re: A Monster Project


Quote:
the city will not allow anything to be done with it
This needs to be resolved before you do anything. What is their reasoning? Is their reasoning sound. Be objective about it.
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Old 02-16-2019, 02:04 PM   #15
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Re: A Monster Project


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This needs to be resolved before you do anything. What is their reasoning? Is their reasoning sound. Be objective about it.
As above, inheritance has to be resolved. He's the sole living member of his family, already done the lawyer part of this so that will solve those issues entirely. A simple affidavit was all that was required since everyone else was dead.
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