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Old 03-01-2010, 05:16 PM   #1
 
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Help with many things!


I have many, many questions for someone about a 100 year old home that I want to totally upgrade. I don't know where to start and was hoping I could PM with someone to answer some questions. Yes, I know I sound like an idiot right now, and I am...when it comes to this stuff. I don't need information regarding price or quotes, I just need someone to give me some direction. I would like to do it room by room, because I have too much "stuff" in the home. Room by room sounds easier. Thanks in advance! ~Kierstin
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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Basically just ask a question & someone will respond to your question
Everything is done on a thread so that others can offer assistance



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Old 03-01-2010, 06:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kierstin View Post
I have many, many questions for someone about a 100 year old home that I want to totally upgrade. I don't know where to start and was hoping I could PM with someone to answer some questions. Yes, I know I sound like an idiot right now, and I am...when it comes to this stuff. I don't need information regarding price or quotes, I just need someone to give me some direction. I would like to do it room by room, because I have too much "stuff" in the home. Room by room sounds easier. Thanks in advance! ~Kierstin
What you need to do and the sequence you should do it in is somewhat subjective and could best be evaluated by an onsite inspection and a conversation as to your goals, budget and timeframe. There needs to be an overall evaluation of the entire project that can't be done, remotely, online.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:21 PM   #4
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give us an idea of what your trying to accomplish in each room and some details of the condition of the house. Are you going to be redoing wiring in the room if so what is the original wiring like? same as for plumbing. Some of these things can't be tackled room by room easily. Room by room can be accomplished as long as you have a master plan and budget up front
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:03 PM   #5
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Here is an example that may provide some ideas -

Last year we accomplished a major remodel of our home - new kitchen, bath, removed walls to make an open floor plan, etc. In the bedroom end of the house we converted one bedroom to a temporary living room - so we had the temp living, bedroom, and a bath. We then ripped up the other end of the house and put it back together. Afterwards, we swapped our living quearters to the other end of the house and ripped up the remaining end and put it back together. As for all the household stuff we bought a 20' ocean cargo container and had it placed in the back yard - there we parked non essential furniture and other items. Overall - about eight months to accomplish.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:11 PM   #6
 
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OK, here goes nothing...

I just had the entire home upgraded to a 200 amp. What a mess, but that's behind me. During the rewiring, I found out that there is no insulation whatsoever in the "oldest" part of the home. It's basically siding, wood slats, and what looks like a bunch of newspaper that had been plastered to the wall with paint over it. It peels off so nicely. No wonder my gas bill is through the roof! The roof is ok, but the tin hasn't been removed and who knows what is under there. I also want the roof replaced.

The floor throughout the home is uneven and some of the rooms have paneling (ugh!). Honestly, I should just build a new home, but this house has been in my family for years and I have sentimental ties to it. Like another poster, I am living in the home now.

I would like to start with one of the spare bedrooms. Fix the floor, frame the walls, insulate, sheetrock, new windows, new doors, new ceiling, add walk-in closet, hardwood floor... Am I forgetting something? Basically, I want to do this in every room. Totally gut and start new - but still live in the home.

Based on what I have stated, do you think it is feasible? How do I go about finding someone to come out and look at everything? What is the best way to find a reputable contractor to do this? The contractors that I have called from the phone book don't want to do the room by room remodel and some don't even do remodels. Ground up construction only. Is there another topic I need to look at in the phonebook to find something? I called a guy that had an ad in the paper, but I swear he seemed as lost as I was. I want someone that is licensed, insured, bonded, etc. and can sign a contract. When I tell the people this on the phone, they say they will show up and don't. Don't get me started on the issues with the electrician. I really didn't like the police in my driveway serving an arrest warrant.

I want it fixed right the first time and money is not an issue, but I don't want to get ripped off either. I have read too many bad things from my area on Angie's list. I don't tell the people on the phone that money is not an object, but I don't act like I want to cut corners either.

So, there is my story. Any advice would be very helpful. Yes, I know that I can't get firm answers from people that have never seen the home. If a relative called you and lived on the opposite side of the US and asked these questions, what advice would you give.

I hope all this makes sense. I have been trying to write this for an hour.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:28 PM   #7
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All depends upon how handy you are
Where are you located ? Just need a general location
That determines some codes, insulation...vapor barriers etc

My last house I redid most of it
New doors, some windows, some insulation, new roof
New bathroom & kitchen

This house all new windows & doors, added onto the house
New electric, insulation , new bathroom
Now putting the new siding on to make the house look good again
New kitchen will be next I think

Are you going to DIY...or hire out ?
Generally we don't do advice on contractor pricing on here or who to hire
Bu people do assist with questions about materials, methods etc when hiring someone

I have worked on basics 1st...electric, windows & insulation
I knew that all needed to be finished before residing

I did tackle my last house room by room
Gutting rooms & adding insulation
Finishing the floor (wood)...then outting new sheetrock up & painting
Its easier when you can do one room at a time & you get a sense of accomplishment when a room is completed



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Old 03-01-2010, 11:21 PM   #8
 
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I'm not handy at all! Yes, I would have to hire everything out, except for painting the walls. Dave, I looked at your entire thread one night. I would have had an anxiety attack having so many projects going on at once. I'm the kind of person that can't leave anything undone. It would drive me bonkers. LOL Kinda like this house is doing to me!

OK, so I definitely need new windows in the entire home. Should I start with that? That's easy! I will call Lowe's.

I am located in Knoxville, TN. Go Vols!
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:35 PM   #9
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Hi Kierstin. I can give you a few idea's. I'm not a contractor, but have done many different types of projects dealing with old homes. Its more like as your going through it you realize maybe a different way would have been better.

The first thing I would suggest is getting a home inspection. I would call around to a few places and ask a few questions to get a feel for the company. Let them know you want plan out renovations for the future and would like a detailed report including any problems or issues that should be dealt with first or may affect other projects you want to do. Ask for an aprox. cost, when they think they would be able to come, how long it usually takes etc. That way you get what an average cost is, time frame etc. When you ask about booking a time, someone that can come out same day or next day usually makes me wonder why there not busy. The ones that are busy, seem to be because there good at what they do. I would google the company names once you find one's you like. People will post things about company's online good and bad. I think the extra money you spend on this can save so much down the road.

The first things I would have checked is the structure, roof, and basement and your heating system/vent lines. Not nearly as fun as doing something you can see and enjoy but say you do a room and the roof leaks, or the structure shifts or needs work it could damage the work you've done.

Do I would try and check if others have done reno's in the house.

This is kind of long and all over the place but its things I wished I had done first. I've located a few major problems in the last 6 months. I new there was some kind of problem but didn't realize at the time that potentially big ones and have cost me alot of money I could have save. Something as simple as the old owner covering a heat vent, which was one of the main lines. My oil bills for heating were through the roof and though more that it was because of lack of insulation. I was in my attic and there was major heat blowing up between to walls that I had ripped a hole in to crawl through. My attic temp was 48, the air blowing was 76 I couldn't believe it. Not only was this heating up all the int. walls and blowing up through walls to attic, I believe that's why the old owner always had problems with major ice build up on the roof. He even replace 3/4 of the roof before I purchased it, but I still had the same problem and couldn't figure it out till now. I'm sorry its long, but trying to show that if I had of searched for that problem 2 years ago, I would have saved 10's of thousands of dollars on oil bills. Instead I was ripping out the old carpets and putting down new click floors which looked great.

I did want to mention that in my area, (Canada) house's that are around the age of yours have many different types of asbestos that you may not realize. You can find it in the plaster walls, insulations around heat vents and old wire ring. In a cloth for around vents as well, in floor tiles and the glue that's used to put them down, in insulation, old fire blankets etc. I'm not trying to scare you, just I found out recently that I have remove alot of asbestos not know what it was and not wear any type of mask.

And the most important to me, is to try and educate myself at least alittle on things even if your hiring someone. It will help you to understand what there doing and help you spot warning signs if there are some.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:51 AM   #10
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Also be aware that your number One enemy is water.

We live in houses to be comfortable and safe, shielded from the elements. Our enemies are not gangs, nor the sun or earthqualkes, not wind, not looters, not snow and not lack of funds. Water and what it does consitutes the #1 Most Wanted...

And our homes are "systems" of heating, ventilation, insulation, electricity, plumbing, structure - all made to control our environment. And for most of the year, that means controlling water infiltration and moisture. Some of these things will make you uncomfortable, but water will destroy your home as sure as the sun rises.

So up here we start with that. Roof and walls, the structure that gives us protection from the water we see (rain and snow); the foundation that gives us the basement and protection from the water we don't see.

Then add heating so we can live, electricity so we can read, plumbing to keep clean and keep going till you can sleep at nights, safely and dry.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:17 PM   #11
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Hi Kierstin,

Since the home is in your family, are you privy to the history of the house and any add-on construction? This sometimes can be helpful.

Getting the electrical work done is a big step and getting everything up to code. I assume the electrician installed new outlets/ wall switches as well.

You may want to decide which rooms are most important to tackle first. Many home owners consider their kitchen and bath the most important rooms. See if the current kitchen layout is what you want and how modifying it will effect other rooms. If you need to update plumbing..this is a good place to start. Kitchen and bath redesigns eat up allot of dollars even when we are starting out with decent walls and a good sub-floor.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to go on a recommendation when it comes to hiring out a contractor. This is not always a guarantee, but at-least you have something to go on.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:54 PM   #12
 
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Thanks everyone! Yes, I am privy to the history of the home. Atleast now I know that my great grandparents weren't sitting in a barn in one of the pics..it was this home! Today, I stopped at this house down the road that was similar to mine, before he gutted the entire home. It's absolutely beautiful from the outside and will see the inside this weekend. Maybe I have found a new "friend" to bounce ideas off of! The only downfall is that his home looks totally new and I want this home to still have the older home appeal on the outside, if that makes sense.

I'll take pics this weekend of the before and add the after...when I decide what the heck I am going to do. Maybe what I have posted thus far will begin to make sense, if that is possible.

To answer one of the questions below, yes, I have new outlets and wall switches or I should say...I now have outlets and switches. I still can't get use to not feeling in the air to pull the string to cut on a light in the dark or tripping over extension cords.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:18 PM   #13
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I think you will have a great time with your projects for this home. I think its a great idea to keep the old style. When you go visit your friend to see inside the house I would get as much info as possible. Not just how great things are with it now but problems he ran into that may help you avoid the same ones. Take lots of pics along the way, even the disasters. When you look back its great to have all the pics even the mistakes or things gone wrong. It makes for great memories and, the can you believe that happened stories.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:19 AM   #14
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100-yr old house...can you tell us more about the construction for example on the outside? You say 'siding' but what type? What are the windows made of? new or original? you say your tin roof is OK...are you sure?

Lots of questions I know, but we do old window and door restoration and usually find that this type of work (for example, with double-hung windows) is better and cheaper than replacements when done properly. And again, people who get involved in this type of project, they are like you: they may have just come upon an old house and they want to restore it for various reasons, and don't know where to start. And invariably, that overwhelming catharsis sets in because there is so much to do, you end up spinning around in circles.

And I'd go further in saying that there is enough to do overall, that the one way of killing any hope in seing the end is to do things over twice or three times due to a lack of forethought. Like they say, an hour spent in planning NOW is worth 3 hours later...

You say the roof is OK; good start from there. Next you have the walls. Are they insulated and is water being taken care of (ground water and vapour)...? Here's where the greatest amount of foresight is needed because once a wall is deemed to be insufficient, that is the time to ask about electricitiy and plumbing (if they're involved) and put those plugs or new wiring while the walls are being air sealed, insulated and 'vapour barriered' - and even that required knowing what you should have in terms of insulation and vapour barrier and air barrier, seeing as how Kenntucky is in one of those transition zones where you heat and cool during the year, and gets rain and some snow.

Now you can easily do it room-by-room, but some systems like electricity require a macro approach; best is to put in the wiring for the future but only hook it up later.

Can you get us some pics?
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